Okay… This story has me wondering.
I was under the distinct impression that the favoured translation for the new UK and Australia English lectionary would be the ESV (Oxford Edition). But I found this story in the Catholic Herald, which says that the Holy See has approved the RSV (Catholic Edition – natch) for the Anglican Ordinariate.
The article points out that the RSV is closer to the KJV, and hence more in keeping with the traditional Anglican liturgy. This is most certainly true, and, if it were not for the fact that the bishops commission on the lectionary is currently working on a new translation for the lectionary in the Roman Missal, would not surprise me in the least. But given that the ESV is also in the same family tree as the KJV and RSV – it is in fact very reminicent of the RSV and (in just a few places, such as in the account of the Annunciation, marginally better) – I would have thought that it would have made sense for the Ordinariate to use the ESV as well.
One reason I can think of for keeping the RSV in the Ordinariate and the ESV in the English edition of the Roman Lectionary is that the RSV still contains what would be regarded as “archaic” usage – specifically in the use of “thee”, “thy” and “thou” (along with “doest” and “hast”) for the second person singular. It would perhaps therefore be quite suitable for the Ordinariate BCP English, whereas it would not be suitable for the new translation of the Roman Missal.
Another thought is that the Ordinariate is probably going to be using some version of the historical one-year lectionary rather than the Roman 3-year lectionary, and so in fact the two lectionaries will be quite different beasts in any case.
Thus, despite this news, I remain confident that in a few years we will get an ESV lectionary to replace the current (dreadful) JB version.
Unfortunately, the lectionary itself is not going to be revised. I was horrified a few Sunday’s back when we had the reading of the Binding of Isaac (aka the Sacrifice of Isaac, but I rather prefer the Jewish name for this reading). The story – which is skillfully told in the whole 22nd Chapter of Genesis with much tension and drama – had been cut down to about 10 verses. Had any Rabbis been present at mass on that Sunday they would have been scandalised! I sometimes wonder if person who edited the Lectionary had previously been employed by Readers Digest…