so, priests and biblically knowledgeable Orthodox laity, what do you think of this Bible, is it OK? my priest told me to stay away from the NRSV, and this doesn't look like it. or...should I ask my priest for an IOU, for the OSB?
I'm sorry, but IMO there is nothing at all wrong with NRSV. I know the OCA has some "ban" in it but I've never been able to figure out why. (I've read the decision from 1990 and it still remains unclear to me, some of the objectionable verses are simply accurate renderings of the greek or hebrew, so the problem lies with the text itself, not the translation, I dunno, I've found this whole thing weird personally)
Remember many Churches had the same reaction to the RSV when it was released as well. (Isaiah doesn't say "virgin, but young woman, heresy!!!!!!") The NRSV is a good literal translation, my biggest problem is it's language is a little too "inclusive" at times. Some of it is also sounds so different than any classical rendering that we're used to that it's sometimes hard to follow, especially Liturgically. Some of it sounds, I dunno, a little hokey if you know what I mean? lol! Its not an evil translation though nor is it a bad one. I'm not comfortable with the whole idea of the Church banning bible translations but that's just me.
As they say the best translation is the one you read. I have an OSB and almost never read the thing. I don't mean to sound harsh, but the notes feel too much like propaganda to me. They don't get into the real meaning and nitty grittiness of the text itself or the cultural/historical socioeconomic history behind a text. Nothing about "2nd Isaiah", or how even conservative scholars figure John 21 is a later edition by the Johaninne community, no commentaries or notations on all the things I personally find interesting in the Bible. It's basically an apologetics study Bible. Which is fine if that's what one likes or feels they need, but it's just not my cup of tea. It's good for an intro to Orthodox interpretation though. The translation of the LXX is quite good, but for $50 you could get a whole library of used bibles from ABE books...
I actually read the NLT mostly these days. The 2007 edition is a fresh translation and not just an update of the living bible, and it's decent. yeah it has it's problems, but no translation is perfect. All translations are interpretations and so for edification the NLT is my choice. Of course it all depends on what i'm reading. Nothing beats the KJV for Psalm 23, or for Luke's narrative of the birth of Jesus. Gotta be KJV or NKJV in those cases.
For studying I use the old RSV, with about 4 or 5 other versions, study bibles, notes, commentaries etc all open switching back and forth. But just for casual devotional reading, NLT works for me. The NLT actually had a Catholic edition with all the deuterocanonical books, but I'm not sure it's available anymore. if it was I'd get it myself.
There is also always the RSV Catholic edition and 2nd Catholic edition. I don't have one because they too are pricey for a nice leather bound version (I think the paperbacks are pretty reasonable though) but the downside is these tend to monkey with the text using Vulgate readings of certain verses to make it fit with Catholic doctrine. I personally want what the original likely said or meant, even it implies something quite unorthodox to our ears. For that the RSV is probably the best all around English version, but I don't like thees and thous in references to God the father, which the 2nd Catholic edition changes to modern usage. It is really just preference though. Almost no translation is "bad", but rather different strokes for different folks. (most here probably wouldn't touch the NLT but I love it...LOL!)