Copyright Information

The Revised Standard Version of the Bible (RSV) is an authorized revision of the American Standard Version, published in 1901, which was a revision of the King James Version, published in 1611.

The King James Version has with good reason been termed “the noblest monument of English prose.” Its revisers in 1881 expressed admiration for “its simplicity, its dignity, its power, its happy turns of expression … the music of it cadences, and the felicities of its rhythm.” It entered, as no other book has, into the making of the personal character and the public institutions of the English-speaking peoples.

The Revised Standard Version of the Bible, containing the Old and New Testaments, was published on September 30, 1952, and has met with wide acceptance.

The Revised Standard Version Bible seeks to preserve all that is best in the English Bible as it has been known and used through the years. It is intended for use in public and private worship, not merely for reading and instruction. We have resisted the temptation to use phrases that are merely current usage, and have sought to put the message of the Bible in simple, enduring words that are worthy to stand in the great Tyndale-King James tradition. We are glad to say, with the King James translators: “Truly (good Christian Reader) we never thought from the beginning, that we should need to make a new Translation, nor yet to make of a bad one a good one … but to make a good one better.”

…Abridged from Preface to the Revised Standard Version (1971, on the occasion of the second edition of the New Testament).  The complete preface is available here.

Copyright Information

This summary below provides an overview of the copyright policies regarding the RSV and NRSV.  It is for general information purposes only, and the National Council of Churches (NCC) reserves the right to revise the RSV/NRSV copyright policy and to make decisions based on the circumstances of each license permission request.

For additional information on RSV and NRSV copyright and licensing policies, please see the information posted at:

I. GRATIS USE POLICY Up to 500 verses of the RSV or NRSV may be quoted in any form (written, visual, electronic or audio) without charge and without obtaining written permission provided that all of the following conditions are met:

a.        The total number of verses quoted is:

·         less than an entire book of the Bible, and

·         less than 500 verses (total), and

·         less than 50 percent of the total number of words in the work in which they are quoted

b.       No changes are made to the text. All quotations must be accurate to the text, including all appropriate punctuation, capitalization, etc. unless specifically approved to the contrary prior to publication.

c.        The applicable notice of copyright must appear in an appropriate location in the publication in which they are quoted.

II. ALL OTHER USESIf a proposed use of the RSV/NRSV text is outside the Gratis Use Policy, then please submit a request for permission.

  • For requests to publish a print or electronic edition of the entire RSV/NRSV Bible, or the Old Testament (only), or the New Testament (only) that will be distributed anywhere in the world except for the UK, contact HarperOne:
  • For all other requests, contact This includes requests to use RSV/NRSV excerpts in a print or electronic product, to publish all or portions of the RSV/NRSV in an audio product, to publish the RSV/NRSV in the UK, or to use RSV/NRSV excerpts in any way that exceeds the Gratis Use Policy.


The following copyright notice must appear on the title or copyright page or opening screen of the work (whichever is appropriate) as follows:

[Scripture quotations are]from The Revised Standard Version of the Bible: Catholic Edition, copyright © 1965, 1966 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

When quoting a very limited number of verses in non-sale media (e.g., church bulletins), the entire credit line is not required; however, “RSV” must appear after the verse citation.  For example:  Psalm 23:1 -2 (RSV), John 3:16 (RSV)

For credit lines for other editions of the RSV/NRSV, see


The RSV and NRSVtranslations are copyrighted by the National Council of Churches, and have been made available on this web site for your personal use only. All rights reserved.

No part of these materials may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying and recording, or by any information storage or retrieval system, except as may be expressly permitted by the Gratis Use Policy (above), the 1976 Copyright Act, the 1998 Digital Millennium Copyright Act, or via a valid license issued by the copyright owner’s authorized copyright representative.  Any other use including, but not limited to, copying or reposting on the Internet is prohibited.

The RSV and NRSVtranslations are not shareware.   The RSV and NRSVtranslations may not be duplicated or otherwise made available via open source software.

These Scriptures may not be altered or modified in any form and must remain in their original context.