"Seed" in RSV
Those who regularly use the RSV should take careful note of
Gen 13:15: "For all the land which you (Abraham) see I will give to you and your
descendants (AV "seed") forever."
On this point the RSV is not even internally consistent, since
its translation of Gal 3:16 rightly states that this promise was to Abraham and
his "offspring", singular, "referring to one... which is Christ."
Both "seed" and "offspring" appropriately translate the Hebrew
original "zera" which is itself ambiguous as to number. But the RSV's
interpretive translation, "descendants", is in direct violation of Paul's later
exposition, and therefore clearly wrong. Only translators totally ignorant of
the significance of the Abrahamic promises could make such a blunder.
The same erroneous translation occurs in the RSV [and the NIV]
of Gen 22:17,18: "And your descendants (AV "seed") shall possess the gate of
their (AV "his") enemies. And by your descendants (AV "seed") shall all the
nations of the earth bless themselves."
This, despite the fact that the NT repeatedly interprets this
promise as fulfilled in Christ, who destroys his great enemy death by gaining
possession over its "gate", the grave (1Co 15:26,55,56; Rev 1:18; 20:6)!