The New Oxford Annotated Bible, New Revised Standard Version with the Apocrypha (Third Edition)


Bible Bibles Christian Christianity Classics Currently Reading Favorites Reference Religion To Read

About this book

Students, professors and general readers alike have relied upon the Oxford Annotated Bible for essential scholarship and guidance to the world of the Bible for four decades. Now a new editorial board and team of contributors have completely updated this classic work. The result is a volume which maintains and extends the excellence the Annotated's users have come to expect, bringing new insights, information, and approaches to bear upon the understanding of the text of the Bible. The new edition includes a full index to all of the study material (not just to the annotations), and one that is keyed to page numbers, not to citations. And, to make certain points in the text clearer for the reader, there are approximately 40 in-text, line drawing maps and diagrams. With the best of the Annotated's traditional strengths, and the augmentation of new information and new approaches represented in current scholarship, the Third Edition will continue to serve as the reader's and student's constant resource.

Reader's Thoughts

Charlene Smith

One forgets, or maybe never really realizes how beautiful a lot of the writing in the Bible is, I bought this after a close friend died and I really felt in need of spiritual sustenance, I am presently reading my way through Isaiah - a chapter or verse a day - and it is really beautiful. Also interesting to realize how many colloquialisms and common phrases in use today come from the bible - eg "Let us eat and drink for tomorrow we die," Isiaiah, 22.13And with the annotations, or explanations it gives a whole new way of understanding and appreciating this great book.


Absolutely loved the annotations in the Old Testament. The New Testament annotations vary depending on the book. Before reading the NRSV I found the Old Testament distant, one-dimensional, and uninteresting. Now I find in it much humor, nuance, compassion, and humanity. Plus I realize just how much I don't know about the Bible and the societies depicted in the Bible. Understanding the political/cultural implications of certain phrases or ideas has influenced and in some cases completely changed my understanding of the scriptures. A must read.


This was the Bible I used when I pursued the four-year course of study with the Episcopal church in lay ministry, entitled "EFM" (Education for Minstry), a program of intense study and small group meditation sponsored by the Episcopal church. The annotations are absolutely wonderful and led to much deeper understanding of the Bible and how it came to be, and the profound message it carries for humankind.This is the Bible I still use today.


Of all the versions of the Bible that I have read, I find this one the most helpful. I have read about 2/3 of this version with intense study of the Old Testament (EFM)and find the annotation extremely helpful. The more I learn about how the Bible was originally written and how changes and translations have been made over the decades, I find myself getting closer and closer to my understanding of truth. In particular, the references to original language are really revealing. Other versions of the Bible seem to have misinterpreted historic translations in favor of verse. All in all, I will keep reading in this Bible.


This version is my personal favorite. It conforms with modern English usage without sacrificing the literary qualities of its predecessor - the King James version. I've used this study Bible in countless occasions, be it the School of Workers in the Jesus Lord of Host church in Quezon City, in Community Christian Church in Balanga City, or in Urasa Christian Church in Niigata, Japan. The scholarly introduction on each book will make your study time a whole lot easier!


Jesus. This is a rare instance where I wish I could give a book both a 1 star and 5 star rating; it was simultaneously one of the worst and best books I've ever read. It's confusing and repetitive and boring. It's also entertaining and informative and philosophical (Ecclesiastes stands out as a high point). I sincerely think it should be read by Westerners so they can better understand our culture. Reading even the first few chapters of Genesis you stumble over numerous phrases and images you'll recognize if you've watched movies or listened to music or heard someone intone dramatically "In the beginning...".The Bible was nothing like how I understood it via cultural osmosis. One of the most interesting and enjoyable aspects of reading the text was seeing how drastically it differed from the version I'd been exposed to. Did you know there aren't 10 Commandments but rather dozens of them spread across chapters and chapters, covering issues like slave ownership or livestock falling into pits? Did you know that when Jesus is resurrected the dead saints also rise with him and march around the city scaring everyone? Did you know there aren't 3 wise men but rather an unspecified amount? Did you know there are many other gods in the Bible and in one scene God actually leads a meeting of all the gods? Did you know the phrase "writing on the wall" comes from an incident in the Book of Daniel where a floating hand appears and writes "MENE MENE TEKEL PARSIN" on the wall?One of my very favorite passages is when God tries to kill Moses but is rebuked when Moses's wife performs emergency surgery on their son and throws foreskin on Moses. What a headscratcher! I spent a lot of time reading commentaries on this passage to try and understand it and I feel like it gets to the essence of how wild and messy these stories are compared to how I understood them.And there's some vivid fantastical elements to this book! There are lots of monsters ranging from the monstrous sea serpent Leviathan to the giant children of God to sphinx-like creatures with spinning swords. I was surprised to see wizardly duels and Balrogs and D&D spells (Sticks to Snakes, Cause Mass Blindness, Cure Blindness, Cure Poison) have their origins in this book considering religion has had a rocky relationship with such things.Also the book is sometimes really bloody or perverse! There are references to orgies, wife swapping, incest, bestiality and other taboo topics I didn't expect to encounter in a book I usually associate with holiness. Maybe one of the worst stories is when a guy lets a bunch of strangers gang-rape his concubine, then cuts her body up and mails it to a bunch of neighboring cities. The Bible seems like a very human book: it is sometimes aspirational and moral and at other times it is dark and animalistic.Going into this book I had a simplistic view of religion. I had to reconsider that when I saw how inconsistent and confusing the text is. At times it seems to contradict itself from one verse to the next! I thought the Bible would explain the rules for the religions it's inspired (why do preachers wear robes?); instead I had to realize that a) religions have very complicated relationships to the Bible and b) a large part of religion exists as oral tradition. I realized that individual sects and congregants have their own understandings of the text/relationship to the divine (example: the ban on homosexuality barely appears in the Bible but is heavily emphasized by some congregations). I also came to see that having a framework to search for meaning matters more than the literal text. And there are some genuinely good ideas in there that are taken for granted now. So this book taught me a lot, changed my view of religion, and (in part) motivated me to go to Israel. And I think it is pretty awesome that people have been having conversations about the Bible for so long! You can read dense theological arguments about the complicated nature of Jesus (is he God? John seems to think so. Is he the Holy Spirit? What exactly is the Son of Man referring to?) or what is going on this passage (did the child sacrifice to Moloch actually work and overpower the Israelites?) from centuries ago. I found it a really enriching experience to join the conversation for awhile.For the truly curious, here are my ratings for every single book:GENESIS (4/5)EXODUS (5/5)LEVITICUS (3/5)NUMBERS (2/5)DEUTERONOMY (1/5)JOSHUA (3/5)JUDGES (3/5)RUTH (2/5)1 SAMUEL (3/5)2 SAMUEL (4/5)1 KINGS (3/5)2 KINGS (3/5)1 CHRONICLES (2/5)2 CHRONICLES (1/5)EZRA (3/5)NEHEMIAH (1/5)ESTHER (3/5)JOB (2/5)PSALMS (2/5)PROVERBS (3/5)ECCLESIASTES (5/5)SONG OF SOLOMON (2/5)ISAIAH (2/5)JEREMIAH (2/5)LAMENTATIONS (3/5)EZEKIEL (4/5)DANIEL (3/5)HOSEA (2/5)JOEL (2/5)AMOS (2/5)OBADIAH (2/5)JONAH (3/5)MICAH (1/5)NAHUM (3/5)HABAKKUK (2/5)ZEPHANIAH (2/5)HAGGAI (2/5)ZECHARIAH (3/5)MALACHI (3/5)MATTHEW (5/5)MARK (2/5)LUKE (2/5)JOHN (3/5)ACTS (3/5)ROMANS (2/5)1 CORINTHIANS (3/5)2 CORINTHIANS (2/5)GALATIANS (2/5)EPHESIANS (1/5)PHILIPPIANS (2/5)COLOSSIANS (3/5)1 THESSALONIANS (2/5)2 THESSALONIANS (2/5)1 TIMOTHY (2/5)2 TIMOTHY (2/5)TITUS (2/5)PHILEMON (3/5)HEBREWS (3/5)JAMES (2/5)1 PETER (1/5)2 PETER (2/5)1 JOHN (3/5)2 JOHN (2/5)3 JOHN (2/5)JUDE (2/5)REVELATION (4/5)


The 1991 version by Metzger and Murphy is the best addition of this book and the one we used at USC. The newer version has deleted apocryphal information that is important to the text.

Covenant Presbyterian Springfield Ohio

Call Number: 229.91 C769A donation from Betty JONES.Available.

Liz Dehoff

This is by far my favorite translation, and it's filled with things that would make KJV/NIV-clutching conservative fundamentalists grit their teeth and howl with rage, i.e. the Apocrypha and (accurate) historical and linguistic footnotes. Large and unwieldy, sure, but this is an excellent reference for lay(wo)men and students alike. Also, I find it hilarious that people are slapping their anti-Christianity reviews on this particular translation, seeing as how it's used primarily by moderate and liberal Christians (like myself) and secular academics. Seriously, guys, I think you're looking for the New King James Version -- or whichever translation the dominionist fundamentalist Baptist and Assemblies sects are panting over these days.


April 11, 2011 The Book of Luke from this edition of the BibleI love Luke, because of its equal treatment of men and women and also because it's the Gospel that, to me, most brings Jesus to life, stressing his "human-ness." My guess is that if Jesus came back today, he'd be weeping over the fact that 2000 years ago he tried to teach us about love, and we still haven't gotten it. April 15, 2011 The Book of Genesis from this edition of the BibleOkay, so what I'd completely forgotten about the Book of Genesis is how very much of it is Joseph's story. That works for me, because I happen to love Joseph's story (big fan since childhood of "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat"), but it might get a little tedious for others. It's funny how almost all the Biblical stories we learn as kids (Adam and Eve, Noah, Abraham, Moses, etc.) can all be found in the first book of the Bible. May 11, 2011 The Book of HebrewsThis book, I've recently learned, was originally a sermon. The Introduction here tells us that it was aimed at Christians who'd begun to revert to their Jewish beliefs. It's arguments are convincing, and it's a wonderful encapsulation of all basic Christian tenets.

Erik Graff

This appears to be the edition used in seminary and which, since it was the preferred text for all college and graduate coursework on the bible, I've read almost completely. Since it intentionally tries to stay as close to the text of the King James Bible (the "Authorized Version", in the sense of being composed by royal mandate) and since that edition is the one most familiar to English speakers from its long literary predominance, the Oxford is, in this sense, the most "biblical" in feel.The superiority of the "expanded edition" is that it is the only English bible which contains the complete canons of all denominations of the people of "the Book." Otherwise, sadly, the notes in The New Jerusalem Bible are superior.

Betsey Brannen

The absolute best study Bible on the market. I purchased mine in 1998 for a college class on The Hebrew Scriptures (Old Testament). I just used it Sunday morning in class.

Ben Atkins

February 2012 I set out to read the Bible in one year. I felt that I had probably read the whole thing, almost certainly the New Testament, but with-out the context or continuity. I added an extra 3 months to add the Apocrypha. I started out using the NIV and the King James. After a couple of months I added this edition of the NRSV, after a few more months I was reading this version exclusively. I even purchased a second copy so that I could keep one at work and one at home making it easier to keep up on the daily reading schedule.I have read some negative comments complaining of historical inaccuracies and continuity problems in this work. Talk about missing the point! The Bible Is truly a monumental achievement of literature (and to many of us) of spirituality. It begs to be appreciated on either level or even better on both. Other classical works of literature (Homer, Beowulf, Gilgamesh and The Arabian Nights amongst others), history (Herodotus, Thucydides, Eusebius, Plutarch all come mind), philosophy (Plato, Aristotle) and religion (Koran and Bhagavad-Gita) display similar inconsistencies yet we would be at best considered intellectually deficient to reject these works. At worst we would be seen as culturally insensitive. It seems that often in the Western tradition the Bible is held to a different standard. As with the other great works it was written by man. Never mind the argument that if it were divinely inspired it would be "perfect." If you you believe in divine inspiration, you can imagine rationalizations providing for God to leave it imperfect. If you don't believe, well, you get what you have.I heard someone say in my youth that even if the Bible is not the divine word of God, it is still the best guide going to living your life. While it may be difficult to see this is the Old Testament, it does serve to establish a context for the "new" message of the New Testament.What I liked: The historical essays leading off each book, section and Athens are simply outstanding. Many I read multiple times. Only word of warning here is that hey we obviously written by different authors. Occasionally they do conflict or offer repetitive information. Over-all, I found these essays critical in understanding what I was reading from both a historical and literary perspective. Likewise, the notes accompanying the text are thorough, enlightening and informative. Also I came away with a new appreciation for the wisdom and literature in some of the minor Old Testament books and even more so the Apocrypha.What I didn't like: The text itself was definitely more challenging than the NIV (though probably less than the King James). I am no expert on translating but I understand that NRSV is leans more towards the literal side of the continuum than the interpretive perhaps explaining the "thicker" text. I found that with the NRSV I needed to work harder on focusing my attention.Over-all it was a great experience and for me personally, a worthwhile endeavor. I would highly recommend if you haven't already undertaken a similar project that you consider doing so.


** spoiler alert ** This book was terrible. The characters are two dimensional, the plot is all over the place and the author can't keep his story straight. Then halfway through they just introduce a new protagonist out of nowhere who dies within 4 chapters and they spend the rest of the book trying to work out what his deal was. Genesis and Numbers are a huge yawn fest, I'm not even sure what the lengthy genealogies and census information had to do with the fisherman because everybody dies in the end anyway. This book is huge. Oh my god, it's soo long. I thought Lord of the Rings was big. The only consolation is that it's so big and heavy my wife sometimes uses it to press flowers, which is fine by me because I wouldn't lend this book to anyone.


i skipped a few sections, but it was decent. lots of inconsistencies, continuity errors, etc. some nice poetry. would recommend to others who like scifi and fantasy.

Share your thoughts

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *