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


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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


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.


** 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.


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.


It took a year, but I read the whole thing. Okay, not the apocrypha, but all the canonical stuff. Although the pace required breadth over depth, the overall experience was very enriching. I liked steeping myself in scripture almost every day and getting a bird's eye view of God's promises, his plans for Israel and the prophecies fulfilled in Jesus. Some of my favorite books were Ecclesiastes, which is packed with philosophy and world-weary wisdom, Romans, which covers an amazing amount of doctrine, and the Gospel of John, which is full of poetry and Christology. Least favorite would definitely be 1 & 2 Kings and 1 & 2 Chronicles, which cover the exact same historical events that weren't that interesting in the first place.I'm glad to have read the whole thing, since this is the book I believe to be the Word of God. Now I'm motivated to delve deeply into a book, its historical context, its literary structure and a commentary that will shed some light on issues going on under the surface. I'm starting with Romans since it has come up so much recently.Finishing this is one of the great accomplishments of my life so far.


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.


No one should own a bible.If you must, use this one. It's rather well translated and the notes are excellent.A warning- keep out of the reach of children and the gullible.

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.


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)

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.

Mary Overton

12/14/12 ... read "Ecclesiasticus, or the Wisdom of Jesus, Son of SIRACH", & particularly identified with the description of the headstrong daughter:"Keep strict watch over a headstrong daughter,or else, when she finds liberty, she will make use of it.Be on guard against her impudent eye,and do not be surprised if she sins against you.As a thirsty traveler opens his mouthand drinks from any water near him,so she will sit in front of every tent pegand open her quiver to the arrow."-- Sirach 26:10-12


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!


What did I NOT learn from this book?This is the version of the Bible that I now use, and of the Bibles I have owned, it is the most useful. There are a number of essays at the beginning and end of the book, color maps, timelines, and all sorts of other information. Each chapter of the Bible is preceded by an introduction, placing the writing in a historical context. There are extensive footnotes on every page, explaining unfamiliar words and concepts, citing other scriptures where the ideas in the current verse appear, and commenting upon the scripture itself. It is also handy to have the Apocrypha. I do a good bit of teaching, and, trust me, I am no Bible scholar. I simply don't think I could get up in front of a group of people and intelligently discuss the Bible if I did not have this book.

Christopher Coughlin

The NRSV is a stable of the modern Church. It has its difficulties. I remember in Greek class in seminary, almost every day we were told "Don't tell your parishioners this is a bad translation! Now, let's look at why this is a bad translation." It really is rather good, but it shares some translational difficulties with the NIV - and either one, I would advise reading it in conjunction with another translation.The articles, footnotes, and other academic notes in this Bible are second to none. They are the sum total of thousands of years of scholarship - billions of man-hours of study and work. If you land a copy of this Bible, don't just read the Bible text. Read the footnotes and the articles - they are AMAZING.


This is absolutely one of the best bibles you can own for reference and pleasure reading... from a literary standpoint. And of course, as someone interested in western culture, literature, poetry, or philosophy, you cannot afford to overlook this work--a touchstone for most or much of our thinking and literature. If you haven't read it, start with the first chapter: Genesis. A brilliant accounting of the first week of the universe itself. Also of the first humans (they got off to a good start; but the woman in the story, Eve--the heroine of the story-- went against a powerful figure in the story and was, along with her husband, exiled from their homeland. Gripping. Interesting was when Adam (the man in the story) was hiding from the all-powerful and all-knowing God of the story. And God says, "Where are you?" That struct me as odd...There are many other great stories too. Try the story of Job, Noah, and a wrenching story of a city called Sodom. There is great poetry and proverbs in the tome also. Finally, the great stories of the end days in The Book of Revelations, a frightening narrative if there ever was one.

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.

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