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


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.


This is the version I advise my students to get and to use.The translation is, mostly, good. (Now and then I have a few quibbles, but no translation is going to be ultimately satisfying.) The notes are excellent, however, and set the texts in cultural contexts briefly but (again, usually) accurately. The editors are highly informed.


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.


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.


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.

Doug Conroy

…Pretty hilarious, to me, as well to anybody it should be, to write a review of this book. One can either be blindly and blithely subjective or conjecture that the book already is a review, of sorts. This one’s going to take a while for me to read. It’s already been a while. I’ve been at it, off and on, for about six months and am only on the second book of Chronicles, so far. In case anyone’s never read, the OT’s a real laugh-riot; really leaving one with insight in these “center-right” times as to what percentage the hard-liners really have in them to have to stave off… and really making me (brought up Catholic) wonder how in the hell was anyone brought into Catholicism, for starters — incest, rape, war after war after war… wicked stuff going on. And, I wonder, how much of my being, and somewhat loosely I’ll admit because I don’t think I paid attention much in church, of my being brought up Catholic was atavistic, cultural (brought up south-of-Boston Irish) in my looking to develop, transcend post-modernity.But, apart from possible insight into this, and any other matter of things, I know that I have to get through the Old Testament in order to get to the New. I’m told I can’t read the New Testament without reading the Old… Ugh. Despite my giving into temptation (pun in every way thoroughly unintended) to reading other things, I’m also reading the Bible as a point of reference — books, films, songs that I like, any n’ all parables that I may recognize, each to each.

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.


** 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.


switching over to this for my New Testament study this year. Opening my KJV with columns and footnotes makes me want to just skim it and get it over with, like pulling a band aid. I'm hoping the novelty of this will get me through the rest of the NT. That's probably terrible to say, but whatever, you do what you got to do.

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.

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


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)


I'm in a Sunday School project to read through the bible in 90 days (using NRSV, but not the apocrypha). I've read most of the Bible already, and could tell you about just about all of the books in it, but have never read it all the way through from one end to the other. I consider myself very well informed on the content of the Bible; nevertheless, this project has been, to my very great and pleasant surprise, very interesting and exciting. (Religiously, I am very "liberal" -- I believe the Bible is much, much more the record of human beings' evolving notions of God, rather than the record of God's revelation to humans. If God exists, then the Bible is, in my opinion, a good book which contains (at least in places) reasonable notions of what God may be like -- see Jesus' parable of the prodigal son for example. But the content of the Bible is woefully inconsistent for me to believe that it is the "inerrant" "revealed" word of God. If it is, then God is an inconsistent, vengeful, schizophrenic, and even sadistic old man. And I really don't believe any of that (except that he's old).


If I could have given this half a star I would have. On top of multiple historical inaccuracies most of what is written has been proven to have belonged to previously existing religious cultures such as the Norse, Druid, and Egyptian people. I must admit though, after reading it through the first time and vomiting, I went back the second time from a non-biased point of view and looked at it in a professional capacity and can easily see how it led to the bloodiest, most violent culture in human history. Unfortunately I still can't see how decent, normal, intelligent people can fall for what is inside it's far too numerous pages.

Covenant Presbyterian Springfield Ohio

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

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