The New Oxford Annotated Bible with the Apocrypha, Revised Standard Version: Containing the 2nd Edition of the New Testament & an Expanded Edition of the Apocrypha

ISBN: 0195283481
ISBN 13: 9780195283488
By: Anonymous Bruce M. Metzger

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Reader's Thoughts


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.

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.

Annie B.

God is Everywhere he is the reason whe are! i believe in the holy trinity,, and i want God to lead me on the road to everlasting life

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.

Covenant Presbyterian Springfield Ohio

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


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.


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.


** 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.


So, I haven't read the whole Bible yet, but I'm on my way...The commentary in this Bible is excellent. It is objective and well written. I'm doing a study on Paul, so I decided to read Acts and all the "Pauline" Epistles. In quotes because as you find out in the commentary that many historians question the authorship of some of the epistles.So this is where I'm at:MatthewActsRomans1 Corinthians2 CorinthiansGalatinsEphesiansPhilippiansColossians1 Thessalonians2 Thessalonians1 Timothy2 TimothyTitusPhilemon


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.


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.

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

Chris Sosa

The best Bible on the market for students and those in need of a biblical reference source. Scholarly introductions, comprehensive annotation, and the addition of little known apocryphal material make this NRSV Bible a stellar choice among the crowded market of often sub-par biblical versions and translations.

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.

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.

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