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The New Interpreter's Study Bible: New Revised Standard Version With the Apocrypha Hardcover – May 1, 2003

4.5 out of 5 stars 267 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

""Of the current editions of study Bibles, in my opinion the most helpful for pastors, teachers, and all students of the Scriptures has now been issued by Abingdon Press under the dedicated guidance of Dr. Walter Harrelson."

About the Author

Walter Harrelson, retired, was University Professor at Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, North Carolina and Distinguished Professor of Hebrew Bible emeritus at Vanderbilt Divinity School.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 2360 pages
  • Publisher: Abingdon Press; Revised ed. edition (May 1, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0687278325
  • ISBN-13: 978-0687278329
  • Product Dimensions: 7.3 x 2.1 x 9.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.7 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (267 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #15,634 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I can't overpraise this study Bible. Like its key rivals in the academic market, The Harper Collins Study Bible (HCSB) and The New Oxford Annotated Bible (NOAB), it uses the New Revised Standard Version as its text base (a good, responsible, and fairly literal translation of the full biblical canon--the 66 Old and New Testament books all Christian traditions use, plus 16 deuterocanonical/apocryphal books used in the Roman Catholic and/or Eastern Orthodox traditions). Also like its competitors, it has excellent scholarly introductions to each book, extensive explanatory notes, background articles, and maps.
So why, if you already own a good NRSV reference Bible, do you also need to get this one? Because the book introductions are incredibly fresh and up-to-date. Because the study notes are insightful and well-phrased. And because, unlike the HCSB and the NOAB, the New Interpreters' Study Bible has two additional kinds of notes. From time to time, the NISB inserts a "Special Note" among the footnotes that makes an interesting observation on the text to help the reader appreciate the larger issues at play within the Bible as a whole. For instance, at 1 Samuel 2.9 there is a special note that calls attention to two distinct points of view in the Bible about justice/theodicy. These special notes are more information than the reader needs to understand the particular passage at hand (and as such can be easily skipped over because they are slightly indented and set off from the surrounding, more text-specific notes), but they are like little windows opening onto a much wider world...and should not be overlooked.
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Format: Hardcover
This is the one Bible I would take with me unhesitatingly to a deserted island. The notes are based off the larger 12-volume commentary set, and are concise and incredibly thorough. They are critical, honest, and sober.

It is also more moderate than the New Oxford Annotated Bible (third edition) and the HarperCollins Study Bible. Both Bibles tend to shy away from affirming topics like Jesus' divinity, but the NISB readily acknowledges Christological and even Trinitarian passages in Scripture.

Moderates will love this Bible. Those that are too "liberal" (I quote from others) may not like it because it does have some pretty specific views on certain topics. Those that are too "conservative" may not like it because it is still a critical Bible. But those who sit in the middle will love it, as I do.

As a youth director, I love it because it does give some spiritual insights into Scripture that other critical Bibles do not. As an educator, I love it because I have an historically and theologically honest Bible that covers everything I want to say in class. Other Bibles are too rigid, I think, either in their so-called conservatism, or so-called liberalism (do we really need labels?). I must agree with Bruce Metzger, that this Bible is ideal for pastors, students, and academically minded laypersons.

Therefore, were you to banish me to a desert island, this would be the one Bible I took with me.
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Format: Hardcover
Some people want a Bible which has been adapted to suit the tastes of a particular sect or group, such as the ESV or the NIV. The majority prefer to use a Bible which has been translated without bias from the best available critical texts - the NRSV is the best available translation at this time.
Some people want a Study Bible which tells them what to believe and how to believe it, thus keeping everyone in line (e.g. NIV Study Bible, Life Application Study Bible). Many people prefer to consult a Study Bible in which the facts are presented from a more historical-critical point of view; the reader is left to make up his or her own mind about what to accept and what to reject (New Oxford Annotated NRSV 3rd ed.[NOAB], HarperCollins Study Bible [HCSB] and the Cambridge Annotated Study Bible NRSV).
For those in that last group, the New Interpreter's Study Bible (NISB) is a very welcome addition. If you already own the Oxford or HarperCollins, then purchase this volume for use alongside. If you are considering the Cambridge, get this one instead.
The study notes are somewhat more detailed than in the Oxford and HarperCollins. On page 5 the book of Genesis starts. There is only room for the first 5 verses, the rest of the space being taken up by notes and an excursus. This is actually quite exceptional. Generally the pages are 60% Bible text and 40% notes. A nice touch is that proper names in the Bible text have been broken down into syllables as was the case in the RSV.
Looking at Isaiah 7:14 as most conservative believers tend to do, we see that the NRSV translates 'young woman' correctly from the Massoretic text. Among the notes at the bottom of the page is a "Special Note" explaining how Matthew came to use the word 'virgin' in his Gospel.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Incredible study Bible!!! Along with the "usual" notations you'd expect in a study Bible there are a variety of really wonderful "pluses".... devotional notes, "excursuses" spinning off from topics/issues raised in a particular book, Dead Sea Scroll references, peripheral writings adjacent to Biblical texts, related literature, a history of Biblical canons, including Catholic, Protestant, Anglican, Orthodox, and Jewish; Biblical controversies... TONS of wonderful material. During our Bible Study sessions, once folks had finished reviewing all the differing translations they were using, sharing the differences and exploring varieties of meanings, they would then ask what this New Interpreters Study Bible had to say about the verses in question.... Like THIS BIble was the final word.... I love the readable print, the texture of the paper (important for me..), the huge volume of notes and devotional suggestions.... It's wonderful!! My only wish is that it were in flexible leather... Don't think that's possible, though, due to the sheer size of this work... Suberb!!! If you hunger for richness in your study, do consider this volume!!!
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The New Interpreter's Study Bible: New Revised Standard Version With the Apocrypha
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