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87 of 89 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Oxford Annotated Bible is a faithful friend: A guide on choosing a Bible
For the past half-year, I have been vacillating as to whether I should purchase a new Bible. Every time I went to Cokesbury in Atlanta, I drooled over all of my favorite translations. I looked at hard covers and the leather editions; I checked prices and versions.

But whenever I went, I felt that I was committing some sort of adulterous act. At home, I knew...
Published on April 2, 2011 by Joseph Laguardia

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70 of 74 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Good, the Bad and the Ugly: This is No Third Edition
The Good. The binding on this Bible is very good. The genuine leather feels wonderful in the hands. The construction is what we've come to expect from Oxford.

The Bad. The print in this edition is horrible compared to the wonderful print in the Third Edition. I miss the easy on the eyes type and the justified margins of the Third. The print in the Fourth is...
Published on August 11, 2010 by Michael Kear


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87 of 89 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Oxford Annotated Bible is a faithful friend: A guide on choosing a Bible, April 2, 2011
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This review is from: The New Oxford Annotated Bible: New Revised Standard Version (Hardcover)
For the past half-year, I have been vacillating as to whether I should purchase a new Bible. Every time I went to Cokesbury in Atlanta, I drooled over all of my favorite translations. I looked at hard covers and the leather editions; I checked prices and versions.

But whenever I went, I felt that I was committing some sort of adulterous act. At home, I knew my beloved Bible, the Oxford Annotated Study Bible, Third Edition, was awaiting my arrival. I had purchased the Bible over six years ago, and it got some great use in Bible studies, Sunday school, and sermons.

It seemed only natural, then, that if I were to get a new Bible, it would have to be the next Oxford edition (the Fourth Edition). This would not be unusual: Over the past fourteen years I owned a total of four Oxford Annotated Bibles.

I remember the day I purchased my first Oxford Annotated Study Bible in 1996. I entered college as a Bible student, and my religion professors required this particular version.

I went to the campus bookstore and saw this behemoth of a Bible (I later learned that it goes by the nickname, "the Brick"). I wondered why I had to get a new Bible in the first place. At the time, I was using the very popular NIV study Bible (mine had a cool DC Talk "Jesus Freak" sticker on the back cover, thank you very much). Why would I spend forty to sixty dollars for another Bible?

Several reasons. For one, it had the Apocrypha. My professors told me that we would study these books in addition to the Protestant "inspired" texts because it provides historical insight to the inter-testamental period leading up to Jesus.

Also, it was the New Revised Standard Version. Unlike the NIV, which combines both literal and paraphrase translations in sloppy fashion, the NRSV boasts some serious historical-critical scholarship. It is not perfect, but it is accurate in the tradition of the King James Version.

Upon looking at the various "versions" of the Oxford Bible available at the campus bookstore, I settled on the paperback edition. At least if I did not use it much, I was not spending an arm and a leg.

You get what you pay for, and within one semester the covers and end-pages were wrinkled, worn, and nearly torn. I had to replace it with the hard cover after all. This was known as the "Brick" not only for its size and weight, but because of its bright, fire-engine red cover.

It did not take long before the Brick replaced all of its contenders in my life of faith. The old NIV started to collect dust on the bookshelf along with my Ryrie NASV study Bible and a waste-of-money New King James Word of Life study Bible (which I swore weighs over ten pounds) I picked up before college started.

The Brick sustained me through four years of college and three years of seminary.
My beloved Bible eventually matured into a swollen, well-worn artifact. Good news was that, by the time I graduated seminary, Oxford Press had published the Third Edition Brick.

It was in 2004 that I earned a Master of Divinity degree, a good job as associate pastor, an ordination to the Gospel ministry, and a newborn daughter. I thought it appropriate to celebrate by purchasing a new Oxford Annotated Third Edition Bible. I splurged and bought the leather-bound version. I was living the high life now; and I had a gold-leaf name on the front of my new Bible to prove it.

By now--six years later--the leather-bound edition became as well-worn as the original Brick I purchased so long ago. The gilded edges were spotty, and the spine grew an awkward fold from a publishing defect. The pages showed signs of slight water damage (how they got wet or humid, I know not).

Buying a new Bible can be a daunting task for any Christian, especially when it has to count for something. No one wants to drop $80 on a Bible and then not like it--(I had experienced that with that wretched NKJV study Bible years ago).

What was more daunting was that, this time around, I questioned whether I was going to even purchase a new Oxford Bible. There are Bibles on the market that were not available a half of a decade ago, and two new study Bibles caught my wayward eye.

One was the New Interpreter's Study Bible (NISB), which was just published a few years ago. The study notes are more "devotional" than those in the Oxford, although it still includes a rather scholarly tone. Additionally, there are more notes than the Oxford.

Yet, problems abound for the NISB. The leather edition, for instance, has the ugliest spine, with the name of the study Bible scrawled along the entire space. The leather is nice, but that lousy name is a bit ostentatious, to say the least. I considered buying the hard cover instead; but seriously folks, you ever try to teach or preach with a hard cover study Bible?

The other Bible that caught my eye was the Wesley Study Bible (NRSV). I'm not a Methodist, but this Bible has great notes, devotional sidebars, and handsome binding. Only problem is that it lacks the scholarship of the Oxford, and it is a bit larger than the Oxford (not in thickness, but in width). It just would not do.

Not only did I consider other study Bibles, but I also did the unthinkable: I flirted with other translations. There are so many good ones out these days, from the English Standard Version to the New Living Translation. Both have excellent study Bibles available, and both have a wide variety of leather-bound styling.

Well, to make a long story longer: The other day, I decided I was going to make this momentous decision, so I carved out one hour to spend at Cokesbury. I brought along my Oxford Third Edition to get its blessing before I replaced it. That...and I wanted to compare the size of all these Bibles to the Brick.

My adventure started with the Oxford Fourth Edition. I compared the binding (didn't want to get stuck with another defective Bible), leather, page quality, font, and (of course) the study notes with my Third Edition.

In the areas of binding, leather quality, font, and page quality, the Fourth Edition is far superior than any of its predecessors (the leather feels like sheepskin, and is quite handsome indeed).

The study notes in the Fourth Edition, although similar in many areas to the Third Edition, are actually expanded, and they read more clearly than the previous version. It seems that the folks at Oxford wanted to include more devotional material as well as scholarship in order to compete with those other Bibles I mentioned.

The introductions to each book have expanded. The font, though smaller than the Third Edition, is actually more clear because there is more white space in between lines.

The size of the third and fourth editions are comparable. It seems that the Fourth Edition is thinner by a fraction, but I think the binding just makes it appear as much.

I really wanted something smaller, something I can carry outside of church. So, I left the Fourth Edition on the shelf and took another look at those other Bibles I had flirted with.

New Interpreter's Study Bible? Nice, but the spine was still too ugly. Wesley Bible? Not a Methodist. Harpers Study Bible? Um. No. NKJV? Too old school. NIV? Have one at home. NLT? Tempting, but maybe next time. New Jerusalem Bible? It would be nice if they had a study Bible for the NJB. ESV? Too gender exclusive in its language for sure.

Then it hit me: I need the Oxford. I need a Brick. Where would I be without those faithful study notes? How could I read scripture in public if not for the gender inclusive language that the NRSV offers?

And before you knew it, my bank account was eighty dollars less, and some lady was putting my gold-leaf name on the cover. I had committed to being a loyal Oxford customer yet again. What a ride.

It hasn't been a week since I bought the Fourth Edition Brick, and I must tell you, I have not been able to put it down. I absolutely love it, and it turns out that the font, notes, and beautiful binding all came in handy during my Wednesday night Pastor's Bible Study on Revelation.

Also, the new Brick spent some time meeting its cousins--my former companions--it replaced. Every free moment I get, I transfer my hand-written "notes" from my original hard-cover Brick to the new Brick. And the life-cycle of my faith journey comes full circle.

When I go through those notes, I see just how much the Oxford Bibles have meant to me over the past fourteen years of my life. The original hard-cover Brick, for instance, contains notes from college, my first job as a Bible teacher at a private school, seminary, and, later, my doctorate degree. That's when I realized that the Annotated Oxford Bible (in one form or another) has been with me through every major faith development, crisis, and research in my entire religious career since 1996.
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70 of 74 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Good, the Bad and the Ugly: This is No Third Edition, August 11, 2010
By 
Michael Kear (Albuquerque, New Mexico) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
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The Good. The binding on this Bible is very good. The genuine leather feels wonderful in the hands. The construction is what we've come to expect from Oxford.

The Bad. The print in this edition is horrible compared to the wonderful print in the Third Edition. I miss the easy on the eyes type and the justified margins of the Third. The print in the Fourth is bold but smaller and crowded and hard on the eyes. The theological revisions are OK at best. Again, I miss the scholarship of the Third Edition. I immediately noticed that the commentary on the "homosexual" passages has moved decidedly to the right in the Fourth Edition (which is fine for those who hold to a more conservative evangelical cultural position).

The Ugly. I wish that Oxford would once again offer their genuine leather Bibles with a choice of thumb index or not. I really do not like thumb indexed Bibles at all and would love to have the option to get an Oxford nice Bible without them.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars New Oxford Annotated Bible, July 29, 2010
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This review is from: The New Oxford Annotated Bible: New Revised Standard Version (Hardcover)
I bought this Bible in the Catholic version and was very surprised to learn that some orthodox Catholics have books I had never seen. That was an added pleasure. Overall it is very complete, easily understood and informative. The only complaint I have is that you cannot put tabs on it because they advise you not to due to the type of paper. It's quite thick and obviously they couldn't use standard paper. For the same reason the print is on the small side so could be a problem for some people.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars It feels as though it belongs., January 14, 2011
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When you place this Bible in your hands it just feels as though it belongs. It is the softest and most desirable Bible I have ever owned. It is a comfortable size and weight. As expected Oxford has done it again, they have kept with their excellent quality, when it comes to the Binding and use of fine material. I would highly recommend this Bible to anyone. This Bible will serve as my primary Pastoral Bible. It will be used for teaching, preaching, funerals, and weddings.

The only reason this is not a five star rating is that Oxford needs to publish a genuine leather edition without the thumb index, as I feel it takes away from the clean look, not to mention I find them to be a distraction. The paper is a little on the thin side, but to keep the Bible at a respectful thickness, I know why they did it, after all it is over 2,000 pages with the maps and concordance.

If you are contemplating purchasing this Bible, I say do it now, don't hesitate another moment. This will easily become the most used Bible you own.

Overall- Great Bible, wonderful quality, and very appeasing to the eyes.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great content, Small print, April 20, 2013
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This review is from: The New Oxford Annotated Bible: New Revised Standard Version (Hardcover)
We have used the Revised Version faithfully to learn scripture and prepare for teaching our Sunday School Class and looked forward to receiving the Newly Revised version. We are pleased with the additional and updated annotations, but find the small print a bit difficult to read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars User comments, April 21, 2014
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This review is from: The New Oxford Annotated Bible: New Revised Standard Version (Hardcover)
The print font is too small for me. I don't care for the paper. I was spoiled by using a mid seventies version and this doesn't compare to friendly user's version. It is difficult for me to use. I only ordered from Amazon because I couldn't find what I was looking for locally. In all purchases I prefer to see and feel the product.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent scholarly bible, January 7, 2014
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This review is from: The New Oxford Annotated Bible: New Revised Standard Version (Hardcover)
At the recommendation of my pastor,I bought this bible for thoughtful and scholarly bible study. At almost 2000 pages, I expected it to be cumbersome, but I find its very comfortable and comprehensive. Yes the pages are thin, but given the commentary, maps, footnotes, and concordance, I can deal with thin pages. Honestly, it hasn't bothered me at all. This is an investment worth making.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Love it, May 26, 2013
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This review is from: The New Oxford Annotated Bible: New Revised Standard Version (Hardcover)
I am doing the bible challenge with others from my church and they recommended this bible as it has extensive explanations to the passages. Makes it easier to understand.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars New Oxford annotated Bible, November 28, 2011
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This review is from: The New Oxford Annotated Bible: New Revised Standard Version (Hardcover)
I recently started an introduction to the Bible class and found that I wanted more information than was offered. The instructor said he liked this source. I looked on amazon and found that I could get a new or used book at about half the cost. I ordered that and receive it in a few days, it must have been a new book because it was not damaged or used in any way. I have studied the Bible since and have found it to be a great help in my understanding. The larger print is easy on my aging eyes the only thing that could be wrong is that it is heavy, however I found a carry case that helps a lot. Highly recommended!
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4.0 out of 5 stars This Bible is great for Bible Studies, December 5, 2013
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This review is from: The New Oxford Annotated Bible: New Revised Standard Version (Hardcover)
The annotations are confusing and laborious to read. I should have gotten an edition with larger print. I really like the graphs and maps that are throughout the Bible.
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The New Oxford Annotated Bible: New Revised Standard Version
The New Oxford Annotated Bible: New Revised Standard Version by Pheme Perkins (Hardcover - March 19, 2010)
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