695 of 709 people found the following review helpful
on March 2, 2010
The New Oxford Annotated Bible with Apocrypha: New Revised Standard Version has three separate ISBNs. Take a look at the following differences to help you differentiate:
ISBN 978-0195289596 is the college edition. According to Oxford University Press, this simply means that this version does not have the concordance. This will have fewer pages than the other two versions.
ISBN 978-0195289558 is the hardcover edition.
ISBN 978-0195289565 is the hardcover index edition, meaning there are little tabs on the side of each page, indicating books of the bible.
I found this information by contacting Oxford University Press Customer Service. There's a toll free number that's easily accessible. Simply use your favourite search engine to find their site, then click on their "Contact Us" link. Hope this helps people out there!
95 of 101 people found the following review helpful
on July 27, 2010
The "NOAB" has been a standard textbook in mainline seminaries for decades, and remains a leader in the rapidly-expanding world of study Bibles. This particular Bible is designed for seminary students and others interested in an historical/critical approach to the Bible, and is not a devotional Bible or a guide for life application.
This 4th edition, hot on the heels of the 2007 "Augmented 3rd" edition (my personal preference), backpedals a bit in its commentaries regarding certain controversial passages (the 3rd edition was especially criticized in this regard), but it still retains the rigorous scholarly approach and dispassionate commentary for which the NOAB has become famous. Annotations and book introductions have been expanded, and a wider variety of scholars from various religious and academic backgrounds have contributed commentaries.
The physical book is a bit smaller in proportion than previous editions, and the font size is rather small, especially in the book introductions and annotations. (The 3rd edition's typesetting and readability is far superior). The concordance, index, and essay sections have been expanded, and brand-new color maps have been included.
The leather for this edition is an improvement over the 3rd edition, and feels like a soft calfskin (The container states "Genuine Leather"). It is quite nice and feels sturdy yet flexible.
For those seeking a non-denominational, academic Bible, the NOAB remains a clear first choice. It is an outstanding guide to these ancient texts, and offers a world of Biblical knowledge and insight for its readers.
43 of 47 people found the following review helpful
on January 29, 2011
This is the 4th ed. (2010) of a Bible tool that has become an institution in its own right(1st ed. 1962, 2nd 1977, 3rd 2001). The 3rd ed., using NRSV, was completely new, with 4 editors and 42 other contributors; this 4th ed. has 56 contributors, 28 of them new to this ed.
The unqualified Goal of this work has always been: to be academically reputable. Scholarship, not religious inspiration, is the purpose of introductions, notes, and essays. Academic institutions from around the world are represented (not listed in the book; must be searched on line). Religious affiliations range from Orthodox Protestant through Roman Catholic, Jewish, to non-affiliated. The editors maintain soberness of tone and uniformity of format. Aimed at college and university courses in Western scriptures, this is a consumate scholarly work. Its only serious competitor in this category is the Harper/Collins Study Bible.
32 of 34 people found the following review helpful
on March 8, 2010
New Oxford Annotated Bible retains its status as a "go-to Study Bible" for those wishing to better understand cultural and historical settings of the communities for and from which Hebrew and Christian scriptures originated. (Those desiring to similarly understand how the Bible may be received by various cultures today will benefit on consulting "The Peoples' Bible" in turn.) With a new, tighter binding and readable page layout, though with a font-size verging on too-small for its annotations, this will be an edition that continues to appeal to those in academic settings and communities of faith.
Among contributors enlivening the fourth edition are both long-established scholars, such as Terence E. Fretheim, writing on the book of Numbers, and those newer to the field, such as Julia M. O'Brien, who anotates a number of the briefer prophets. Commentary retained from the previous edition sometimes implies certainty on key texts which, for other scholars, are best left open-ended (on, for example, the NRSV's questionable shift from "do not kill" to "do not murder" in the Ten Commandments). Neil Elliott's valuable, set-in-its-context-of-empire commentary on Romans remains. Four-and-a-half stars.
62 of 71 people found the following review helpful
on February 25, 2010
This is the newest release in a long, distinguished history of Oxford Study Bibles. The font and layout have been well designed to allow for more "white space" on the page to aid reading. The shift to paragraph-style annotations rather than the two-column format is a visual improvement. The fonts are unfortunately smaller than those used in the third edition that I had been reading (the original Murphy-Metzger 3rd edition, not the augmented 3rd), and that's never a good thing with my particular set of eyes.
The annotations are more generous than in previous editions, and I regard this as a great step forward. I used to recommend the HarperCollins Study Bible over the NOAB to my students for this reason, but I think that will now change. In the interest of fair disclosure, I am prejudiced toward this edition, having contributed the introduction and annotations to 4 Maccabees (does anyone out there ever really read 4 Maccabees?). But I stand in much more distinguished company in this volume. Among the contributors to the annotations on the Apocryphal books one finds John Collins on 3 Maccabees, Lester Grabbe on Wisdom of Solomon, and Daniel Harrington on Ben Sira. Many others are acknowledged specialists on the book for which they provide annotations, such as Theodore Bergren (the foremost scholar on 2 Esdras 1-2, 15-16) on 2 Esdras, John Bartlett (author of a fine guide to this book) on 1 Maccabees, Daniel Schwartz (author of the new standard in commentaries on this book) on 2 Maccabees, and Lawrence Wills (specialist on tales of Jews in foreign courts) on Judith. The remaining contributors are no less distinguished, including, for example, Amy-Jill Levine (whose prolific and consistently solid scholarship defies classification) on Tobit and the Additions to Daniel. The same quality of contributor holds throughout the Hebrew Bible and New Testament: many of the contributors have written commentaries, or at least academic books, on the Scriptural text for which they provide annotations here.
One small physical drawback: the complete Bible has the typically thinner paper stock, with "bleed through." You'll be limited to making your own annotations in pencil or ink, not highlighter or marker.
Congratulations to Michael Coogan and his team of editorial colleagues (Marc Brettler, Carol Newsom, and Pheme Perkins) on this remarkable achievement, giving anyone who cares to use this edition such expert guidance on reading and entering into the Scriptures!
22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
on January 28, 2011
I bought this book primarily because it is advertised as including the Apocryphal/Deuterocanonical Books and secondly as an Ecumenical Study Bible. It is hard to find a good single-volume study bible which contains the Apocryphal books. I have the New American Bible which do have the Apoc./Deut. books but I wanted another translation to compare these second canons.
This is a very well made bible physically. Sewn pages. The leather's supple, soft, and it smells good too! But it is so soft that it's not as easy to hold this bible open in your hands: it bends and twists so easily! Rather, this book is perfect for reading while placed on a solid, flat surface like a table or a study desk. On this type of surface, the book opens flat right up to the first and last pages! Main text is very readable at point 9 or 10, while the annotations more like point 8.
The cross-references are included in the annotations making them both work in the context of each other. Although this is fine for me, some readers may prefer the cross-references on a separate place like the margin.
I love the color maps and excellent map index. The book also includes a concordance which while not exhaustive would still be useful. The only downside to it is the really small font size, perhaps point 7 or 6. I had to use my reading glasses for it. You'd also appreciate the glossary as not every bible has it.
For the most part the notes try to find a balanced view, and ends up being rather bland in certain places. Not so with the book introductions where the intro writers give a much clearer although at times controversial stand, even calling some Prophetic books as fiction. In any case, notes and book intros are supposed to give background information and the opinion of the writers and not to correct the biblical text. It would not be fair to say that these study aids possessed a liberal tone all throughout but you'll get the impression that they are present to challenge the reader. It's only here in this bible where I read an intro to the Gospels that says that they are not eye-witness accounts; make whatever you can of it. I leave it to your discretion. But it does help explain why many point out that this kind of study bible is popular in the seminaries.
You might want to be aware of the objections to the NRSV translation (its use of inclusive language and all that) but also be aware that the NRSV is clear and highly readable. For this reason, I would read a passage of the bible in the NRSV after I've read it in another translation but still want to get a better grip on the text. This is especially useful in the Deuterocanonical Books, speaking of which, I was surprised to learn that the Eastern and Greek/Slavonic churches have even more number of Deuterocanonical books of their own than the Roman Catholic Church! It is good that they are included here, even if your only purpose is to read them as an academic exercise.
I would recommend this volume with the caveat that you consider whether you'd like the very flexible leather binding with the consequence I mentioned above- and if you welcome some liberal views of the introduction and annotation authors. The NRSV do use inclusive language but as an English text it shines in clarity! I always keep the bible in its box when not in use.
(last edited May 27, 2011)
44 of 50 people found the following review helpful
on May 11, 2011
This is the WORST bible in terms of binding and workmanship one could imagine.
The pages are so thin that its virtually impossible to mark without bleed through.
The pages are starting to fall out and need to be taped after only a few months
of careful reading. I DO NOT recommend this bible for daily use. You would
think that oxford press could come up with a better constructed bible.
The type is faint, small, and difficult to read.
For scholarly content I would give this bible 10 stars.
However the atrocious workmanship of the edition does not even
rate 1 star in my opinion.
25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
on November 19, 2013
The Kindle edition is a PDF masquerading as an AZW format. This was the most disappointing formatting job I have ever come across on Amazon. Absolute trash.
The saddest thing about this bible is that it is the go-to bible....I have the hardcover version at home and it academically the finest I've come across. Buy the paper version.
But the kindle is trash, and this from OUP...what is happening over there?
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on June 18, 2014
While this may be a beautiful Bible it is not really usable in the Kindle format: you can't navigate easily, because there aren't any links. In other words, you can't go from book to chapter to etc., efficiently. Additionally, it doesn't present itself in a screen size/page size format. I was very disappointed with this purchase and returned it.
30 of 35 people found the following review helpful
on April 25, 2011
I knew the pages were going to be thin based on the other reviews; yet, it seemed a good trade off for the amount of information contained. It was a good choice, but the pages are so thin that it indeed makes the book functionally difficult. You can't thumb through quicky- or you are sure to rip or bend a page.
It is a little difficult to read because you can see the next pages type though the page.
The notes however get five stars, the book will be a good desk supplement but I am certainly going to get a more functional one.
EDIT: I am a highlighting addict and due to the thin pages, highlighter - even the lightest touch - bleeds right through. However, after some experimenting I found a brand that does not bleed through. It is Zebra Zazzle yellow. You can find them here on Amazon searching with "Zebra Zazzle Highlighter."