Showing posts with label NRSV. Show all posts
Showing posts with label NRSV. Show all posts

February 21, 2019

NRSV large-print leather Bible with or without Apocrypha


When I heard that Cambridge had published a large-print reader edition of the New Revised Standard Version (NRSV) of the Bible, I requested a review copy, and they generously sent two – one with the Apocrypha and one without.

As you might know or guess, Cambridge University Press is the world’s oldest publisher of Bibles, the first being the Geneva Bible printed years before the King James Version even existed.

The quality is immediately apparent – from the thin but strong pages sewn into a high-grade French Morocco leather binding to the Bible’s sturdy packaging – as though they’re working with something that needs to be treated with respect and care. And, when they say “large-print text,” that’s what they mean – a font of ample size that’s attractive and easy on the eyes.

If I’m going on a bit about the physical aspects of this Bible, it’s because some publishers seem to expect their Bibles to be throw-aways. But maybe that’s too harsh. Maybe some just want to offer inexpensive editions almost everyone can afford. Or maybe they want to draw young people to God’s Word with pages glued into lively, colorful covers meant to catch the eye.

It’s hard for me to know since I cherish the Bible I regularly took to church – from early childhood through my teen years. (When I graduated from high school, my home church gave me a Revised Standard Version bound in quality leather, which would have lasted forever had it not been for a young dachshund left alone while her peoples were at work.)

Cambridge Bibles are made to last! So I'm happy to report they publish other versions in fine bindings, in case that interests you. However, when I want a translation that’s as close to the original languages as possible, I grab a NRSV.

When I want a translation that’s accurate and readable with a poetic flow, I go for the NRSV.

When I want a translation that renders the Epistles of the Apostle Paul with the profuse flow of thought he had in speaking and teaching, I go for the NRSV. (Note: Paul can get so long-winded, some translations chop his paragraph-long sentences into bits. The spiritual truths remain the same, of course, but the change of tone makes it hard to hear his unique voice.)

And, because I always want a Bible that incorporates linguistic and archaeological findings in an edition translated by an international, interdenominational team, who aims to provide an impartial, well-balanced edition, I go for the NRSV with the Apocrypha.

Be advised though: These NRSV reader editions from Cambridge focus on the biblical texts, period. If you want a study Bible, this isn’t it. I have a bunch of those anyway, and I’ve found that most have so many articles, maps, notes, and commentary, the biblical text itself gets squeezed into small print that’s barely readable. In addition, most study editions weigh several pounds, so I keep them on my desk to research a topic before writing a “Bible Talk” or preparing a class discussion.

Since these text-only editions have no study aids to weigh me down and almost no footnotes to distract me, I can easily carry them anywhere or curl up in my favorite chair to read. Indeed, I aim to read and re-read this reader edition of the NRSV as long as God, my eyes, and our family pets allow.


Mary Harwell Sayler, ©2019, poet-writer, reviewer

If you want one too, click here:









September 28, 2015

Kids Study Bible, NRSV with Apocrypha

As soon as I learned of the NRSV Kids Study Bible with Apocrypha, I requested a review copy from Hendrickson Bibles, which the publisher kindly sent to me.

Primarily for children 8 to 12, this unique edition has the New Revised Standard Version text (NRSV) with the Apocrypha and all sorts of kid-appealing sidebars and study aids too.

Each book of the Bible begins with an Introduction that summarizes “What Will You Learn About In This Book?” followed by information about the writer(s), setting(s), main characters, and highlights from stories of our ongoing relationship with God.

For example, the apocryphal aka deuterocanonical book of Sirach “contains guidance on how to act towards all kinds of people and to God. The sayings it contains are like the book of Proverbs in the Old Testament.”

Under “Who Wrote This Book?” readers learn that the writer, “Ben Sirach, a Jewish scribe, may have written the work about 180-175 B.C.”Then, if readers want to “Take A Closer Look,” they’ll see how the “Fear of the Lord is true wisdom,” Sirach 1:11-20 and how we all have “Duties toward one’s parents,” Sirach 3:1-16.

Sidebars to over 60 "Bible People" introduce children to patriarchs, prophets, poets, and other people of interest – people with whom we all identify and from whom we continue to learn.

In the New Testament, for example, “Mary and Martha were sisters, and Lazarus was their brother. They lived in Bethany and were close friends of Jesus. Mary poured expensive perfume over Jesus’ feed to wash them because she loved him so much. Martha is best remembered for busily preparing and serving a meal rather than being with Jesus.”

To encourage children to remain in the company of God’s Word through memorization, little sidebars have been interspersed throughout the text. In First Corinthians, for example, “Hide It In Your Heart” provides this memory verse, “Thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ,” 1 Cor. 15:57.

Besides glossy color inserts within the pages, the lists of Bible parables, miracles, and more in the back matter will help young readers to see that God's Word is meant for them. Also, the readable dark blue font, bright headings, and attractive suede-like cover give the feel and eye appeal that will encourage kids to read.

© 2015, Mary Harwell Sayler


NRSV Kids Study Bible with Apocrypha, flexisoft cover



August 30, 2014

My all-time favorite Bible


I began reviewing Bibles on the Bible Reviewer blog because I had so many. As word got around that I'm a Bible nut, people began asking my advice on which translation and/or study edition to get. Before responding, I tried to find out what each person wanted and needed as individual preferences make a huge difference in whether we actually read God's Word, which is, after all, the point.

Most Christians already have a favorite Bible, but having none myself, I read almost every English version, including footnotes from a variety of excellent study editions. Many aspects of each word-for-word, thought-for-thought, contemporary, or scholarly translation appealed to me for various reasons, and I'm happy to report that I discovered something unique in each - something insightful, something that helped me to take notice and really hear.

Then, finally.... Finally! After years of searching, I found "my" Bible: this one – The New Oxford Annotated Bible with Apocrypha: New Revised Standard Version, edited by Michael D. Coogan and published by Oxford in March, 2010.

The accuracy, the poetically graceful yet clear language, the unbiased footnotes and study aids, the "extra" books I did not even know about as a child – all of these features came together in a soft leather cover I'm sorry to say I couldn't find on Amazon. Before posting this, however, I made sure the paperback edition I did find is the exact Bible that has now become "my" Bible, my all-time favorite Bible, and The Bible I most highly recommend for drawing me closer to The Most High.

© 2014, Mary Harwell Sayler, reviewer, is a traditionally published author of 26 books, including the poetry book Living in the Nature Poem and Bible-based book of poems Outside Eden.

The New Oxford Annotated Bible with Apocrypha: New Revised Standard Version, paperback

May 31, 2012

Four Bibles in one: The Complete Parallel Bible


If you like to compare translations as you study the Bible but don’t like to juggle several books at once, The Complete Parallel Bible by Oxford provides an ideal solution for Catholic, Episcopal, and other Christian readers or poetry lovers who also want the deuterocanonical books often referred to as the Apocrypha.

This 1993 edition may not be super easy to find in the bonded leather cover mine has, but I suggest a stout hardback cover for this thick book anyway. Otherwise, the wobbly spine on the cumbersome cover will eventually morph into a “V.” (The fat Bible on the far right of the photo should show you what I mean.)

The Amazon ad posted below for your convenience and my teeny “commission” will lead you to options for a less expensive used copy in good condition. (Yeah, I know some people do not like books other people have sneezed on while reading but just put a little vinegar on a paper towel and wipe those worries away.)

If you get this particular edition, you’ll find a small font in four side-by-side columns with footnotes only as essential for clarification. Bleary-eyed readers might need a magnifying glass, but it’s worth it. Why?

This edition gives you two of the most reliable English translations closest to word-for-word (New American Bible and New Revised Standard Version) in addition to two rather lively and very readable versions (New English Bible and New Jerusalem Bible.) If a verse doesn’t grab you in one translation, another of these choices surely will. By comparing all four versions of a verse along with the surrounding context, you’ll get a broader picture and deeper insight into biblical truths.

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© 2012, Mary Sayler. Thanks for letting your church, Bible study, or other group know where you found this information.

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