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50 of 50 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent study bible and a wonderful translation
I have read and compared three translations of the Bible in English: the New International Version, the New Revised Standard Version, and the Revised English Bible. My favorite is the REB. The NRSV is the most literal (except for the gender neutral changes), and it is also the most difficult to read. The NIV is often too informal for my tastes. Although the REB is a...
Published on 21 Jan 1999

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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars It's OK
As a paper back the pages of this Bible are flimsy. It's not a Bible I would carry around with me which is a shame - I don't think it would take too much handling. The text is fine but I doubt whether I shall read it very often. It needs to be more substantial. And there are better study Bibles than this containing more textual information etc. Dissapointed.
Published on 7 Feb 2012 by Mr. Derek R. Marsh


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50 of 50 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent study bible and a wonderful translation, 21 Jan 1999
By A Customer
I have read and compared three translations of the Bible in English: the New International Version, the New Revised Standard Version, and the Revised English Bible. My favorite is the REB. The NRSV is the most literal (except for the gender neutral changes), and it is also the most difficult to read. The NIV is often too informal for my tastes. Although the REB is a scholarly translation, it is the least literal of the three in its phrasings, but less gender-neutral than the NRSV. Because the REB is so well-written, I find that I get more out of reading it than either of the other two, and I tend to use the others primarily for comparison of specific passages.
Reading a study bible with its commentary, study aids, and maps is essential for most of us, especially the beginner. This study bible is one of the best for the layman. It strikes a good balance between what I consider to be too much information (Harper NRSV Study Bible) and too little (Oxford Annotated NRSV Bible).
My only complaint is that this study bible does not come in a nice leather edition. The only leather REB is the superb edition published by Cambridge, but it contains only text with no study aids or maps.
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25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A smooth reading translation with sound study notes., 5 Mar 1999
By A Customer
The Revised English Bible is a joy to read; the text is clear, fluid, and does not read at all like a translation. The various study helps in the Oxford Study Bible put the text into context. The study articles are particularly good, and the foonotes give good basic information without being too overwhelming.
On occasion words are used that Americans may not be familiar with, such as calumny, obdurate, and betide, and the text does read at a literary level, but is still clear.
The text is not as gender-inclusive as the New Revised Standard Version, but more so than the New International Version; the English is also not as "British" as the New Jerusalem Bible. For sheer reading pleasure this translation is the best.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars First-rate, 8 April 1999
By A Customer
I recommend this Bible very highly. The translation is excellent and very readable, and the essays and annotations are terse and informative, providing much needed background and scholarship without ever overshadowing the text itself.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Scholarly, accessible, lies flat, 3 Aug 2011
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This review is from: The Oxford Study Bible: Revised English Bible with Apocrypha: The Revised English Bible with Apocrypha (Paperback)
Paperback Bibles usually suffer from being difficult to read by the fact they don't lie flat: this Bible does stay open at the page, enabling reading and study; it also lies open in one's hand, which is useful if giving a talk from it and you haven't got or don't want to use a lectern. The scholarly articles are informative. The footnotes help illuminate the text. I am not sure why this translation has fallen into disfavour: perhaps its lack of inclusive language, which may be a barrier to some readers; but that has to be balanced against faithfulness to the original Hebrew or Greek. The writers, after all, lived in patriarchal societies and their books thus have to be seen in that context.

The New English Bible, of which this is a revision, still used the second person singular for addressing God, and thus the REB needed sentence reconstruction for you and yours, which has, in my view, been successfully accomplished, making for smooth reading without being familiar in prayer. One disappointment is that the NEB rendered the first Beatitude, "How blest are those who know their need of God", which was an inspired interpretation of "poor in spirit" and gets to the heart of how true blessedness all begins; the REB has reverted to "poor in spirit".

I would certainly like to see the REB rediscovered and used widely, now that I own a copy. I find I am using it regularly in study and devotion. I recommend it highly.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The English standard, 26 Dec 2012
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This review is from: The Oxford Study Bible: Revised English Bible with Apocrypha: The Revised English Bible with Apocrypha (Paperback)
When the New English Bible first came out 42 years ago, the translation was hailed for its literary quality and criticized for its apparent liberties. As time and a minor revision have passed by, this text of the Bible just keeps on proving its qualities. Translation is always a work of imagination, and the Revised English Bible endures in its ability to put you in the text. For instance, in John's Gospel, chapter 6, after Jesus explains that eating his flesh and drinking his blood will lead to eternal life, verse 60 says literally "... this is a hard saying, who can listen to it?" The REB has "Who can stomach such talk?" The underlying meaning is much clearer.

I give the Oxford Edition of the Revised English Bible to everyone I ordain deacon or priest. Anyone who wants to get close to the Bible in English — believer and unbeliever — needs to have and use this version. I recommend having the New Revised Standard Version or the New International Version for comparison. As it contains the Apocrypha (Deuterocanonical Books), it is suitable for Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox readers, as well as Anglicans.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Superb translation, unbelieving study notes, 22 July 2012
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This review is from: The Oxford Study Bible: Revised English Bible with Apocrypha: The Revised English Bible with Apocrypha (Paperback)
This is my favourite translation. It's both clear in meaning and direct in feel. I don't know any Greek or Hebrew so can't comment on the accuracy of the translation. Mind you, even if I did, who am I to argue with a committee of experts?
Oddly enough, even though it's a study bible with extra articles and notes it's currently by far the most inexpensive way to buy the whole Bible in the REB translation (as opposed to Bibles missing the 'apocrypha').
This is possibly a disadvantage if you're a Christian though, as the study notes are of an unbelieving tone and sometimes directly contradict the Biblical text. eg Exodus 19:9 "the LORD said to him, 'I am coming to you in a thick cloud, so that I may speak to you in the hearing of the people, and so their faith in you may never fail'... study note: 'The association of a cloud with the divine presence may have originated in the observation of mists surrounding the tops of high mountains (see v. 3 n) or may have been borrowed from Canaanite mythology...'

Good: Best translation; whole Bible; modestly priced.
Bad: Unbelieving study notes (though if you're not a Christian you might like them); Hardback (now unavailable) was better
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very clear translation and helpful notes and commentary, 15 Jan 2014
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This review is from: The Oxford Study Bible: Revised English Bible with Apocrypha: The Revised English Bible with Apocrypha (Paperback)
Extraordinary care has been taken in the translation, notes and commentary to communicate clearly and helpfullyl to serious but non-professional readers. I also like the inclusiveness of the the group responsible for creating this study Bible. I find the readability of the Biblical text superior to its sibling, the New Revised Standard Version with Apocrypha. The notes are less technical, but often more helpful.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Good Book, 4 Jan 2014
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This review is from: The Oxford Study Bible: Revised English Bible with Apocrypha: The Revised English Bible with Apocrypha (Paperback)
Amazing value for a 1600 page book. For the first time I am able to access the apocryphal books of the bible. Truly, a revelation. I like too the scholarly essays surrounding the whole text.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars It's OK, 7 Feb 2012
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This review is from: The Oxford Study Bible: Revised English Bible with Apocrypha: The Revised English Bible with Apocrypha (Paperback)
As a paper back the pages of this Bible are flimsy. It's not a Bible I would carry around with me which is a shame - I don't think it would take too much handling. The text is fine but I doubt whether I shall read it very often. It needs to be more substantial. And there are better study Bibles than this containing more textual information etc. Dissapointed.
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