Oxford Annotated vs Catholic Study Bible

I have a credit for an Oxford University Press book, and I’d like to get a study bible. Which of these (Oxford Annotated Bible or the Oxford Catholic Study Bible) is better? Is there a catholic version of the Annotated Bible?


First off, part of your decision should be based on which translation you prefer, the NABRE (Catholic Study Bible) or NRSV/RSV (NOAB). All three are approved translations and have their strengths and weaknesses.

Secondly, will you be purchasing a hardcover or leather edition? The Catholic Study Bible comes in bonded leather while the two NOAB’s come in genuine leather.

Thirdly, the Catholic Study Bible will be more geared for Catholics. It has a 500 reading guide before the Biblical texts itself, which gives many valuable historical, literary, and scholarly comments. I reviewed this bible a few months ago: catholicbiblesblog.com/2014/03/review-catholic-study-bible-nabre.html

  1. I am not too concerned with the translation among those three.

  2. I’d rather have a hardcover or paperback. I like leather bibles only for prayer. I’ll be using this one for study. Plus the credit isn’t enough to cover leather.

  3. What are the pros/cons of both? I read your review, but what are it’s merits compared to the NOAB?

If you are desiring current Catholic biblical scholarship, go with the CSB. If you want an ecumenical edition, go with the NOAB. The CSB has a number of helpful essays, along with the reading guides, as well as maps, a concordance, in-text maps ad charts, and the full lectionary readings. The reading guides are quite informative.

The two NOABs are quite a but different. If you go with the RSV edition, know that it is an older edition, with brief annotations and introductions. It does not include a concordance and does not have many of the study tools the NRSV has. It is, however, more compact and I find the page layout to be more attractive. It was also edited by the late Bruce Metzger, who was a highly respected NT textual scholar and chair of the NRSV.

I think this is the best: newamplifieddouayrheims.com/index.php?Menutype=catholic

If you’re going to get one to study with, then CSB IMHO is the better version due to the concordance.

Being a convert to the Catholic faith, I have an old KJV that has a concordance that I use to look-up and study passages between my NAB-Cath,RSV-Cath, KJV, and DR translations. Of course, the KJV concordance doesn’t include Tobit, Maccabees, etc… within but that’s what I use the internet for :slight_smile:

Sorry, but any merits to this bible, which there very may well be, are discredited by the labeling of the Catholic Study Bible as “modernist poison.” That is simply nonsense. I have studied a number of the scholars who worked on the CSB, and while they take a historical approach, that doesn’t make them any less faithful.

My all time favorite is the New Oxford Annotated Bible with the Apocrypha. The text is the original Revised Standard Version. The RSV is the text used in the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

While I use the New American Bible in my bible study group (because everyone else does) I use the RSV for my own personal devotions.

— Note the above referenced text, does not appear to have any verifiable, Nihl Obstat, Imprimi Potest, or Imprimatur; thus, I would be very careful of using it in anyway shape or form.
Furthermore the site attacks a translation (NAB-Catholic) that is hosted on the USSCB website, has three verifiable imprimaturs, a blessing by the Holy Father, is the text used for the readings of the most Holy Mass
I have a Douay Reheims, and I compared portions of the above text to my Bible, and it was quite, well, bothersome.

----------Now this is for the USA, you can find similar proclamations for other countries —

USCCB Approved Translations of the Sacred Scriptures for Private Use and Study by Catholics
1983 - Present

The 1983 Code of Canon Law entrusts to the Apostolic See and the episcopal conferences the authority to approve translations of the Sacred Scriptures in the Latin Catholic Church (c. 825, §1). Prior to 1983, Scriptural translations could be approved by the Apostolic See or by a local ordinary within a diocese.

What follows is a complete list of the translations of the Sacred Scriptures that have received the approval of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops since 1983.

**In addition to the translations listed below, any translation of the Sacred Scriptures that has received proper ecclesiastical approval ‒ namely, by the Apostolic See or a local ordinary prior to 1983, or by the Apostolic See or an episcopal conference following 1983 ‒ may be used by the Catholic faithful for private prayer and study.
Books of the New Testament, Alba House

Contemporary English Version - New Testament, First Edition, American Bible Society

Contemporary English Version - Book of Psalms, American Bible Society

Contemporary English Version - Book of Proverbs, American Bible Society

The Grail Psalter (Inclusive Language Version), G.I.A. Publications

New American Bible, Revised Edition (NABRE)

New Revised Standard Version, Catholic Edition, National Council of Churches

The Psalms, Alba House

The Psalms (New International Version) - St. Joseph Catholic Edition, Catholic Book Publishing Company

The Psalms - St. Joseph New Catholic Version, Catholic Book Publishing Company

Revised Psalms of the New American Bible (1991)

So You May Believe, A Translation of the Four Gospels, Alba House

Today’s English Version, Second Edition, American Bible Society
Translation for Early Youth, A Translation of the New Testament for Children, Contemporary English Version, American Bible Society

For our RCIA classes, we recommend the NAB-Catholic (for ease of reading) then the RSV-Catholic, then the NRSV-Catholic in that they keep with the teachings of the Church.

:thumbsup: Exactly! I would go with ‘The Catholic Study Bible’ or ‘The Catholic Bible, Personal Study Bible Edition’ (which has updated notes for the NABRE). Go to mccorm45(s)
blog listed at the bottom of his post for a review and discussion on both of these study Bibles.

I can’t find the review for the personal study edition. Can you link it?


The NOAB with Apocrypha is my favorite as well. While it is not “Catholic”, it is a fantastic resource tool. All the books, and then some, are there, making it, for me at least, the best all around study, devotional, and just daily reading Bible I own. (And I own quite a few). I really like having the additional books such as 3 and 4 Maccabees, Psalm 151 etc. as well. Makes it really nice to take with you to a number of different discussions.

Lastly, while I know the OP wasn’t interested in the leather edition, it is an extremely well made version. Genuine leather, sewn binding, great paper, layout etc. etc. Perhaps the nicest Bible I own, and that includes a KJV with Apocrypha I have from Cambridge.

Don’t overlook this comment, the CSB will have some mismatches between the reading guide and the text. Not sure why they updated the CB-PSE and not this.

You will also find more diagrams and “visuals” in the CP-PSE than in the CSB which I personally like.

You can always spend some time in a Barnes and Noble which would probably have both the CSB and the CB-PSE and flip through both.

Thats what I did before I bought the CB-PSE!

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