Oxford University Press Study Bible Good?

Does anybody have this study bible? It’s from Oxford University Press

I was thinking about buying it. Is it in-line with Church teaching? I am asking since the publisher isn’t a Catholic publisher. Thanks.

I’ve used it. It has a lot of useful information included.

Buy the hardcover. The paperback’s cover and binding are cheap and will come off. It also uses the thinnest paper I have ever seen, so highlighting or writing in it is impossible.

I stopped using it because I couldn’t take it with me. It is falling apart. It sits on my study desk.

It own 8 or 9 different versions of the bible, and most are study bibles. This is probably the one I like the best. Just buy it in hardcover.

I forgot to mention that I used it for my Catholic Bible Study. This particular bible was the only one used in our study that included everything covered in the study. Everyone else’s bible missed one or two of the things covered. When they talk about 2500 pages of information, they are not lying or exaggerating. It is comprehensive.

I, too, have several different bibles, but like the poster above me, that one is my favorite. I love it, and I, too, would recommend the hardcover edition.

This is the Bible we use for our permanent deacon formation program, so yes it is in line with Church teaching. I haven’t gone through all the study notes (and there are a ton of them), but I haven’t seen anything that screams “run for the door, this is protestant theology is disguise”. The biggest issue I have is that not all the reading guides have been updated. In essence I have the New American Bible Revised Edition, with a reading guide for the New American Bible (prior translation). This can lead so confusion when you read reference to two different translations between the text and reading guide. I should note that I have the 2nd edition and a 3rd edition was just publish so it might fix some of those issues.

I’d agree with WJeffrey on getting the hardback version. The pages are still thinner than I’d like, but the binding looks like it will hold up much better. Part of the thin pages has to do with the 500+ pages of additional material. Personally I would have preference thicker paper with a seperate reading guide, but Oxford Press forgot to ask my opinion on the matter. :smiley:

Oxford Press Bibles are respected everywhere and used in many seminaries.

The New Oxford Annotated Bible with Apocrypha is one of the most widely used Bibles in academia, both within and outside of Catholicism.



I agree. You can’t go wrong with this Study Bible. I also agree about using the hardcover over the paperback.

I don’t know that I would jump on buying this particular study bible. The amazon description seems to indicate that most of the study guides are from previous editions of the NAB, this being the latest translations or version of the NAB.

Those introductory articles by those well-known bible scholars seem kind of short, to me. There doesn’t (to me) seem to be a lot of value there. The concordance at the end will add a lot of pages (I’ve never seen this study bible), but it seems to simply be ‘another’ version of an NAB study Bible.

I’d say it’s up to you whether to buy this Bible. I did buy the Little Rock Scripture Study Bible, which is likewise based on the latest versions of the NAB text (this Oxford version may be slightly less expensive, but I didn’t see the hardcover price on amazon), but it, too, has (at least in a dozen places that I checked) still the same cross references as earlier versions of the NAB study Bible and the commentary is the “same old” NAB commentary. It is here that I saw the latest NAB translation and it is very readable.

If you want to get an interesting book, I’d recommend the Oxford 2nd Ed. of The Jewish Study Bible which has copious running notes alongside the Bible text (Jewish version) and many essays about Bible history and meaning. This, as I recall, also runs about $28 and has thin pages.

The Church says that Jewish study materials are often “first class” Bible study aids, allowing for their different point of view. That Jewish translation has translator’s notes that show how very frequently the Hebrew text is unclear – you seldom if ever see any uncertainty expressed in Catholic Bibles about text, when there really is uncertainty about the Hebrew meaning.

From time to time, I have suggested that people pick a budget for themselves for buying study bibles and commentaries. The basic choices for Catholic Bibles today would be the New American Version (latest translations) and the Revised Standard Version – 2nd Catholic Edition – and, at that, the study versions of these.

comparison of the translation of Ps 29:2

Revised Standard Version - 2nd Catholic Edition

worship the LORD in holy attire

latest NAB

Bow down before the LORD’s holy splendor

Jewish Study Bible Oxford 2nd Ed

Bow down to the LORD, majestic in holiness.

The RSV makes me think there’s a dress code for going to Church, but the other versions show me that it is GOD who is arrayed in majesty.

I like to look at different translations to see what the translators are working with and where they’re headed. copyright laws make translations jump through hoops to avoid legal action for plagiarism, so you have to look around to get the sense of what the underlying Hebrew is. You see how these versions drift in meaning.

I have not seen it yet but they have a third edition out now


There have been substantial revisions to the commentary in the 3rd edition. Supposedly making it more agreeable with church teaching. Keep in mind though, these notes do use the historical critical method. Useful for study, maybe mot so good for inspirational reading.
Catholic bible blog did a review on it.


That’s a wonderful, succinct description — it also happens to be my own major beef with Bibles of this sort.

IMHO, the average layperson in the pew is more in need of a devotional understanding of Scripture rather than an academic one.

I can appreciate scholarship and its fruits, but to be blunt, I really couldn’t care less about many scholarly theories about how this or that text may (or may not) have been composed. I also find quasi-skeptical commentary, which often undermines things like prophecy or the truthfulness and historicity of the Gospels, to be absolutely scandalous.

Again IMHO, simple people will find their faith challenged by much of modern academia, rightly or wrongly — they won’t find therein a means to holiness.

I would love to see a good study Bible for simple folks like me, who just want to understand the spiritual understanding of Scripture, especially as through the eyes of Tradition. :slight_smile:

(My apologies if this is rather off-topic.)

This is why I recommend and use a Readers Bible, without notes, commentary pictures, maps or anything else to get between the inspired text and myself.

It’s all just stuff put in there by men. I prefer not to have it. Just gets in the way.


If and this is a huge “if”, the following applies:

If it has the same footnotes as the other versions of the NAB and /RE, I would caution against it. Consider what those NAB/RE notes have to say about Mary’s Magificat - from the USCCB website (italics mine):

  • [1:46–55] Although Mary is praised for being the mother of the Lord and because of her belief, she reacts as the servant in a psalm of praise, the Magnificat. Because there is no specific connection of the canticle to the context of Mary’s pregnancy and her visit to Elizabeth, the Magnificat (with the possible exception of v 48) may have been a Jewish Christian hymn that Luke found appropriate at this point in his story. Even if not composed by Luke,

Does this not insinuate that Luke essentially copied and pasted the Magnificat from elsewhere and Mary never said it? “Even if not composed by Luke…” AYKM?

And from the intro to Matthew:

The ancient tradition that the author was the disciple and apostle of Jesus named Matthew (see Mt 10:3) is untenable because


The unknown author, whom we shall continue to call Matthew for the sake of convenience

Clearly, the authors of these notes are from the modern non-Catholic camp of the “Q” theory (circa 1900), which is a hypothetical collection of the sayings of Christ. It’s formulator was not Catholic.

I ask: Do these notes build up one’s confidence in the Church, or tear it down? Do they build confidence in the authenticity of the scriptures, or call them into question? Catholics are far better served by looking into the Ignatius Study Bible, in my mind.

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