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4 Stars Out Of 5
Good for a Catholic new to Bible Study
July 5, 2014
First of all, let me point out that my copy is the 2006 edition, so mine would not have the Revised Edition of the NAB.
As pointed out by others, the notes are somewhat bland compared to some other Study Bibles. However, for those who are new to Bible Study, they may be of just enough depth to get them started without completely overwhelming them. Also, since this is a Bible designed with Roman Catholics in mind, I would expect the notes to be directed more towards harmony with Catholic doctrine. In fact, that is why I bought it - to get more of a Roman Catholic perspective on the Scriptures. The notes do fulfill this expectation, although not with detailed exegesis, exposition or theological arguments.
I believe that, in general, Catholics who are just beginning to read the Scriptures will also find the Reading Guide quite helpful. I was a bit surprised to see, in the section on the Pentateuch, that the authors appear to have bought into the very "higher criticism" which Pope Leo XIII warned against in has Papal Encyclical "Providentissimus Deus" in 1893. But as long as one keeps one's own "critical eye" on the lookout, I think the Reading Guide will be found quite informative.
In terms of quality, my copy was rather disappointing. Oxford is known for tough bindings, but my hardcover copy is glued rather than sewn, and even with the light use I give it, the pages at the back - including the maps - have come apart from the binding. If you plan to use this Bible on a daily basis, and if this newer edition does not have sewn binding in the hardcover version, you might want to consider paying a little extra for the bonded leather version, which apparently has a sewn binding.
I'm giving this Bible 4 stars overall, primarily because I think it is very suitable for its target audience.
I have study bibles such as Ryrie and Scofield and I thought it would be good to enlarge my study with a view from another denomination. The actual translation used and style appeared more like a novel than a bible. The footnotes (for lack of a better term) references etc., seemed vague at times. It may be a good starter Bible for the denomination it is intended for but not for those who study the word as their final authority in faith and belief.
A great study bible! I use the Holman NIV commentary set, crossway ESV study bible, and MacArthur commentary set, and several other study bibles as I study the word. These books are compelling me, for the first time in my life; with an enthusiasm for reading the word of God (this was hindered in the past due to my inability to interpret some scripture). I am EXTREMELY grateful for the blessings that that these texts provide, i.e., in-depth and understandable analysis, contemporary language (as opposed to Calvin, Poole, Henry, etc.), supporting scripture, etc.
How I would rank my study bibles (based solely on my opinion of the quality and depth exegesis/analysis):
1. Crossway ESV study bible
2. John Macarthur NASB study bible
3. Zondervan NASB study bible
4. Ligonier Ministries ESV Reform study bible
5. NAB Catholic study bible (sparse exegesis)
6. RSV Ignatius Catholic Study Bible New Testament (in my opinion, Hahn erroneously interprets the scripture).
Also, if you can afford the MacArthur New Testament commentary set and Holman NIV New Testament commentary set, then I would also highly recommend them for a more in-depth exegesis/analysis.
After waiting many weeks for delivery I was excited to see that it had shipped. It was to be a replacement for my 1980's vintage Jerome Catholic Bible.
Several front pages rumples. That is livable, don't use those pages much anymore.
Cross references are minimal. Maybe equivalent to the old Bible, maybe not.
My wife had a Zondervan bible, the study version. It is now about five years old and the new one is scheduled to ship soon. I had expected the study materials to be equivalent to the Zondervan, NOT! In neither quality or quantity is the NAB Study Bible up to the standards set by the Zondervan study bible.
On the plus side the Archaeology section is good and there are several insightful subsections in that portion. The introductions to the books of the bible are also good, but not exceptional.
The new translation of the Old Testament is readable. In some places it offers quite different translations and versing in some sections. For example, the psalms take on a different meaning when versing and wording is changes only minimally in some sections (chapters). Basic data points such as family trees, chronological sequences, The Law (Pentateuch) and similar areas compare almost identically with the older St. Jerome.
We have two other Study Bibles on hand that I would recommend as better than the NAB and I have a third on order. The NAB although newer than the others will be relegated to third or fourth reference on the shelf. Sorry NAB.
Overall, I am happy with the actual translations and the readability of the new NAB Bible. I would quickly recommend the basic Bible to a friend. On the other hand, I am very disappointed in the supplemental materials and somewhat disappointed in the cross referencing.
I hope this helps anyone considering a purchase of the NAB Study Bible. The Bible is good the study materials not so.