First Look: NRSV Cross-Reference Edition

Posted: 4th August 2007 by ElShaddai Edwards in Uncategorized

nrsv.jpgI’ve not had the pleasure of using the NRSV before, but given its claim as the most ecumenical Bible translation currently available, I felt that it was somewhat irresponsible to not have a copy on the desk. I looked at a number of editions in various sizes and formats before deciding to order a “like new” copy of the Anglicized Cross-Reference Edition (Oxford University Press, ISBN 0191000167). It had received good reviews on Amazon and from bloggers like Iyov, so I felt comfortable adding another reference Bible to my collection.

Frustratingly, none of the online merchants had photos of the inside layout, so all I had to go on was the description that there were two columns of text with references in both inside and outside margins, allowing for “greater depth than in conventional centre column systems.” Sounded interesting. Anyway, my copy arrived yesterday and the actual layout is quite pleasing in a conservative sort of way (click the thumbnail picture of the page layout for a full image):


As you can see, there are no wild colors (other than the dust jacket) or screaming headlines, just the text, cross-references in the side margins and translation notes at the bottom of each page. Perfect. The paper is slightly glossy as I’ve come to expect from Oxford. The binding is sewn (even on a hardback-only Bible) so the book lies flat when open. There is a slight shadow bleedthrough, but nothing to get excited about. Of course, it’s not a wide margin, so there’s not a lot of room for extra notes. The physical size fits perfectly in my Inspirio “Names of Jesus” XL bible cover.

The number of cross-references is similar to my NASB Side-Column Reference edition from Foundation. What is distinctive about this reference Bible is that, where appropriate, the cross-references in the OT/NT note related passages in the deuterocanonical books and vise-versa. It’s good to have another translation of the Apocrypha books, as my only other translation(s) was the NEB/REB.

All that said, it’ll be interesting to compare the NRSV in general to my other translations and see how it stacks up.

  1. […] represent the final form of this highly anticipated release. In light of my recent addition of the NRSV Cross-Reference Bible from Oxford and my long-time use of the NASB Reference Bible, I was especially curious to compare the reference […]

  2. Greg Terry says:

    I would really like to see the larger image of the page layout, but can’t because when I click on the picture I get a “file not found” error. Any chance it could be fixed?


  3. Greg – thanks for letting me know. It should be fixed now.

  4. Greg Terry says:

    Wonderful! It works fine now. I’ve been considering a new reference Bible and the NRSV is one of the top contenders, but this type of Bible is hard to find except for this particular one. I use several translations but the two primary ones are the NRSV and the NLTse. Oxford books are very hard to beat for quality.