My favorite study Bibles are those that give you the room to create your own notes. The NRSV Notetaker’s Bible is just that. The NRSV Notetaker’s Bible with the Apocrypha from Oxford University Press is a Bible with a single column of text and a column of ruled lines for taking notes, making it an excellent study or devotional Bible.
The NRSV Notetaker’s Bible doesn’t contain any references or a concordance. Instead, it gives you room to write your own references and notes. There are translation notes at the bottom of almost every page that contain information such as variant readings, and Greek or Hebrew definitions. These notes help shed light on difficult passages without giving biased opinions.
As its name indicates, this Bible is a New Revised Standard Version. The NRSV is essentially a literal translation that uses gender neutrality when it does not depart from the original text. This means that instead of saying ‘man’ it says ‘person’ if the context is refereeing to both men and women.
This Bible contains the Apocrypha. I personally do not use the Apocrypha, but I recommend having it for reference so you can know what others are talking about.
Where this Bible shines is its two inch ruled margin on the outside column of every page. The ruled lines are very close together, allowing for a lot of writing per page. The paper is good quality for writing and doesn’t feel too thin. I recommend using Pigma Micron pens for writing in a Bible.
The text isn’t red-letter, which might be good or bad depending on your preference. I prefer red-letter for general reading, but I like black-letter for marking because it keeps my marking more consistent. This is a writing Bible, so in order to have more writing room and still keep the Bible 6.5×8.25×2, the font is very small, but it’s a nice font and is printed well, so it’s not too faint. Making the font larger would only increase the size of the Bible, which is already two inches thick. There are headings that introduce each new section of text. The hardcover binding seems durable.
The NRSV Notetaker’s Bible is a nicely made Bible. It would be an excellent choice for devotionals, inductive Bible study, and for teaching or preaching. It is a great Bible for those (like myself) that like to write in their Bibles. I recommend The NRSV Notetaker’s Bible for both students and teachers of God’s Word.
I’d like to thank Oxford University Press for this free review copy. I was not required to write a positive review. My opinions are completely my own.