Shorter Reviews and Notices -- the HarperCollins Study Bible, New Revised Standard Version, with the Apocryphal/Deuterocanonical Books Edited by Wayne A. Meeks

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The HarperCollins Study Bible, New Revised Standard Version, with the Apocryphal/Deuterocanonical Books, Wayne A. Meeks, general editor. HarperCollins Publishers, New York, 1993. 2400 pp. and maps. $40.00. ISBN 0-06-065580-1.

THE APRIL 1992 Bible Review presented a tabular review of twenty-six study Bibles. Can another be justified? It can indeed, if the other is the HarperCollins Study Bible, which constitutes the third volume of the HarperCollins Bible Reference Library (which also includes Harper's Bible Commentary and Harper's Bible Dictionary). All these volumes have been produced in cooperation with the Society of Biblical Literature.

By definition, study Bibles provide aids that make the text more intelligible. A set of maps is standard; such aids as book introductions, annotations, articles, essays, concordances, indexes, and dictionaries may also appear. No Bible can include all (though the thin, opaque paper now being used increases available space remarkably). The editors of the HarperCollins Bible elect to concentrate on annotations, largely to the exclusion of other aids. The copious notes make up about a third of each page.

The primary question raised by this decision is whether contributors, annotating a translation as excellent as the NRSV, can avoid slipping over into commentary, supplying interpretation that may be distinctive or even individual. …