(This is about the kindle version!) ... Of course, the contents are, in general, excellent and substantial. This review is not about that. It''s about how this e-book does not take much advantage of the possibilities offered by the electronic format. EXECUTIVE...
(This is about the kindle version!) ... Of course, the contents are, in general, excellent and substantial. This review is not about that. It''s about how this e-book does not take much advantage of the possibilities offered by the electronic format.
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: The main thing to get this for is the introductions, essays, notes (annotations), and the complete NRSV w/ apocrypha. But it can be very hard to use the kindle version as a true study Bible because citations and cross-references in the notes are not hyperlinked -- meaning that you would have to manually find the verses being cited or given as cross references, and finding a specific verse is time consuming because there are no chapter links within individual books. Etc. However, the introductions and notes are good.
RAMBLING, FULL-LENGTH VERSION: Navigability should be improved. Links should be added for all verse citations/cross references. A real table of contents with links for each book and book chapters should be added. Once you navigate to a book, there should at that point be a (hyperlinked) list of the book''s chapters, so you can touch (for example) "Chapter 12" and go straight to Chapter 12 (instead of having to manually go one page at a time to get there). This e-book, I think, really should be updated to take advantage of the electronic medium. As it is now, it''s nicely formatted, but it only very minimally takes advantage of the possibilities of the electronic format - the main issue is navigability.
The annotations are somewhat inconsistently implemented. Some verses you touch the verse number and a pane comes up in the bottom 1/3 of the screen with the commentary/note. Other verses, you touch the verse number, and then are taken to a page (like end notes). Some verse citations (all of them within the footnotes) are not hyperlinked. It would be extremely time consuming read through a book''s chapter, read the notes for that chapter, and then manually find the verses/cross references cited in the notes, and then go back to where you started reading from -- because of the lack of hyperlinks. But that kind of intense study reading, and going back and forth and following the cross-references, etc., is exactly what a study Bible like this is supposed to be for - if you want to do that, you may be happier getting the paper version of this.
Again - in the commentary/notes, cross-references and citations to other verses are NOT hyperlinked! (You would have to manually search for them.) OUP really should update this so that all verse citations and cross-references are hyperlinked! (Note: the kindle of the NABRE translation (ASIN: B0054SLCOQ) has this feature (all it''s notes/cross-references ARE hyperlinked - each and every one! the kindle version of that Bible really takes advantage of the electronic medium. It''s the best kindle Bible I''ve found. For $5.99 it''s a great deal. It''s a Catholic Bible, so includes most of the "apocrypha" and the notes/commentary are extensive and detailed.) Anyway, the NOAB 5th Ed could really use an update to make it a really functional electronic book: namely, all verse citations should be hyperlinked and the annotations should be implemented in a more uniform way.
I was actually pretty surprised about these two issues: (1) that verse references and cross references within the annotations do NOT have ANY hyperlinks, and (2) - not really as important - the inconsistent way in which verse annotations are implemented (some appear as a pane in bottom half of screen, others as end notes, others (infrequently) seem not to work, and for some verses you touch the verse number and it takes you to the endnotes and, somewhat confusingly, there is not always a specific note for that verse there.
Anyway, it''s still very nice to have this in a portable (kindle) format, but it takes some time to get used to how the annotations can be accessed, and navigation could be VERY much improved (e.g., add a real table of contents with links, add chapter links, add links for verse citations and cross-references in the notes).
Re lack of chapter links: As the book is now, if you want to read, for example, John 3:16, you would have to find John in the list of books at the front, and then manually keep tapping to reach "John" in that list (going all the way from Genesis), and then once at the start of John (there is no chapter list there), so you would have to manually go one page at a time until you get to the 3rd chapter. This isn''t always so bad, especially in shorter books, but what if you''re trying to get to the 48th Chapter in Isaiah? Find Isaiah in the list of books, then touch that, then manually go one page at a time until you reach chapter 48?! I can''t believe OUP didn''t provide better navigation - at least for chapters.
As it is now, this is - for me - a little arduous to navigate through sometimes. In a way, that has a certain charm: this kindle e-book will not surrender forth all of its riches without some effort on the reader''s part! But - this is an e-book. It is SUPPOSED TO BE easy to navigate! OUP really should be updated to take advantage of and utilize the possibilities, presently mostly latent, offered by the electronic format. Perhaps the 6th Edition will fix these problems or OUP will make an update to this (5th) Edition?
Again, I would love to see an update of this with all verse references/cross-references hyperlinked, like in the NABRE noted above, and with improved navigation, with a real table of contents including links for individual chapters within books. Also the verse citations in the introductions/essays should also be hyperlinked. Sometimes they are, sometimes they aren''t. Would be nice to see an update to this kindle volume.
(Again, re the NABRE: It stands for New American Bible Revised Edition - it''s the Bible used for liturgy in the Roman Catholic Church in the US (you can take a look at the text and notes for free on the USCCB web site, to see what it''s like) - it contains most of the "apocrypha" you would find in this 5th Ed. NOAB, plus, in my opinion, useful notes and commentary, from a mainstream Catholic viewpoint, and very useful (and ALWAYS hyperlinked) citations and cross-references to really help you see how various parts of the Bible are related (and quickly jump around by pressing the links and then the back (<-) button), it''s especially useful to see/understand connections between the Old Testament and New Testament. I think anyone interested in a kindle Bible should get a copy of it - see ASIN: B0054SLCOQ.)
ALSO -- If you don''t really need the annotations in this 5th Ed. NOAB, another NRSV with all the same apocrypha is available from HarperOne (ASIN: B003YUCE98). It is a very nicely done kindle book, with excellent navigation, links where you would expect them, fully functional table of contents, chapter links at the start of books, etc. And it also has the nice feature of chapter/section headings (descriptive titles of what follows, e.g., "The Parable of the Sower" at the start of Mark, ch. 4), unlike - it seems - all Bibles produced by OUP.