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The NRSV Notetakers Bible

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.


Oxford University Press provided this free review copy. Bible Buying Guide was not required to give a positive review- only an honest review.

About The Author

Randy A Brown

WordPress writer by day, Bible reviewer by night, pastor all the time. And there's also that author thing.


  1. Joseph Gayton

    is there any loose leaf nasb or nrsv bibles that do not contain section or chapter headings and notes? or just a plain bible like this one but with no headings throughout?

    • Bible Buying Guide

      Hi Joseph. I am not aware of any NASB or NRSV without headings in the text (with or without loose-leaf). I did a quick search on Christianbook, but no luck. I’ll keep looking. If I find anything I’ll let you know.

  2. Sharon

    I would love to get this bible. It is the only notetakers bible available for Catholics and yet they don’t make it affordable! I looked on Amazon and they’re anywhere from a cheap paperback version for $145 to $238 for a hardcover. THis is ridiculous. If they want us to read versions approved by the church they should offer a notetakers bible that is affordable.

    • Randy Brown

      I wonder if it’s out of print. Those on Amazon are third party price gougers.

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