In partnership with Tyndale House Publishers, Baylor University Press published the Baylor Annotated Study Bible (BASB). It is the culmination of roughly five years of research and collaboration of different scholars with W. H. Bellinger Jr. and Todd D. Still as general editors. It contains the 1989 text New Revised Standard Version (NRSV) and is currently available in three formats – hardcover cloth, leatherlike green & gold, and leatherlike chestnut brown.
Cover/Format: Imitation Leather
Number of Pages: 1760
Publisher: Baylor University Press
Publication Date: August 2019
Dimension: 9.0 X 6.0 X 1.75 (inches)
Weight: 2 pounds
Text Color: Black Letter
Retail Price: $69.95
Printed in the U.S.A.
Baylor University Press sent me a copy of the deluxe green & gold imitation leather edition. Needless to say, it showcases the official brand colors of Baylor University. The green imitation leather cover has gold inscriptions on its spine – Baylor Annotated Study Bible, New Revised Standard Version, Baylor University Press’ emblem. It looks great with the gold-gilded edges of the text block. The Bible measures 9 x 6 x 1.75 inches and weighs approximately two pounds. It has pasted down black vinyl liner and one black ribbon marker. I find the overall appearance of the Bible appealing and elegant. The only lowlight is that it has a glued binding. I believe that it is an absolute must especially for books of this size to have a sewn binding in order to reinforce and provide added durability. Though it is glued, it has no trouble staying open. With heavy use, this probably wouldn’t last past 10 years.
I like the paper that they used in this study Bible. It is highly opaque at about 36 gsm, with very minimal ghosting. The print is dark and sharp, and pretty consistent throughout. The scripture texts are in a 9.75-point font in double-column paragraph format, while the study notes, in about 7.5-point font, lies below in a single column paragraph format. Translation notes are included but no cross-references. Another lowlight I saw, in terms of the layout, is that the inner and outer margins are too slim which makes the text fall closely to the gutter. Slim margins and glued binding do not go so well together.
In accordance with its aim to be ecumenical in spirit, roughly 70 scholars from different Christian denominations – all have a connection to Baylor University – contributed to writing the study notes and commentary for NRSV BASB. Looking into it, the study notes and book introductions are more on the literary and socio-historical side rather than the authors’ personal take on the scripture. This, I must say, is my favorite thing about this study Bible and what sets it apart from other widely-known volumes. It lays bare the meaning of scripture texts and does not lean on a specific denominational belief or tradition. Whether you are reformed, Pentecostal, Baptist or Catholic, you will surely find this very helpful. I like the flow of the study notes that connects the biblical texts to other ancient literary works. And I think this will make a perfect pair with the also recently released NRSV Cultural Background Study Bible.
Other helpful study materials that they included in this study Bible are as follows:
• Timeline – a chronological table that covers the broad sweep of biblical history against the backdrop of ancient Near Eastern and Greco-Roman history, with suggested dates for the composition of biblical works presented alongside non-biblical texts and writers, along with various archaeological remains that provide parallels to the biblical accounts.
• BASB Glossary – a glossary that covers terms and names mentioned in the introductions, commentaries, and timeline.
• Nine full-color maps
Overall, the Baylor Annotated Study Bible is a good resource to study the Holy Scriptures for all its worth. While it doesn’t offer exhaustive commentary, I believe that it excellently serves its purpose to be a reliable companion for both personal and classroom study. I just hope that next time they invest more on the physical side.
Baylor University Press | https://www.baylorpress.com
Tyndale House Publishers | https://www.tyndale.com/
Baylor University | https://www.baylor.edu
Purchase it on Christianbook | www.christianbook.com/nrsv-baylor-annotated-imitation-leather-green/9781481308274/pd/308274?event=AFF&p=1207743