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Oxford’s out of print parallel psalter

December 28, 2012

Today I found myself again consulting Oxford’s wonderful parallel psalter with:

  • the Hebrew (BHS ) including apparatus,
  • English translation of the Hebrew (RSV),
  • English translation of the Greek psalter (NETS),
  • Greek psalter (Rahlfs) with an extensive cross-reference

This is an incredibly useful volume (as are some of Oxford’s other parallel Bibles, including the Precise Parallel New Testament [NA27 Greek, KJV, Rheims, NIV, NRSV, NASB, NAB, Amplified], Complete Parallel Bible [NRSV, NAB, REB, NJB] and Parallel Apocrypha [Greek, Douay, KJV, NRSV, NAB, NJB, Good News, Knox]).

I’ve asked this question before, but it bears repetition:  why did Oxford allow all of these volumes to go out of print with no replacement?  They continue to be quite useful today.

10 Comments leave one →
  1. December 28, 2012 7:10 pm

    I can’t believe they would have Kohlenberger out of print – it is a very useful volume. I don’t have the others you mention. What I would like to see is more of the Greek / Hebrew in that parallel form with analysis that jumps the Hebrew-Greek bridge between the testaments. I have played around with this on my blog but I am too green in Greek to be serious.about loading the whole nine-yards into my database one word at a time.

  2. December 28, 2012 7:20 pm

    Bob, first — sorry that your comment got marked as spam by Askimet!

    But saying Kohlenberger does not distinguish the edition — it turns out that he is the editor of three of the editions I mention — the parallel psalter, New Testament, and Apocrypha. (I know you were referring to the parallel psalter, though — the used prices on Amazon have risen to out-of-sight levels.)

  3. Suzanne McCarthy permalink*
    December 28, 2012 11:42 pm

    Wow. I am glad most of us bought the Psalter earlier. I am not that interested in the other parallel versions, but would really like to see the Zurich Bible, Luther, Vulgate and Pagninus. That would give us what Coverdale was working with.

  4. December 29, 2012 7:50 am

    It seems that Oxford editors are sold on having “The Message” in their newest parallel text Bibles. From the UK site there’s Essential Evangelical Parallel Bible, which Kohlenberger contributes to (and which is offered by at $32.97 today. From the USA Oxford site there’s The Contemporary Parallel New Testament, which Kohlenberger contributed to as well. It’s a little less expensive new from than directly from the publisher. Regrettably though perhaps not surprisingly, these parallel Bibles with The Message do not include either Hebrew or Greek texts. The publisher decisions seem to be all about what sells the most. It’s too bad in the digital book age, Oxford wouldn’t allow these older editions to be published at least for Kindle and for Nook and other ereaders.

  5. December 30, 2012 2:14 pm

    Kurk — you are correct — the current selection of Oxford Parallel Bibles features more popular choices, and are less useful for critical reading. After the Contemporary Parallel, Oxford released The Evangelical Parallel New Testament which has been allowed to go out of print featuring NKJV, NIV, ESV, HCSB, TNIV (an early version without many of the changes that distinguished the TNIV from the older NIV1984), NLT, NCV, and The Message. These sort of versions certainly have a substantial audience, but they are less likely to be of interest to the serious student of Bible (one with at least a basic knowledge of Greek).

    There is also an interesting Catholic Comparative New Testament which had Rheims/RSV-CE/NAB/NRSV (Anglicized)/JB/Good News/NJB/Christian Community Bible. This is of interest because there is a relative paucity of parallel Catholic Bibles. By the way, this just went out of print.

    Arguably, though, the best editions of the “The Message” are parallel editions, since it allows readers who are not familiar with the Bible to see what Peterson is trying to do.

    But for me, the best of the set are parallel Hebrew-Greek editions, since it allows for a deeper examination of what is going on with the Septuagint translations. I would gladly spend money on further Hebrew-Greek editions.

  6. December 30, 2012 11:51 pm

    I sold my Comparative Psalter when I noticed the price going up on Amazon… seeing that I could make some bucks. O, what a bad decision! It’s now out of print and impossible to get for under a couple hundred bucks. I miss it. A great volume.

  7. December 31, 2012 2:35 pm

    Abram, I empathize. I hope you find a volume again — I’m having great fun today watching the Hebrew and Greek play against each other.

  8. December 31, 2012 3:55 pm

    That’s better than a college football bowl game!


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