User's Guide & Site Help

7. Bible Texts

The Bible Texts category includes Bibles, source texts, and study aids created specifically for use in conjunction with the Bible.

Bible texts can be opened from any location on the site. In addition to access from the Advanced Bible Search and thematic quick search results, options range from fast title selections to open at the start of a text; the Bible Verse Lookup Tool and (in the Side by Side environment) a "Jump to" feature for selecting specific passages. Also, cited passages on your current study page include hotlinks to open a smaller display window. This allows you to quickly read referenced verses, then close them without losing your original screen.

How To Access Bible Texts

main toolbar - search - browse - bible texts - timelines

Bible Texts Menus

Select a title from the Bible Texts main or drop-down menu, or select Bible Texts from the Browse menu. A Bible selected from one of these pages will open at Genesis 1.1; a concordance opens to the first page of "A" entry lists, and source text collections open at the preface.

Selecting the main Bible Texts link opens a page describing the editorial scope and nature of the Oxford Bibles and adjunct texts in addition to providing access to each work.

Bible Verse Lookup Tool

bible verse lookup

This tool is always available at the top of the page. Clicking this link opens a panel that allows you to go directly to a specific passage within a selected Bible. Saving a selected Bible as your default will retain this selection when using this tool throughout your session. The A-Z list of Bible books can be navigated by moving the scrollbar, or by typing the first letter or two in a title to jump to the area in which it is located (you can also navigate using arrow keys).

About the Oxford Bibles

The Oxford Bibles are established texts in courses exploring the Bible in theological, cultural, historical, and other contexts and reflect the ecumenical nature of this project. There are current editions of six Oxford Bibles on this site, offering a variety of approaches to the texts and commentary, with complementary coverage of topics and key themes in the extensive supplementary content:

  • New Oxford Annotated Bible [NRSV]
  • Oxford Study Bible [REB]
  • Jewish Study Bible [TANAKH]
  • Catholic Study Bible [NAB]
  • Access Bible [NRSV]
  • King James Bible [KJV]

The Bible Texts selected for Oxford Biblical Studies Online have been approved by our editorial board and reflect the ecumenical nature of this project.

Please refer to the Bible Texts main menu page for more detailed information about this content.

7.1 Navigating Through Bible Texts

navigating bible content

The fundamental tools for navigating through bible content are:

  1. Table of Contents: when reading a particular Bible outside the side-by-side environment (see d, below), the left column of the page displays a collapsible table of contents that opens and shows your current location in bold text. To navigate to another book or chapter in the Bible, click on the appropriate section head in the table of contents.
  2. Previous/Next navigate sequentially through the sections of the text . Within a Bible book, these links navigate between chapters.
  3. Jump to book, chapter, and verse: to navigate to a specific passage within the displayed Bible, choose a book from the A-Z drop down list, enter a chapter and verse as needed, and click Go.
  4. Compare with another text/commentary: to compare the text or commentary with another bible, click the compare with another text/commentary link and select the bible you want to view in comparison from the drop-down menu. Once in this view, you may change the selected bibles on either side of the view and you may toggle between text and commentary on each side.
  5. Text/Commentary/side-by-side: to see the commentary associated with the bible text you are viewing, click on the Commentary tab; to see both the text and commentary displayed side-by-side, click side-by-side. Further details on using the side-by-side display are in the next section.

Navigating the side-by-side environment

Text and commentary pages and concordance entries offer paths into the side-by-side multi-content display environment.

Features in this environment allow you to select and manipulate displays of text and commentaries from the six Oxford Bibles and Oxford Bible Commentary. Research and reference tasks can include intensive study and interpretation of Bible passages or quick comparison of perspectives or translations:

  • Compare texts of the latest authoritative Bible versions
  • View two commentaries from different sources simultaneously
  • Study texts alongside one or a succession of up-to-date scholarly commentaries from different traditions and perspectives
  • Other Bible studies, using side-by-side as a starting point

Accessing and navigating the side-by-side environment

accessing side-by-side view from bible view

Within a standard study Bible display, paths to the side-by-side environment include:

  1. The side-by-side link opens the side-by-side environment to reveal the Bible text you are reading alongside its corresponding commentary.
  2. The compare with another text/commentary link opens the side-by-side screen. After clicking the compare with another text/commentary link, your starting text will be on the left. The right side remains empty until a title is selected from the drop-down menu. Select a title and click to activate the "text" or "commentary" tab to populate the right column with available corresponding content from your selected work:
  3. side-by-side view

Owing to the ecumenical selection of Bible versions, canonical variants and varieties of commentary style, it is useful to be aware of some basic exceptions you may encounter when using the side-by-side display:

  • When a chapter is discussed earlier in commentary on multiple chapters, the Commentary column displays a heading, Commentary spanning earlier chapters at top. This link can be clicked to expand or collapse this additional commentary.
  • spanning commentary

    Note: if a chapter is solely covered in earlier commentary discussion, the column automatically displays this link in its expanded form. When a chapter is accompanied by commentary covering verses specific to that chapter, the Commentary spanning earlier chapters link is initially collapsed as in example.

  • The Jewish Study Bible [the TANAKH translation from the Jewish Publication Society] contains the Torah, or "Hebrew Bible." Text and commentary of this Bible can be compared with corresponding NRSV and REB translation versions of Old Testament content regardless of varying order in certain books of the Torah, but certain books in the Catholic Study Bible canon such as Judith, Sirach/Ecclesiasticus, Wisdom and Maccabees have no Torah counterparts.
  • The King James Bible is a text-only edition without commentary, and is designed for side-by-side text comparison.
  • Oxford Bible Commentary is available as only as a Commentary selection.

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