Pros: Good if you are trying to read large portions in one sitting.
Cons: A little hard to get used to after reading the NIV for so long
I am currently taking a class called "Biblical Narrative." It is sort of a religion class (I go to a Christian school), but if you look at the course catalog, it is listed under English. And since I figured it would be an interesting class, I decided to take it.
I was under the impression that for a Bible class, all we would need was our trusty NIV Bibles that we had been using for years. WRONG! Not only did we need to buy 3 other books, we also needed to buy a different translation of the Bible. The version we had to get was the New Revised Standard Version of The New Oxford Annotated Bible. I was a little skeptical at first, it was not what I was used to, there can be some weird translations out there, and it cost 40 bucks! Now I am not one to complain about the price of God's Word, but it was a little more expensive than I had expected.
Anyhow, after the first class, we had to read Genesis 1-11. So I cracked the Bible open, and it WAS NOT anything like I was used to. The Bible was in paragraph format! This is not to say that there weren't verses and chapters numbered, however, it was written more like a story than the NIV or the KJV are.
I found this version a lot easier to read. Some of the verses that I had learned as a little kid in Sunday School were worded differently, but they still meant the same thing. It was written in a way that made it flow very easily from section to section, as well as making it easy to understand. This allows the reader to see the stories of people not only as small stories in themselves, but as part of the larger story of the entire Bible. I saw little connections that I had never seen before, and learned a lot more about characters in the Bible that I never realized from just hearing little pieces of the stories that I would hear in church.
Also, this version has extensive notes on the bottom of every page, good sized margins for taking notes, 14 maps, a concordance, indices of lists and things, and much more that I haven't even discovered yet. It also has little introductions to each book which give a brief overview- very helpful!
Are there any negatives about this version of the Bible? Well, the only thing I found was that the paper it was printed on is too thin for me to use a highlighter or even my favorite pen (so it bleeds through the pages), and since this is a study Bible, it is a little difficult to take notes unless you use a cheapo ballpoint pen or a pencil. Also, there are versions of the New Oxford Bible that have the Apocrypha, but this one doesn't, so if you need a Bible with that in it, don't get this particular version. Other than that, this is a wonderful Bible, very helpful for studying the Bible (although I would still use an NIV for church!), and I recommend it to all! :)