I loved that bible, an NRSV Oxford Annotated Study Bible (2nd Edition) with the Apocrypha. The margins were full of seminary notes, interesting and key passages were underline, and sections were given personal titles. I could find passages just by looking at the page - not the title, chapter or verse. It was broken in, had duct tape on the spine (visual proof that I, a liberal Protestant, actually read the thing). This loss was (and still is) devastating.
My first attempt at replacement was to purchase a brand new study bible of a different brand - the Abingdon NRSV Study Bible - the notes were fantastic but the paper was too thin. Then I tried going back to an old and well worn RSV Oxford Study Bible but despite my love for this accurate translation it is a bit wooden and the notes were a bit dated. I then said the heck with a study bible, I'll just use a good slim NRSV (more a dagger than a sword). It took about three tries before I found one I liked, The Green Bible. It serves as a good pulpit bible (for I do have dreams of one day holding a liberal version of a revival and a preacher needs a good pulpit bible for that kind of thing). But I still longed for my study bible, one that I did not care to mark in and mangle. Then I remembered that a few years back I purchased the 3rd edition of the NRSV Oxford Study Bible. But one look at the cover and I knew this would not work - mustard yellow? Are you kidding me? Who wants a mustard colored bible? Not me.
Then I went nostalgic - what if I bought a used copy of my lost bible? So I did, for $3.00 from abebooks. I even had a small glimmer of hope that my lost bible would have been found by someone who sold it to the book merchant whom I bought the copy from. I know, I know - like there is a whole underground black market for used study bibles from the late 1990s! The new/old bible arrived but it wasn't the same - no notes! I almost hoped shirtless bible salesmen would come to the door with some edition I had never heard of, but they never did.
Realizing that I would have to pick a bible and start breaking it in I purchased yet another bible. Are you ready...The Fully Revised (4th Edition) of the Oxford Annotated Study Bible, ecumenical edition, no Apocrypha. It is white, the pages are heft, and cover is slick. It aint perfect but it'll do. If you ever stumble upon a red bible with gray duct tape on the spine and lots of interesting notes in the margins please let me know. I'll trade you my collection of bibles and will provide a feast of the finest meats and cheeses in the land. If I never see it again, I only hope it has a good home. I hope the owner appreciates the work I did on Romans a few years ago, or finds some solace in my underlining of the Psalms, and sees my love for Jeremiah. If someone did take it I hope they love it. I dont feel as these monks did when someone stole their bible.