Everybody knows how great the NET Bible’s 60,000+ notes are. But most of us have been saying that the translation itself isn’t all that good; that the notes are what really makes this translation.
Well, I’ve changed my mind. I’ve been looking at the NET quite a bit lately, trying to stay away from the notes as much as I can, in order to see if the translation can stand on its own two feet. And in all honesty I have to say that the NET Bible text is about as good as any, and better than most. I know that when I read the NET I am reading an excellent translation which contains very little interpretive renderings beyond what is necessary to make it understandable in English. In that way it’s very much like such formal equivalence translations as the NASB, NKJV, and ESV. Yet I am also finding it to be as easy to read as the NIV/TNIV. This finding is causing me to raise the NET Bible high on my scale of preferred translations. It’s too bad they don’t market it more widely.
In my situation, where my eyes aren’t what they used to be, I find the best version of the NET with the full notes is right here on my computer, where I can adjust the size of the type to suit my vision at that particular time. The printed First Edition has too small type in their notes for me to even consider buying one. But the Reader’s Edition is a different story! The 11 pt. type is a good, comfortable size for me most of the time, and it still has a fair amount of notes to help me out once in a while. If I really need the notes, I can always look it up on the computer. So as of now I am thinking the NET Reader’s Edition will be a good buy for me, possibly as even a first-choice Bible to take to church, Bible study classes, and for my own personal reading and devotions.
The NET Bible Reader’s Edition is available at Bible.org, and now also at Christianbook for $29.99 plus shipping, with fancier versions going for somewhat more. I’m not sure yet if it can be had at Amazon or other websites.