April 13, 2013

Review of the Amplified Bible

Study Bibles bring insights and information we might not know without all those notes and extra articles, so I recommend having many! Sometimes, though, the study aids can become a distraction or, worse, get in the way of just reading. Also, most study editions weigh a lot, making the overall size and page length overwhelming to pick up, much less read.

In the 1980’s The Lockman Foundation came up with a unique solution – a translation to get nothing lost in translation. Instead of study notes, the Amplified Bible, published by Zondervan, includes the various choices of synonyms and other options that arise when translating one language into another. For example, look at these familiar verses from Jesus’ “High Priestly Prayers” in the Gospel of John.

“You have not chosen Me, but I have chosen you and I have appointed you [I have planted you], that you might go and bear fruit and keep on bearing, and that your fruit may be lasting [that it may remain, abide], so that whatever you ask the Father in My Name [as presenting all that I Am], He may give it to you,” John 15:16.

“I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have [perfect] peace and confidence. In the world you have tribulation and trials and distress and frustration; but be of good cheer [take courage; be confident, certain, undaunted]! For I have overcome the world. [I have deprived it of power to harm you and have conquered it for you],”
John 16:33.

My favorite print edition of this translation came in top grain leather, which I can no longer find on Amazon, so I'm showing a bonded leather edition and hope it also places biblical references directly after the related verse. This might occur, for instance, when a verse mentions a king, and Amplified brackets the book, chapter, and verse where you can find the story of that king. Or, right after a prophetic word in the Hebrew scripture (Old Testament), you’ll find the New Testament reference that shows the fulfillment of that scripture or ones yet to be fulfilled. For example:

“One will say, I am the Lord’s; and another will call himself by the name of Jacob; and another will write [even brand or tattoo] upon his hand, I am the Lord’s, and surname himself by the [honorable] name of Israel. Thus says the Lord, the King of Israel and his Redeemer, the Lord of hosts: I am the First and I am the Last; besides Me there is no God. [Rev. 1:17; 2:8; 22:13],” Isaiah 44:5-6.

©2013, Mary Harwell Sayler welcomes review copies of new translations, study editions, and children’s Bibles.

The Amplified Bible, bonded leather

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