Monday, October 5, 2009

The Expanded Bible/Thomas Nelson Publishers

The Expanded Bible is a study-version of the New Testament that's hard to read but useful for, well, studying.

The translation is based on the New Century Version, which is meaning-based (it translates phrases in groups of words, rather than word by word, for a more culturally relevant understanding). However, alternate translations are provided in brackets throughout the text. The familiar passage from 1 Corinthians 13:5 looks like this:

Love is not rude [disrespectful], is not selfish [self-serving], and does not get upset with others [is not easily provoked/angered].

Another interesting aspect of this study bible is that it often places more familiar translations in brackets throughout the text, so if you're used to, say, the King James Version, you'll see where those familiar flowery phrases fit in. Here's an example from 1 Corinthians 13: 7:

Love patiently accepts all things [bears all things; or always protects].

These familiar translations are denoted by a symbol I haven't included here, so it's easy to tell which kind of information you're getting from the brackets.

Clearly, this is a utilitarian translation, meant for use in studying. It also seems great for debating the meaning of certain passages, as it provides literally translated phrases. As you can tell, it's not easy to read straight through, so it's certainly not the Bible to buy for your main use, but it'd make a great gift to an academic, and it'd be good to use in a study group.

View the product page


Bob said...

Hi, Cheryl. I'm one of the editors at Thomas Nelson, and I want to thank you for your supportive review of The Expanded Bible. We are excited about the New Testament edition, and about the full Bible that is scheduled to release in 2011. (By the way, we have had several people tell us that The Expanded Bible gets a lot easier to read after spending a few minutes with it!) We encourage your readers to download the Gospel of John at

Cheryl said...

Oh good--one disappointment was that the Old Testament wasn't included. I wanted to use it for a study I was doing, but I guess I'll have to wait until 2011.

Jane Steen said...

Cheryl, thanks for the review - unless you're at seminary you probably wouldn't come across this too easily, so it's useful to know about.

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