Review: Expanded Bible – New Testament (Thomas Nelson)

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From the publisher:

The Expanded Bible: New Testament reflects the latest scholarship, current English, and the needs of contemporary students of the Bible. This new testament includes a multitude of study aids right in line with the text. Expanded translations and other helps make it possible for you to study the Bible while you read

  • Expanded translations bring out the meaning of words and offer alternatives.
  • Literal meanings of terms from the original languages are included where they can provide more understanding.
  • Traditional wordings assist recollection of familiar terms and expressions.
  • Comments explain passages that can be understood better with a brief remark.
  • Useful references supply rewarding opportunities for comparing other Scriptures.
  • Variants display additional wording in some of the original language texts.

From Amazon:

  • Paperback: 672 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Nelson (August 11, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0718019164
  • ISBN-13: 978-0718019167
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.4 x 1.

It is a rather thick book, and I find it difficult to see how a complete version will be easy to carry. On the other hand, the Expanded Bible – New Testament is hardly for church use, but tends to be geared to those who study the bible and want to have variants in translation at their fingertips without having to carry around pocket p.c.’s or other bibles. Further, I believe that it is a bible which could be used in small group settings in which the group is focusing on such issues (non-devotional).

Like some of it’s contemporaries (such as the Amplified Bible) the Expanded Bible places in the text translation choices/helps. While some may feel that this is adding to God’s work, rest assured that it is not – no more than any translation really is. Instead, it gives a brief set of variants, translation in nature, which helps the reader to see a difference in styles. Further, there are times, such as John 10.22 in which the text contains a brief bit of history relevant to the phrase. (Here, they briefly state that the Feast of Dedication is Hanukkah.)

The base text itself is essentially the text of the New Century Version which is a thought for thought translation. The Expanded Bible takes the translation choice and strengthens it a bit by making it slightly more literal. There are no footnotes in the bible, and minimal section headings; however, the notes in the text divided into different categories – which is essential to remember when using this bible – such as expansion, alternate, literal, traditional, comment, reference, and textual variant.  If you miss these markers and what they stand far, then the Expanded Bible becomes meaningless. The pages are filled up with the text itself with about an inch of margin on the side of notes. It is hardback, and has a difficult time in laying flat. The covers are white and slick, which may present problems in daily use.

This bible is not one to be read, but one to be used. It is not for everyone, as it is geared not to doctrinal concerns but issues in the text and translation of the text. For the cost of the bible, however, it is recommended that those who might be interested in studying more of the translational issues (and who do not readily know the original languages) in the New Testament obtain one.

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8 Replies to “Review: Expanded Bible – New Testament (Thomas Nelson)”

  1. Thanks for your review. I’m with Thomas Nelson and rest assured the full bible will not be difficult to carry. Since this volume is the New Testament we decided to use book paper rather than traditional bible paper, thus the different bulk. Once the full Bible ships, you have a normal-size edition to enjoy.

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