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Instead of going through and listing several changes between the older Amplified Bible and the new for 2015 Updated Amplified Bible, I decided just to show one as a brief example.  Then I will explain some pros and cons.  The verse we are going to look at is 1 John 3:9.

First we’ll look at the familiar KJV.

Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.

[1 John 3:9 KJV]

Now the NASB.

No one who is born of God practices sin, because His seed abides in him; and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.

[1 John 3:9 NASB]

Next, the old version of the Amplified.

“No one born (begotten) of God [deliberately, knowingly, and[a]habitually] practices sin, for God’s nature abides in him [His principle of life, the divine sperm, remains permanently within him]; and he cannot practice sinning because he is born (begotten) of God.”

The same verse in the 2015 Amplified.

“No one who is born of God [deliberately, knowingly, and habitually] practices sin, because [a]God’s seed [His principle of life, the essence of His righteous character] remains [permanently] in him [who is born again—who is reborn from above—spiritually transformed, renewed, and set apart for His purpose]; and he [who is born again] cannot habitually[live a life characterized by] sin, because he is born of God and longs to please Him.”

SBL Greek, “1 John 3:9 (SBL NT) πᾶς ὁ γεγεννημένος ἐκ τοῦ θεοῦ ἁμαρτίαν οὐ ποιεῖ, ὅτι σπέρμα αὐτοῦ ἐν αὐτῷ μένει, καὶ οὐ δύναται ἁμαρτάνειν, ὅτι ἐκ τοῦ θεοῦ γεγέννηται.” Pas ho gegennamenos ek ton theou amartian ou poiei, hoti sperma autou en auto menei, kai ou dunatai hamartanein, hoti ek tou theou gegennetai.  Anyone having been born of God sin not practices because seed of him in him abides and not he is able to continue sinning because of God has been born.

Now after looking at all of those versions for comparison you might have noticed a few differences.  In the KJV the Greek word, “ποιεῖ (poiei)” is being translated as, “commit” when it more accurately means, “practice.”  So all of the other versions have a more accurate translation of the first part of this verse.  What is inside the []’s in the Amplified translations is added commentary that is put in line with the Biblical text.  It is not the actual translation.  So the added, “[deliberately, knowingly, and habitually]” is intended to help you understand what is meant by, “…practices sin…”  

The KJV renders the next part as, “…for his seed remaineth in him:…”  The NASB is pretty similar with, “…because His seed abides in him;…” And then the old Amplified has, “…for God’s nature abides in him [His principle of life, the divine sperm, remains permanently within him];…”  This caused some people to get a bit testy.  I think the 2015 fixed the problem by changing their comments to, “because God’s seed [His principle of life, the essence of His righteous character] remains [permanently] in him [who is born again—who is reborn from above—spiritually transformed, renewed, and set apart for His purpose];” but in my opinion added another problem, that being excessive commentation.  Finally, the last part of the verse is the same in the KJV and the NASB.  “…because he is born of God…”  and the old Amplified, “… because he is born (begotten) of God.” 

and the 2015, “…because he is born of God and longs to please Him…”  Now here is a problem that might not be evident at first.  Notice that there are no brackets around, “and longs to please Him.”  These words are not in the Greek, KJV, or the NASB.  They are added as if they are part of the translation.  There is no notation to let you know they are added text.  Now perhaps the people who compiled the 2015 Amplified meant to put them in brackets, but didn’t.  Nevertheless, it is a cause for concern.  

Having brought your attention to these things, I think it is prudent to say that I can give a qualified recommendation for this Bible.  I would recommend it for mature Christians who understand textual criticism, and want some insights into the translation process.  I wouldn’t recommend this for Christians who have no understanding of textual criticism.  False teachers are always going to find some way to twist the Bible around to make it say what they want.  People who say the Amplified version is a responsible are placing the blame on the translation and not the false teacher.  I think the Amplified might be helpful as a side Bible for comparison, but I wouldn’t use it for a study Bible.  I also wouldn’t use it to read from as the added text causes some discontinuity.  

The Bible itself is a paperback with a hybrid binding.  The paper is fairly opaque, for the cost, and the print is uniform and clear.  It is arranged in a double column, paragraph format.  There are notes at the bottom of the page.  The page numbers appear at the top outside corner of the pages with the book name, chapter, and verse range.  There are section headings in bold type.  The expanded text shows up in brackets in line with the text [like this] see how that works?  The hybrid binding and creased cover allow this Bible to open well considering the fact that it is not a sewn binding.  I wouldn’t count on this Bible lasting a long time as a daily reader because of the construction.  It is a value line type of Bible.  The most expensive binding I found this in was an imitation leather, so it isn’t exactly meant to be a durable product.  

Here is a link to the Lockman page for this Bible, The Amplified Bible is a Literal Equivalent translation that, by using synonyms and definitions, both explains and expands the meaning of words in the text by placing amplification in parentheses, brackets, and after key words. This unique system of translation allows the reader to more completely and clearly grasp the meaning as it was understood in the original languages. Additionally, amplifications may provide further theological, historical, and other details for a better understanding of the text.

Here is a blurb from a Christianbook.com

Product Description

If you want to get all the rich nuances of the original Bible languages, the Amplified Bible is for you. No working knowledge of Greek or Hebrew is required—just a desire to know more about what God says in his Word. With its unique system of brackets, parentheses, and italics, the Amplified Bible defines and expands key words and phrases right in the text. Verse by verse, the deeper meaning behind the message of Scripture unfolds as you read.

This updated edition of the Amplified Bible is even easier to read and better than ever to study and understand. It includes more amplification in the Old Testament and refined amplification in the New Testament. Additionally, the Bible text has been improved to read smoothly with or without amplifications, so that the text may be read either way. It’s the same feel and style of study material that you expect from the Amplified Bible–now with even clearer wording for deeper understanding

Now available in a more portable size, the Amplified Bible is perfect for an on-the-go lifestyle. Whether you are headed to class, to church, to a coffee shop, or on a trip around the globe, the Amplified Bible can travel with you.


  • Complete Amplified Text
  • Thin, portable size
  • 8.50″ x 5.50″

Product Information

Format: Paperback

Number of Pages: 1440

Vendor: Zondervan

Publication Date: 2015

Dimensions: 8.50 X 5.50 X 1.25 (inches)

ISBN: 0310443903

ISBN-13: 9780310443902

Availability: In Stock

Text Layout: Double Column

Text Color: Black Letter

Text Size: 8 Point

Thumb Index: No

Ribbon Marker: No

Spine: Glued

Page Gilding: None

Page Edges: White