An Idea Borrowed

Years ago on a radio program someone shared that they read a chapter in Proverbs every day. Since there are 31 chapters and the longest month has 31 days it allows you to read through Proverbs on a regular basis. I use it as the launch pad for my personal worship time and branch out from there. On this blog I will try to share some of the insights I have in the Word. I will try to organize them in the archive by reference.

Monday, January 31, 2011

The End of The Amplified Bible

For the past month I have begun my morning reading through Proverbs from the Amplified Bible.  I am beginning to think that it should be called the Amplified Bible Commentary.  I have owned this volume since 1972.  I have used it on a verse by verse basis when I was looking for help understanding a certain verse.  I liked it for that but occasional usage did not reveal its major weakness.  It acts like a paraphrase.  It tends to throw in a lot that is not actually in the original.  Let me give a case in point.

Look at Proverbs 10:17, first in the translations I am using regularly.
(Proverbs 10:17 KJV)  He is in the way of life that keepeth instruction: but he that refuseth reproof erreth.

(Proverbs 10:17 NASB)  He is on the path of life who heeds instruction, But he who ignores reproof goes astray.
These two are pretty close.  Now look at the Amplified Bible.
(Proverbs 10:17 AMP)  He who heeds instruction and correction is [not only himself] in the way of life [but also] is a way of life for others. And he who neglects or refuses reproof [not only himself] goes astray [but also] causes to err and is a path toward ruin for others.
Not only do we see elaboration to explain the text, which I can deal with, but we also have commentary.  I don’t like to see that in what is supposed to be sacred text.  It has a place, but I prefer to add it in what is obvious commentary.

The Amplified offers different translations of the same key word.  The example that I kept seeing was the word “righteousness.”  In Proverbs 18:10 it is printed “[consistently] righteous.”  In 21:12 it is printed “[uncompromisingly] righteous”.  In 21:15 it is just “righteous.” 

The Amplified Version puts in words from the Septuagint version that are not used in any of the English versions.
(Proverbs 18:9 AMP) He who is loose and slack in his work is brother to him who is a destroyer and he who does not use his endeavors to heal himself is brother to him who commits suicide.
Compare that to the King James:
(Proverbs 18:9 KJV)  He also that is slothful in his work is brother to him that is a great waster.
I would not use the Amplified Bible solo.  You will always need another translation to see what is in the Greek and what is in the opinion of the translators.


Gorges Smythe said...

I was raised with the King James, so understand it fairly well, but still keep a Halley's commentary and a NASB with comments to help when I actually study (as compared to just read) the scriptures. I've seen some wild verses in "The Living Bible" too!

Pumice said...

I am developing a greater respect for the KJV as I use it for my posting. I am almost thinking that it is superior in the Old Testament because they are not afraid to put things literally.

Grace and peace.