Christian Questions and Answers

What Is Wrong With The Amplified Bible?

In the English-speaking world, the “Amplified Bible” is a Bible version that is becoming more and more popular. But what is the “Amplified Bible” actually and is it worth to read it?

The “Amplified Bible” is an English version of the Bible that tries to make the actual meaning of the text clearer by using certain punctuation and adding more words.

The Amplified Bible in the English-speaking world

One could get the impression from this description that here the Bible is intentionally falsified in order to push through a certain agenda. The suspicion of falsification of the message of Jesus Christ is the first thought.

In English usage, this Bible is a generally-accepted version of the Bible. Some well-known preachers (like Joyce Meyer) use this Bible regularly. The Amplified Bible is considered an established Bible edition in the English-speaking world, published since the 1950s.

Is the Amplified Bible accurate?

This is primarily because the base text is based on the American Standard Version – a translation that is generally accepted. This American Standard Version is considered faithful to the Word and yet easy to read. The Amplified Bible is based on this version.

Changes to the English Basic Text in the Amplified Bible

While the interpolation, i.e. comma and period placement, cannot immediately be considered “changed”, the additions that do not appear in the original text or in the American Standard Version are marked with [ ].

These additions are quasi explanations to make the underlying meaning of the author (in the sense of: Paul, Peter, Luke, Moses etc.) clearer. Since these are no longer alive, an interpretation is made here. However, this interpretation usually follows the evangelical-Christian direction.

Whether one finds this good or bad, I cannot and may not judge at this point. I say only: Thus it is!

Examples from the Amplified Bible

To better understand the idea, I’ll quote Wikipedia here, which itself quotes on the Amplified Bible. Don’t be afraid. After that follows a German translation.

And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.

Acts 16:31, King James Version

And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus, and thou shalt be saved, thou and thy house.

Acts 16:31, American Standard Version

And they answered, “Believe in the Lord Jesus [as your personal Savior and entrust yourself to Him] and you will be saved, you and your household [if they also believe].“

Acts 16:31, Amplified Bible


Like any Bible version that makes insertions, this Bible version has not been well received. It is accused of having made “illegitimate totality transfer” in the translation. The possibility in the additions (by the []) provides and suggests further translation possibilities and alternative meanings for a given word.

The fear is that readers might get the impression that any added words could be a legitimate translation possibility and that they are free to choose which word suits them personally best – even though the actual context does not suggest this.

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