Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Review: The Expanded Bible

I began reading the new Expanded Bible with critical eyes. Although put together by accomplished scholars, these scholars base this version on the New Century Version, which tends to make more liberal translations, especially when it comes to gender related terms. As I skimmed through The [expanded] Bible, however, I learned that you can’t judge a book by your presumptions; at least not this book. Although this version follows the more liberal New Century Version, it also includes more traditional wordings in brackets from versions such as the King James Version. The version does not leave the liberal wordings to stand by themselves, either. This version includes numerous notes, “expansions,” alternate wordings, literal wordings, references, and textual variants that allow readers to explore deeper meanings of the text.

All these notes are included within the text, however, and can get a little annoying after a while. It becomes easy to skip over the “expanded” parts and just read the regular wording of the New Century Version, which is in bold print. The version also lacks introductions to books, and it only covers the New Testament.

Overall, The [expanded] Bible accomplishes its goal of enabling the reader to study while he reads, but the version does not stand on its own. Readers should not rely on this version alone for their Bible studies.

Written for Thomas Nelson Book Review Bloggers

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