Study Tools: The Amplified Bible
Value of the Amplified
If I could only have two translations of Scripture, The Amplified Bible would be my second pick. It provides an easy step into another level of depth and richness in Scripture.
Words are included in brackets and/or parentheses which expand on the meanings of a single word. As you read a passage thus rendered, you get a better idea of what the people of the time would have intuitively understood when these words were spoken or written.
This translation draws on knowledge of the Hebrew and Greek languages as well as cultural and archeological background of Biblical times…rich treasure of scholarship!
How To Use the Amplified for Prayer
Look at a comparison between Ephesians 1:4-5 in the NKJV and in The Amplified:
Ephesians 1:4-5 Just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, having predestined us to adoption as sons by Christ Jesus to Himself according to the good will of his pleasure.
Ephesians 1:4-5 Even as [in His love] He chose us [actually picked us out for himself as His own] in Christ before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy (consecrated and set apart for Him) and blameless in His sight, even above reproach, before Him in love.
For He foreordained us (destined us, planned in love for us) to be adopted (revealed) as His own children through Jesus Christ, in accordance with the purpose of His will [ b. because it pleased Him and was His kind intent].
b. Marvin Vincent, Word Studies in the NT
As you can see, the Amplified version is longer…longer because of the expanded word meanings. These expanded word meanings are usually a gold mine to pray scripture.
For instance, read the selection above from the NKJV. Your mind stumbles over the word “holy”. “I’m not holy…just ask my friend and family!” If you don’t have time to study out the meaning of “holy”, you’ll probably keep scanning until you find verses that feel more comfortable for immediate prayer.
Now look at what the Amplified does with “holy”: (consecrated and set apart for Him). This is not so intimidating, “more reachable”, you say. You ponder these words, rolling them over and over in prayer (meditation). Then you find yourself in a prayer dialogue with God:
“Lord, I commit my heart to be consecrated to You, to be totally focused on You. Teach me what it means to be “set apart”. What do I need to detach from? What do I need to attach to? Lord, lead me and guide me in this way of holiness for I truly desire to be blameless in your sight.” (Author’s prayer)
Let’s look at one more passage. When I minister at Teen Challenge I like to open with Isaiah 61: 1-7 in the Amplified. This is a lengthy, so let’s just sample verse three to get a sense of the depth and texture in the Amplified translation.
Isaiah 61:3 To console all who mourn in Zion, to give them beauty for ashes, the oil of jour for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness, that they may be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.
Isaiah 61:3 To grant [consolation and joy] to those who mourn in Zion - to give them an ornament (a garland or diadem) of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, the garment [expressive] of praise instead of a heavy burdened, and failing spirit – that they may be called oaks of righteousness [lofty, strong, and magnificent, distinguished for uprightness, justice, and right standing with God], the planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.
Does the Amplified ever open up this verse of Scripture!
Thank you, Lord, for calling me to be an oak of righteousness: lofty, strong and magnificent, distinguished for right-standing with God. Thank you, Lord! I am an oak that You have planted that You may be glorified in my life. Be glorified in me, O God: in all I think, in all I do, in all I become. I go forth clothed with praise and oiled with joy! (author’s prayer)
The Amplified makes it so easy to pray!
Some Study Helps Included
Now if you get the expanded version, it will have a fairly extensive concordance in the back that was developed just for the Amplified translation. Very handy!
There is also some cross-referencing. The referenced Scriptures come in brackets at the end of a verse. These references are convenient, but there are not enough of them to make this a study Bible. Study Bible or not, the richness of this translation makes The Amplified Bible a must-have!
26 Translations - New Testament and poetic books of the Old Testament
Strong's Concordance for word meanings