The Amplified Study Bible is unique in that it provides a way to study the nuances and meaning of words without having to learn the original languages. The Amplified translation was recently updated. The Amplified translation gives you study tools within the translation itself. It’s a literal translation that uses synonyms and definitions to explain or expand words in the text. In this review I take a look at the latest version of the Amplified Study Bible.
The Amplified Translation
The Amplified translation gives you a range of words that are alternative to what’s in the text to help in understanding the text. It also gives historical and theological explanations on the text. The updated edition includes more amplifications in the OT and has refined many of the amplifications in the NT. The text has also been improved so it reads smoother than before.
The advantage of this comes from the Greek and Hebrew words having a range of meaning and there isn’t always a perfect word in English to translate it into. You can see this range of meaning without having to know Greek or Hebrew.
This edition is hard cover. It has a dust jacket with the typical features list. The actual cover is red with gold text. The binding is sewn and lies open perfectly at any page. The overall size is 9.5 x 6.5 x 1.8”
The paper is thin and decently opaque. It doesn’t glare under direct lighting. I had no issues turning pages. It’s white in color and has the kind of texture that should be good for marking with most standard Bible marking tools.
The text is presented in double-column verse-by-verse format with poetry indented for each line after the first line in each verse. Old Testament quotes are in all-caps and the reference printed at the end with some being set in poetic format. Commentary is placed in double-column under the text in a smaller font and references are placed in a box at the bottom of the page. The header shows the book name, chapter, verse, and page number in the outer corner.
The font is 10.5-point black-letter. It’s darker than most study Bibles and is easy to read. There are no footnote or reference keys within the text. Section headings are in bold. It has around 40 characters and around 8 words per line.
I like the references placed at the bottom. The text doesn’t have to share horizontal space, leaving more room and making the text more readable. The content within parenthesis and brackets do become distracting when reading though. In my opinion it’s better for study than for reading.
It does have quite a few references to help with study. Old Testament quotes and fulfilments are within the text. The standard cross-references are placed in the footer. Here’s a sample of references to help you compare:
- Genesis 1:1 – Jn 1:1,2; Heb 1:10; Ps 8:3; Isa 4:24; Ac 17:24; Rev 4:11
- Deuteronomy 6:4 – Jn 17:3; 1 Co 8:4,6
- Isaiah 9:6 – Isa 7:14; Lk 2:11; Jn 3:16; Mt 28:18; 1Co 15:25; Jdg 13:18; Titus 2:13; Eph 2:14
- Matthew 17:20 – Mt 21:21; Mk 11:23; Lk 17:6; 1Co12:9; 13:2
- Mark 11:23 – Mt 17:20; 21:21; Lk 17:6
- Mark 12:29 – Dt 6:4; Lk 10:27
- John 1:1 – Pr 8:22; 1Jn 1:1; Pr 8:30; Jn 17:5; 1Jn 5:7
- Acts 2:38 – Lk 24:47; Ac 3:19
- 1 John 1:1 – Jn 1:1, 14; 2 Pe 1:16; Lk 24:39; Jn 20:27
Book introductions take about a half page and cover the author, time, key verses, and theme of the book. They’re short and help set the stage for the book and tell about their historical setting, culture, and major events.
It has over 5000 study notes with a focus on application. These are shown as snippets from the text in bold italics. They include information such as people, culture, places, and explanations about the events, etc. Most of the notes are this type of note. It also includes 330 theological notes. These are in bold followed by a dash. These are good for references, but as always I recommend you do your own study.
Charts show things like covenants, dates, people, between the testaments, parables of Jesus, miracles of Jesus, archaeological finds, etc. They are placed throughout the text. There aren’t a lot of them but those that are here are helpful for study.
The maps are annotated and printed in monochrome. They apply to the surrounding text and includes references. It also includes diagrams of synagogues and similar items.
It has two indexes in the back to the notes. The first places them in biblical order and the second places them in topical order. I’d like to see the maps and charts added to the index in the back to make them easy to find.
The topical index of one of the best study tools in this Bible. It’s great for personal study and sermon prep.
Here’s s short list of words with the number of major topics and total number of entries. Each of these includes multiple sub-topics.
- Christian – 2 topics, 17 entries
- Faith – 7 topics, 99 entries
- Faithfulness – 3 topics, 48 entries
- God – 5 topics, 84 entries
- Praise – 4 topics, 51 entries
- Prayer – 7 topics, 154 entries
It has 14 full-color maps on 16 thick and glossy pages. Maps are annotated and include distance, possible locations of lost cities, journeys, topography, battles, routes, cities, borders, dates, places where biblical events took place, etc.
It also includes an index to maps. I’m glad this is included because it makes finding locations much easier.
- World of the Patriarchs
- Holy Land and Sinai
- Exodus and the Conquest of Canaan
- Land of the Twelve Tribes
- Kingdom of David and Solomon
- Kingdoms of Israel and Judah
- Prophets in Israel and Judah
- Assyrian and Babylonian Empires
- Holy Land in the Time of Jesus
- Jerusalem in the Time of Jesus
- Jesus’ Ministry
- Apostles’ Early Travels
- Paul’s Missionary Journeys
- Roman Empire
The Amplified Study Bible is a helpful tool for word-studies. It helps in understanding the range of meanings without having to learn Greek or Hebrew. It also provides information on the culture and setting. For notes it includes commentary, charts, and in-text maps. The study tools are concise, giving the most important information rather than trying to be exhaustive. The topical index is an excellent tool for personal study and sermon prep. Any fan of the Amplified translation or anyone wanting to gain insight on word-meanings will enjoy using the Amplified Study Bible.
Photography by hannah C brown
Zondervan provided this Bible free for review. I was not required to give a positive review – only an honest review. My opinions are my own.