Thursday, November 24, 2011

Expanded Bible

I received a complimentary copy of the Expanded Bible in Kindle format from Thomas Nelson publishers. This gift did not affect my review in any way.

When I requested the Bible from Thomas Nelson's "Booksneeze" program the title read "Expanded Bible: NKJV." What I got was just the Expanded Bible. It turns out it was an error in the listing. So if you see an Expanded Bible listed as NKJV, don't believe it.

I find trying to use a Bible on the Kindle for reference work very frustrating. One problem that the publisher added was in the way the bracketed notes are categorized. Many of the notes begin with a superscript letter indicating the type. For instance a literal rendering starts with L while a traditional rendering starts with T. Unfortunately, on the Kindle these do not appear enough above the line to be noticeable. Thus the notes end up looking like: [Lbook] or [Tbegot]. Footnotes and cross references, however, worked fairly easily. I moved the cursor to a footnote, clicked on it, read it, then pushed "BACK" and was right back where I left off. Overall, I found the formatting for the Kindle was well done. Links are provided for jumping to a verse. It is the nature of books on e-readers that makes it awkward to use.

The Expanded Bible is much like the Amplified Bible in its format. Except for the format, though, it does not appear that there is any direct relationship between the two versions.

The Expanded Bible is a revision of the New Century Version. As such, it inherited some of that version's characteristics. One of these is the use of gender neutral language. For instance, Matthew 4:4 reads "...A person lives not on bread alone..." The NCV is intended to be easier to read. This may appeal to some who struggle with reading.

I certainly would not choose this for a daily reading Bible. But it is interesting to read a few passages and see variants of certain words or phrases. The expansions are marked to show if they are an alternate rendering, a literal rendering, a traditional rendering, a comment or an expansion. This is very helpful for study and keeps one from jumping about to different resources. The idea of combining an "easy to read" text with the complications of parenthetical notes (or bracketed expansions) seems strange. I believe the work would have been better combined with a more accurate version.

Overall, I found the Expanded Bible to be an interesting idea. It is somewhat soured for me by the use of the New Century Version text.

Expanded Bible, Kindle Expanded Bible, Hardcover

Friday, November 18, 2011

The Poems of Jesus Christ

After a couple posts by Theophrastus led me to the blog, BLT - Not Just a Sandwich I discovered another work worth mentioning here. (Thanks, Theophrastus, that's three posts you've given me this morning).

In April W. W. Norton will publish The Poems of Jesus Christ by Willis Barnstone. Jesus' words will be presented in poetic format. It isn't stated but it may be that this will use the text from Barnstone's Restored New Testament.

The Poems of Jesus Christ

Old Testament for Everyone - Update

Again, Theophrastus posted an important comment that deserves mentioning here. I had posted about the Old Testament for Everyone series. It is the follow up to N. T. Wright's New Testament for Everyone series. Theophrastus said that it is not a complete translation - it only has excerpts.

Publisher Changes

Theophrastus left a comment that should be made a regular post. Recently Harper Collins purchased Thomas Nelson. The point was made that "This will give HarperCollins three Bible publishing imprints: Zondervan (NIV etc.), Thomas Nelson (NKJV etc.), and HarperOne (NRSV etc.)"

Also, I read that InterVarsity Press is going to purchase Biblica Books. However, they will be purchasing the book publisher, not the Bible publisher.

I don't follow the corporate world much, but expect these changes may have some impact on the Bibles produced. I tend to forget about the business aspects of Bible publishing. Thank you, Theophrastus and Louis for the information and reminder!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Review of the Jefferson Bible, Smithsonian Edition

I will not comment on Jefferson's editing of the Bible, only on the Smithsonian's work in producing this facsimile. This review is for the The Jefferson Bible, Smithsonian Edition: The Life and Morals of Jesus of Nazareth. Just note, if you haven't heard the history, that Jefferson did select, cut out and paste verses from other Bibles to form his work.

The book comes with a thick plastic dustcover with the title and Jefferson's picture on it. If you remove the plastic, the book underneath looks exactly like Jefferson's original volume. It almost feels like a leather cover. It is neat to imagine I am holding his actual bound volume in my hand.

The first part of this work has the history of Jefferson's Bible and the conservation efforts taken to preserve it. Full color pictures show key figures in the story, part of the conservation work and even one original Bible that Jefferson used to cut out the passages. The conservation effort section was especially interesting. It highlighted several difficulties Jefferson's work presented. Many different papers are in it since he glued from several books onto yet another type of paper. Two different adhesives were used. And several different formulations of ink were used as well.

The second part of the book is, of course, Jefferson's Bible. It is a high resolution, exact facsimile. It was photographed while disbound for restoration. I expected glossy, full color pictures of each page. And they are full color. But the paper used makes it look like you are seeing the original. In my opinion it is better than a glossy photograph would be. The foldout maps, his marginal notes and even his hand written table of contents are all included.

On page 56 I thought I found a mistake. A rectangle of paper was glued down in mine that did not match the original online. It didn't open out. Later I tried again and discovered it was a flap, just stuck. A little extra pull and it opened up. It exactly matches the flap that Jefferson glued onto his original, including where the ink stuck to the page margin behind it!

I have two other editions of the Jefferson Bible. The first was published by Wilford Funk in 1940. It simply re-typeset Jefferson's Bible in paragraph format with no indication of where he cut and pasted. This probably helps present what Jefferson intended but loses all the history of his work. The second edition I have was published in 1964 by Clarkson N. Potter. It has re-typeset text with marginal notes to show where in the gospels each passage is found. It is followed by a black and white facsimile. It is readable, but nowhere near as clear as this recent publication. The technology was not available then to do what has been done now. The Smithsonian edition far outshines these two.

I am impressed with all the work that went into preserving the original and reproducing this facsimile for us. I hope those behind this work will produce other facsimiles. I believe this is well worth the price and recommend getting a copy now while they are available!

The Jefferson Bible

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Alphabetical Bible

While it isn't a new version, the Alphabetical Bible: A Beginner's Bible is an interesting edition. It appears to be the King James version but with a new arrangement: The books of the Bible are arranged in alphabetical order. Quick - quiz yourself! What would be first and which one would be last? Hint: A historical book and a prophetic book... This work is by Jason Johnson though the cover bears the pseudonym "Kr@zy J." This edition was ordered this way to make finding a particular book quicker.

Alphabetical Bible
(answer: Acts, Zephaniah)

Monday, November 14, 2011

The Power New Testament / One New Man Bible

The Power New Testament is now in its fourth edition. Also being published this year is the One New Man Bible. This includes the Power New Testament (revised from the third edition) along with an OT which is a revision of "a public domain English translation." I do not know if the 4th edition NT and the NT of the "One New Man Bible" are the same.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Thomas Jefferson's Bible

Thomas Jefferson created his own "version" of the Bible by literally cutting and pasting parts he wanted. This volume was purchased by the Smithsonian from his great-granddaughter in 1895. Recently, it was restored to help reverse deterioration and preserve it for the future. While it was disbound, it was scanned. Those images were used by the Smithsonian to produce a color facsimile! You can read more of the history of Jefferson's work at the Smithsonian. You can view the actual scan of the book there as well. While they also have a print facsimile available, has a better price.

ESV Changes in 2011

The English Standard Version will be changed in editions printed starting this year. I first read about this at Baker Book House Connection. The changes are discussed on the ESV Frequently Asked Questions page. A full list of the changes is here. Unfortunately that this is one of those simulated books with turnable pages. There is no easy download of it that I can see. The FAQ states that "Most changes to the ESV text were made to correct grammar, improve consistency, or increase precision in meaning." It appears that the updated text is available online at

Friday, November 11, 2011

Aitken New Testament up for sale

I just read in the Huffington Post that a copy of Robert Aitken's 1777 edition of the New Testament is coming up for auction on November 29th. It is being offered by Bloomsbury Auctions in London. Get your checkbook ready - it is expected to bring a price of £100,000 – £150,000 which is about $159,140 to $238,710. According to the Huffington Post there are only two other copies known. One is owned by the Philadelphia Historical Society and the other by the New York Public Library. Send me pictures if you win this piece of history!

Etymological New Testament

I ran across another new version this morning. This is called the Etymological New Testament: An ultra literal translation of the Bible. John Michael Wine based this work on the American Standard Version. He describes it as an "ultra literal (and occasionally poetic) rendering of the New Testament." You can read samples and additional details at his blog or preview and purchase it on in paperback or in a Kindle edition.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

The Voice: New Testament, revised and updated

The Voice New Testament. Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2011. ISBN 978-1-4185-5076-9.

I received a complimentary copy of The Voice: New Testament from Thomas Nelson publishing. Their provision of this work does not influence my review either positively or negatively.

Well over a year and half ago I first reviewed The Voice: New Testament. When a copy was made available again, I wasn't inclined to request it. There is no indication on the cover or title page that this is a revised edition. However, the copyright page now shows at date of 2011. The listing on says that it is "revised and updated."

I decided to check my complaints of 2010 and see if they still appplied to the newest edition. While I could determine some changes that were made, other problems were still there.

One complaint I have is the deliberate insertion of "the voice" theme. I noted that this version adds and changes words to support that theme "Before time itself was measured, the Voice was speaking. The Voice was and is God" John 1:1). I still wonder if the new translation yielded this theme or the translators changed their work to support their ideas.

Another troublesome passage was in 1 John 1:112 where it read "His own people, who have heard the voice before, rebuff this inner calling and refuse to listen." This has been changed in the 2011 edition to "Even though He came to His own people, they refused to listen and receive Him." The italics are used to indicate "that would have been obvious to the those originally addressed." However, it is obvious that the inserted words show passages where the translators ideas are inserted into the text. That is, ideas that do not come from the Greek New Testament. I certainly objected to the italicized portions, but also to the concept of "inner calling." I am pleased to see that both the italicized portions and the "inner calling" have been removed from the latest edition.

Many of the syncretistic passages have been removed from this latest edition. However, too much of the translators theology still shows through for me to be comfortable with this work.

One aspect I do like about this version is that way it was set up on the page. Conversations are arranged that way, with brown lettering indicating the speaker. It is interesting and helpful to see the New Testament presented as a script.

This remains a document of the emergent church movement, not a faithful rendering of the New Testament. I will not recommend it to anyone other than as a curiosity or an example of how theological bias clouds translation.

The Voice New Testament: Revised & Updated

Monday, November 7, 2011

Tyndale Reader's New Testament

I've added a new item from the Bible Reader's Museum. This one is available on, through the Kindle Publishing program. It is a thoroughly edited, original spelling edition of William Tyndale's New Testament of 1534. The Tyndale Reader's New Testament has links to the chapters, but not verse numbers. Since Tyndale's work did not have verse numbers, this edition does not either. As time permits, other historical English Bibles will be produced in Kindle format as well.

Tyndale Reader's New Testament

Friday, November 4, 2011

World English Bible, British Edition

The World English Bible is now available in a British Edition. There is a list of the changes available. There are now three official editions: The World English Bible, World English Bible, Messianic Edition and the latest World English Bible, British Edition. All three are still being edited.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Digital American Standard Version

The Digital American Standard Version is now finished. It is a contemporary English version built off of the American Standard Version. It is copyrighted, but only to prevent anyone from modifying it and locking it into a copyright. The reviser grants permission for anyone to use this version so long as the contents are not changed. Each book is provided in .docx for word processing, .pdf for printing and .html for web access. There are also audio readings of the DASV and even songs from select scriptures.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

God's Word Translation for Kindle

Amazon has Holy Bible, GOD'S WORD Translation available free for the Kindle.

Old Testament for Everyone

Many of you are probably familiar with the New Testament for Everyone by N. T. Wright. I just noticed that Westminster John Knox Press has started the Old Testament for Everyone series. This is being written by John Goldingay. So far I've found Genesis for Everyone: Chapters 1-16, Genesis for Everyone: Chapters 17-50, Exodus and Leviticus for Everyone, Numbers and Deuteronomy for Everyone, Joshua, Judges, and Ruth for Everyone, 1 and 2 Samuel for Everyone, 1 and 2 Kings for Everyone and 1 and 2 Chronicles for Everyone. W/JK Press has an interview with Goldingay online here.

Critical Emphatic Paraphrase of the New Testament

If you've never read Vincent Price's Critical Emphatic Paraphrase of the New Testament, you are not alone. Only 120 copies of the first edition were produced. It was "published" on a spirit process duplicator. Does anyone know what that was? Was it that big round metal drum with those awful smelling chemicals?

The Bible Museum in Michigan loaned a copy to Richard Estes who re-published this rare New Testament. Richard scanned the pages, ran them through an OCR (Optical Character Recognition) process and then edited the resulting text. I browsed a copy at the the recent convention of the International Society of Bible Collectors. It appears very well done. Since it is re-typeset the text is much clearer than a picture of the original.

It is a bit pricey, but I have not seen any copy available before this. It is available through in hardback for $85 or in paperback for $60.