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

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