Many Christians enjoy starting their morning with some time praying and reading their favorite Bible translation. They may also take a few minutes to read a brief daily devotional that focuses on a particular verse or passage and may conclude with a few comments that expand on the content. Others may prefer the Amplified Bible from the Lockman Foundation, with its added explanations directly embedded in the verses.
Alice Brooks has cherished the Amplified Bible since she first discovered it in 1972. As an English teacher, her love for languages and their histories makes the Amplified Bible especially appealing. Compiled by twenty-five Hebrew scholars and thirty-five Greek scholars laboring for years on the project, the Amplified Bible is more than simply an annotated translation of scripture. It attempts to expand word meanings and context to accurately translate from one language to another.
While the amplified verses may be more verbose than other translations, Brooks’ own words are spare in her book, The Amplified Light. She does not provide added commentary about each reading or restrict the daily topic to one chapter or passage. Rather, she begins with a theme verse and then compiles several verses selected from multiple books of both the Old and New Testaments that relate to the theme. The result is a narrative feel to the texts that allows the reader to experience the impact of the Biblical authors’ writings rather than the thoughts of a modern writer that may not reflect the full depth of the passage.
The strength of the Amplified Bible as a reference tool, however, may also be one of its weaknesses when put in a devotional format. Absorbing the Amplified Bible is a slow process because of all of its extra words, which can create breaks in the flow of reading.
For Christians who would like to add more substance to their daily readings, including those who have an appreciation for the richness and beauty of language, The Amplified Light offers time alone with the words of God, free from the words of man.