At LogosTalk, Mark Ward has a helpful discussion of “how to use—and not to use—the Amplified Bible” for English-only Bible readers. Mark comments, in part:
The Amplified, when used according to its stated design, invites readers to deny this interpretive truism. It makes them think, “Ah, now I know what the Greek word here really means”—and then to Choose Their Own Adventure, picking the meaning they like most.
On the other hand, Mark suggests a more helpful approach to the Amplified Bible would be to understand it as
essentially … is a study Bible with very brief notes that are brought from the margins of the page into the text.
The “Choose Your Own Adventure” comparison seems especially appropriate to the way I’ve often heard the Amplified Bible used also, and Mark’s suggested alternative approach is particularly salutary too. For the balance of Mark’s lively discussion, see the LogosTalk blog.
Dear Professor Stark,
As a personal hobby, for the past couple of years I have been doing seminary-level research on “illegitimate totality transfer,” specifically its supposed occurence in the Amplified Bible. I have collected together dozens of explanations of this exegetical fallacy by various scholars such as Dr. Mark Ward, Dr. Mark Strauss, and Dr. Robert Plummer just to name a few. I took some time to analyze their arguments and any chapter-and-verse examples they may have given. If you would like to see my write-up on Dr. Ward’s Logos blog post on the Amplified Bible, please see pages 93-99 of “Context is for Kings: Is the Amplified Bible Guilty of Illegitimate Totality Transfer?” which I have linked here:
On page 119, I have also included “Choose Your Own Adventure” quotes by Mark Ward so as to compare the Amplified Bible with the Expanded Bible.
Thanks for letting me know. The Amplified Bible and totality transfer are both very interesting phenomena.
Have you thought of doing (further) formal graduate work on this issue or biblical studies more generally?