The Amplified Bible Is No Longer In Print

As with all English translations of the Bible, nothing could ever replace the King James Version. But since the beginning of our Bible studies here at the blog and at Founding Word, you've often heard me read and promote the Amplified Bible. It's been one of my favorite translations since 1995 and I would often encourage others to get their hands on a copy for their own adventures in studying the Bible. If you were to purchase an Amplified Bible today, however, it wouldn't be the same translation as the Amplified Bible I've been quoting and promoting.

In 2015, the Lockman Foundation quietly stopped printing the Amplified Bible and replaced it with a new translation that is so different from the original that I wouldn't even call it an update. It's a completely new and different translation.

You would think a massive undertaking such as overhauling an established and well known translation that's been in print for 50 years would have at least merited an updated title with some fanfare but it wasn't. Why didn't they announce what they were doing and call it, "The New Amplified Bible" or something of that nature? Instead, they just called it, "The Amplified Holy Bible" and published it with a brief statement tucked away between the title page and the table of contents that admits it's not the same Amplified Bible we've all been reading for 50 years.

The Amplified translation at Bible Gateway was given the same treatment with very little notice. All of my links to Scripture using the Amplified Bible at the blog and Founding Word were changed without my knowledge. I had to go back and update the links manually (every single one) to what they're now calling the "Amplified Bible, Classic Edition". Any attempt to find the original in print at Bible Gateway's bookstore will be met with "product not found" as if they don't want you to have it. You can still find it at other online stores such as Amazon and eBay but they're used and pre-owned copies.

I hate to suggest a conspiracy. I know it sounds rather silly. But can you imagine if the King James Version had just suddenly become the New King James Version without anyone being told about it? What if The Living Bible that's been in print since 1971 had suddenly become the New Living Translation without anyone being told about it? It's good that we have an acknowledged difference between the two translations and it's also good that we have the option to choose between them as well. Why couldn't the Lockman Foundation give their own classic Amplified Bible the same treatment?

The translators of the original Amplified Bible were obsessed with accuracy. The only doctrinal commentary injected into the text for clarity and ease of understanding were placed in parentheses with Biblical passages to back them up. The translator's personal views and opinions were carefully avoided. They approached the project with great reverence and fear and therefore it was conducted prayerfully and slowly over decades before it finally saw completion in 1965 and then cautiously updated in 1995 with clear notes and acknowledgments. The changes were minimal.

The translators of this new 2015 edition, however, appear to have thrown it together in a hurry. It's filled with inaccurate translations, inaccurate interpretations and personal opinions which are injected all throughout the text without any explanation, not even a Bible verse, for why it's there. Rather than bringing clarity through careful study of the original language, they've just re-written their 1995 Amplified Bible to make it sound the way they want it to sound in 2015.

I've often thought to myself that maybe I'm being too harsh about this. Maybe I should give it another chance. But every time I do (and I've done it often) I keep finding myself painfully cringing at what they've done to the text. It's a massacre. It's not just filled with countless inaccuracies, it's a chaotic mess to read as well.

What I find even more telling is the publisher's attitude toward longtime readers of the classic edition. In their statement about the new edition, after blathering on and on about how much easier it is to read, they claim that "the feel and style of the original has been carefully maintained so that longtime readers will transition easily". First of all, what makes them think we need to be transitioned? Why not publish both editions and give people a choice? Second of all, there is no feel or style of the original maintained anywhere in the new edition unless you think filling it with brackets and parentheses somehow makes us old farts feel at home. Those brackets and parentheses actually served a purpose in the classic edition, but they are meaningless in the new edition.

Back in 2011, something prompted me to buy a few backup copies of my Amplified Bible. Little did I know that in just 4 years, I wouldn't be able to buy them anywhere ever again. Currently, the classic edition can be read online here at Bible Gateway and here at may have downloadable PDF files of the original Amplified as well.

Individual ministries may reach out to partner with the Lockman Foundation to reprint the classic edition but unfortunately, if that happens, it won't be printed without the brand of the ministry on the cover and it probably won't be printed without their denominational input injected into the notes.

Prayerfully, I hope that the Lockman Foundation will honor the legacy of their original Amplified Bible by putting it back in print as it was (prior to 2012) and properly change the title of their new translation to something else. I'm not holding my breath. Something about this really stinks. This is the biggest reason why your Bible shouldn't be confined to your phone. Get your hands on a good printed copy that can't be deleted or changed.