The first time I came across the Amplified Bible was in the early 1970's.  I found it an excellent study help.  It was not another translation of the Bible.  It only expanded the definitions of words to give a more full understanding.  However, the expansion of the words were contained in parentheses, without expressing opinions or comments. Properly, the footnotes expressed opinions  and comments by the editors. However, occasionally an opinion would be inserted in parentheses within the verses.  That concerned me, because done that way, the opinion would appear to have weight of Scriptures themselves. In spite of that, it was still a big help.
For many years, I’ve used the Amplified Bible in connection with my daily devotional readings and studies.  I always read the footnotes in addition to the regular printing. But the contrast between the “expansion” of the Inspired words of the verses and the opinions and comments in the footnotes were always obvious.
Last year, I purchased a new Amplified Bible, published in 2015 by the Lockman Foundation.  I was excited because my older copy was coming apart.  However, once I got into the reading of the new Amplified Bible, I found the footnotes had been expanded, but had filtered over into the middle of the verses to insert the author’s opinion and comments into the meaning of the verses. That’s what a Commentary does, but not what the earlier version of the Amplified Bible did.  I became very disenchanted with the comments and clarifications of the passages.  Note the following: in the King James Version, LUKE 6:29 states, “And unto him that smiteth thee on the one cheek offer also the other; ...”  The new Amplified Bible renders it: “Whoever strikes you on the cheek, offer him the other one also [simply ignore insignificant insults or losses and do not bother to retaliate - maintain your dignity].”  The footnote of Vs. 29 states, “In this context the ‘slap’ is not an act of violence, but more likely an insult or violation of one’s rights.”  It is disturbing to have a literal “slap” modified to become a verbal insult, lowering it from the actual violence in hatred to be simple rudeness or dislike.
The above is only one example of several places trying to  soften what Jesus has clearly told us, apparently, determined by the authors, to be too radical and hard to obey.  Although literally “turning the other cheek” is very much against our human nature, but it is a literal command by Jesus when we are physically persecuted.  It is not too hard to ignore an insult or rudeness, but considerably more difficult to not retaliating to a physical assault. In reality, it would take God’s Amazing Grace to literally turn the cheek when physically slapped.  However, it is totally within our own ability to ignore an insult.  God’s Grace is beyond our ability to practice this on our own. Paul stated that our true strength is in PHIL. 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.”  That would include literally turning the other cheek, when struck unprovoked and in anger by our enemy.
Jesse R. Spurlock
Pastor Emeritus,
Highland Park Baptist Church


305 W. Jarman Dr.,

Midwest City, OK 73110

(405) 830-3940

e-mail: jesse.spurlock@cox.net

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