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How is the Amplified Bible different from the King James version?

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Quick Answer

The Amplified Bible varies from the King James version in text and method. The publishers translated the Amplified Bible from a wider group of New Testament Greek manuscripts than the King James version and rendered the original languages into English with longer explanatory translations in order to amplify the meaning.

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Full Answer

William Tyndale, who translated the King James version, used the "Textus Receptus," the Latin translation of the Greek New Testament, as the foundation for his New Testament translation. Erasmus completed the "Textus Receptus" in 1512. Unfortunately, Erasumus only had seven Greek manuscripts available to him, all of which were copied by scribes in the 11th century or later. Furthermore, the Greek manuscripts Erasmus used contained numerous typographical errors, forcing him to fill in gaps with a Latin translation that isn't supported by any known Greek manuscripts. In contrast, the New Testament portion of the Amplified Bible is translated from a collection of Greek texts known as the "Critical Text." The "Critical Text" comprises hundreds of Greek manuscripts now available, some that date to the early second and third centuries. Scholars indicate that there are almost 2,000 differences between the "Textus Receptus" and the "Critical Text."

Additionally, the King James version attempts to translate the Greek and Hebrew texts literally. Tyndale sought to produce a translation that closely rendered the literal meaning of each word; the revisions that came later followed his example. In contrast, the Amplified Bible is primarily concerned with clearly presenting an intensified meaning of the ideas within each sentence. Therefore, the Amplified Bible often translates sentences with greater length and intensity than the King James version. However, the translators of the Amplified Bible determined to employ a fair amount of familiar wording used in the earlier versions, such as the King James, to preserve the feeling of an ancient book.

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