The good people at Thomas Nelson sent me a copy of The Expanded Bible: New Testament to review. The Expanded Bible is based on the New Century Version with expanded notes throughout the text that allow you to “study the bible as you read.” Study notes are integrated into the text, set off by brackets. These notes give different translation possibilities, a literal or traditional reading of the text, explanatory comments, cross references, or textual variants. After reading the concept behind this study Bible I was eager to give it a look.
So, how useful is the expanded material provided in The Expanded Bible? Many of the expansions provide additional insight into the text. Others simply provide a string of alternate word choices that are so similar to one another as to not be helpful.
Reading The Expanded Bibleis difficult. The expansions read like footnotes that have been inserted to the text, making reading quite clunky. It is hard to maintain the narrative flow of the text because of all of the expanded material. I prefer my footnotes to remain footnotes.
Final Vote: Useful, but clunky.
To see a translation that does a good job of integrating notes into the text in a readable way, check out The Voice, also published by Thomas Nelson.