“The Expanded Bible”

The Expanded Bible, by Thomas Nelson, is an interesting take on biblical translation. With contributing scholars Tremper Longman III, Mark L. Strauss, and Daniel Taylor, Thomas Nelson Publishing has released their very own version of the scriptures. The New Testament only, Expanded Bible does not have an index, concordance, set of maps, commentary, or the like. Rather, it is simply their translation for reading purposes, but, well, expanded.


After attempting to use this book to for reference in teaching a Bible study, I have concluded the following:



Easy to read

Good typeface

Scriptures in bold, alternative options regular text, enclosed in brackets

Referential scriptures on side panel to view story in other parts of NT (parables, etc.)

Thicker paper to permit highlighting, pen marks without bleeding

Larger font than most Bibles, easier to read with less eye strain



Translation team only consists of three members

Not very durable

Advertised as Bible translation but fits the bill of paraphrase


Quite some time goes into the research from original texts, etc., even when it comes to revisions of the same translation. It is very important to ensure that the scriptures are, in fact, the scriptures. In the “Introduction” to the book, there is no evidence of sound research, etc., that is provided by other translations. Rather, there is only an explanation on the creation of another translation, and the statement, “no translation serves the goals of clarity, accuracy, and readability better than The Expanded Bible.”


While this text can be used for reading and provision of resource for research when creating lesson plans, it seems to be more of a paraphrase than legitimate scripture. Falling in line with The Message, this book is an excellent resource for enhancing your understanding of the scriptures, but is not scripture in itself. Great as a resource, but not recommended as a Bible.

Disclosure: I have received a reviewer copy and/or payment in exchange for an honest review of the product mentioned in this post.