The first complete Bible produced
by The Lockman Foundation was the Amplified Bible. The Amplified
Bible is a translation that, by using synonyms and definitions, both
explains and expands the meaning of words in the text by placing amplification
and brackets and after key words or phrases.This unique system of translation
allows the reader to more completely grasp the meaning of the words as
in the original languages. Through multiple expressions, fuller and more revealing
appreciation is given to the divine message as the original text legitimately
The Amplified Bible is free of personal interpretation and is independent
of denominational prejudice. It is a translation from the accepted Hebrew, Aramaic,
and Greek manuscripts into literary English. It is based on the American
Standard Version of 1901, Rudolph Kittels Biblia Hebraica,
the Greek text of Westcott and Hort, and the 23rd edition of the Nestle
Greek New Testament as well as the best Hebrew and Greek lexicons available
at the time. Cognate languages, the Dead Sea Scrolls, and other Greek works
were also consulted. The Septuagint and other versions were compared for interpretation
of textual differences. In completing the Amplified Bible, translators
made a determined effort to keep, as far as possible, the familiar wording of
the earlier versions, and especially the feeling of the ancient Book.
Through amplification, the reader gains a better understanding of what the Hebrew
and Greek listener instinctively understood (as a matter of course).
Take, for example, the Greek word pisteuo, which the vast majority
of versions render as "believe." That simple translation, however,
hardly does justice to the many meanings contained in the Greek pisteuo:
"to adhere to, cleave to; to trust to have faith in; to rely on, to depend
on." Notice the subtle shades of meaning which are unlocked in John 11:25:
to her, I am [Myself] the Resurrection and the Life. Whoever believes in (adheres
to, trusts in, and relies on) Me, although he may die, yet he shall live."
Story of the Amplified Bible
The story of the Amplified Bible
is a remarkable story of faith, hope, and love. It's the story of a woman, a
foundation, a committee, and a publisher. Commitment, energy, enthusiasm, and
giftedness--these are the words that paint the picture, the picture of the making
of a translation.
Frances Siewert (Litt. B., B.D.,
M.A., Litt. D.) was a woman with an intense dedication to the study of the Bible.
It was Mrs. Siewert (1881-1967) who laid the foundation of the Amplified
Bible, devoting her life to a familiarity with the Bible, with the Hebrew
and Greek languages, and with the cultural and archaeological background of
Biblical times, which would result in the publication of this unique translation.
Every vision needs visionaries willing
to follow the cause. The story of this dream is no different. Mrs. Siewert's
vision was seen by a California non-profit foundation called The Lockman Foundation,
made up of Christian men and women who through their commitment, their expertise,
and their financial support under girded Mrs. Siewert's monumental translation
project. The Lockman Foundation's purpose remains today what is was then: to
promote Bible translation, Christian evangelism, education, and benevolence.
Commitment, energy, enthusiasm,
giftedness --the things visions are made of--describes the efforts of the committee
appointed by The Lockman Foundation to carefully review the impressive work
of Mrs. Siewert. This Editorial Board, made up of dedicated people, lent credibility
and organization to this unprecedented attempt to bring out the richness of
the Hebrew and Greek languages within the English text itself.
One chapter yet remained to bring
the vision into reality. A publishing house in Grand Rapids, Michigan, on its
way to becoming a major religious publishing firm, seized the opportunity to
participate in a project which all visionaries involved strongly believed would
be used by God to change lives. The Zondervan Publishing House joined the team,
and the dream became reality with the publication of The Amplified New Testament
in 1958, followed by the two-volume Amplified Old Testament in 1962 and 1964,
and the one-volume Amplified Bible in 1965.
of Mrs. Frances Siewert
Remembered by The Lockman Foundation
for her long life of tireless devotion to God, her expertise in the Greek language,
and for her impressive knowledge concerning Scripture, Mrs. Frances Siewert
went home to be with the Lord late Wednesday night, March 29, 1967. As the official
Research Secretary of the Amplified Bibleproject,
Mrs. Siewert displayed her tremendous passion for the Lord. This passion shown
brightly throughout her monumental task of laying the translation foundation
for the Amplified Bible.
Born in 1881, Mrs. Siewert (Litt.
B., B.D., M.A., Litt. D.) dedicated her life to the intensive study of the Scriptures
as well as to the cultural and archaeological background of biblical times.
When asked by The Lockman Foundation in 1956 to recount, in her own words, her
long journey as a Christian, Mrs. Siewert submitted the following amazing list
concerning her life as a Christian to that point:
six years of age knew scores of hymns and Bible verses.
ten passed an oral examination on the Catechism.
fifteen entered the academy of Pacific University, deeply religious atmosphere,
compulsory Bible study.
seventeen was meeting regularly with classmates to help them prepare for their
eighteen entered Willamette University. Elected president of the Y.W.C.A. under
intensely spiritual stimulus. Elected editor of the Willamette Collegian
by unanimous vote of all factions of the student body. (With no Bible in Willamettes
curriculum, she started a campaign to have it introduced, which authorities
honored and was graduated at barely twenty with the degree of Bachelor of Literature,
twenty-two married a minister, who was a brilliant Greek student.
twenty-four began helping ministers with their public written work, religious
authors and editors with their manuscripts, writing stories for Sunday School
material, some to be translated into German. Later, articles for such periodicals
as the Sunday School Times.
twenty-nine received Master of Arts degree from Willamette University. Thesis
subject, "The Effect of the Bible on English Language."
thirty-two received bachelor of divinity degree from Schuylkill Seminary (to
which the credits had been transferred to make the graduation of a woman possible).
thirty-three teaching Bible to girls and women on campus at the University of
Washington, downtown in Seattle from citys high schools and factories.
thirty-six teaching young people and teachers of Bible in Denver, Colorado.
forty teaching Bible daily in Clay County High School, Kansas, sixteen communities
represented. In constant demand for Bible lectures at clubs, conventions, and
in organized classes -- 254 such talks in one year. In meantime, completed seventeen
reading courses at University of Indiana, and earned considerable credit in
Psychology and teacher training at Kansas State College. Studied all of the
courses pertinent to Bible teaching.
1940 left a widow. Devoted full time to biblical research for ministers and
1952 to the present (1956) devoted time entirely to the translation task now
in hand, with the work of the Gospel of John, which preceded it.
For all her immense educational
preparation and thorough knowledge of Scripture, Mrs. Siewert always remained
a humble servant of the Lord. In correspondence dated Sept. 8, 1954 to The Lockman
Foundation President and Founder, F. Dewey Lockman, she stated, "Every
day, almost, I find myself bubbling with the thrill of discovering some shade
of meaning in the original Greek that had never been evident to me before. I
have averaged 4 hours a day of serious Bible study since 1914, when I was already
a theological seminary graduate, and yet I am finding daily evidence of the
fact that there are countless Scripture passages which have been obscure to
me until now."
With the Amplified Bible,
Mrs. Siewert left us a legacy of her love for God, and we are forever indebted
to her for her contributions, insight, and vision, which can still be seen today
throughout the pages of the Amplified Bible's unlocked word meanings
and timeless truths.