Amplified Bible vs. KJV; What’s the Difference?


This is part of Lord’s Library’s Bible Comparison Series. Our editors explore the Amplified Bible vs. KJV so you can understand the major differences between each translation.

Bible Comparison Series BadgeWhen looking for a new Bible for yourself or as a gift, comparing the different Bible versions is an ideal first step. It’s also important that one considers the various Christian Church denominations when Bible shopping so the reader can be comfortable with their translation’s version of English. Some churches mandate a precise edition as well, while others may be curious about which version of the manuscript their favorite Bible translation comes from.

.If you’ve ever asked the question “What’s the difference between the Amplified Bible vs. KJV?” you’ve come to the right place. It’s in this spirit that our editors compiled this short resource by first offering a simple description of each Bible version, and then a comparison that highlights key contrasts. For each of the two Bible versions compared, Lord’s Library editors included links to our directories of the best editions, as well as the most popular products.

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Amplified Bible vs. KJV

What is the Amplified Bible?

The Amplified Bible was produced as a joint project between Zondervan (the English publisher of the NIV Bible) and The Lockman Foundation (a non-profit, interdenominational Christian ministry dedicated to the translation, publication, and distribution of the NASB and Amplified Bible). The first edition of the Amplified Bible was published in 1965, mostly as a revision of the ASV Bible of 1901.

The goal in this paraphrase is to “amplify” the text of the Bible by using additional wording alongside a system of punctuation and other typographical features that bring out a clearer meaning to the Bible. These features make it a unique choice of Bible. There was a later revision done in 2015. For each Bible version compared, our editors added links to Lord’s Library’s directory of top-rated editions, as well as to the most popular single product.

More: What is the Amplified Bible?

What is the KJV (King James Version)?

The KJV (King James Version) has stood the test of time and proven itself by becoming the best-selling English Bible translation of all time. This is because it boasts incredible accuracy to the manuscripts from which it was translated and a rich, vibrant language. The complete King James Bible was originally published in 1611 after being commissioned by King James VI.

The historical significance of this Bible translation is astounding, so much so that it has been credited with shaping much of the culture of the English-speaking world. Today, the King James Version still proves to be an effective and reliable translation, with its only caveat being that the language it’s written in is not friendly to the average reader.

Amplified Bible vs. KJV (King James Version); What’s the Difference?

Comparing the Amplified Bible vs. KJV shows an interesting contrast because they represent two very different sides of Bible translation history. While the King James Version is the oldest and most traditional English Bible available, the Amplified Version breaks ground as a modern innovation. Different readers also use these two versions for varying applications.

The Amplified Bible’s goal was to take the word, meaning, and context into account to accurately translate the original text from one language to another. The AMP does this through the use of explanatory alternate readings and amplifications to assist the reader in understanding what Scripture really says. Multiple English word equivalents to each key Hebrew and Greek word clarify and amplify meanings that may otherwise have been concealed by the traditional translation method.

This innovative use of explanations within the text itself set the Amplified Bible apart from the very traditional word-for-word approach of the King James Bible. Naturally, being published in 1965, the Amplified Bible boasts easier-to-read language than its 1611 King James counterpart. Both have their strengths and weaknesses born from the respective eras in which they were produced.

These Bibles fall on two different extremes as far as translation goes: the Amplified Bible is modern and innovative while the King James Bible is the benchmark of tradition. Whichever of those frameworks fits you will determine which Bible is best for your personal study.

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Timothy Andrew
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Timothy Andrew

Timothy Andrew

Tim is the Founder of Lord's Library. He believes the Bible commands us to minister "as of the ability which God giveth" (1 Peter 4:11). Tim aspires to be as The Lord's mouth by "taking forth the precious from the vile" (Jeremiah 15:19) and witnessing The Gospel of Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 15: 1-4) to the whole world.

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