Psalm 51:10 – “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right, persevering, and steadfast spirit within me” (AMP)
Abstract: In the 1950s a woman from my home State undertook a task to transcribe and publish a new Bible translation. This is her story of determination to see her dream come to reality and through all obstacles.
Key to Text:
Bold highlighting = Important terms and concepts. Blue Bold highlighting = Words, terms and concepts containing primarily a spiritual sense or TRUTH. Red Bold highlighting = Words, terms, and concepts containing a sense directly related to The Lord Himself or LOVE. Gray Bold highlighting = Words, terms, and concepts relating to Evil and Hell. Italic letters in (parentheses) = My emphasis.
Most of us are familiar with Strong’s concordance, but did you know that Dr. James Strong spent 35 years preparing this remarkable dictionary of the Hebrew Bible and the Greek Testament before it was published in 1890? Or that every word was researched manually? The Christian Herald (September 1947) called it “a book to defy description”.
In 1950, at the age of 69, Mrs. Frances E. Siewert didn’t have much training in Hebrew and Greek, but she got the idea of producing a Bible that “amplified” the true, original meaning of the Word. With some financial help from the Lockman Foundation and Zondervan publishers, the Amplified New Testament was published in 1958 and the Amplified Old Testament in 1964.
Let’s ask ourselves what our dream or vision is. What plan has God placed before us? Is it too hard? Are we disappointed because we expected it to come to fruition in just a few weeks? Are we upset because we are still pushing toward the goal and it seems farther away than ever? Do we have family and friends telling us just to give up?
Will we be making the same old tired excuses this time next year? Or will we be moving steadily in the right direction, no matter how long it takes?
Do we have the Strong/Siewert perseverance? Of course, we do. If we asked Jesus into our life, His Holy Spirit lives in us. He’s ready and waiting to help us get started.
Prayer: Father, we have lost our way. Please renew a right, persevering, and steadfast spirit within us. Help us not to lose heart as we walk toward Your goal for us. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen. (December 30, 2010, by Brenda Wood).
Amplified Bible – Break Through the Language Barrier – Biography of Mrs. Frances Siewert
As the official Research Secretary of the project, Mrs. Frances Siewert (Litt. B., B.D., M.A., Litt. D.) laid the foundation for the Amplified Bible. Mrs. Siewert (1881-1967) dedicated her life to the intensive study of the Scriptures as well as to the cultural and archaeological background of biblical times. The Editorial Board, appointed by The Lockman Foundation, carefully reviewed her monumental work on the New Testament. The edited and proofread translation was then submitted to a committee of qualified Greek consultants.
Twenty-seven translations and versions of the New Testament were meticulously examined and continually compared, while the Greek text of Westcott and Hort, the standard of the time, was pursued with utmost care. The result was the Amplified New Testament in 1958. This was followed by a two-volume Amplified Old Testament in 1962 and 1964, which was the work of the editorial committee, a staff of qualified Hebrew consultants, and, once again, Mrs. Siewert’s contributions as Research Secretary. All of this culminated with the one-volume Amplified Bible in 1965.
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 AmplifiedBible project, 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:
• At six years of age knew scores of hymns and Bible verses.
• At ten passed an oral examination on the Catechism.
• At fifteen entered the academy of Pacific University, deeply religious atmosphere, compulsory Bible study.
• At seventeen was meeting regularly with classmates to help them prepare for their Bible lessons.
• At 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 Willamette’s 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, “cum laude.”)
• At twenty-two married a minister, who was a brilliant Greek student.
• At 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.
• At twenty-nine received Master of Arts degree from Willamette University. Thesis subject, “The Effect of the Bible on English Language.”
• At 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).
• At thirty-three teaching Bible to girls and women on campus at the University of Washington, downtown in Seattle from city’s high schools and factories.
• At thirty-six teaching young people and teachers of Bible in Denver, Colorado.
• At 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 the meantime, completed seventeen reading courses at the 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.
• In 1940 left a widow. Devoted full time to biblical research for ministers and religious writers.
• From 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.