The Clear Word

The Clear Word
Full name The Clear Word
Other names The Clear Word "An Expanded Paraphrase"
Abbreviation TCW
Language English
Complete Bible
Authorship Jack Blanco
Translation type 100% paraphrase rate, Contemporary
Version revision 1996
Publisher Jack Blanco
Copyright 1994

The Clear Word, originally published in March 1994 as the Clear Word Bible, is an English-language "devotional paraphrase of the Bible expanded for clarity".[1][2] It is an interpretive text of the Bible written as a personal devotional exercise by Jack Blanco, former dean of the School of Religion at Southern Adventist University, to be an additional study tool and devotional alongside the Bible. Major portions of the translation are material added by the author.[3] It is printed in chapter-and-verse format, two columns to a page.

The free paraphrase [4] was initially printed at the school by the Southern College Press of Southern Adventist University and sold in Church-owned Adventist Book Centers. Though The Clear Word is not officially endorsed by the Seventh-day Adventist Church, it is now being printed by the Review and Herald Publishing Association.

History and reception

Blanco originally wrote The Clear Word as a devotional exercise for himself. After friends and family saw what he did, they encouraged him to publish it. The New Testament part was first published and readers widely received and encouraged him to do the whole Bible.

It is considered a free paraphrase of the Bible:

Free paraphrase: Paraphrases take great liberty with the biblical text and seek to convey the meaning of the author using contemporary phrases and metaphors. The best-known paraphrases are The Clear Word (Clear Word), The Living Bible (TLB), and The Message (Message). [5]

In the preface Blanco explains precisely what he did in producing the paraphrase.

Chapters 11 and 12 of Daniel were a challenge. Here more interpretative freedom in the light of historical studies and related prophecies (such as found in Revelation) had to be exercised in order to make the chapters more readable and understandable. In the New Testament, I attempted to harmonize in the four gospels what at first appears to be contradictory. The more difficult passages were made clearer by allowing each gospel to inform the other three and elaborating on certain points or scenes revealed in the other gospels. Certain passages from the book of Acts, a historical narrative, were slightly expanded with insights gleaned from commentaries. The epistles of Paul were the most difficult to paraphrase.[6]

A former President of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, Pastor Robert S. Folkenberg read it and endorsed it. It was also advertised on more than one occasion in the Adventist Review.[7]

Blanco himself states in the preface of the book, "Those who are better qualified have given readers of the Holy Scriptures excellent translations for such purposes and undoubtedly will continue to do so as additional manuscripts come to light."

Controversy and criticism

In response to criticism, the South Pacific Division of the church released the following statement:

The Clear Word Bible is not produced, nor endorsed by the Seventh-day Adventist Church, but is the private enterprise of an individual.

The Adventist Church does not use the Clear Word edition, which includes passages from Ellen G. White’s writings, for its worship services and Bible studies around the world, but quotes from well known and well accepted Bible translations in the various languages. In the English language for example, the church uses the King James Version, the Revised Standard Version, the New American Bible, [sic] [recte New American Standard Bible] the New International Version, and others

Australasian Conference Association Limited[8]

David Newman, editor of Ministry magazine wrote a letter expressing concerns about The Clear Word (June 28, 1994), stating that "A cursory examination of the Clear Word Bible reveals the prolific addition of many ideas not found in Scripture."[9]

Others within the church, such as Phil Ward, have expressed criticism in two areas. One that the current publisher does not have a large enough footprint to get The Clear Word out to mainstream Christian book centers, and that the paraphrase has too much extra material in it.[10]

See also


  1. preface to the Clear Word
  2. So Many Versions by William G. Johnsson, March 16, 2006 issue of Adventist Review, page 5, "The Clear Word is an 'Adventist' paraphrase, incorporating insights from Ellen White."
  4. Choosing a Bible Translation by Michael Zwaagstra,
  5. "Choosing a Bible Translation". Seventh-day Adventist Church. Retrieved 2014-02-15.
  6. "Preface Condensation". South Pacific Division, Seventh-day Adventist Church. Retrieved 2007-03-30.
  7. Folkenberg endorsement and Adventist Review advertisement, reproduced by
  8. "Do Adventists have their own edition of the Bible called the Clear Word?". South Pacific Division, Seventh-day Adventist Church. Archived from the original on June 7, 2007. Retrieved 2013-10-09.
  9. David Newman. "Letter (reproduced by". Retrieved 2007-03-29.
  10. "Clear Word Bible:exceptional, but...". Archived from the original on April 8, 2009. Retrieved 2013-10-09.
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