Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The Voice New Testament

Open up this newer translation of the New Testament and step into the story of the scripture…this New Testament takes a different approach to presenting the Word for readers. First, it is presented in a screenplay format when dialogue is presented. Secondly, they use italic type to insert word or phrases that are supposed to add understanding to the original text. Lastly, they have delineated material to expand on the them in specific passages. This translation is meant to be more artistic in is presentation and more readable to people today.

First, I liked the formatting of the dialogue into a screenplay format. It visually helps to separate dialogue from narrative and therefore helps to create a mind picture of those who are speaking. Next, I liked that they provided a brief overview of each book and the historical setting. Finally, I liked the little notes scattered throughout the book.

On the other hand, there are a few things I’m concerned about. First, they exchange the phrase the Word in John 1:1 with the Voice. They provided their reasoning behind this, but I felt that it still fell short. A word gives meaning and purpose, but a voice can be used without meaning and purpose, and so I was uncomfortable with their use of it. For example, in the KJV John 1:1-4 is rendered as follows:

1In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2The same was in the beginning with God. 3All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. 4In him was life; and the life was the light of men.

In the Voice, it is rendered as follows(italic word were added to add to understanding):

Before time itself was measured, the Voice was speaking. The voice was and is God.

2This [celestial] Word remained ever present with the Creator; His speech shaped the entire cosmos. 3. [Immersed in the process of creating,] all things that exist were birthed in Him. 4. His breath filled all things with a living, breathing light-

Please note that I added brackets to the italic words for sites that don’t render italics.

Once question on verse four… were is the word “men“? How is this translation similar? I do confess, that haven’t read the original Greek, but there is a lot of difference here, especially verse 4.

Another item, that I would like to address are the italic words that are added. I like the idea, but I don’t’ always agree that the information adds my understanding of every passage. I thought some were unnecessary. I also fear that some people might take these italicized words and count them as God’s word. The translators did explain what they were doing well, but I do think that this might be hard for some people to separate.

Overall, I liked the idea behind the translation, and I liked the format and presentation. I do feel that there needs to be more work on the translation side. If you read this, make sure you don’t substitute it for another translation , but read it alongside the other and compare. 

Update:  As I learn more about Bibles like the Voice, I cannot recommend it.  I do apologize if anyone read this an bought it because of my review.  Any time the Bible is translated, it should be translated as close to the original, not adapted to be relevant to a society.  The Bible is relevant to society in and of itself.  Please do not buy this copy but get a properly translated Bible to study.

This book was provided by Thomas Nelson’s book review blogger’s program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my very own. I am disclosing this according to the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

The Voice

Step Into the Story of Scripture

New Testament

By Ecclesia Bible Society

Thomas Nelson Publishers

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