Tuesday, February 16, 2010

The Voice New Testament

The Voice New Testament is a new “translation” of the New Testament that has been done by Ecclesia Bible Society. It would probably be best called a devotional Bible as opposed to a study Bible. It has notes and clarifications throughout, but all the notes serve to clarify the main thrust of the New Testament according to the authors—that being the idea of “The Liberating King and His Church.”

This translation is very well done and easy to read. It has attempted to retain the fact that the Bible was written by multiple authors with differing styles. Whereas most translations come across as uniform and academic in their attempt to stay faithful to the original text, this “retelling” uses writers, artists, and musicians in addition to scholars. The introductions to each book are very well written, concise, and clarify the background details that help the reader better understand what they are about to read.

On a more cautious note, the writers have taken a pretty big liberty with certain parts of the text. Most versions of the Bible either translate word for word form the original texts, or else attempt a more “idea for idea” approach. Almost all of them will indicate additional words that were not in the original with italics. The Voice makes use of italics to let the reader know when they have added words or sentences that don’t even apply to a loose translation. That’s right—they have added commentary right into the text. This could be a huge problem for those who do not read the introduction—about 99% of people.

Maybe it would be good to refer to this book as a straight devotional, or even a “sermonization” of the Bible and not a translation.

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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their Book Review Blogger program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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