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Still an awesome translation, but backtracking from the superior first Voice version (of the NT) January 11, 2013
I've been reading from the older version of The Voice New Testament for over a year now. I bought it before this complete version was available. And man, I fell in love! It's exactly what it's advertised to be: a fresh, breathing, livable translation of the Bible that seems to be full of life and newness. It's amazing as a devotional translation. (Disclaimer: like everyone else says, the Voice shouldn't be your primary Bible if you're making strong decisions on issues of doctrine, that's obvious.) In many ways, I can say it helped to renew and refresh my relationship with God, by making his story so much more real in its context and in its application to my life. I loved the fact that there were very few religious words (like Christ and baptize and apostle) still remaining in it. I have an undergrad degree in theology, so sure, I knew what all those words mean. But religious terminology (that has no meaning outside the church) is like a division between real life and spiritual life. It's not that you can't make the connection, but you have to take extra steps to make the connection - you have to TRY... HARD! That's why the Voice (the first version) is so vibrant. What you try to do is understand the mystery and beauty and grace of Jesus and the hard truths he brought. But you don't try to bridge the gap and jump the leap just to understand (i.e. remember the meaning of) the words used to describe him. It really just makes you feel closer to God and his story. So I was thrilled and anxious for months to get this new version of The Voice that includes the Old Testament as well. We all know that the Old Testament has an even larger cultural/linguistic gap between its actual conveyance and us modern readers. Surely the Voice would be the best one to eliminate that barrier, right?
Well, so far, that's my major disappointment with this new version. I'm actually still poking around in the New Testament, but I noticed some major changes already. For one, they brought back in a LOT of religious terminology! The Messiah or the Christ is no longer translated as "The Liberating King" (how vibrant and alive!) but now is simply "the Anointed" or "Anointed One". Man, that's just awful! Sure, I know that's a more literal translation, but that's not why I read the Voice! The truth is, "Anointed" is meaningless in modern day life. It has no connection to the real world we live in. No one anoints anyone anymore and the significance of what that means is lost on us! Yes, there are plenty of preachers going around telling their own version of what "anointed" or "anointing" means, but their wildly different takes on it should be enough to tell us that "anointed" is itself too loaded of a religious word, too divided to convey truth with clarity! And absolutely meaningless (other than some references to old Chinese or Japanese martial arts movies) to those outside the church. Whereas "Liberating King" certainly maintains meaning to all modern readers and also conveys very accurately the expectations that Jews had of the Messiah back at that time. So every time it was mentioned (in the older version of The Voice), the text just came alive and I saw how meaningful and significant the discussion really was! With "Anointed", it's like my reading of the text halts and I have to remind myself, re-translate, what that meant to people at the time. It's a barrier between me and God's word.
Secondly, I've noticed the use of the word "Apostles" where the first version used to say "emissaries". Why? Again, "apostles" is a meaningless word in modern contexts - it's religious to the core. And while I know it's true meaning is "those who were sent out" or "emissary", again it's true that modern religious people load it with all sorts of various contexts and connotations that aren't the same. And for those outside the church, the word "Apostle" is absolutely meaningless. Now, I haven't read enough to see how often they maintain the word "Apostle" but even a few times without a mention of its real meaning is too many!
I even saw the word "baptizer" (for John) instead of "immerser" or "ritual cleansing" (though "immerse" was always included in a footnote when it said "ritual cleansing" in the old version). Again, why? Again, "baptism" is a religious word with multiple loaded meanings depending on people's tradition. So it doesn't convey either the original text or the truth clearly! And for those outside the church, it's a worthless word!
So why all this regression from the most accessible and vibrantly clear Bible text I've ever read, back into something more religious and divisive? Why take a text that really allowed you to "step into the story of Scripture" and reinstall some religious gaps and divides between the reader and the text? Especially in the interest of non-Christians, this again makes it harder for them to really feel the life of God's story, by including meaningless (to the modern reader) religious terminology.
In all fairness, it still reads very well in parts where those religious words aren't included. The in-text descriptions are still very good as a whole. It may still be the best translation (for devotional purposes) that's available. But why regress to religious meaninglessness (again, I'm talking about towards modern readers, not about people who are able to translate religious words accurately) when they were already doing so amazingly well at avoiding religious terminology the first time? It's not like they didn't explain what they were translating, and it's not like they didn't include footnotes with actual literal translations for those words that they translated more modern. So why backtrack from where they already were?
Anyway, I'm still happy to have the full version (I'm excited to read the OT in this version), but I really wish they'd kept the positive practice of translating religious words rather than maintaining them in all their muddled confusion and divisiveness to modern religious people and absolute meaninglessness to modern non-religious people.
Oh, and a minor note that makes little real difference: I did prefer the font and page break graphics of the first version too. It seemed to make the text a little more "special", sort of in the same sense as an illuminated manuscript from the medieval or renaissance times. The new typesetting just seems a little more straightforward and boring. So, a minor loss. Same as the fact that the pages are a lot thinner (rather than more like an actual book in the first version). Though I imagine these pages are thin just because the Bible is already big and heavy even as is, and I can't imagine what it'd be like to have the same page-weight as the first version (of the NT).
Review by Adam
Miraculous combination of study and daily reading Bible. September 6, 2012
I loved the subtitle Step Into the Story of Scripture. The Voice accomplished this through using a script style of speaking dialogue (identifying not only who was speaking but to whom) and through their commentaries which gave eye-opening revelations into the customs and culture of those days thus shedding light on otherwise difficult passages. They even included 4 reading plans to assist the reader to step into the story as well as many other special helps, calendars and readings for holidays.
The Voice is definitely a perfect name for this version. I gained a greater understanding of the heart of The Father through the additional notes and thus His voice is clearer to me. The Voice is a combination study bible and a daily reading bible.
I appreciate the hard work and hours of prayer that obviously went into this version as well as the dedication required to accomplish the task of translating scripture from the old to the new. It amazed me that they were able to capture truth by using plain simple English. I believe it is nothing short of miraculous and definitely Holy Spirit breathed. This read gave me a greater respect for God's holiness and authority (unlike some other modern day translations).
I absolutely love this version. I have already recommended it to my pastor and all my friends. I reviewed this on my Motorola Xoom Tablet, but will definitely purchase a hard copy for my personal daily reading. I plan to use this version exclusively.
Review by Nellie Dee
A Great Bible for All! June 19, 2012
I love the layout of this bible! I found it easy to read, almost like a story, that it is presented in an easy-to-understand language. Using the kindle, you have the ability to jump to referenced sections easily and by hitting the back button, you are right back to where you were reading. There are also three years of daily scriptures to help you to read your bible daily. When God of Jesus is speaking, I like how it shows up as "Jesus:" so you can easily see when He is speaking. This is a nice version to have with you all the time when you have your kindle with you! I would highly recommend this version to anyone, especially to someone who is new to reading the bible!
Review by Diane
Amazing!!! April 25, 2012
This Bible is outstanding! A friend shared his, that he won from your recent Facebook contest. I LOVE this Bible...I will be ordering mine :0)
Review by Shaun
Awesome Bible April 17, 2012
This is exactly what I have been praying to find in daily devotional Bible reading. I haven't been able to afford my own copy, but what I have gotten is just the best for someone like myself that hates to read anything, because not being able to stay focused or interested long enough.
I would love to see this complete VOICE Bible translation printed in a larger print and possibly a women's Designer look cover or something in Leathersoft material. I love the easy to read purple print like some other version have. Purple ink is very soothing on the eyes for some reason, or maybe that's just my preferance. This is the greatest gift to give to anyone.
Review by LaBuck
Accurate, Brilliant, Clever March 28, 2012
I have read this entire version and I would recommend this bible for anyone with a desire to know God and His Word. For those beginning to study, it is very easy to read and a compelling page turner. The gospels are cleverly narrated without taking away from the message. The letters from Paul have a feel as if they were written in a language that could have one think they were written last week. It makes all of the books simple to understand without being trendy or gives solid inspiration from the Word.
For those familiar with the bible, it gives a remarkably fresh read with concise commentaries written into the verses and excellent side notes to fill in historic events and customs of the writer's time. The introductions give readers a quick background that can also help in giving sermons or bible studies. The Voice clarifies, amplifies verses and gives readers new favorite verses to meditate and quote.
For scholars this is a "whole bible" includes Textus Receptus renderings without leaving out scriptures as many recent translations do. Since I have read the entire NT many times including the KJ, NKJ, NIV, AMP, RSV, ASV, Living bible, Word26, Kenneth Weust, Aramaic, Original Greek and more; I can say that in my opinion, this is the best of all I have read. Although I like different bibles for study, and I have always favored the King James, if I only had one bible to keep or share around the world, this would be it. You won't want to lend or give away this masterpiece without having another for yourself!
Review by Jeff
Love it March 27, 2012
This reads like a book or "play" and makes it easier to understand and stay focused. I love it.
Review by Aneil
The Voice™ is a faithful dynamic equivalent translation that reads like a story with all the truth and wisdom of God's Word. Through compelling narratives, poetry, and teaching, The Voice invites readers to enter into the whole story of God, enabling them to hear God speaking and to experience His presence in their lives. Through a collaboration of nearly 120 biblical scholars, pastors, writers, musicians, poets, and artists, The Voice recaptures the passion, grit, humor, and beauty that is often lost in the translation process. The result is a retelling of the story of the Bible in a form as fluid as modern literary works yet painstakingly true to the original manuscripts.
- Two-color text
- Italicized information added to help contemporary readers understand what original readers would have known intuitively
- In-text commentary notes that include cultural, historical, theological, or devotional thoughts
- Screenplay format, ideal for public readings and group studies
- Book introductions
- Presentation page for personalization
- Reading plans for Lent, Easter, Advent, and more
- Topical Guide to the Notes
- Topical Guide to the Scripture
Part of the Signature Series line of Thomas Nelson Bibles
The Voice Bibles sold to date: More than 308,000
Thomas Nelson Bibles is giving back through the God’s Word in Action program. Donating a portion of profits to World Vision, we are helping to eradicate poverty and preventable deaths among children. Learn more and discover what you can do at www.seegodswordinaction.com.
|Who it's for||
|Publication Date||April 10, 2012|