Saturday, October 29, 2011

A Bible Translation for a Story-Driven Culture: A Review of The Voice New Testament

The writers of the New Testament were men who chose carefully the words they wanted to use to convey the story of God that they were caught up in. Their audiences were unique, and each writer would communicate in a way that made the most sense of the message to the people they were talking to. These were men who were carried along by the Holy Spirit in what they wrote, and the preservation of what they wrote was fiercely fought for. These men were writers and storytellers as much as they were anything else, and their giftedness with words bled through every page.

There have been some great English translations that have tried to capture the word-for-word meaning of what these men wrote into our own language (the ESV and the NKJV are two of my personal favorites). Thomas Nelson Publishing and the Ecclesia Bible Society led by innovative pastor Chris Seay teamed up to produce a new type of translation, one that takes a translation approach described as "contextual equivalence."

This new translation is called THE VOICE, and the whole Bible, including the Old Testament, will be released in 2012. THE VOICE translators realized that context determines the meaning of words and that there are many unique nuances to the original text that need to be translated into English in such a way that the force of impact, as well as understanding, is communicated accurately to a modern English audience, especially one that is immersed in a story-driven culture.

THE VOICE seeks to capture not only the original words, but the original meaning and experience as well, with the goal that God's voice would be heard clearly through the reading of his Word.

I love that the translation team of THE VOICE was composed of several well-known biblical scholars and a team of writers and artists who specialize in the communication of important ideas through well-placed words. This approach resonated with me because, in this way, I see THE VOICE as a Bible that will appeal especially to writers, artists, and other creative types. It will also appeal well to a culture stories through a variety of different mediums.

Some of the other great features of THE VOICE NEW TESTAMENT are:

• dialogue attributions in screenplay format for easy recognition of who is speaking

• words in italics indicate words that aren't in the original text, but serve as helpful explanatory notes and transitional phrases that carry the story forward smoothly and clearly

• using the words Eternal One instead of Lord when translating God's name and Anointed One instead of Christ to properly convey what the word Christ means, and the addition of "Liberating King" where the idea is called for

• brief commentary notes throughout the text to aid in understanding

• informative book introductions

With THE VOICE NEW TESTAMENT, people are getting an accurate translation that is both visually and linguistically appealing by a team of people committed to creating a way for people to experience God's voice unhindered.

Look for THE VOICE NEW TESTAMENT available in November and the THE VOICE BIBLE in 2012.

I received this book for free for review from

What features do you love the most about your English translation of choice?

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