Wednesday, January 4

The Voice: New Testament

Working with Ecclesia Bible Society, Thomas Nelson has published, “The Voice,” a new translation of the New Testament.  The goal of “The Voice” is to make the story of the Bible readable and engaging, even for those who may be unfamiliar with the texts.  I’ll do my best here to highlight what differentiates this from other translations.
      1) The formatting was designed to make it readable and understandable.   Whenever anyone is speaking, their words are preceded by the speaker’s name, and their dialogue is separated from the previous paragraphs to make it clear when they are speaking.  Especially in situations where there are multiple speakers, I found that this makes it easier to follow the flow of a conversation.

      2)  In the preface, it is noted that not everything is a fully literal translation.  There are moments of  italicized type which are used to present information that the writers of the Bible would’ve known, but which might not be known today.  There are also times where the text is broken up to provide additional historical context, or in some cases, devotional thoughts.  Overall, I found these to be helpful.  For example, in some of Paul’s letters, it emphasized where tones shift, and direction is provided to help the reader understand the importance of the shift.  Other times, it seems a bit burdensome to read.  For example, during the story of Jesus going to Lazarus’ grave in John, Martha says, “…if You had been with us, my brother would not have died.”.”  Immediately afterward, text is added which reads, “They are asking, if Jesus loves Lazarus so much, why didn’t He get here much sooner?”  The additional thoughts did not seem to enhance the text in this case.  Thankfully, the unhelpful additions did not seem to occur very often.

Overall, I was quite pleased with “The Voice.”  I am no Bible scholar, but the translations was quite readable.  If you’re a stickler for translations, you may want to avoid it, but it definitely seemed that in forming this translation, care was taken to ensure that it was both readable and that it would not lose the message.  In many cases, the historical context offered could even help further insight and understanding into the text.

4/5 stars

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