Thursday, October 18, 2012

The Voice Bible by Ecclesia Bible Society [Book Review]

So I finally got a copy of the buzzed and most talked about latest bible translation (The Voice) and can’t wait to share my experience using it with you in this review.

I have a big thing for Bible translations and paraphrases, honestly I do. And it’s not really an obsession of sorts; it’s just the beauty and advantage they bring along in making the bible relevant with today’s culture. How the context is amplified and how there so much rich enlightenment and practicality by just reading a modern translation. Texts that made no meaning in the old somehow just pops out and become a life verse or a wisdom nugget in the new. This has been seen in popular versions such as ‘The New Living Translation’, ‘The Message’ (by Eugene Peterson) and ‘The New Century Version’

So the BIG question is (which I also asked as I opened up ‘The Voice’ for the first time) ‘What does ‘The Voice’ (uniquely) has to offer?’ or better said ‘Why should I choose ‘The Voice’ over other versions in the market?’ 

The first thing that caught me off guard as I opened ‘The Voice’ was the ‘Shakespearean’ format in which it was written (obviously not language or grammar wise. Lol). It’s written like a play, where the person speaking is highlighted before the statement, and this is so creative and beautiful. I can’t wait for a couple of friends to get it too so we can read the bible out loud together choosing different characters in a particular passage. One word; Coolness!  Another great feature I noticed was the addition of context, i.e. a verse is actually written in such a way that supplementary information which is contextual but not scriptural is included to help readers who are unfamiliar with the story or with the ancient world understand the text better. For example let’s say Matthew 2:22 (where the bible talks about King Herod’s son), it reads like this in ‘The Voice

Soon he learned that Archealaus, Herod’s oldest and notoriously brutal son, was ruling Judea. Archelaus might not be any friendlier than Herod had been. Joseph was simply afraid. He had another dream, and in this dream, he was warned away from Judea; so Joseph decided to settle up north in a district called Galilee.

We see in this verse how the italicized lines aren’t really a part of the verse in the other translations but help give context to the verse.

Something else which makes the voice unique are inbuilt commentaries written by yours truly modern people such as artists like Matt Wertz, Tara Leigh Cobble, Jill Phillips, Charlie Hall, Kendall Payne, Sara Groves and also writers such as the much loved Donald Miller ( 'Blue Like Jazz') , Lauren Winner ('Girl Meets God') , Matthew Paul Turner  ('What You Didn't Learn from Your Parents About Christianity') and Kerry Shook ( Senior Pastor 'Woodlands Church' Texas). 

With a few days already (digging) into this version, I must say it is packed and there is so much more (including several charts (also genealogy charts) to give a quick and larger context  to a biblical passage, Added information to set the scene for dialogue, Longer commentaries, study charts and lots more).  

I believe ‘The Voice’ is a great study resource and also a bible to take for group meetings. It is rich and had the modern, hip reader in mind who has spent a major part of his life reading and watching stories set in set in scenes and dialogue while being translated and also the reader who wants more and has a thirst for what God has been trying to say through his word. 

Looking for the bible to come alive in 3D with rich colors like a cinema screen before you? ‘The Voice’ is your best bet.

* Please note, ‘The Voice’ is a modern language dynamic equivalent translation.

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