Friday, March 30, 2012

The Voice..A Review

As a member of the Thomas Nelson Blog Bunch (that nifty button to the right --->) I have the privilege of being able to review a copy of The Voice New Testament for freeeeeee! :)  What a gift!

We have many Bibles in our home, between the Husband and I both attending seminary, the kids each having a Bible and the Bibles we all have been gifted.  I do not consider myself an expert or Biblical scholar.  (You should know by now, that I do not like to call myself an expert of anything.)  However, I do know enough about scripture to know when I've got something wonderful in my hands.

I returned home from my funeral journey to a package and inside that package was The Voice.  What a blessing to find a new way of reading God's word after such an emotional and faith-requiring journey!

The scripture that was topmost on my mind was 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18, so that is where I turned.  I read those verses from the New American Bible over and over again as I prepared to read them at the Mass and then again afterward as I reminded myself of the hope in the God's word, so I turned to it immediately and loved the way the story was told.  The Voice is intended to invite us to "Step into the story of scripture" and that is just what I did as I read.  The meaning did not change from the other translations on my counter (there are three others there right now).  What changed was the relational aspect of the text, the communication and accessibility.  

The Voice, from what I have read so far, is a wonderful way to experience the New Testament.  And I do mean "experience". It is a gift to have a different and yet true way to read scripture.

From the Preface: Our idea was to set up a collaborative  process whereby scholars and writers could work together to create a translation that was faithful and accurate to the original languages while at the same time beautiful and readable to our English-speaking audience. (p. xiii)

The phrase faithful and accurate to the original languages is key.  I really felt that was a true statement as I sampled various parts of The Voice.  Translating from the original language (in the case of the New Testament, Greek) is not cut and dried as there are contextual particularities as well as variations in meaning depending on that context etc.  (This happens in English too if you think about homonyms such a "bow".)  

The Voice also takes into account that the Bible as we know it is compiled of writings by many different people who were inspired by God.  The Voice retains the unique literary perspective of the human writers.  Most English translations attempt to even out the styles of the different authors in sentence structure and vocabulary.  Instead, The Voice distinguishes the uniqueness of each author. (p. xi)  I feel that this uniqueness speaks to and honors our own experience and personal relationship with God.  By recognizing that we all may not use the same words and express our faith in the same way, we are honoring that we are all uniquely and wonderfully made in His image but not identical.

The Voice is a wonderful addition to devotion time and and opportunity to experience scripture as a story.


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