The Voice Bible published by Thomas Nelson Bibles is a new translation of the Holy Scriptures. Written as a narrative, The Voice was written to read like a story in an attempt to bring God’s Word to a generation of story-lovers. The translators have taken care remain true to the flow of the story as well as the message conveyed in the original text. By bringing the Word of God to us in story form, the publishers hope to open up the Bible to a generation of people who find typical Bible translations hard to follow and understand.
Several weeks ago, in a tongue-in-cheek post, I wrote that I could not read The Voice because it reminded me too much of the television show of the same name. So when the opportunity arose to review this new Bible translation I knew that The Voice deserved an unbiased look. I am glad that I did.
It must be noted that I have the electronic (iBook and kindle) version of this Bible and since e-books have certain layout limitations the study guides and helps that come with this version of the Bible are arranged a little differently than in the printed versions. As such I will focus my comments on the context of the actual Scriptures and not on the supplemental information found in this Bible.
The first thing that you will notice while reading The Voice is that it is written as a narrative and as such, the spoken words in the text are written in movie script fashion. In the beginning I was afraid that this would be off-putting to me, but that was not the case. This style of writing mimics the way we are accustomed to reading today and makes the story much easier to follow. It did not take long to become accustomed to this style of writing and it aids in the understanding of the story making it much easier to follow.
One of the things that I have always said is that the Bible contains story lines and plots that the greatest Hollywood writers have a hard time competing with. This is really where The Voice shines. A quick read of some of the great stories in the book of Genesis allows the reader to become immersed in the story as if it were the latest John Grisham novel.
In my review of this Bible translation I set about to read one book from the Old and New Testaments. I also tried to select the books to get a grasp on how the narrative translation worked across different writings. I selected the book of Numbers from the Old Testament and the book of Acts from the New. Once I finished reading these books I was enjoying the translation enough that I settled in to take in a couple of Psalms and Proverbs as well.
When looking at any Bible translation, one of the first questions that I ask myself is “Why?” Why do we need another translation? Well fortunately the good folks at Thomas Nelson have answered that question for us.
Who is it for?
The Voice is for everyone seeking to connect or reconnect with God through His story. It is for those who have never read the Bible and are curious, just as it is for new Christians who are ready to dive in eagerly. The Voice speaks to the person who has some experience with church but is seeking a new way to connect with God, as well as for active Christians who have been in the church all of their lives and are looking to get lost in the beauty of the story.
How is it different?
While care has been taken to accurately translate the individual words from the original texts, careful attention to how the idioms of the original languages are understood in English has also been taken. But it doesn’t stop there; The Voice considers the narrative links that help us to understand the drama and passion of story that is present in the original languages. The tone of the writing, the format of the page, and the directness of the dialog allows the tradition of passing down the biblical narrative to come through in The Voice.
I would have to agree that the translators have succeeded in their mission. I don’t read the Bible as a whole as much as I should, however, I probably study the verses more than the average layperson. The Voice Bible allows me to read the story of the Bible and not to get lost in my search for what is being communicated. I thoroughly enjoyed sitting down and reading the book of Acts and enjoying the story and the history of the early church. Since The Voice is written as a story it makes reading the Bible more enjoyable and easier to get involved in the story than your typical Bible translation.
I can not recommend The Voice for someone who is looking to undertake an exegetical study of the Scriptures. However, if you are looking to immerse yourself in the story of the Scriptures and hear the voice of God, then I would recommend you checking out The Voice. You might just hear the voice of God speaking to you in ways that you have never experienced before.
You can learn more about The Voice Bible at hearthevoice.com and download a free copy of The Voice New Testament.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
Have you read The Voice?
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