The Voice®, a new Bible translation from Ecclesia Bible Society and Thomas Nelson Publishers, brings an unusual “flavor and color to the Bible story” enhanced by screenplay formatting, color-highlighted text and speaker identification tags. The result is a “…hybrid of the word-for-word, thought-for-thought…” transcription most translations use. While The Voice has met with mixed reviews I’ll begin with what I liked.
There is much to like in the approach and fresh voice of this new translation influenced by poets, artists, writers and musicians as well as pastors and academic scholars. Speaker identification tags are in brown-gold tones that stand out from black text and asterisked footnotes provide “literal meanings” that add context and additional information.
The narrative is formatted similar to a screen play and lies flush to the left which makes it easy to follow, while dialogue is indented with colored tags that name who’s speaking. Use of italic script alerts readers to non-scriptural information added for clarity. The notes sections, set apart by a capitol V, begin with a wide brown-gold line and end with a thin brown-gold line.
The Voice ® offers four reading plans, two of which follow the annual church calendar year with suggested readings for Advent, Pentecost and Lent. Plus the informative “critical dates in the church year,” that cover 2012 to 2050 and the alphabetized “Guide to the Notes” and “Topical Guide to Scripture” segments.
What I didn’t like were the name changes for God, Jesus Christ and angels, examples below, still that’s my personal preference and not a reason to discount this Bible. Several explanations for why this was done are included in the beginning pages and before the New Testament begins.
· Jesus Christ changed to “Jesus the Anointed One…God’s Anointed……or the ‘Anointed One’ depending on context and narrative flow…” (pg. xxi)
· God translated as “…the ‘Eternal One…or the ‘Eternal'...” (xxiii)
· Angels are referenced as “messengers of the Lord.”
Overall, The Voice® engages the reader and draws them into God’s story which was the purpose behind this new edition—to attract a modern audience with an easy-to-understand Bible version. For readers familiar with the Bible, The Voice would be a refreshing change. However, for new believers other Bible translations featured in the list that headlines the review might be more suitable.
Please take note that Thomas Nelson Bibles are sold with a guarantee that requires registration: http://www.nelsonbibles.com/guarantee/ When registration is complete Thomas Nelson offers the choice of a free gift download in appreciation.
· The Voice™ Book of John Download this Gift
· The Word of Promise Audio Bible - Book of Jonah Audio Download this Gift
· Women of Faith Study Guide: Living Above Worry and Stress Download this Gift
***Check out the “list” for additional age specific Thomas Nelson Bibles***
‘The Voice Bible: Step into the Story of Scripture’ Thomas Nelson, 2012, Gift Edition, 1664 Pages, 978-1418549015, $3.99 www.thomasnelson.com/bibles.html