The Voice New Testament translation is the result of 27 Bible scholars, 51 writers and 36 other contributors, who have captured the New Testament in a beautiful and narrative way. Bible scholars include David Capes, Darrell Bock and Peter Davids and writers include Chris Seay, Leonard Sweet and Lauren Winner.
When I received my copy of The Voice NT, I was expecting something along the same lines as Eugene Peterson’s The Message. While the translation is in contemporary language, I was pleasantly surprised at how The Voice differs from The Message. The Voice is set out in a screenplay format, indicating the person who is speaking. For example:
Disciple: It’s a ghost!
Another Disciple: A ghost? What will we do?
Jesus: Be still. It is I. You have nothing to fear. (Matt 14:26-27)
I really like the design and format of the book. Throughout the books of the NT, there are notes for the reader, that explain some of the culture/situations found in the NT, or asks the reader to think about a particular thing. There are also four different reading lists – readings for Advent, readings for Lent and Easter, read the NT in 24 weeks and daily readings for personal growth. Other information, included in The Voice, is a detailed explanation as to how this translation was come up with, a topical guide and information about the titles of Jesus. Some of the language used is truly beautiful. I love how Jesus is referred to as Jesus, the Anointed One.
My husband is a church pastor and he has looked through The Voice NT. He has said that he really likes it, so much so, that he has taken my copy and placed it on his bed side table! The only draw back to The Voice is that it is just NT, although, from the back I can see that the complete Bible is set for release in 2012.
Here are a few lines of scripture from The Voice, compared with The Message and NIV, so that you can see the comparisons and difference:
“Here is the bottom line: do not worry about your life. Don’t worry about what you will eat or what you will drink. Don’t worry about how you clothe your body. Living is about more than merely eating, and the body is about more than dressing up. Look at the birds in the sky. They do not store food for winter. They don’t plant gardens. They do not sow or reap – and yet, they are always fed because your heavenly Father feeds them. And you are even more precious to Him than a beautiful bird.. If He looks after them, of course He will look after you.” Matt 6:25-26 The Voice NT
“If you decide for God, living a life of God-worship, it follows that you don’t fuss about what’s on the table at mealtimes or whether the clothes in your closet are in fashion. There is far more to your life than the food you put in your stomach, more to your outer appearance than the clothes you hang on your body. Look at the birds, free and unfettered, not tied down to a job description, careless in the care of God. And you count far more to him than birds.” Matt 6:25-26 The Message
“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?” Matt 6:25-26 NIV
I really recommend reading The Voice NT. It would also be a good starter bible for a new Christian, or for a teen moving to an adult Bible. I think, though, if you are someone who enjoys reading a translation such as the KJV, then you may struggle with the contemporary feel to The Voice, or, it might be a breath of fresh air!
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