'The Voice' Bible: conversational language more relevant?

Paula Duffy's picture

The Voice, has been written as a screenplay, so in the words of its publishers, it "...reads like a story with all the truth and wisdom of God's word."

The Voice Bible used a translation team of more than 25 people with 52 others credited as writers. Their credentials range from pastor, to historian, poet, songwriter, professor and biblical scholar. Video posted below provides an example of the scripts and how they can be read or acted out to give meaning to the newly transcribed text.

Thomas Nelson Publishing. lead editor Frank Couch told The Christian Post that "The Voice is intended to make the Gospel message, 'easier to understand for modern audiences'. The new translation has changed significant words of the test. Angel is rendered as “messenger” and apostle as “emissary.” Jesus Christ is “Jesus the Anointed One”.

On the website for the publication, Hearthevoice.com, there is a translation page which provides a comparison of The Voice to nine other English language versions of bible verses.

For instance, if you choose John 1:26-27 in the King James' version you'll find: "John answered them, saying, I baptize with water: but there standeth one among you, whom ye know not; He it is, who coming after me is preferred before me."

Compare that to The Voice's translation of the same two verses: "John the Baptist: Baptizing with water is what I do; but the One whom I speak of, whom we all await, is standing among you; and you have no idea who He is. Though He comes after me, I am not even worthy to unlace His sandals.*

The Washington Post reported, that David Capes, the lead translator of the tome published this month told the newspaper that..many people, even those who’ve gone to church for years, don’t realize that the word “Christ” is a title.

"They think that Jesus is his first name and Christ is his last name,” says Capes, who teaches the New Testament at Houston Baptist University in Texas.

Mr. Capes appeared on CNN's Newsroom on Tuesday morning, telling host Carol Costello that it is important for people to want to read the bible and in creating The Voice, he hopes it will be understood as well as read. In giving an example about the purpose of this new form of translation, Mr. Capes used Rolling Stones founding member and guitarist Keith Richards, as a way to explain its creation.

"Keith Richards...made the statement ‘I read the Bible sometimes, but I find it deadly boring.’ We wanted to give Keith a copy of the Bible, and others like Keith because there are a lot like him, give him a copy of the Bible that frankly he would want to read and he would not want to put down.”

Ease of reading in the form of a screenplay combined with a more modern English translation pleases some and distresses others. Seven years in the making, The Voice becomes the latest attempt to bring more people to the words of Jesus while easing the path of understanding. Let the debate begin. Photo: Thomas Nelson Publishing


Submitted by jd (not verified) on
Are you saying that 'The Voice' is a train-wreck? I wouldn't touch it with a ten foot pole. Stick with the Truth found in the King James Bible!!

Submitted by j c (not verified) on
The publisher has been a leader in publishing Christian bibles for along time. I think this version will be popular. King James is great as well. It was written long ago and much of the wording is not used by people in conversation today. But I do like Psalms in King James. The Voice is meant to be a companion to a bible that makes the reading richer in today's culture.

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