In addition to the use of modern language and aggressive punctuation; the way The Voice translation creates a verbal flow is by using a a play-like format with italicized in-text explanations. There is also occasional commentary to pull the structure together dramatically. Each book in the New Testament is preceded by a brief introduction explaining its background and significance. You can see this in the free online version of the Voice's John.
- This is a great choice for a first read of the bible. The text notes assume unfamiliarity which is rare in most study bibles. It reads as almost as easily as The Message and keeps the focus on the text itself unlike any study bibles.
- This is one of the very few bibles I know that work well for informal out-loud reading. There are huge differences between what is retained vocally vs. visually. For preaching through a large section of a chapter or any other reading outloud.
- This out-loud readability makes it a good choice for an informal liturgy.
This focus on flow and readability however does come at a cost. Since, there aren't many reviews of the The Voice I hope my regular readers will forgive me if I'm a I'll be a bit more pedantic than normal and assume some readers not familiar with translation philosophies might be reading this review. In translation the closer you stay to the text the more accurately you capture the original structure but the less you can accurately capture the meaning. As you move away from the original structure you are able to better capture meaning. As you move even further away from the original structure you in effect rephrase the ideas of the text in your own language. It ceases to be translation and instead becomes a paraphrase. The graphic below shows the major translations as they move from the most literal, interlinears which preserve Greek word order to formal translations which preserve the positions of phrases with a sentence, to dynamic which preserver the order sentences to paraphrase which preserve the order of ideas.And we have a significant change in the liturgy of many churches that excludes that appointed time allotted for the specific reading aloud of the Sacred Text (sometimes in concert with a Lexionary and sometimes just as a focus where the whole congregation stands for the reading of the Word). Both of these changes have been made at the sacrifice of the oral experience of the Bible....The Nelson team created The Voice translation with this perspective in mind. Specifically, the screen-play format, the linguistic and historical information included in italics, and the contextualization that is present in the commentary makes The Voice ideal for public reading and understanding. (Thomas Nelson press release)
I personally put translation into 9 groups with the voice in the 8th group (loose dynamic):
- Hebrew/Greek, Diglot or Hebrew/Greek Reader (NA27, Majority /Byzantine Text, Textus Receptus, MT-Heb)
- Interlinear translation (Brown & Comfort, Marshall, McReynolds, Concordant interlinear)
- Highly literal (AMP, NASB, YLT, Mounce, Concordant)
- Formal (ESV, KJV, ASV, NKJV, NRSV, RSV)
- Balanced (TNIV, NET, NIV, HCSB, Price)
- Tight Dynamic (REB, NAB)
- Dynamic (NEB, NJB, CEV, NLTse, Gaus)
- Loose dynamic (NLT1ed, GNB, Voice)
- Paraphase (MSG, TLB, TAB, JBP)
- Brown & Comfort (literal): The ones not of bloods nor of [the] will of flesh nor of [the] will of a husband but of God were born.
- ESV (formal): who were born, not of blood, nor the of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.
- NET (mediating): children not born by human parents or by human desire or a husband’s decision, but by God.
- NLT (dynamic): They were reborn -- not of a physical birth resulting from human passion or plan, but a birth that comes from God.
- Voice (12-13)(loose dynamic): He bestows this birthright not by human power or initiative but by God's will. Because we are born of this world, we can only be reborn to God by accepting his call.
children not born from the womb of a mothernor from the will of the natural bodynor from the will of a father,but born from God.
- The Voice, amazon link to main book
- The Voice of Romans: The Gospel According to Paul by Chris Seay
- The Voice of Hebrews: The Mystery of Melchizedek Greg Garrett
- The Voice of Mark: Let Them Listen Greg Garrett
- The Voice of Luke: Not Even Sandals by Brian D. McLaren
- The Last Eyewitness: The Final Week (John 13-21) Chris Seay et al, illustrated
- The Voice Revealed: The True Story of the Last Eyewitness by Chris Seay
- The Voice of Acts: The Dust Off Their Feet: Lessons from the First Church by Chris Seay
- The Voice from on High: God Announces His Son as Israel's Liberating King by Lauren Winner
- Son of the Most High: The Christmas Story Retold in the Voice