“The Voice” is a new Bible translation. It is hard to see the justification for another translation, given the flood on the market. However, multiple translations can sometimes give nuance to passages that may have seemed somewhat unapproachable previously. But with the myriad translations, what does “The Voice” bring to the table? What makes it stand out?
First, we have a collaboration of both Bible scholars and artists (many in the field of music). There is a concerted effort to make the passages readable in a contemporary sense, but to also make them artistically flow. This is at once a positive thing (since artistic sensibilities are probably rarely considered in Bible translation), but can also be a dangerous thing. A quick scan of the credits and endorsements reads almost like a who’s who of the Emerging Church movement. While I don’t demonize the entirety of that movement, there are some teachings that have developed that must be approached with discernment. When proponents of questionable theology endorse a book, it must be read with discernment.
Second, the dialogue is now rendered in a screenplay format, clearly designating the speaker. This is something that I actually enjoy. First, the Bible is ancient literature, and many ancient texts utilize this format. But this also breaks up the monotony of the prose in certain passages.
Finally, we have the study notes included in the text to clarify passages or give context to the various books. While I didn’t find anything off-putting from a theological perspective in my month of using this Bible in place of my normal translation, I didn’t find the information any more insightful or better written than other study Bibles on the market. In many ways, I think there are better Bibles to choose from.
“The Voice” will surely find an audience, but I doubt it will have the staying power of other contemporary renderings (The Message being a prime example). As a supplement, it is an adequate tool, but there are certainly better Study Bibles on the market.