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5.0 out of 5 stars An extremely good easy to read translation, Dec 26 2013
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This review is from: The Voice New Testament: Revised & Updated (Paperback)
Only just learned about this translation. It is great for those who are new to the Bible because it has explanations on culture and setting where needed. Read some of The Voice in digital version on biblegateway in order to read some of it yourself.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Uniquely Refreshing, Feb. 22 2012
This review is from: The Voice New Testament: Revised & Updated (Paperback)
The Voice New Testament: Revised & Updated (Paperback)
I am always a little tentative when I review another "version, translation" of the Bible. There are so many varying translations out there and I have copies of a good many of them. Some of the translations are exemplary; others are not, so when I was asked to review the Voice NT I did so with some trepidation.

Luckily the Voice NT is one of the good ones!!

Granted I can only base my initial review on the New Testament version of this Bible translation but am already looking forward to receiving the full version of the Voice when it is released later in the year.

I really liked the layout of the Voice NT. There are several suggested daily reading plans celebrating Advent, Lent, Easter, Personal Growth and a great guide to read through the New Testament in 24 weeks. I also appreciated the Topical Guide found at the end of the Voice as well as a detailed explanation of the Titles of Jesus. There was great notation throughout the book, commentaries that gave historical and theological insight into the scripture passage.

I also quite liked how the Voice NT accentuated the speakers or individuals in scripture by highlighting the names boldly. For example Acts 5:12 vs. 20 reads: Messenger of the Lord: "Go the temple...", vs.23 Temple Police: "The prison was secure...", vs. 25 Temple Messenger: "You know those men...", vs. 28 High Priest: "Didn't we give you strict orders...", vs. 29 Peter and the Apostles: "If we have to choose between obedience to God...", vs. 35 Gamaliel: "Fellow Jews..."

I found this way of blocking off and highlighting the speakers to be a helpful, distinctive and decidedly different approach to focus on the individual voices in the scripture passage.

The translation itself is very readable in contemporary language. For those of us who have memorized John 3:16,17 from the King James version or the NIV the Voice's translation will appear very different but still as impacting: "For God expressed His love for the world this way: He gave His only Son so that whoever believes in Him will not face everlasting destruction, but will have everlasting life. Here's the point, God didn't send His Son into the world to judge it; instead, He is here to rescue a world headed toward certain destruction."

If I have a negative, it is the fact that the copy of the Voice I was asked to review is only the New Testament. I am not a fan of Bibles that do not have both the Old and New Testaments included in them. That is a personal bias. That said, I understand that the "full" version of the Voice will be released in March so I am looking forward to adding more to this review when I have seen the entire translation.

Overall, I recommend picking up the Voice for individual and group study opportunities.

New Testament has been provided courtesy of Thomas Nelson and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.
Available at your favourite bookseller from Thomas Nelson
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5.0 out of 5 stars A fabulous treasure, Feb. 15 2012
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This review is from: The Voice New Testament: Revised & Updated (Paperback)
The Voice is an absolute treasure among the many versions of the Bible that are available. I truly believe that the translation is written in a manner that will illuminate God's word anew for countless readers, for I found myself able to understand passages in a deeper way. I do recommend that readers take the time to read the preface, which explains how the translation came to be and how the text is organized. Once you've done that, you will be ready to dive in.

Many features of The Voice are truly helpful. For example, the addition of words and phrases in Italic type that were added to help the reader better understand the text brought a lot more clarity to what I was reading. When I was trying to wrestle through a passage in the book of Galatians that was written in the NIV format, I then read the same passage in The Voice New Testament, and found that I could much more easily follow the message contained in the verses! The Voice especially shines in the gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, as well as in the book of Acts and the book of Revelation, for it is here that the screenplay format it used, and used surprisingly effectively. When I first read about this feature, I admit I was a bit skeptical. However, this format truly brought the passages alive in a new way, and I felt like I was there, on scene, witnessing the drama of Jesus' life for myself!

The Voice really must be experienced first hand to be appreciated for what it is, and I encourage you to get this wonderful version of the Bible for yourself or for a loved one or a friend who is seeking to deepen their relationship with Jesus.

I highly recommend The Voice and give it 5 out of 5 stars.

New Testament has been provided courtesy of Thomas Nelson and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. Available at your favourite bookseller from Thomas Nelson.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Great New Translation, Feb. 9 2012
By 
JP "JP" (Toronto, Ontario Canada) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Voice New Testament: Revised & Updated (Paperback)
As a youth pastor, I'm always searching for practical tools to help students engage with Scripture. To this end, I am very pleased with The Voice, a new translation put together by the Ecclesia Bible Society. Although it is only currently available in a New Testament version, the strengths of this translation are clear and I eagerly await the full version.
What I appreciate about The Voice is first and foremost its narrative approach to Scripture. After all, the Bible is a story book, so it only seems appropriate that we approach it as such. It is God's true story of creation and redemption. This narrative approach comes through clearly in the choice of the translators to write it as a dramatic script. Written in this way with the text divided into the various parts (or voices) of the biblical characters makes the story come alive. As a youth pastor, The Voice is a wonderful resource for engaging students because it is a readymade script ' students are not merely reading through verses, they are performing scripture. It is a highly readable translation which makes it very accessible. Whether in group or individual reading, the characters of the story come alive making Bible reading less a laborious task.
Like production notes and director cues, the introductory notes at the beginning of each book and the 'sidebars' added to the text help provide valuable background information.
The Voice is truly an asset to any Bible reader looking for a fresh way of engaging scripture and it will certainly become one of my most used tools in my youth ministry tool-kit.
New Testament has been provided courtesy of Thomas Nelson and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. Available at your favourite bookseller from Thomas Nelson
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5.0 out of 5 stars Hear His Voice - fill your heart, Feb. 8 2012
By 
Karin F. Fendick "HisFireFly" (Manitoba, Canada) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Voice New Testament: Revised & Updated (Paperback)
If you look around our house, you will find bibles of every shape, size, colour and translation. We simply love The Word of God. I use [...] when I am writing or preparing a message because it is an easy way to compare texts and discover which version best captures exactly what I am trying to convey. I am always eager to acquire a translation I don't have. When I read the following words by the publisher about The Voice New Testament by Ecclesia Bible Society I admit I was both intrigued and a bit uncertain:

"The Voice(tm) Bible translation is a faithful dynamic translation of the Scriptures done as a collage of compelling narratives, poetry, song, truth, and wisdom. The Voice calls the reader to step into the whole story of Scripture and experience the joy and wonder of God's revelation. Created for and by a church in great transition, The Voice uniquely represents collaboration among scholars, pastors, writers, musicians, poets, and other artists, giving great attention to the beauty of the narrative. The heart of The Voice is retelling the story of the Bible in a form as fluid as modern literary works yet remaining painstakingly true to the original manuscripts. This translation promotes the public reading of longer sections of Scripture--followed by thoughtful engagement with the biblical narrative in its richness and fullness and dramatic flow."

I sat down with this new volume and my NIV study Bible, a New King James Bible and an Amplified Bible and I was delighted to find that although the words are not the same, the team of writers and artists have indeed remained true to original manuscripts. Unlike The Message, (which I do enjoy and quote often) I find The Voice better able to stand on its own without my needing to check it constantly for the faithfulness of its translation.

There is information added in italics that will help readers in these modern times understand what the original readers would have known. The in-text commentaries add cultural and historical information that I also find quite valuable. The introductions to each Book are well written and helpful as well.

God longs to speak into the heart of His people. I believe this will be a powerful tool to enable many hearts to hear His voice.

New Testament has been provided courtesy of Thomas Nelson and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. Available at your favourite bookseller from Thomas Nelson

The opinions I have expressed are my own.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A beautiful translation of God's Word!, Feb. 5 2012
This review is from: The Voice New Testament: Revised & Updated (Paperback)
A beautiful translation of God's Word! This New Testament version is true and accurate and so beautiful to read. I read through Mark, Ephesians and Galatians. I found myself reading scripture like a 'regular book' and loving it. There are sections in between scripture where a contributor has put a paragraph or so in to explain what you have just read (or given an opinion on what you have just read) in plain speak but not watered down. This version challenged me to dig deeper, to understand the context of what I was reading. Included are four daily reading plans: 1)Celebrate Advent 2)Lent and Easter 3)New Testament in 24 Weeks 4)Daily Readings for Personal Growth. Also included at the back of the Bible is a section called The Titles of Jesus. I highly recommend The Voice and I myself will be reading this version on a regular basis.

"New Testament has been provided courtesy of Thomas Nelson and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.
Available at your favourite bookseller from Thomas Nelson".
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5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful way to study & read the Bible!, Jan. 29 2012
This review is from: The Voice New Testament: Revised & Updated (Paperback)
I'm still reading my way through "The Voice NT", but thought that I would share what I think of it so far....

First they introduce you to the translation of this Bible and the language they use. If you're used to the traditional KJV you're in for a surprise. The language is quite different, very contemporary I think it's probably closest to the NIV. I personally found it easy to read & to understand. However, it's not as "smooth flowing" as reading the traditional Bible because of the excerpts & notes. Not that this is necessarily "bad", just different and maybe something you'll need to get used to. Honestly, I'm quite enjoying it & love reading what the scholars & contributing writers add to it. Their little bits of knowledge give you more "food for thought" which I love!

A few things I really like about "The Voice":

There are several reading plans in the beginning which I thought to be a useful tool, you can choose from Advent, Lent/Easter, reading the New Testament in 24 weeks, and finally daily readings for personal growth.
I love how they introduce the New Testament & take the time to intoduce each book as well. So before you read Luke you learn who Luke was and why his book is so very revelant.
It's comfortable to hold, the pages aren't as delicate as in most Bibles & the typeface is easy to read.
When you encounter the extra notes from the Scholars & contributors they're printed under a solid line and an uppercase "V" with a different font so you know what has been added to this version and is not traditionally in the Bible.
Overall I think it's an absolutely wonderful way to read & study God's word. I'll be looking forward to the full version which is due out in April 2012! But for now I'll continue enjoying "The Voice" every morning with my coffee! :)
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4.0 out of 5 stars My Thoughts on the Voice New Testament, Jan. 28 2012
This review is from: The Voice New Testament: Revised & Updated (Paperback)
I'm always excited to check out new translations of the Bible. The Voice is an interesting one to read. Any time something is translated from one language to another there needs to be a decision how to translate along the continuum.

What I mean by that is that you can translate word-for-word, thought-for-thought or concept-for-concept. Really the difference is a matter of degrees. Word-for-word is almost impossible from Koine Greek to English because Greek verbs and nouns don't need to be anywhere near each other to agree while in English we like noun-verb combinations.

The translators of The Voice chose a hybrid version that has to be read to be understood. My first impressions of it was 'It's like I'm reading the Qu'ran.'

There are over fifty people and events found in the Bible that are also in the Qu'ran. The Qu'ran tends to have more details and therefore (I think) better story telling. It also focuses on moral and religious points than the Bible tends to.

Yes, the Voice really reads like the Qu'ran...I'm not saying that's a bad thing. It's what I like about it.

Unfortunately I found the inconsistencies in the text and found them distracting. For example, the pointing out of morality in Matthew generally happens before the narrative while in Mark it almost always comes after and seems more preachy. I also noticed a few places where the text is not italicized where it really should have been.

Another distracting feature to me was the editors choice to include obscure texts. For example, at the end of Mark there is a verse that's only found in 1 manuscript. It's an interesting choice to include it.

Lastly I have to mention the choice make narratives like scripts by pulling the speaker out and setting off what they say often with directions. I thought more than once that it went against the goal the editors have to make it read like a story.

I found reading The Voice devotionally was the best way to use it. As with all translations reading it to see the differences and what you don't agree with is not as profitable as reading it to let it read you.

Can I recommend The Voice New Testament? My recommendation is for you to read it to experience the text in a new way. My guess is for most people it will be a refreshing tool for devotional reading.

New Testament has been provided courtesy of Thomas Nelson and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. Available at your favourite bookseller from Thomas Nelson
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4.0 out of 5 stars The Voice - a re-telling style of the story of Scripture, Jan. 23 2012
By 
Dr. Roger Helland (Calgary, AB, Canada) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Voice New Testament: Revised & Updated (Paperback)
The Voice, published by Ecclesia Bible Society though Thomas Nelson, is a new type of translation, based on the original languages accomplished, through a 'contextual equivalent' method. It is a dynamic equivalent translation reads more like a story. Through a collaboration of more than 120 biblical scholars, pastors, writers, musicians, poets, and artists, The Voice recaptures the passion, grit, humor, and beauty often lost in the translation process. The result is a retelling of the story of the Bible in a form as fluid as modern literary works, yet remaining painstakingly true to the original manuscripts.

The goal is to maintain the literary perspective of the human writers, through a fluid rendering of the meaning of the text, yet anchored to the original languages. It attempts to draw you as a reader into the reading experience where each speaker in the narrative is identified as if in a play in the present tense like a novel, and where each biblical writer is given his unique substance and style. It is a hybrid of word for word and thought for thought to convey the poetic imagery and literary artistry of Scripture. Interspersed within the text are notes about context, culture, history, devotional thoughts, and applications.

Much like Eugene Peterson's, The Message, The Voice is an interesting supplement for primary translations (but it does not go as far as the free paraphrase of The Message). The Voice uses italics in the text to offer interpretive information rather than footnotes to help contemporary readers understand what the original readers would have known intuitively. Here is an example of the style of The Voice with Matthew 14:22-33 with the incident of Jesus walking on water:

22 Immediately, Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on to the other side of the sea while He dismissed the crowd. 23 Then, after the crowd had gone, Jesus went up to a mountaintop alone (as He had intended from the start). As evening descended, He stood alone on the mountain praying.

In the midst of the burdens of life and ministry, like when the news of John's death reaches Him, Jesus seeks refreshment in solitary prayer.

24 The boat was in the water, some distance from land, buffeted and pushed around by the waves and wind. 25 Deep in the night, when He had concluded his prayers, Jesus walked out on the water to His disciples in their boat. 26 The disciples saw a figure moving toward them and were terrified.

Disciples: It's a ghost!

Another Disciple: A ghost? What will we do?

Jesus: 27 Be still. It is I. You have nothing to fear.

Peter: 28 Lord, if it is really You, then command me to meet You on the water.

Jesus: 29 Indeed, come.

Peter stepped out of the boat onto the water and began walking toward Jesus. 30 But when he remembered how strong the wind was, his courage caught in his throat and he began to sink.
Peter: Master, save me!

31 Immediately Jesus reached for Peter and caught him.

Jesus: O you of little faith. Why did you doubt and dance back and forth between following Me and heeding fear?

32 The Jesus and Peter climbed in the boat together, and the wind became still. 33 And the disciples worshiped Him.

Disciples: Truly You are the Son of God.

The Voice is good as a tool that will help offer many nuances of the direct meaning and intended or implied meaning of the authors. The Voice is a refreshing re-telling of the story of Scripture. Nevertheless, the font size is quite small, probably about 9 point, and the footnote text is even smaller. The translators chose to translate certain words like 'Christ' with 'Anointed One' and 'God's Anointed, the Liberating King;' 'Apostle as 'Emissary;' and 'Lord' as 'Eternal One.'

The preface contains a good explanation of its uniqueness and how the process of developing The Voice occurred; It also offers an Introduction to the New Testament and to each book; Readings for Lent and Easter; Reading the New Testament in 24 weeks; and 40 Daily Readings (which I intend to use in the next six weeks); a Topical Guide to the Notes; and the Titles of Jesus.

If you want a serious study Bible or a more literal translation, The Voice will not be enough, though it is a good resource and a creative alternative to the more traditional translations that especially the younger generations and those who are biblically illiterate will benefit from. The price is right for a paperback New Testament ($7.75 Can.), and the entire Bible is scheduled for release in April 2012. I recommend it and intend to use it.

'Book has been provided courtesy of Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. Available now at your favourite bookseller.'
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4.0 out of 5 stars Great for Groups Reading the Bible in parts, Jan. 23 2012
By 
Conrade Yap (Vancouver, BC Canada) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Voice New Testament: Revised & Updated (Paperback)
Thomas-Nelson has added a new English Bible translation to its library of published Bibles such as the 'New King James Version' (NKJV), the 'New Century Version' (NCV). While the NKJV is more literal, and the NCV more for personal devotional reading and study, the VOICE-NT is meant to be for the listening ear. Like the Bible which is authored by at least 40 different people throughout biblical history, the translation team continues this spirit by gathering an impressive array of 27 Bible scholars and 51 writers. It is essentially a literary project that aims to communicate the Word of God clearly and accurately. Scholars, artists, musicians, actors, and editors all work together to bring out the best of Bible translation in the VOICE.

A) What's Similar?
==================
Like many modern translations, this version is based on the latest and most reliable manuscripts. It is comprised of a diverse group of dedicated believers who hold to the central tenets of the Christian faith. It is a collaborative effort. It tries to improve on other translations, and to update the readability of this ancient text.

B) What's Different?
====================
With so many different Bible translations, many Bibles have been categorized under three major headings.

Word-for-Word: Literal translations like KJV, NASB, NRSV;
Dynamic Equivalent: Balanced translation like NIV, NCV,
Thought-for-Thought: where contexts and meanings are prioritized, like MSG, NLT, LIVING BIBLE

This Bible aims for a new category called 'contextual equivalence' which essentially means both accuracy and readability. Another strength of the translation is the belief that the Word of God 'do things' and not just 'mean' certain things. In other words, the Bible is not an ancient document trapped and buried in the past, and meant just for historical research or basic knowledge. It is an active Word that is alive and can infuse meaning and activate believers to live out the will of God. This is the key difference in the way the VOICE has been translated.

C) More Thoughts
=================
The VOICE is a good refreshing translation best used for group reading. For group study, I prefer to use the NIV and the NASB together. I like the way that the VOICE invites readers to dive into the story of Scripture. This is important in a technological world that attempts to constantly attract people to the latest and the greatest gizmos and fads in the market. The VOICE is sympathetic to this gradual technological shift, without compromising on contextual accuracy. However, do not use this translation as the only translation. Use at least two others: a literal one like the NAS and a balanced one like the NIV.

I recommend this translation for group Bible reading purposes. It is clear, highly readable, and excellent for the ear. Small group facilitators can easily pick up this Bible, and assign reading parts to each member of the group without fear of anyone missing a beat. The passages are well-scripted just like movie actors reading out their parts of the film.

For study purposes, I will hesitate to recommend this as the main version. For this reason, my rating for this translation drops a notch. I look forward to the complete Bible due to be released in April this year.

Rating of translation: 4 stars of 5.

conrade
"New Testament has been provided courtesy of Thomas Nelson and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. Available at your favourite bookseller from Thomas Nelson".
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The Voice New Testament: Revised & Updated
The Voice New Testament: Revised & Updated by Ecclesia Bible Society (Paperback - Nov. 8 2011)
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