Book Review: The Voice- New Testament

The Voice is a new translation of the Bible that seeks to bring together biblical scholars alongside talented writers to present a biblically sound yet easily readable translation.  This is the New Testament edition released by Ecclesia Bible Society, which is headed by Chris Seay at Ecclesia in Houston, Texas.

The translation of the text itself reads very similar to another translation, such as the NIV or ESV,  in most places.  The editors have added italicized portions within the text itself that serve as a commentary within the verse to explain the original author’s intent.  A clear example of this is found in the second Beatitude from Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5:4Open Link in New Window, which reads:

“Blessed are those who mourn, who weep about sin and long for how things are supposed to be – they will be comforted.”

These italics additions within the text itself help readers to be able to understand the textual meaning that has a tendency to get lost in a mere superficial reading of the text.  These commentary notes flow easily through the narrative and are seen as an aid to readers rather than a distraction.

I would be hesitant to term this version a translation since there are clearly commentary additions to the written text.  The purpose and place of this work can best be described by looking back at the Jewish rabbi’s commentaries on Jewish writings.  These scholars desired to produce a commentary along with the written text to aid in studies.  This is the purpose of The Voice project.

This project is off to a great start and is producing Bibles that will function well for a devotional reading of the text but should be avoided when seeking to do an in depth study of a particular passage due to the commentary elements getting mixed with the text itself in the minds of the reader.

  • Wow…I’d never heard of this before. So is the whole New Testament available? Are there plans for doing the OT as well?

    Love all the book reviews…thanks for adding to my reading list!

  • The whole New Testament is available. I am not sure about the whole Old Testament. I know that the Psalms are out in the Voice translation. Hope this helps! Have a great day!