April 19, 2012

'The Voice' Bible translation focuses on dialogue

 

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (RNS) The name Jesus Christ doesn't appear in "The Voice," a new translation of the Bible.

Nor do words such as angel or apostle. Instead, angel is rendered as"messenger" and apostle as "emissary." Jesus Christ is "Jesus the Anointed One" or the "liberating king."

That's a more accurate translation for modern American readers, said David Capes, lead scholar for "The Voice," a complete edition released this month by publishing company Thomas Nelson. Capes says 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.

Seven years in the making, "The Voice" is the latest entry into the crowded field of English Bible translations.

Unlike the updated New International Version or the Common English Bible -- both released last year -- much of "The Voice" is formatted like a screenplay or novel. Translators cut out the "he said" and "they said" and focused on dialogue.

So in Matthew 15, when Jesus walks on the water, scaring his followers, their reaction is immediate:
Disciple: "It's a ghost!"

Another Disciple: "A ghost? What will we do?"

Jesus: "Be still. It is I; you have nothing to fear."

"I hope we get people to see the Bible -- not as an ancient text that's worn out -- but as a story that they participate in and find their lives in," Capes said.

The title for "The Voice" came from the New Testament Gospel of John and from the Greek word logos. It's usually translated as "word" in verses such as John 1:1, which reads: "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God," in the New International Version, one of the most popular English translations.

In "The Voice," that passage reads: "Before time itself was measured, the Voice was speaking. The Voice was and is God." Frank Couch, the executive editor and publisher of "The Voice," said that translation better captures what logos means.

Mike Norris of Franklin Road Baptist Church in Murfreesboro, Tenn., disagrees. His congregation follows the belief that the King James Bible is the most accurate translation in English. Other translations, he says, don't stick to a word-for-word translation.

"They say the other translations are easier to read and more accurate," he said. "We disagree."

(Smietana also reports for The Tennessean in Nashville. Heidi Hall of The Tennessean also contributed to this story.)

Originally Published: April 19, 2012
Category: News
Sign Up Today. Membership is free
user-avatar
Gaye Austin
Incredibly...the scripture reference: So in Matthew 15, when Jesus walks on the water, scaring his followers, their reaction is immediate:
Disciple: "It's a ghost!" is in error. This happened in Matt 14!http://net.bible.org/#!bible/Matthew+14:20

2 years2 months ago · ( 0 )
user-avatar
Dale Fincher
I look forward to seeing this translation in print. Many also think "Christ" is his divine title and "Jesus" his human title. But even being called "Jesus the Anointed One" isn't completely accurate. "Christ" is "Messiah" which means the King of the Jews. Being "anointed" doesn't
Show More
mean anything apart from Jewish context.

I'm surprised they chose to interview Franklin Road for a contrary opinion. That's pretty extreme position and is contrary to any translation that is not word-for-word (which has its own problems). I'd like to hear what Eugene Peterson or Gordon Fee or Scot McKnight or some other evangelical scholars think.
2 years2 months ago · ( 1 )
user-avatar
Anne Galloway
For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus EVERY KNEE WILL BOW, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess, that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." Phil 2: 9-11
2 years2 months ago · ( 0 )

Public Stream