The Voice

In August Suzanne McCarthy blogged on BBB about The Voice, the newest English Bible version. Since then The Voice New Testament has been published by Thomas Nelson. You can read more about this new translation and compare some passages from it with The Message, ESV, and TNIV on The Voice blog. Eddie Arthur has also blogged about The Voice.

HT: Eddie Arthur

11 thoughts on “The Voice

  1. Robert Jimenez says:

    I bought a copy last week and did a glance over. It seems they are using the same Greek text as the NKJV(but Rick M. can clarify that for us). Also the repetitive use of the phrase “Liberating King” after a while became a bit overbearing.

  2. EricW says:

    I saw a copy at Borders Books. For some reason, neither of the two Christian bookstores (chain stores, too) have it – maybe TN is marketing it to the non-Xian bookstores/markets first.

    I was prepared to be skeptical of it, and it didn’t help when the footnote to John 3:3 said (in reference to “born again” or “born a second time” or however The Voice translates it) something like: “other manuscripts read from above.” As far as I can tell from NA 26/27, ανωθεν (anôthen) is in all the manuscripts (i.e., there are no textual variants), so the footnote should have said something like: “the Greek can also mean from above.” Also, Roman Catholic and Orthodox Christians aren’t going to be happy with the statement after Matthew 1:25 that Joseph and Mary had sexual relations after Jesus was born.

    That said (and my look-see was a rather quick one), I found The Voice to be quite captivating, and will procure a copy. I was disappointed to see that the “leather bound” edition (or more accurately, 1/3 leather, 2/3 fabric bound) seems to be bound with the same glue as the paperbound, which means it will eventually crack, so it may not be worth the extra buck$$. I don’t believe the introduction mentioned the textual basis (i.e., whether TR/Majority Text or NA 27), and also didn’t see mention made of who translated each book.

    I agree that reading “The Liberating King” for “Christ” gets as old and repetitious as hearing Henry Ian Cusick say “I tell you the truth” (for “Amen, Amen”) a million times in the movie The Gospel of John.

    Thanks for the heads up on this!

  3. Peter Kirk says:

    Eric, I can’t help wondering if the disciples found Jesus repeating “Amen, Amen” “old and repetitious”. But, as Mike has explained, he did have a purpose. I presume there is also a good purpose in the phrase “The Liberating King”. But then if you are going to use renderings like that it is best not to base a translation on the Byzantine Majority text, one of whose major characteristics is the multiplication of titles like khristos which could happen only in an age when this word had become just a title, not a meaningful word “The Liberating King”.

  4. EricW says:

    I looked at the printed edition, and it indeed has the erroneous footnote to John 3:3. I wonder why the proofs that went to the publisher changed it from what the draft PDF file says?

    Re: the text: The introduction says it’s based on the best and oldest manuscripts, and The Voice puts the questioned passages – e.g., Mark 16:9-20 (they also include the addition to Mark 16:8); John 7:53-8:11; etc. – in brackets with explanatory footnotes. Though the authors of the Gospels and some of the other books that have previously been published – e.g., Acts, Hebrews, and Romans – are mentioned in the introduction, there is no listing of who translated each book, and the authors of, e.g., the rest of the Pauline Epistles, are not stated.

  5. Peter Kirk says:

    Eric, what you say about the text seems to contradict what Robert said. In the PDF version John 5:4 is included but in brackets, and there is a footnote:

    5:4 Some ancient manuscripts omit the end of verse 3 and all of verse 4.

    So what it looks like to me is that, despite what it says in the introduction, the printed text follows the Textus Receptus (the basis of KJV and NKJV) or something similar, but significant departures in ancient manuscripts are marked with brackets and footnotes. This is a reasonable policy, if properly explained which it doesn’t seem to be. But it is also a slightly strange policy for a version intended to be accessible to people with no church background.

  6. EricW says:


    The wording in the Preface from the free PDF file of The Book of John (and it looks like it’s the same as in the print edition) is:

    The Voice is based on the earliest and best manuscripts from the original languages (Greek, Hebrew, and Aramaic). When significant variations influence a reading, we follow the publishing standard by bracketing the passage and placing it a note at the bottom of the page while maintaining the traditional chapter and verse divisions.”

  7. Peter Kirk says:

    Thank you, Eric. The problem I see is that at John 5:4 The Voice is not in fact based on “the earliest and best manuscripts”, but on later ones which, according to scholars, certainly do not reflect the original text. The text based on “the earliest and best manuscripts” is offered in the footnote, but only as a variation rather than as the main translation. I don’t mind them doing this, but in their Preface they should not mislead their readers about what they have done.

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