Customer Review

3.0 out of 5 stars The Voice: a retelling, April 7, 2010
This review is from: The Voice New Testament (Paperback)
It is rather hard to call this version of the New Testament a translation. It drifts so much from the original text that it is more of a paraphrase (many reviews have already explored the difference so I will not venture down that road). Those who worked on it have labeled their efforts as fitting under the category of Dynamic Equivalence, a looser form of translation similar to the New International Version. Well, this is a lot looser than the NIV and her evil twin sister the TNIV. They call this a "retelling." This "retelling" involves both translation and elaboration [read commentary and interpretation]. The problem is that they do not clearly distinguish the elaboration from the actual translation. Instead they conflate the two, leaving the reader unsure as to whether they are reading actual Scripture or the inserted meanderings of humanity upon the Scripture. This is a most troubling error. All translation should strive to make the distinction between translation and interpretation (at the same time I recognize that all translation, to a degree, is interpretation).

I wholeheartedly commend the goals and purpose behind the project, creating a holistic, beautiful, sensitive, and balanced translation. The problem is that I believe they have failed to do so by unclearly merging the words of Scripture with their own interpretations. "The heart of the project is retelling the story of the Bible in a form as fluid as modern literary works yet remaining painstakingly true to the original manuscripts." While noble, I believe they have not succeeded at this twofold goal. It is hard to say they have remained true to the original manuscripts. There is a tightrope balance, which exists in all translations seeking to be readable and remain faithful. In the case of The Voice, I believe they fell off on the side by seeking to produce a "fluid modern literary work" which came at the expense of faithfulness to the originals.

Reviewed for Booksneeze.
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