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the word on the street Paperback – August 17, 2004

48 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


'The Bible with street cred: Lacey has a refreshingly down-to-earth attitude to the Bible and a wry sense of humour.' -- Publishing News (Publishing News)

'Very different! It makes the Bible as easy to read as a tabloid newspaper. It's great fun if you know the Bible fairly well. But it's also, of course, aimed at people who've never ever opened it. And maybe we do underestimate just how difficult that is if you don't know where to start. I could read it all morning actually!' -- BBC National Radio 2 (BBC National Radio 2)

'Aims to be a page turner and succeeds.' -- Christianity and Renewal (Christianity and Renewal)

'I read some of 'The Word on the Street' to the 250 people I was speaking to on Sunday morning. It got gasps and laughs and a spontaneous round of applause! Someone described it as 'The Message' with attitude. I had a long queue at the end wanting to know how to get a hold of a copy. It really is a brilliant piece of work.' -- Duncan Banks, Author of 'Breakfast with God' (Duncan Banks, Author of 'Breakfast with God')

'On scholarly grounds...I found little to correct and much to praise. Rob helped me discover angry and sad voices in passages of the Bible that had left me indifferent before, and he made me laugh at other passages that were so familiar to me that I had never seen the healthy irreverence, humour and irony they expressed.' -- Dr. David Trobisch, Professor (Dr. David Trobisch, Professor)

From the Back Cover

"Rob helped me discover angry and sad voices in passages of the Bible that had left me indifferent, and he made me laugh at other passages so familiar that I had never seen the healthy irreverence, humor and irony they expressed." --Dr. David Trobisch, Professor of New Testament Language and Literature, Bangor Theological Seminary

For those who’ve never read the Bible, and for those who’ve read it too much.

Rob Lacey’s "dangerously real" retelling of Scripture vividly demonstrates that the Bible is packed full of stories/poems/images that resonate with the big issues of today. This fresh paraphrase with running commentary brings the text alive: Bible stories are retold as mini-blockbusters; psalms as song lyrics; epistles as emails; Revelation as a virtual reality.

Out with stale religious terms, here’s a "Bible" that talks today’s language—gritty, earthy, witty. Enough of starting at Genesis with good intentions but getting lost in Leviticus. Lacey succeeds in revitalizing a classic work by focusing on the big picture: fast-forwards through the "slow-moving" bits with pace, passion and energy to make the Bible a page-turner again.

What’s more, Lacey’s award-winning* tour de force was created during a remarkable personal journey through terminal cancer: the stuff the Bible stories are made of. This life-experience injects Lacey’s take on Scripture with authenticity and authority—resonating with Bible characters who also wrestled with the big questions.

Purist alert: This is not THE Bible (capital B) … but it might just get you reaching for one.

*Book of the year (2004), Christian Booksellers Convention Ltd. (UK)


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 491 pages
  • Publisher: Zondervan (August 17, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0310922682
  • ISBN-13: 978-0310922681
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 1.3 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (48 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #751,352 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

37 of 44 people found the following review helpful By B. Pereira on August 31, 2004
Format: Hardcover
I can't say enough good about this book. I own numerous bibles in all kinds of translations and have never felt like I was reading something that made sense. I could never retain what I'd read or make complete sense of it. None of the translations 'spoke' to me. When I read the first page, I was hooked! I read the entire Old Testament in 1 day - it was THAT easy to understand. I just couldn't put it down! It reads like I hear todays kids talk (and I have 3 teenagers) so I understood it and it felt like I was there. Passages that I THOUGHT I understood before, became surprisingly clearer after reading them from this book. I was continuously thiinking "Hmmm. So that's what that meant!". It was one light bulb going off after another. The whole thing just flows like a history lesson or something.

I read parts of it to a friend at work and within 5 minutes, the break room was packed with people listening. They were even sitting on the floor. When I'd finish, they'd ask me to read something else. Have you ever had that response from reading the bible? I haven't until now! This will be the best money you spend.
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29 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Vince Wylde on December 30, 2005
Format: Paperback
Reading these back-and-forth reviews, I can only snicker. It seems that those who aren't saved will see the most benefit in this paraphrase. Yeah, it's not an actual translation, and yeah, it takes some risque leaps to reach it's reader. It "rocks the boat" as it were. As I read the previous reviews it struck me that the ones who hate it are most guilty of the Laodicea address in Revelation. Seems to me all Jesus himself did was rock the boat. It also strikes me that the very people who hate this parphrase do so because of their lack of ability to be zealous Christians. Hey! Do whatever it takes to reach people! Stop protesting every time something new comes along. Go with it. Otherwise you're standing still and in no way effective in these times that demand every effort possible. THAT being said:

This is the bible re-written the way our culture today talks. Period. Here's my favorite verse:

"Timothy 3:1-6 You must understand this: In the last days there will be violent periods of time. People will be selfish and love money. They will brag, be arrogant, and use abusive language. They will curse their parents, show no gratitude, have no respect for what is holy, and lack normal affection for their families. They will refuse to make peace with anyone. They will be slanderous, lack self-control, be brutal, and have no love for what is good. They will be traitors. They will be reckless and conceited. They will love pleasure rather than God. They will appear to have a godly life, but they will not let its power change them. Stay away from such people. Some of these men go into homes and mislead weak-minded women who are burdened with sins and led by all kinds of desires."

That's from "God's Word" translation, and although not bad, still reads like a bible.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Dan on November 18, 2005
Format: Hardcover
I bought The Word on the Street this summer on a friend's suggestion, and was pretty skeptical. Paraphrasing the Bible, is that good? I was pleasantly suprised, TWOTS is really interesting. Sometimes, as I'm sure many Christians do, I struggle to find out what a passage really means. Lacey breaks it down quite well, and the imagery and wording he uses is comedic and poetic at times. The Psalms and New Testament are especially great to read. Still, you can't take it 100% at face value because Rob Lacey is not God. Be sure to consult God first before relying on this book to explain passages, I made that mistake. I think it's an interesting interpretation of The Word, and could be a useful evangelism tool.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Pulpit Ham on December 1, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Can't tell you how many people have picked my copy up and couldn't put it down; even the minister's wife. ALL have enjoyed it.

Fundamentalists beware - This is a paraphrase, NOT a translation. The youth are the target audience. Therefore, you will sometimes see Jesus referred to as "coach" instead of "teacher", mainly because most kids today respect their coaches as mentors more than their teachers. Therefore, the intended message of that particular passage will click better. That's just one example. It's called Word On The Street, because it's written in the "street language" of kids today. They can identify with it better. They can always dive deeper into literal tranlsations later. Let's get the point of the story across first, in words that make sense to THEM.

I'm the Sunday school teacher for the junior-high kids. After hearing a passage from the King James version, I asked them to tell me what the story was about. Responses were typical: Down cast eyes, starring at the floor, speaking in barely audible tones, "There was a judge, or something, and a widow, or something, and she was mad, or something..." Then, I read the same passage from Word On The Street. You should have seen all of the light bulbs come on. Heads raised up, frowns turned into smiles, eyes started sparkling, "Now I get it. Now I know what they're talking about. That's much clearer and makes much more sense than the other book." They were excited about the lesson. Usually, I have a hard time getting them to engage. Today, I can't get them to shut up.

So, no it's not a "real" Bible. But if it get's them to reach for one, and suspect it will, it's done its job.
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