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The Story: The Bible as One Continuing Story of God and His People (Selections from the New International Version) Hardcover – April 23, 2011
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"As a pastor, The Story can help you equip and unite your church to go deeper into God's Word." - Bill Bohline (without actually ever opening God's Word! How cool is that?!)
"I have loved The Story series. It has been a great journey for me, for my preaching, and for our members. We have had visitors throughout the entire series and have given over 100 books away... Getting God's word into people hands is always a good thing!" - Tim Halstead (besides rightly dividing God's Word is sooooo much work!)
"We're excited about The Story. It has our church talking about the Bible more than anything else. It offers an opportunity for the congregation to gel. It really becomes the watercolor conversation." - Mark Whitlock (I don't even know what to say about that!)
If that wasn't enough here's one more that says it all about the new, improved Bible, The Story:
"So many people simply did not have a grasp of the biblical narrative, let alone how it all fits together. Our groups also loved it as we followed the preaching track... giving them a year of growth together." - Eric Camfield (Just like that seed that sprouted and shot up quickly...)
Whatever you do, don't read these verses in a real Bible:
1 Cor 2:14
1 Cor 1:18
1 Tim 3:16
Rev 22:18, Deut 4:2, Deut 12:32, and Prov 30:6
2 Tim 2:15
What 3/4ths are left out? Not only the hard parts but even a lot of story (e.g., whole books like Job and Jonah) and almost all the psalms (only 4 of 150 make it in) and proverbs. Ruth is the only book with all chapters included. When you cut 3/4ths of a work, it's pretty well gutted.
The purpose of this book is to get people who normally don't read the Bible to read portions put in storybook format. But, the translation chosen is the NIV (supposedly 8th grade level reading--not that much easier than the New King James which is at 9th grade level.) The NIV is not a reader friendly translation. It would have been much better to use a translation aimed at common readers: New Living Translation (6th grade), Living Bible (4th grade), or Zondervan's own NIrV (3rd grade).
Compare the clunky, difficult phrasing of:
"And God said, 'Let there be lights in the vault of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs to mark sacred times, and days and years, and let them be lights in the vault of the sky to give light on the earth.' And it was so." (The Story, page 2)
"God said, 'Let there be lights in the huge space of the sky. Let them separate the day from the night. Let them serve as signs to mark off the seasons and the days and the years. Let them serve as lights in the huge space of the sky to give light on the earth.' And that's exactly what happened." (NIrV, Gen. 1:14)
Which one is better for story telling? It's a head scratcher that Zondervan chose to tell The Story using excerpts from the more difficult NIV translation. Chopped up sections are combined with a translation that was not designed to be story friendly.
For those who want a story format Bible, a better choice might be The Voice New Testament: Revised & Updated or The Voice Bible: Step Into the Story of Scripture.
UPDATE: The Voice Bible has its own translation problems. For example, the translation principles are inconsistent. They say they have have translated words like "Christ" to "Anointed One" rather than transliterated the word.
But, they have not done this consistently. Their principle of not transliterating does not hold true when the word is "antichrist". Lack of translation consistency shows up especially in I John 2:22 where Jesus is called "the Anointed One" but the antiChrist is not called the antiAnointed One.
"The liar is the one who says, 'Jesus is not really the Anointed One.' This is the antiChrist, the one denying both the Father and the Son."
And they have continued to transliterate "baptize" and "baptism" instead of translating it.
It doesn't bode well on such an important and complex work that their translation principles are inconsistent.