Friday, January 2, 2015

2015: Alive and Moving

"...sharper than a double-edged sword..."
Welcome to 2015 everybody. You may remember that I declared last year as one of "reading the Bible again for the first time," and used the Easy-to-Read Version (ERV) as much as possible in my posts. It turned out to be an outstanding translation that really conveyed a lot of what the Bible says without using a lot of religious slang. I plan to do a review of the ERV here soon and recommend it to anyone who wants a simple, refreshing Bible translation this under-girded by top quality scholarship.

My wife and I follow a Bible reading plan to keep us focused and we have also gotten in the habit of switching out the translations we use each year. The point is to hear the Bible in a way you haven't before and evaluate the differences you find. It's easy now in our push-button, high-tech 21st century world thanks to sites like the Biblegateway where most versions are available for free. In 2014 I used the Easy-to-Read Version, of course, and my wife chose the New American Bible, a Catholic translation.

For 2015 Rose asked me if I could recommend a translation that would "shake her loose from her King James mindset." And I couldn't think of any better than the feisty little rebel Bible called The Voice. It's a version that renders the words of scripture in the language of modern story telling, stubbornly refusing to use any traditional Christian jargon at all. It's also not afraid to add information to the text (in italics) that was plain to everybody when the Bible was written but utterly lost on us modern western readers 2000+ years later.

So I've decided that for me this will be another "year of reading the Bible for the first time," only this time using the Voice as my version of choice. Naturally I'll still turn to the NET or other trustworthy version (or just translate it myself if I have to) if the Voice goes off the rails. But I like the Voice because it's translators remember that the Word of God is not just a book of comforting, familiar platitudes...

The word of God, you see, is alive and moving; sharper than a double-edged sword; piercing the divide between soul and spirit, joints and marrow; able to judge the thoughts and will of the heart.

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