Storytellers get listened to, preachers get ignored. That’s the way it is – especially with non-believers. This essential truth is changing the landscape of Christianity by addressing the needs of unbelievers to understand first prior to believing.
Consider Jesus and Paul. One thing we sometimes forget about Paul is that, in his letters, he is always speaking to already-believing Christians and since we have only his letters we only know Paul by his straight forward doctrinal teaching so we too easily assume that he only taught that way. But when the Bible talks about Paul preaching he uses the same method Jesus did: stories. “I notice you’ve got a statue to an unknown god. Let me tell you who that is…” Jesus taught in stories. He took the Old Testament and made it fresh for his audience. That’s what the Voice is trying to do.
The writers of the Voice have added (in italics) explaining phrases to existing passages to help readers understand what the Bible is saying. This has been done before with the Amplified Bible, and with interpretations like the Message. What I liked most about the Voice, and how I believe it stands out, is that it took great pains to make the story come alive. (The book of John is by far the best example with inserted commentary by a fictional John in the first person.) It is important to point out that the Voice doesn’t shy away from hot topics (Roman’s prohibition on homosexuality is very clear, for instance.)
This is a clear, easy to read and understand interpretation and translation of the Bible. One that I liked so much I gave to a non-believer friend of mine to study. Highly recommended.
Scott Asher is the founder and administrator of BookGateway.com. Along with his contributions to BookGateway, he reviews for the commercial site BuddyHollywood.com. His personal blog is AshertopiA – a land flowing with milk and honey… and a lot of sticky people where he cartoons and writes on anything he finds funny and Christianity, which sometimes overlap.
This book was provided by the publisher as a review copy.