The Voice New Testament: Revised and Updated

Thomas Nelson hopes for a redo with the Voice New Testament: Revised and Updated.

The Voice New Testament
Revised and Updated
Thomas Nelson
November 2011

A lot has happened since I last read and reviewed the Voice New Testament. When reviewing a Bible I take a book and base the review off that book. Since there are some key passages under attack from liberal theologians I tend to focus on those books that have the most passages under fire. For instance, I check Romans 1:26-31, in which Paul lists out sins including the most blatant condemnation against homosexuality. Take the NIV:

Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion.

And the Voice:

This is why God released them to their own vile pursuits, and this is what happened: they chose sexual counterfeits—women had sexual relations with other women and men committed unnatural, shameful acts because they burned with lust for other men. This sin was rife, and they suffered painful consequences.

Clearly, the Voice doesn’t dodge the hard stuff. But in the past versions, it did pervert some verses causing clear theological bias to pass for scripture. Unlike most Bibles, the Voice adds the context and comments into the actual text of the Bible, identified only by italics. This can make it very hard to tell when the Voice is speaking sacred Scripture or biased theology. Consider this massacre of the Biblical text:

Though the Voice utters only truth, His own people, who have heard the Voice before, rebuff this inner calling and refuse to listen. (John 1:11)

Note that the italics are when the Voice adds commentary to help readers understand the context of the passage. Notice also that the original Greek doesn’t say anything like the bold section, yet it was not italicized. The actual verse says:

He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. (NIV)

The new version of the Voice removes the inserted bold statement and pulls back on the editorializing, leaving a normal and orthodox translation:

Even though He came to His own people, they refused to listen and receive Him.

The good news is that the Voice is taking care to respond to the criticism surrounding the first release. The bad news is that there really isn’t much distinctive about this version. With so many other new versions, what makes this one special? The Common English Bible is great for clear translation. The [Expanded] Bible is great for study.

Now that the Voice is focused on fixing some of the issues from the original version it is an acceptable version to read. But with so many other versions out there, many easier to read and more scholarly, like the New Living Translation, there really isn’t much reason to pick it up.

Scott Asher is the Editor-in-Chief of His personal blog is AshertopiA – a land flowing with milk and honey… and a lot of sticky people where he cartoons and writes on Christianity, Zombies, and anything else he wants to.

This book was provided by the publisher as a review copy.