Thursday, April 1, 2010

The Voice of Psalms - A reivew

A Dubious Translation - The Voice of Psalms

This book contains the entire book of Psalms in The Voice translation and includes reading plans and  reflections for selected psalms.   The distinguishing feature of this book is its use of The Voice translation, described by its authors as “a literary project…created for and by a church in great transition…(this) uniquely represents collaboration among scholars, pastors, writers, musicians, poets, and other artists.”  The goal seems to be to make the Bible “more beautiful” in the eyes and ears of the authors, and while the text is lovely, they are less successful in maintaining the accuracy of God’s word.

I adore the book of Psalms and was anxious to read this book.  However, the more I read, the more uncomfortable I became with The Voice.  I feel that it takes great yet unnecessary and perhaps incorrect liberties with the Bible.  I have read from many types of Bibles, from King James to NIV to The Message, yet they all fundamentally stay true to God’s word.  This translation adds or changes words that change the overall meaning of the text.  The authors claim that this is necessary to reach the post-modern church, but I feel that doesn’t give people enough credit.  Making the stories more accessible and understandable is one thing, changing the meaning to make people feel better is another.  While I think anyone will benefit from spending time reading and meditating on the Psalms, this book goes down a slippery slope with its translation.  Those truly interested in the Psalms will be better served by reading a more traditional translation.

Note: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for this review.  My content was in no way dictated by Thomas Nelson Publishers.

No comments: