Many people in religious circles are taught to believe there is only one correct or accurate translation of the Bible. These individuals are certain that their Bible is the right Bible and anyone who reads anything else is placing their salvation in serious jeopardy. Although their efforts are often sincere I question the reasoning behind their philosophy.
Despite the many flaws in their arguments, from both historical and theological perspectives, arguing about which Bible is “God’s Bible” ignores the greater point of Scripture. Scripture is the inspired word of God, breathed into individuals who were charged with the humbling task of penning that word ordinary people would then read centuries past the life of Christ. Jesus was sent to earth to speak with real people, about real issues in a way they could connect with and understand. His teaching was for life application and His message was profound.
I recently received several copies of the latest New Testament Bible translation on the market, The Voice. Comprised of over 40 pastors, authors, scholars, musicians and theologians The Voice is a contextually accurate retelling of the life of Christ. The visionary for this project was Pastor Chris Seay of Ecclesia Church in Houston, TX and their mission was simple; to connect the Gospel of Christ with people who question its relevance in their life and bring it back into view for those who had lost focus.
Outsiders ask many of the same questions about both the Bible and the church; what’s the point? Why does any of this matter and how does it connect with my life? As a Follower of Christ I understand the importance and beauty of both the church and the sacred text but how can I expect others to find the same thing unless I find creative ways, just as Jesus did, to show them?
The Voice does this in a unique and powerful way. I am almost certain this translation of scripture will have its share of critics, anything worth something usually does, but I believe people who have never before read scripture will be inspired by what they read in The Voice. They will see a Jesus who lived a real life, a Jesus who loved without question, and a Jesus who came to liberate the world. I think the authors and visionaries for this project would agree that accomplishing those goals are worth any type of criticism they might receive from those inside the church.