The Voice Bible, a distortion of God’s Word??

An article from the Christian Post on the new Bible translation, the Voice…Bible

New English Translation of Bible Omits ‘Jesus Christ,’ ‘Angel’

Mon, Apr. 16, 2012 Posted: 05:57 PM EDT

A new translation of the Bible into English does not contain the name “Jesus Christ” nor the word “angel.” It also prefers the word “emissary” over “apostle.”

The Voice, a Bible that replaces “Jesus Christ” with terms like “Jesus the Anointed One,” had its complete edition released by Thomas Nelson Publishing last month.

Frank Couch, Thomas Nelson’s lead editor on the project, told The Christian Post that the purpose of The Voice was to make the Gospel message easier to understand for modern audiences.

The Voice has not claimed to be more accurate than any other translation, rather it is more easily understood than any other translation,” said Couch.

“When translators are limiting themselves to conveying the complete essence of a word from the Hebrew or the Greek with one English word they have difficulty bringing in the nuances held in the original language.”

Because other translations have more literal renderings, Couch believed they are “why it has been necessary for commentators and preachers to spend so much time explaining what the words in the original language mean before the lay reader can understand fully a text of Scripture.”

“Because we have a more expansive translating technique we can more fully develop the English translation and thus bring out the more difficult nuances found in the original language,” he explained.

The scholars and authors who collaborated on the translation say their intention was to help readers “hear God speaking.”

“One of the byproducts of the information age in the church has been its focus on biblical knowledge. Many Bibles reflect this, packed with informative notes, charts, and graphs. While there’s nothing wrong with having a deep knowledge; a personal connection and deep relationship are far better,” according to “The Voice is focused on helping readers find (or rediscover) this connection with Him. Scripture is presented not as an academic document, but as an engaging story.”

The idea for The Voice came in January 2004, when Thomas Nelson Publishing met with the Ecclesia Bible Society, whose leadership includes pastor Chris Seay of the Ecclesia Church in Houston, Texas. The project came in portions, with the complete New Testament according to The Voice being released in 2009.

The name comes from the Bible translation’s rendering of the Greek Word logos in John 1:1. Although the typical English Bible translates logos to “Word,” in this translation it is rendered “Voice.” The first verse of John, which in the NIV reads “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” becomes “Before time itself was measured, the Voice was speaking. The Voice was and is God.”

A new video posted on the translation’s Facebook further highlights that “The Voice offers an opportunity to hear afresh by telling the stories that have always been in the Bible in a beautiful and poetic way.” It is written in screenplay format “so it’s easy to follow or act out in a group.”

Despite the approval of a major publisher like Thomas Nelson, which also sells other more established translations of the Bible, The Voice is not without its opponents, including many critical online reviews.

On the website “Life More Abundant,” poster “Coralie” commented that the format of The Voice, which includes commentary in the body of the text, was a concern.

“The … effect of the inclusion of midstream commentary is the blurring of the line between inspired word and human opinion,” wrote Coralie.

“My fear in our postmodern world is not that a new reader would take the commentary as the very word of God, but that he would read the words of God with the casual ease of another form of commentary.”

The blog “Extreme Theology,” an apologetics website, declared that The Voice was a “distorted version of the Bible.”

“Unfortunately, not since the release of the Jehovah’s Witnesses’ New World Translation of the Greek Scriptures in 1950 has there been a bible published that so blatantly mangles and distorts God’s Word in order to support a peculiar and aberrant theological agenda,” reads a review on ET’s site.

Michael Gryboski

Along with this post, check out Extreme Theology’s look on this:—part-one.html

So what do you think? Do you prefer a bible that is easy to read? Or is accurate translation the most important?

What is Christianity REALLY about?

In a recent article from the Washington Post, a poll was revealed stating how Christianity has a positive impact on the poor and for raising children with good morals however a bad effect on sexuality.

WASHINGTON — Americans feel the “Christian faith” has a positive impact on help for the poor and raising children with good morals, according to a new poll, but it gets a bad rap on its impact on sexuality in society.

In a new study conducted by Grey Matter Research, more than 1,000 American adults were asked if the Christian faith had a positive, negative, or no real impact on 16 different areas of society, such as crime, poverty and the role of women in society.

Strong majorities (72 percent) said Christianity is good for helping the poor and for raising children with good morals. Around half (52 percent) said Christianity helps keep the U.S. as a “strong nation,” and nearly as many (49 percent) said the faith had a positive impact on the role of women in society.

Although Christianity has been criticized for its traditional views on abortion, contraception and gender roles, “Americans aren’t buying into it,” said Ron Sellers, president of the Arizona-based Grey Matter Research.

Sellers said he wasn’t surprised that Americans hold their most negative perception for how Christianity impacts sexuality: 37 percent felt there was a negative impact, compared to only 26 percent who felt it was positive.

In six of the 16 areas, sizable numbers of Americans said Christianity had little or no impact, including the environment, business ethics, civility and substance abuse. Americans were roughly split, at about one-third each, on Christianity’s impact on racism.

“What’s real concerning to me, from the perspective of a religious leader,” Sellers said, “is when people say, ‘Eh, it hasn’t had a real impact.’”

The total sample of 1,011 adults selected at random from all 50 states had a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percentage points.

I, personally, after reading this article, came to think what Christianity or the faith in God is all about. And also, I grew curious of how Americans actually viewed the Christian faith. So, what is Christianity or faith in God and Jesus really about? Is it about a political stance? Is it just about morals or a ethical viewpoint on life? Is it about a sense of hope to a certain individual when facing trouble and hardship in life? What ever the reason may be what is the one that is accepted by God?

Obviously, we all have our individual life stories of how we’ve got introduced to the faith or how we perceive this faith as a believer or not. However, aside from what the majority thinks of God, Jesus, or Christianity, what does God really think of Christians? What does God really expect? In other words, what is God’s will based on his Word?

The human race is different. We are all different with different culture, background, ethnicity, language…you name it but one substance that has the power to gather these different groups of people is faith. Christianity, being one of them. However according to the article, believers and unbelievers alike each have their own perspective and reason of the faith. The question can be raised: are we believing for the right reasons? Or more importantly, are we in right standings with God living according to his will?

[8] For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD.
[9] For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts.
(Isaiah 55:8-9 ESV)

Leave comments! 🙂

Home Bible Study Illegal?!?

It’s been a while but is still controversial among American Christians.

Take a look at this article.

Couple fights city fine for illegal Bible study

A husband and wife in California host a Bible study in their home. For this quiet exercise of their Christian faith, city officials have fined them hundreds of dollars, and will continue fining them every time they meet. This issue is now going to court.

Chuck and Stephanie Fromm hold weekly Bible studies in their San Juan Capistrano home. According to city officials, they’ve attracted as many as 50 people in their 4,700-square foot house. Some of these gatherings also involve songs and sermons taught by Chuck, and are regarded as home-based church services.

But the city has an ordinance barring gatherings of “religious, fraternal or non-profit” groups in residential neighborhoods unless the city first grants a conditional-use permit. The city fined the Fromms $300 for the first offense, and says it will levy a $500 fine on all future gatherings.

This is a profound religious-liberty issue. Of 230 million Americans who profess to be Christians, tens of millions specifically believe that their faith requires regular Bible study and worship gatherings. San Juan Capistrano’s actions flagrantly violate these rights.

The U.S. Supreme Court significantly narrowed the protection of the First Amendment’s Free Exercise Clause in 1990, when it held that general laws that don’t reference religious activities, but end up incidentally burdening religious practices, do not violate the Constitution. This decision — written by conservative Justice Antonin Scalia — was a mistake, overruling decades of Supreme Court precedent to severely narrow religious exercise.

But even under the court’s current crabbed interpretation, this ordinance is unconstitutional because it specifically goes after religious gatherings.

The ordinance also inhibits the exercise of other First Amendment rights. It violates the right of association, for example, by barring people from peacefully gathering and socializing with like-minded citizens over areas of shared interests.

The Fromms are being represented by Pacific Justice Institute, which has taken this issue to court in California’s Orange County Superior Court. A hearing is expected in the next couple of months.

America’s first permanent settlements were founded for religious liberty to escape exactly this kind of oppressive government control of religious practice. More than that, in the early decades of the Christian religion church services were mostly held in homes, as there were no church buildings.

The courts now have an opportunity to correct this intolerable situation of government censorship of worship and religious practice.