Book Review – The Voice of Psalms
The Voice of Psalms is a new translation – or to be more accurate interpretation – of the book of Psalms that is the result of collaboration among scholars, pastors, writers, musicians, poets and other artists. Their goal was to help believers experience the joy and wonder of God’s revelation, producing a text that reads more like a great novel than the traditional versions of the Bible which they claim (and I would counter) are seldom opened.
Unfortunately, in their quest to create a modern interpretation, they have in my opinion strayed so far from the original text that this is no longer the word of God, but the Voice’s opinion of what God wanted to say. Despite their claim that they have taken care to be faithful and accurate, there are huge portions of the book that are unrecognizable compared with a traditional translation. By their own admission there are words in the text that are not directly tied to a dynamic translation of the original language (in other words you won’t find them in the original text) and these words are rendered in italic type. There are a lot of italics!
On the positive side, the book does have reading plans for Advent and Lent, and forty day plans for worshipping and seeking help from the true God. A number of the psalms also have commentaries or devotionals which I did find in some cases to be inspirational. That being said, I really do not like the way in which ‘Lord’ is translated as ‘Eternal One’ throughout the work.
I really wanted to like the Voice of Psalms but I didn’t. The book of Psalms is a book of poetry – I would have to say there is far too much poetic license in this interpretation.
For those looking for an understandable modern translation of the Bible that remains true to the original text I would suggest the excellent ESV or ideally the ESV Study Bible. I really cannot recommend the Voice to anyone seeking an accurate rendition of God’s word.
(Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their Blogger Review program called Book Sneeze (www.booksneeze.com) I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”)