Friday, November 21, 2008

The Voice: The Emergent 'translation'...

If you think that the Message was bad, try this new "version" of the Bible done/promoted by the Emergents from Thomas Nelson publishers called The Voice.

About the Voice:

Chris Seay's vision for The Voice goes back 15 years to his early attempts to celebrate the beauty and truth of the biblical narrative. As western culture moved into what is now referred to as postmodernism, Chris struggled with a deep desire to preach the whole story of God. Much like the Hebrews at the time of the New Testament, emerging generations today connect with story rather than isolated facts. Too often, preaching is reduced to articulating truth statements somehow hidden in a complex, powerful, and redemptive story. Jesus taught through parables and metaphors; modern Christians have attempted to translate His teaching into a system of irrefutable fact statements and something seems to be getting lost in the translation.

Hence, a group of writers, poets, scholars, pastors, and storytellers have committed to work together to bring the Scriptures to life in a way that celebrates both beauty and truth.

The result is a retelling of the Scriptures: The Voice, not of words, but of meaning and experience.

The Voice is a fresh expression of the timeless narrative known as the Bible. Stories that were told to emerging generations of God's goodness by their grandparents and tribal leaders were recorded and assembled to form the Christian Scriptures. Too often the passion, grit, humor, and beauty has been lost in the translation process. The Voice seeks to recapture what was lost.

From these early explorations by Chris and others has come The Voice, a Scripture project to rediscover the story of the Bible. Thomas Nelson Publishers and Ecclesia Bible Society have joined together to stimulate unique creative experiences and to develop Scripture products and resources to foster spiritual growth and theological exploration out of a heart for the mission of the church and worship of God.

They are making the Gospel of John version online for free so you can look at their creative distortion "interpretation" of the Word of God.

Here is a look at the "translation" of Jn. 1:1 from this new Emergent translation:

Before time itself was measured, the Voice was speaking. The Voice was and is God (John 1:1 -The Voice)

Chris Rosebrough on his radio show has critiqued this New Emergent Translation (beginning about 50 minutes into the show) and posted one comparison of John 1:9-14 on this blog here. I agree with Chris that this version "is a text that obscures the gospel, distorts Jesus substitutionary work on the cross, teaches Pelagianism and promotes a liberal form of works Righteousness".

Just as a side note, those who deny the ability of language to perfectly convey truth (Neo-Orthodoxy) have no epistemological basis for invalidating this "translation". After all, how can they state that this translation is bad since the words are irrelevant anyway? What matters is the essence of the message, and as long as the message in the text is "Christocentric" (whatever that means), they have no right to object to this "translation".

And as for the anything-goes Bible proponents, their theory of dynamic equivalence (D-E) has made this skubalon possible. All they can object to is that the message is distorted, but without fidelity to the text of Scripture, their objection is liable to be cast as being just a differing interpretation. In the end, they must go back to the original languages, and woe to those of them who do not know how to read the original languages of Greek and Hebrew. As I have said and will say again, the D-E theory in the end breeds eliteism in exegesis and [conceptual, not lexical] interpretation of Scripture.


Joel Tay said...

"Before time itself was measured, the Voice was speaking. The Voice was and is God"


Like the thoughts on Neo-Orthodoxy and dynamic equivalence.

When you hate what God reveals in His word, write your own bible. That's what these emergent wolves are doing now.

Thanks for posting.

Will comment more when I have recovered from the shock.

Daniel C said...


yup, I will be posting something on the D-E philosophy later...

Anonymous said...

"When you hate what God reveals in His word, write your own bible. That's what these emergent wolves are doing now."

Their own self-projection of God.

Daniel C said...