Who is The Voice for? Everyone!The best Bible translation is the one people will actually read, digest and put into practice in their lives. So we did this translation for any person who wants to read the Bible, understand it and step into its story. When we began this project, we had in mind seekers and first-time Bible readers, but we've been amazed by how many veteran Bible readers out there say they love it and can't put it down.
The Voice is for private devotions. It’s a perfect Bible to keep by the bedside or favorite chair, to take a few minutes every day to quiet your soul and focus on what truly matters. We've included reading plans for people who want to read all the way through the Bible in three years. There are also reading plans for the seasons of Advent and Lent. We've included some suggestions as well for people who want to engage in lectio divina – the spiritual reading of Scripture. Essentially, this spiritual practice involves reading a text, re-reading it slowly, and meditating on words, phrases and perhaps images that come to mind.
The Voice is also for public reading. Christians gather regularly in homes, schools, art galleries, coffee shops, store-fronts and churches to worship the one, true God. One of the most important moments in worship comes when Scripture is read and proclaimed. We wanted to provide those gathered believers with a version they would find easy to read and understand when read publicly. As we were translating, writing and editing, we read aloud every word, every phrase and every sentence to see how each sounds. I discovered along this journey that good prose has a rhythm and meter to it. I'll never forget working with Greg Garrett on one of our early books and watching him beat out the meter of the prose. I knew poetry had meter, but it had never dawned on me that good prose has meter as well.
Our hope is that The Voice Bible will encourage people – whether in private devotions or public worship – to read more than a few verses at a time. While there is some benefit to reading the Scripture that way, we think there is greater benefit that comes when people read big chunks at a time. Only then can they grasp the big picture and step into the story of Scripture.
(photo -- Kristi Swenson working on The Voice)