Thursday, July 5, 2012
"The voice of the Lord is powerful."
While Scratching the Surface will dominate KDs for the next six months or so, there will be an occasional detour like this one.
My daddy likes to say, "Some people don't like to see anything happen for the first time."
He also laments, "Some people look like they're either having a vision of God or didn't get to the toilet in time."
It's like KDs.
You be the judge; and I've learned many folks feel comfortable in that position.
Speaking of detours and judgmentalism, I've heard a lot about it concomitant to The Voice.
It's a new translation/paraphrase/hybrid - You be the judge! - of the Bible.
It was first brought to my attention by the founder and manager of www.bnnsradio.com (Bill Villont).
While Bill's journey with Jesus is deepening moment by confessing moment and the fruit of joy and patience are growing exponentially as evidence of his increasing intimacy with Jesus, I kinda blew it off at first because I really don't have time to go to the bathroom these days not to mention reading/reviewing another "new" Bible.
Besides, Bibles don't come cheaply these days and I've been saving up my $ for gas/meals/lodging as my annual missionary/recreational trip to South Dakota approaches.
Fortunately, as I've said before from years of understanding/experiencing how God works when we totally depend upon Him (read Matthew 5:3; 6:33-34; 7:7-12; James 4:3), a not so anonymous friend dropped his dime and sent a copy to me.
Be that as it/He is, I've been reading/absorbing it for a few days now; and have, like Scratching the Surface, some things to say about it/Him without the benefit/pollution of anybody else's reviews. In other words, this review is sure to upset well-heeled scholars and those who think God only speaks in Elizabethan English.
I was kinda surprised to see the name of a former seminary classmate among those on the translation team; though I guess I shouldn't have been because he was the only one who got an A from Bright when the great OT guy spent a semester with us.
Parenthetically, I got a B; which kinda proves where I've always been with classical languages - close but no...
Actually, I would have gotten an A but Paul Swedlund (RIP) made me go with him to pick up a con in a Newark bar who skipped on parole. When I told Paul that I had a final with Bright the next morning, he asked me what Jesus would do. Dang. That question can be so annoying; especially when I'm about to... So we went, got home about two hours before the final, and I came pret' near close to getting a C for the course if you know what I mean.
There are also some poets and musicians who served on the project to produce The Voice that I've known over the years.
So I guess I opened the first pages with a bias; unlike anyone else who...
You know what I mean.
Things that stand out for me if not you or the people who've already condemned it without ever looking at it (Psst. Church people are notorious about the second part of the previous sentence!):
1. The notes interspersed/embedded throughout the text, meaning you don't have to look all over the place for 'em, are surprisingly accurate/cogent in a literary/traditio-historical-critical kinda way; for even a B classical language fellah like me can pick that up.
2. The style reminds me a lot of The Message yet often reads like the NIV on steroids.
3. Speaker identifications in a theatrical fashion allow even non-speed-readers to zip through it with heretofore (pour moi at least) ease and recollection.
4. Italicized amplifications within the text, added for expositional and sometimes exegetical clarity, are captivating, clear, concise, crisp, and confirming of the broader meanings of classical languages juxtaposed to Thayer, TDNT, and so on.
5. Going back to #3, it reads like the script for a Shakespearian play without an antiquated or incomprehensible-to-21st-century-readers literary genre.
6. There are some really helpful special features on lectio divina, the liturgical calendar avec appropriate readings, retreat plans, unique topical guides, and so on.
7. While I know KJVers and other bigots will condemn what they never actually review personally, I think it's a wonderful supplement to your favorite translation/paraphrase; especially for the occasionally curious, just converted, or recently revived in a Scratching the Surface kinda way.
It also proves God intended the Bible as self-authenticating and comprehensible for anyone apart from commentaries and books and other stuff about it.
Really, stop reading about it.
If you'd like to hear more about The Voice, click on www.bnnsradio.com next Tuesday (7/10) at 11:30 a.m. as Kathie, Bill, and Tony review the preceding along with their thoughts while I'm in Florida to preside at the nuptial of Alissa and Brandon and then 7/17 at the same time/station when I rejoin the cast of Kopp Disclosure to give it a whirl/review.
Blessings and Love!