Go to Admin » Appearance » Widgets » and move Gabfire Widget: Social into that MastheadOverlay zone
By VANESSA CHAIREZ
The hand-crafted covers made by members of La Mision church in Buenos Aires, Argentina, are each one of a kind, reflective of the story told in “The Voice,” a new unique Bible translation written in screenplay format.
To celebrate and promote the release of this new translation, the School of Theology in conjunction with the Christian publishing company Thomas Nelson will co-host “Hear the Voice, HBU” on Feb. 27 at 4 p.m. in Belin Chapel.
President Robert B. Sloan Jr. said he congratulates the group that worked on the project and that its efforts shed a positive light on the University. “It’s wonderful to have faculty on campus who are capable of doing this very complex work,” he said.
Thomas Nelson Bibles, a branch of Thomas Nelson and one of the oldest Bible publishers in the world, published “The Voice New Testament” in 2008 as well as the revised version in 2011, and will publish the complete version of “The Voice,” which will include 1,664 pages of text, on March 22.
Frank Couch, “The Voice” editor and Thomas Nelson vice president for translation development, said the company has found that a large number of people who had been using the King James Bible exclusively also enjoy using “The Voice” translation because it is more enjoyable to read.
The new translation project began in 2004 after Chris Seay, pastor of Ecclesia Houston, spoke to Dr. David Capes, professor in Christianity, about creating a new version of the Bible.
Since that conversation, the translation has grown into a collaborative effort among 27 Bible scholars, 51 writers and 36 other contributors.
Capes took a sabbatical for four months to assume the role of lead scholar on the project at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland in 2009 to translate, write and research. In fall 2010, he was designated by President Robert B. Sloan Jr. as the Thomas Nelson research professor in large measure to pursue this project.
Capes said “The Voice” is distinguished by its screenplay format that allows the reader to immediately identify who is speaking. “People tell me it is the Bible that they do not want to put down,” he said.
In addition to Capes, current full-time faculty members who have contributed to the project include Dr. Joesph Blair, director of the Master of Arts in Theological Studies program and professor in Christianity; Dr. Ben Blackwell, assistant professor in Christianity; Dr. Peter Davids, visiting professor in Christianity; and Dr. Felisi Sorgwe, director of the Center for Exploring Ministry careers and assistant professor in Christianity.
Jack Wisdom, adjunct professor in Christianity and philosophy, and Dr. Joseph Dodson, former adjunct professor in Christianity, also contributed to the project. Justin Hyde, B.A. ‘08, Chad Karger, B.S. ‘93, Phuc Luu, B.S. ‘94, David Morgan, B.A. ’98, and Charles Pitts, B.A. ’83, participated in the effort.
Those who worked on the project included translators, writers and reviewers, many of whom are members of the University community. “The University was at the heart of the project,” Capes said. “We have had a huge influence.”
Blackwell said one of the main goals of “The Voice” when the project began was to attract readers who had never read the Bible, were not familiar with the language or did not have much interest.
“This version is starting from scratch,” he said, “so a lot of the religious language that people may or may not understand has been avoided so that someone who hasn’t read the Bible before is not stumbling over language.”
Reader feedback eventually indicated that even those who were very familiar with the Bible found this version to be a fresh approach, he added.
To facilitate this understanding, Capes invited Blair, who worked to review the New Testament translation for clarity and accuracy, to assist with the final project.
“The text is formatted to be very accessible to a person who might have limited interest or might be very interested in reading the text in a fresh presentation that gives insights they might not get otherwise,” Blair said, adding that working on a project like “The Voice” Bible translation has aided him in becoming a better scholar.
Davids was also invited by Capes to review several books in the Old and New Testaments and spent about five years working on the project. “The translation does not leave the ancient culture behind but instead explains it,” he said, adding that he learned a lot while aiding with reviewing the text.
“I found I came out of it knowing more about Hebrew and Deuteronomy and feeling that I had had a positive collaborative and learning experience myself,” Davids said.
Sorgwe also said he acquired knowledge throughout his review of “The Voice” and is excited for the complete work to be published.
He added that he also looks forward to the upcoming on-campus event, which will include readings from “The Voice” and information about how the project came together.
“More people are now going to be exposed to the fact that we have had some of our own professors involved in this huge and remarkable project,” Sorgwe said.