Bible Stories for Adults Only: Amplified and Annotated

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In such cases, we have decided to render the text "brothers and sisters. The warnings against loose women in Proverbs 5—7, for example, are clearly aimed at young men. Furthermore, Proverbs 31 does not describe a remarkable partner or spouse but a remarkable woman who happens to also be a wife. This perspective respects the particular situations that gave rise to the texts in their original historical settings and does not seek to exclude or include for that matter those not being directly addressed by the biblical writers.

Commentaries and proper exegesis can make reasonable application of texts across gender lines in ways translations cannot. Finally, although The Voice represents a new approach to Bible translation, we have intentionally avoided the tendency to use trendy language. Our goal was to capture the beauty and brutal honesty of the Scriptures in language that is timeless and enduring.

In the process, we have come to recognize our profound indebtedness to the various strands of Christian tradition that have made these texts available. We stand in gratitude to a multitude of saints who gave their lives to preserve and transmit the Scriptures in their original languages from one generation to the next.


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We acknowledge the significant contributions made by the Reformers and their followers not to mention their predecessors to give us a common language and scriptural heritage in the English-speaking world. Although we have not always tried to imitate them, we have always learned from them.

BY REV. E.P. BARROWS, D.D.,

Our hope and prayer is that a new generation of people will encounter the Scriptures through The Voice and step into the story of Scripture. Most English translations of Scripture render this "Christ," which is not a translation but a transliteration. The unfortunate effect of this decision is that most readers mistake "Christ" as a kind of second name for Jesus.

In fact, Christos is not a name at all; it is a title. It is a Greek translation of the Hebrew title Messiah. So when the New Testament writers call Jesus " the Christ," they are making a bold claim—one of the central claims of the Christian faith—that Jesus is the Messiah. While there was no single expectation about the Messiah in Jesus' day, many of His contemporaries would have recognized the Messiah as God's agent who comes in the last days to redeem God's people and repair our broken world. Because we understand that no single English word or phrase captures the richness of the term Messiah or Christos, we made a strategic decision in The Voice to translate Christos and not simply to transliterate it.

The root idea of Christos is derived from a Greek verb meaning "to anoint with oil. When people are anointed—kings and priests, for example—oil is poured over their heads, signifying God's Spirit coming upon them and empowering them for the tasks ahead. This is why we have decided to translate Christos as "God's Anointed," the "Anointed," or the "Anointed One," depending on context and narrative flow.

But there is another aspect of Christos we need to highlight. You see, according to tradition, the Messiah is to be a son of David, and as such He has a royal function to continue David's dynasty and to reign over a newly constituted kingdom. In order to become king, a person must have God's anointing. So from time to time, as we translate Christos as "God's Anointed," we have added the explanatory phrase "the Liberating King" to remind us of the primary mission and the reason God elects and empowers Jesus in the first place.

Jesus comes as the King of a new kind of kingdom and exercises His royal power to rescue and liberate His creation. This liberation takes place on various levels, all of which are related. Not long after Jesus begins His public ministry, He returns to the synagogue in Nazareth—where He had grown up—and reads the Scripture portion that day from Isaiah He sent Me to liberate those held down by oppression.

From the way Jesus responds to the reading that day, it is clear that He understands His Spirit-enabled work to be about proclaiming the good news, releasing exiles and other political prisoners, healing the sick, and freeing the oppressed—in a word, "liberating" the poor, the captive, the sick, and the marginalized from whatever threatens them. But there is more. The Scriptures declare that Jesus comes to liberate those made in His image from the power and penalty of sin, which is the reason God's good creation is so fouled up and disordered in the first place.

In fact Paul tells the Romans that all creation has been damaged by sin and longs for the day when God's children are revealed and set free from the power of sin and death. When that day comes, creation itself will be liberated from its own slavery to corruption Romans By translating Christos as "God's Anointed, the Liberating King " on occasion, we are reminded of the title's true meaning and an important truth: the extent of Jesus' kingdom and the reach of His liberating work extend beyond our hearts, beyond our politics, beyond our world.

To know a name is to know something special. When people tell you their names, they signal willingness to know and be known. It is often a prelude to their personal journeys, an invitation to relationships. This dynamic is certainly true in the story of Scripture when God chooses to reveal His name to His people.

Although we do not know which vowels would have been pronounced with these four consonants, we think the name may best be spoken as Yahweh. In the past, some translators rendered the divine name Jehovah; but this is actually a name made up from the consonants of YHWH and the vowels of Adonai, one of the Hebrew words for "Lord.

In The Voice we have taken special care to translate the divine name as the "Eternal One" or the "Eternal," depending on the context.

The translation of God's name is based upon a number of factors. It was revealed to Moses at Mount Sinai Exodus Here is that classic exchange:. This is what you should tell the people of Israel: "I AM has sent me to rescue you. The revelation of God's name to Moses is associated with the liberation of the Hebrew slaves from Egyptian bondage and the institution of God's covenant with Israel at Sinai. The declaration affirms that this God is none other than the God who had already appeared and established a covenant of blessing with Abraham and his sons.

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Therefore, it is a covenant name that links past, present, and future: "I am the God who was with Abraham. I am the God who hears the prayers of My people now. I am the God who will rescue them in the future. I am the Eternal. This is why we think the English word "eternal" helps to capture something of its meaning. Furthermore, God emphasizes that this name is eternal; it stands forever and must be remembered by future generations of God's covenant partners. The Ten Directives warn against using the name of God in any frivolous, self-serving way Exodus Over time—and under the influence of this directive—faithful Jewish communities spoke the name less and less until it was prohibited from use altogether except on the most solemn occasions in the temple.

Even when Scripture was read aloud in the synagogue, the reader did not utter the divine name; instead, when he came across it in the text, he substituted a word for it. In Aramaic-speaking synagogues they would say Adonai ; in Greek-speaking synagogues they would say Kyrios. Many Jews today carry on this tradition of reverence by refusing to speak the name at all and indicating the presence of the written name in Scripture by saying HaShem, which means, "the name.

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When, for example, scribes wrote and copied the Scriptures, they refrained from fully spelling out the names and titles associated with God the Father, Son, and Spirit. Instead, they employed what we call today nomina sacra that is, "sacred names". When copyists came across these special names in the text, they would abbreviate them with two letters generally and draw a line above those letters to indicate to the reader that the word is a sacred name. The Voice translation of the divine name as the "Eternal" and the "Eternal One" carries on the church's long-standing tradition of reverence for God and His name.

It also attempts to translate the meaning of the name and recontextualize it for our culture. We wish to emphasize both the covenantal and everlasting aspects of God's name. It is covenantal in that God is revealing His special name as a prelude to an enduring relationship with Him, a relationship in which He promises to be with and for us.

It signals God's willingness both to know us and to be known by us. It is everlasting in that God's name, like God Himself, is timeless and unchanging. Although existing outside of time and space, God has revealed Himself in time and space in order to engage His people—past, present, and future—in a loving and faithful relationship.

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The "Eternal One" stands in sharp contrast to everything else in the universe which is temporary and constantly changing. Chris Seay president of Ecclesia Bible Society first recognized a need for The Voice more than 20 years ago during his early attempts to teach the whole biblical narrative as the story of God's redemptive work in God's Anointed, Jesus of Nazareth. Chris observed that the way this postmodern generation processes ideas and information raises obstacles to traditional methods of teaching biblical content.

Instead of primarily propositional-based thought patterns, people today are more likely to interact with events and individuals through complex observations involving emotions, cognitive processes, tactile experiences, and spiritual awareness. The result of Chris's observations is a retelling of the Scriptures in a narrative form: this is The Voice , not of words, but of meaning and experience.

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The Voice is a fresh expression of the timeless narrative known as the Bible. Stories of God's goodness that were told to each generation by their grandparents and tribal leaders were recorded and assembled to form the Christian Scriptures. Too often, the passion, grit, humor, and beauty have 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 help readers step into the story of Scripture.

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Thomas Nelson Publishers and Ecclesia Bible Society have joined together 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. Putting the Bible into the language of modern readers is a painstaking process that involves correlating ancient languages and cultures with the English vernacular. Scripture is filled with passages intended to inspire, captivate, and depict both the beauty and the ugliness of the world; but earlier translations have not always been successful in communicating the beauty, grit, and story of Scripture.

The Voice is a translation of the Bible's collage of compelling narrative, poetry, song, truth, and wisdom. The Voice will call you to step into the whole story of God with your whole heart, soul, and mind. The book you are reading is no ordinary book. The Bible is a veritable library, a book of books, but not just any books. These books are inspired by God, written by people flush with their encounters with Him, shaped by communities of faithful believers, and recognized by the church universal as an authoritative account of God's activities in the world.

Speaking of the first part of the Christian Scriptures, Paul reminds Timothy that these books are in fact "God-breathed" 2 Timothy Generations of Christians have sensed the warm, sweet breath of God as they thumbed through the pages and breathed in the enduring message it contains. If you allow His breath to wash over you, you will hear the authentic voice of the one True God addressing you, correcting you, and training you for what is ahead.

The Christian Bible is the most translated and retranslated book in all history. All or part of it is available today to the vast majority of the world's population in nearly 2, of the world's 6, languages. In America the first book read by children and adults was the King James Bible. The memorable stories in its pages entertained them, trained their minds, formed their consciences, and fashioned their societies.

No book has had a greater impact on so large a group of people. However, the English language has changed in the last four centuries—as all languages do over the course of time—so we arrive at a new moment with a fresh opportunity to retell these classic stories in the common language of a new generation.

We have not arrived at this moment on our own.