5 Stars Out Of 5
It is a fine Bilbe, interesting new transalation
February 16, 2016
I am happy with this purchase. The translation is better than I expected. I got it mostly out of curiosity, as it is a fairly new translation that I had not yet tried. I was expecting something that's most appropriate for people having reading difficulty or who do not like the effort of reading the older translations, but in fact this Bible is fine for all reading levels/tastes, including those of us who enjoy the more traditional translations. It is a serious, fine-quality translation. (It is nothing whatsoever like the Message, for example -- which I do not have but have read some excerpts, and would not describe as "serious".) It does not take too much liberty with the original, and when it does diverge a bit for sake of clarity, the differing text is in italics, so you know that it does not match the original exactly. I found these italicized clarifications mostly useful. Also, the fact that it is presented like a "play" really is not such a big deal (it does not make the text diverge from the original meaning). It nicely enhances the clarity by always making it obvious who is speaking, and to whom. This info is often presented in a way that is either tedious or confusing in the more traditional translations.
The format of the text is very nice -- I like the two-tone text. The headers, chapter numbers, and page numbers are a dark burgundy, rather than everything being boring black. (But no red-letter Bible text, fortunately!! I hate reading red text.) It is good-quality print. The way the commentary is inserted does not bother me at all -- it is a completely different font and very easy to tell apart from the Bible text. However, having someone else's "theology" in my Bible is often annoying. It is a somewhat traditional theology, and not what I expected considering the description of the translation (in fact I did not really expect much if any theology). It is a bit of a mis-match and would go better in something like the ESV. The type of commentary I do like is cultural/historical explanations, and this Bible does have some of that, but the longer comments are theology and I do not much care for those, and it ruins the experience slightly. For example, I don't want someone's theology to attempt to explain away the "troubling" account of the murdering of all men, women, and children in some of the towns the Israelites took over in the old testament. Rather than trying to explain why God may have supported such atrocity, it would be more appropriate to have historical/cultural commentary on the relatively barbaric nature of societies ~3 k years ago (and the barbaric nature of some ultra-religious societies today that insist on sticking with brutal ancient customs and cultures). This could be used to make the point that the concept of God is not static but changes based on culture (and that cultural progress and change is often not a bad thing!). It annoys me to read theology struggling to justify the ancient brutalities. This is a long rant but the religious commentary truly is the worst thing, and only bad thing, about this Bible, and it is unfortunate because this could be a much nicer Bible without such nonsense. I put up with it because it is not extensive (a relatively tiny part of the entire book) and because it won't kill me to know how other people around me think. Maybe there should be a "slimline" edition without the commentary.
My version of this translation is the plum/orange shimmer, with very appropriate silver page gilding. I really like it -- a very cool 70's look! Also, it is sewn, just as it is stated in the description. Some of the reviews complained about it being glued and not sewn but that depends on the version you choose, and some of the others (that people complained about) did not state "sewn" in the description (although the descriptions did omit "glued"). I was really worried about this because of the reviews (the reviews for all the varieties are bunched together) and was very pleased to have sewn binding. A minor physical issue is that while the paper feels nice and smooth in many places, this is inconsistent, and many of the pages feel as if they have flour or other fine powder on them (probably just rougher paper). Also, all the corners are slightly wrinkled, but now I'm being super picky. It was on sale and I definitely got an excellent value, even with the minor faults. Much recommended.