I really like The Voice translation. However, I think equally important is the font size, quality of the paper, binding, and cover. I cant seem to take a new translation seriously until its printed on quality materials.
The font size is listed as 7, that seems about right. I would prefer a larger print edition, somewhere between 9 and 12, but that is not available.
The binding is glued, I would prefer sewn.
The paper is low quality, it is newspaper gray and rough. Its about the same as a typical cheap paperback book. The edges of the print are not crisp. Don't use a highlighter it will bleed through.
The cover is imitation leather. I prefer genuine leather, and I am willing to pay extra for it, but the reviews on the leather version are mostly negative in terms of the quality of the leather. I've had this bible about a year, I store it in its box, and I take it with me to church on Sundays. I handle it carefully. The cover is already starting to show signs of wear and I doubt it will make it another year. It seems that the cover is coming unglued from the (backing?) and it makes crinkling noises when I squeeze it.
Ignoring the small font size and poor quality paper, I really enjoy reading this translation. Its paraphrased, and huge liberties have been taken to make it easy to understand and the words flow well, like poetry, more so than any other version I have ever read, more poetic than The Message. Because it is paraphrased, there are many places where the accuracy just isn't there. You would use this Bible for reading, not for studying. I like how the paragraphs are broken up when there is dialog between people, and it has the name of who is speaking before the paragraph. That is a really nice feature.
The bullet points that are in-line with the text as part of the Compass features are okay, but typically I don't bother reading them.
If you're interested in a paraphrased translation and not concerned about the quality of the materials then I would suggest this bible. Otherwise I would look at something else.
I rally enjoy the style that this is written in. You always know who is speaking. I also appreciate the title given to God: The Eternal. Then there also are the inserts, giving the reading more meaning.
After reading how this translation came to be, all the care that went into the accuracy of the text, I was excited to give it a try....I'm so glad that I did! I use this translation now more than the others. I love the way it speaks to me and how it clarifies the scriptures for me.
I find this a very readable translation of the Bible. Normally, I do not like such versions, but the style and layout is easy to follow, and the notes add depth to the verses and chapters. I only wish this was offered in larger type. When I bought it, I knew the type was small and rather gray. As I read my Bible very early in the morning, there are times when the gray, small type is not as clear as 10 point type would be to read. Other than that, I would recommend it to someone who shunned Bible reading "because I can't understand the words."
Over the past couple of years that I have been familiar with The Voice translation of the NT and later the OT, I have enjoyed having it available. When I first heard of the availability of a Study Bible using this translation, I was excited. Now, having it in my hand, I am less excited. Though called a "Study Bible" its contents more closely parallel those of a Devotional Bible - but it does not quite reach the best of those standards either.
There is no clearly stated purpose for this new Study Bible - it is a collection of notes, but nothing of the quality or depth I would expect of a good Study Bible or Devotional Bible. The preface and introductory remarks appear to be written for the translation, not for this edition of the Study Bible. There are considerable more notes per page in the New Testament than in the Old Testament - perhaps echoing the interest of too many 21st century believers, but not that of a book claiming in its entirety to be the Word of God.
Though designed by artists, this Study Bible has done a remarkably poor job of clearly distinguishing the Bible text from its notes. Though they have used different fonts, the density of those fonts and their placement on the page (in the body of the page, rather than as footnotes, indented text, or highlighted text) made it difficult to immediately tell where I was in the text - was I reading the Bible or the notes. This distinction is important given the informal nature of the translation. A second look was necessary to know what I was reading at the time.
The variety of indexes included as part of this edition does add considerable value to the book:
* Road Map To God's Promises
* A 40-Day Retreat With Jesus
* 365 Days Through The Whole Bible
* Topical Guide To The Notes
* Topical Guide To The Scripture
* Maps (Black and White)
* Index To In-Text Maps
I am looking forward to weaving several of these into my personal study and ministry.
When picking up a Bible with notes, I would like to have seen more meat - either in helping to understand the Bible text or applying it to my life. There is value here - just not as much as I would have liked to have seen in a new Study Bible or Devotional Bible. The book is recommended for the new Christian - perhaps one with an artistic heart (either in musical, dramatic, or the visual arts). It would also serve a long time believer looking for a way of understanding and seeing the scripture. I would find it more difficult to recommend this Bible to the scholar or pastor looking to augment his or her study and understanding of the scriptures.
This review is based on a free copy provided by the publisher for the purpose of creating this review. The opinions expressed are mine alone.