AUTHOR: Ecclesia Bible Society
PUBLISHER: Nashville, TN: Thomas-Nelson, 2012, (1664 pages).
Cleverly named "The Compass," this new study Bible is based on one of the latest English Bible translations called "The Voice." The translation team comprises scholars, musicians, writers, and poets, all wanting to communicate the Word of God as clearly as possible and as faithfully as possible. The translators adopt what they call as a "contextual equivalent." This differentiates itself from the other translation philosophies like word-for-word, thought-for-thought, or dynamic equivalence. (Simply put, a word-for-word is focused on translating the text as they are. A thought-for-thought translation is focused on translating the meaning the texts are trying to say. A dynamic equivalent translation tries to strike a balance between the word-for-word and thought-for-thought.) Where appropriate, The Voice translation avoids the traditional "word-for-word," because such a philosophy does not bring across the context clear enough for the modern reader. Moreover, the language may sound too woody for modern ears. It also avoids the "thought for thought" because it tends to translate the interpretations of the translators rather than the texts per se. Instead, it aims toward a format that communicates a "contextual equivalent," that is backed by scholarship of the original languages.
What is contextual equivalent? There are many ways to explain it. According to the translators:
"A contextual equivalent translation technique seeks to convey the original language accurately while rendering the literary structures and character of a text in readable and meaningful contemporary language. This particular translation approach keeps in mind the smaller parts and the larger whole., In endeavoring to translate sacred Scripture, The Voice captures uniquely the poetic imagery and literary artistry of the original in a way that is beautiful and meaningful." (Preface, viii)