Listening to the Voice – Christology

Click to Order

One of the first things I look for in a bible translation is their presentation of the deity of Christ. What first attracted me to the New Living Translation was the 1996 translation of Philippians 2 -

Your attitude should be the same that Christ Jesus had. Though he was God, he did not demand and cling to his rights as God. He made himself nothing; he took the humble position of a slave and appeared in human form. And in human form he obediently humbled himself even further by dying a criminal’s death on a cross. Because of this, God raised him up to the heights of heaven and gave him a name that is above every other name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (Php 2:5-11)

Admittedly, this is not the most unbiased way to approach a translation, however, as my personal doctrine presupposes the deity of Christ and rests on it, presentation of this precept matters to me. In that, we examine The Voice with a few of my proof-texts, trying not to measure it against other translations.

John 1:1-5, 9-18:

Before time itself was measured, the Voice was speaking. The Voice was and is God. This celestial Voice remained ever present with the Creation; His speech shaped the entire cosmos. Immersed in the practice of creating, all things that exist were birthed in Him. His breath filled all things with a living, breathing light – light that thrives in the depths of darkness, blazing through murky bottoms. It cannot, and will not be quenched.

The true Light, who shines upon the heart of everyone, was coming into the cosmos. He does not call out from a distant place but draws near. He enters our world, a world He made, and speaks clearly; yet His creation did not recognize Him. Though the Voice utters only truth, His own people, who have heard the Voice before, rebuff this inner calling and refuse to listen. But those who hear and trust the beckoning of the Divine Voice and embrace Him, they shall be reborn as children of God; He bestows this birthright not by human power or initiative but by God’s will. Because we are born of this world, we can only be reborn to God by accepting His call.

The Voice that had been an enigma in the heavens chose to becomes human and live surrounded by His creations. We have seen Him. Undeniable splendor enveloped Him – the one true Son of God – evidenced in the perfect balance of great and truth. John, the wanderer who testified of the Voice, introduced Him. “This is the one I’ve been telling you is coming. He is much greater than I because He existed long before me.” Through this man, we all receive gifts of grace beyond our imagination. He is the Voice of God. You see, Moses gave us rules to live by, but Jesus, the Liberating King, offered the gifts of grace and truth which make life worth living. God, unseen until now, is revealed in the Voice, God’s only Son, straight from the Father’s heart.

It moves the Logos Christology into a different arena. While it may well be said that John’s doctrine here was developed into Logos Christology, what is here is interpretation which in of itself a development. Further, while I can appreciate the use of ‘Voice’ for Logos, which hearkens back to Genesis, the added thoughts are a little much. I don’t much care for the ‘rules to live by’ which obligates the meaning of the Law.

2nd Peter 1.1 -

Simon peter, a servant and emissary* of Jesus, the Liberator, to those who have received the same precious faith we share through the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus, the Liberating King.

* Literally, apostle

Titus 2.13 -

Watch for His return; expect the blessed hope we all are to share when our amazing God and Savior, Jesus, the Liberating King, appears again.

John 8.58 -

I tell you the truth; I AM before Abraham was born.

Romans 9.5 -

The patriarchs are theirs too; and from their bloodline comes the Liberating King, who reigns supreme over all things, God blessed forever. Amen.

Acts 20.28 -

Here are my instructions: diligently guard yourselves, and diligently guard the whole flock over which the Holy Spirit has given you oversight. Shepherd the church of God, this precious church which He made His own through the blood of His own Son.

I’ll leave the rest to you. Also, if you don’t have The Voice, and you want to know what other passages say, please let me know.

Post By Joel Watts (10,051 Posts)

Joel L. Watts holds a Masters of Arts from United Theological Seminary with a focus in literary and rhetorical criticism of the New Testament. He is currently a Ph.D. student at the University of the Free State, analyzing Paul’s model of atonement in Galatians. He is the author of Mimetic Criticism of the Gospel of Mark: Introduction and Commentary (Wipf and Stock, 2013), a co-editor and contributor to From Fear to Faith: Stories of Hitting Spiritual Walls (Energion, 2013), and Praying in God's Theater, Meditations on the Book of Revelation (Wipf and Stock, 2014).

Website: → Unsettled Christianity

Connect

6 thoughts on Listening to the Voice – Christology

  1. i await your last post, your review. seems very positive so far. I can see it now: joel watts, from KJV onlyist to NLT-onlyist to the Voice onlyist!

Leave a Reply, Please!