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Word on the Street 
Author: Rob Lacey
Publisher; Zondervan 
Pages: 528

Most Bibles fall into one of two categories: they are either translations, which seek to translate words or sentences from the original language; or paraphrases, which seek to just show the essential emotions or ideas of a passage.  Word on the Street is one of those rare Bibles that is neither a translation nor a paraphrase. It is more like an overview.  The author's goal is to write the Word of God in a modern vernacular and yet also update other things within the Bible.  Psalms are rewritten as songs in modern day styles (such as grunge, rap, grunge/funk, or reggae).  The Epistles are also written as e-mails and the Gospels are recorded as four stories interwoven together. One of the most notable features is the fast forward sections where the author fast forwards through some parts by including a summary of what happens.

In an attempt to translate the Bible into modern day vernacular, the author seems to go too modern at some points.  The temple of God is referred to as His "HQ" and Jesus' disciples are referred to as "His team."  These translations will confuse some who have read more literal Bible translations.  Many who have read more literal translations will also find the fast forwards distracting.  Some will also find that Lacey has fast forwarded past stories that they remember and thought important such as the story of Cain and Abel, the tower of Babel, and basically the entire book of Judges.  It feels like someone is fast forwarding through most of a movie.

This Bible overview is good for someone who is just getting started in reading the Bible or someone who has hit a point where the Bible just seems dry to them.  For those who have no Bible experience this will help them understand God's Word quickly and easily.  Instead of reading through the Bible in a year, it will be easy enough to read through the Bible in about a month.  Even the most difficult passages to read in more familiar translations are easy to read here.

This is good for those who have no Bible experience, but those who do may be more comfortable with a Bible paraphrase, such as Eugene Peterson's The Message.

Burton Wray  September 12, 2004


 

 
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