Thursday, February 12, 2015

The Psalms by Brian and Candice Simmons

This book, The Psalms:  Poetry on Fire, is a new translation of the book of Psalms from Brian and Candice Simmons called The Passion Translation.  As someone who studies scripture closely and often refers back to the original Hebrew and Greek, I was interested to see a new translation that purportedly attempted to capture the emotion behind the original words as well as their meaning.

Unfortunately, this translation does a poor job of both.  First of all, this translation is heavily paraphrased in order to keep it in everyday English.  When I review Bibles, there are certain verses I check to compare the way they are translated and unfortunately, I felt many of the verses I checked either changed the intended meaning, made specific things that are typically regarded as having multiple meanings or even in a few places, changed the intended meaning.  There were several places as well where the translation was grammatically incorrect.  It would not have been a big deal in a more literal translation, but this translation relies so heavily on modern English usage that the grammar issues seem huge.  Lastly, while the footnotes offer lots of good information on the history of accepted translation, they are hugely lacking when it comes to making a Bible usable.

I cannot recommend this translation of the Bible.  It doesn't fill any niche that isn't already filled better by another translation and the places of questionable translation make it unreliable.

I was provided this book free of charge by the publisher in return for my honest review.

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