Thursday, October 24, 2013

BOOK REVIEW: Compass, the Study Bible for Navigating Your Life

Published by:  Thomas Nelson, Inc. 2012

I am a die-hard King James Bible reader.  I love the language of the translation, and have never felt I was in over my head, as many claim to be when they read this translation of the Bible.  Maybe it's because I have been reading it all of my life.  Several years ago I received a different version of the Bible, made a comparison of some of my favorite parts and areas I consider very important doctrinally, and found that comparing the two versions was enlightening.  So when Shelton Interactive offered to allow me to review the new Compass, the Study Bible for Navigating Your Life, I was thrilled.  I was especially excited to see this new translation, because it features The Voice translation by Ecclesia Bible Society (I had previously reviewed The Voice in it's New Testament form).  

Let me just say I can't put this Bible down.  It has become my at home go to translation.  Yes, I still carry my King James to church, but now I compare the two and even find I like how the Compass Study Bible translates into more understandable ways of speaking (not modern language, but in ways of saying things and getting the point across).  

If you are familiar with The Voice, you already know that the translation is written in script format, such as when a person is speaking the speaker is identified, followed by what the speaker says; instead of saying something like "then Jesus said" it will say "Jesus:" followed by His words.  I find this much easier to read and understand.  This also eliminates the need of red lettering for the words of Jesus.

Another feature of the Compass Bible is it's paragraph formatting.  I could never understand ending a verse before a sentence or thought has ended.  But that could be just me and my way of reading.  I have personally found that when a translation is written in verse form, you may be tempted to end at the end of the verse, instead of completing the thought/sentence, and thereby lose the meaning of what is being said. 

The Compass Bible also uses the term "Anointed One" in place of "Christ".  We have all fallen into the trap of using the term Christ as a last or second name for Jesus, when in fact it is actually a title used of the Son of God, meaning "Anointed One".  Another term used is "The Logos" meaning the Voice.  Remember John 1:1 which in the King James translates "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God."  The Compass translates this verse as "Before time itself was measured, the Voice was speaking.  The Voice was and is God."  

Let me give you one more comparison, using John 10:24-30:

24  Then came the Jews round about him, and said unto him, How long dost thou make us to doubt?  If thou be the Christ, tell us plainly.
25  Jesus answered them, I told you, and ye believed not; the works that I do in my Father's name, they bear witness of me.
26  But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you.
27  My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.
28  And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. 
29  My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand.
30  I and my Father are one.

the Compass:
... 24and Jews gathered around Him.

Jews:  How long are You going to keep us guessing?  If You are God's Anointed, the Liberating King, announce it clearly.

Jesus:  25I have told you, and you do not believe.  The works I am doing in My Father's name tell the truth about Me.  You do not listen; 26 you lack faith because you are not My sheep.  27My sheep respond as they hear My voice; I know them intimately, and they follow Me.  28 I give them a life that is unceasing, and death will not have the last word.  Nothing or no one can steal them from My hand.  29 My Father has given the flock to Me, and He is superior to all beings and things.  No one is powerful enough to snatch the flock from My Father's hand.  30 The Father and I are one.

Especially important to note is that this translation uses the "word for word" in some places, and the "thought for thought" method in other places.  When you get your copy of the Compass, make sure to read the preface. 

Other features are the commentaries in the middle of the page where they apply to the Scripture, instead of at the bottom as is traditional.  Comparable verses are listed at the bottom of the page, although they seem to be few.  There is a topical index of words and ideas, and a topical index for notes, both of which are sufficient, but not as in depth as you might find in other translations.  There are great introductions to each book of the Bible, as well as a Transition from the Old Testament to the New Testament which includes an essay on the Covenants of God and one on the names of Jesus.

In my opinion, the Compass Bible brings out the beauty of the language of the Bible, gives a clear and concise translation of the Bible, and holds true to the doctrine of the Bible (man's preferences for interpretation are not chosen over what the actual translation would be). Overall, I believe you will learn much from this translation of the Bible, and maybe even be inclined to read and study the word of God more, falling deeper in love with the Anointed One, the Messiah, our Savior.

In order to comply with new Federal Trade Commission regulations, please note that this book was provided compliments of Shelton Interactive's book review program.

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