Thursday, December 29, 2011

New Bible Translation

The Common English Bible
“Just like a deer that craves streams of water, my whole being craves you, God. My whole being thirsts for God, for the living God.” - Psalm 42:1-2 CEB
I was given a beautiful copy of The Common English Bible to review. It is a really nice leather, thin line, softcover, two-tone addition. I love it. It’s a really nice edition. The Common English Bible is probably new to you, I know a lot of people are particularly wary of new Bible translations. Me too. I had my dad and Byron look at it, gave them some information about it. They liked it, didn't have any theological objections or anything. At first, I was worried it would be common English as in paraphrased like the Message, but it actually is quite close to the NIV. Not to be confused with the CEV, Common English Version, it's the CEB. Here’s the short version of what you need to know:

The CEB is a collaboration of 120 academic scholars and editors, 77 reading group leaders, and more than 500 average readers from around the world who joined together to translate the Bible’s original Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek languages into 21st century English. The project was sponsored by good churches, nothing flakey.

Here’s a neat verse translation that you may recognize:
“Since childhood you have known the holy scriptures that help you to be wise in a way that leads to salvation through faith that is in Christ Jesus. Every scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching, for showing mistakes, for correcting, and for training character, so that the person who belongs to God can be equipped to do everything that is good.” 2 Timothy 3:15-17.

I liked a lot of things about this Bible. I like the Bible, and after using the Bible everyday side by side with my NIV, I think the translation has won me over too. I like the topical headings in the Bible, I know that’s a minor thing, there are a lot of them. Honestly, it very rarely differs from the NIV, but when they do differ, it does say things a bit clearer in my opinion. Will I use it instead of my NIV? Hmm. Good question. As one who teaches Bible studies and groups, I really can’t use it in that environment, because I need a more common translation that other people will have. I like to have this Bible in church partly because I like the size and feel of it, and I like to read a different translation than the pastor is reading out of and see how it differs, and I am really liking this Bible.

For most serious Bible reading people - changing your translation is right up there with changing your husband or wife! Most people have a Bible that they are about as comfortable with as a spouse. But, the CEB has a lot to offer and I think it would be great to give away to a new believer, because it has such clarity. One of my pet peeves is giving away King James Versions to kids and teens! The KJV is on a 12th grade reading level - most adults are not able to adequately understand it, and it leads to frustration and hostility to Bible reading!
You can buy your copy of the CEB HERE – it is also available online and in 20 digital formats. I’ll be bringing you more verses in the CEB and more insights as I uncover them. So, be on the lookout.

There is a really awesome website about the CEB here. It has an extensive verse look up, a great comparison chart, and some other great features about this translation.

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