I am switching to my new favorite translation, the Common English Bible.
It is a rare and wonderful thing when undisputedly strong scholarship and reader accessibility come together, and yet that is exactly what has happened in this new and altogether impressive translation of the scriptures, the Common English Bible. You will find yourself reading certain passages as if for the first time. I highly commend the CEB to scholars, students, and seekers alike who want to explore the richness of God's Word in a fresh way.
Unlike earlier translations that reflected only the perspectives of the translators, the Common English Bible is designed to speak to the reader.
Power to the people! (aka: 7 reasons why I switched to the Common English Bible)
1. For years I’ve longed for a translation of the Bible that speaks with an English vocabulary somewhere between the Contemporary English Version (CEV) and the Today’s New International Version (TNIV). The Common English Bible (CEB) does just that. Clarity for the people! 2. For quite awhile now I’ve wanted to see a rendering of the word make frequent and consistent use of some of the Biblical scholarship that I’ve greatly benefited from and have been blessed by. The CEB has done that. Scholarship for the people! 3. For years now I’ve wanted to see a fresh translation of Scripture from the ground up, not merely a reworking of an existing translation or version. The CEB is precisely that. Freshness for the people! 4. For sometime now I’ve been growing increasingly unhappy with Zondervan’s handling of the whole TNIV/NIV business. I finally got disgusted enough that I decided to jump ship (understand, the NIV and TNIV have been my default Bibles in years past). The CEB appears to have a more open and authentic base to it. Authenticity to the people! 5. For quite a spell I’ve wished to see a committee-based translation have the nerve (and backing from the publisher) to make some truly bold, original renderings of the Biblical text as has been the case in recent years among some single-translator renderings of the Bible. The CEB does that. Courage for the people! 6. For years I’ve wished for a solid Bible translation to appear that the publisher was confident about to truly support that they would share with all a general timeline of the anticipated publication dates of various editions (i.e. – supporting reference works, pew Bibles, study Bibles, audio Bibles, etc.). The publishers of the CEB have done just that. Planning for the people! 7. For a very long time I’ve yearned for all of the preceding to funnel into a translation that also includes in its work the Apocrypha. The Common English Bible (CEB) offers editions that include the Apocrypha. Knowledge for the people!
David Smith, Missouri Street Church of Christ, Baytown, Texas (preachersmith.com)
I love this new translation. It is now my favorite! I have been wanting to read the entire Bible for years, now I am! I bought this bible a week ago and I am already in II Samuel chapter 21!
As an Assemblies of God pastor, I want to commend the Common English Bible. Over my years of spiritual formation, I have desired to read more from the Apocrypha, although the use of the Apocrypha isn't a major issue in our denomination. As I read the Apocrypha in the CEB I am thankful for the fresh language and simplicity. Not being familiar with these passages, the simplicity of language is a tremendous help.
Dan Thompson, Senior Pastor Columbia Heights Assemblies of God
I spent some time reading Isaiah this morning and am impressed with how immediate, even tumultuous, the CEB is - at times breathtaking.
Tad Davis, a reviewer from Philadelphia
The biblical scholarship is impressive. The language is smooth and readable. I commend the Common English Bible to every church and pastor.
Jan Love, Dean and Professor of World Christianity and Politics, Candler School of Theology in Atlanta, GA
Reading a good translation in language that makes sense is a delight. That delight has been mine as I use the Common English Bible. The work of putting God's Word is in the current idiom has been accomplished by the translators. They have served all who use this translation well with their hard and wise work.
Dr. Paul D. Borden, Executive Minister, Growing Healthy Churches and author of Hit the Bullseye
The Common English Bible, likely the largest cross-denominational translation project in recent memory, unites Baptist, Catholic, Evangelical, United Methodist, and numerous other faith traditions in a joint effort to create a complete but broadly accessible Bible for the 21st century. No single translation, despite the breadth of this committee's reach, is likely to please all, but this sincere and diligent effort goes far toward the creation of a plain-English version that, without falling into folksiness or false hipsterism, can be read and understood by a range of ages, educational backgrounds, and aptitudes.
Library Journal, March 2011
A paraphrase of the Bible often overemphasizes one word in a sentence when presenting a contemporary or colloquial meaning. As a result, other nuances are lost. On the other hand, I love reading the Common English Bible because as a faithful translation it gives me an accurate reading of the biblical text at the same time that it puts the words in the English idiom, in the vernacular that connects with people in my congregation. I will be making my study and sermon notes in this smooth new translation, the Common English Bible.
Mike Slaughter, senior pastor, Ginghamsburg Church (Dayton, Ohio) and author
All in all, this translation has made reading scripture a joy for me. I love finding new and fresh translation choices. Time and time again I come away feeling like the translators really gave new life to a passage that had once simply become dry to me. More than that, though, is that each time I find a passage that shocks me, and I look it up in the Greek, I find that the translators got it right. I can't wait to read more and see what they offer us in the Old Testament.
I am pleased to report that The CEB New Testament seems to fulfill the promises you find in the tag lines on its cover. It provides "a fresh translation" which does seem very readable, yet does not insult the reader's intelligence with over-simplification.
The CEB translators were careful to tell the great story of the New Testament without letting its meaning slip away. It will be a help to all who read it.
Bishop Mack Stokes, author of United Methodist Beliefs
I am delighted in the excellent job the CEB has done regarding the passages related to gender. It is the finest version I have found yet in this regard.
Philip Payne, Linguists Software
Congratulations on a great effort! The CEB NT is a joy to read. Since I have no advance copy (I live in Norway), I've had to use the web look-up function to read it. I'm impressed with the blend of everyday language and accuracy.
Stephen Timmons, interpreter (Oslo, Norway)
The Common English Bible is excellent! It reads easily and flows beautifully and at the same time, it maintains the sacred feel of these powerful scriptures we have loved so much over the years. Congratulations on bringing together bright minds from around the globe to make this fresh, faithful, readable and collaborative new translation of the New Testament. I look forward to using it in private and corporate worship experiences for years to come and I look forward to the publication of the Old Testament translation next year.
James Moore, author and pastor
When I first heard of the Common English Bible , I wondered why we needed still another translation, but when I finished reading its Gospel of Matthew, I knew why. This is a translation to live with: clear, to the point, unadorned but winsome and friendly. I anticipate having it as my companion in my next year-long trip through the Bible.
J. Ellsworth Kalas, author and preaching professor
I like the Common English Bible and plan to share it with others who travel with me on the spiritual journey. The CEB is appealing to me because the language in this Bible is friendly but not too casual.
Judy P. Christie, author of the Hurry Less—Worry Less series and novelist of the Green series
The Common English Bible is clear, readable, and faithful to the best biblical knowledge today. Our congregation will use it for private devotions, Bible studies, and public worship. Thank you for this wonderful gift to the Church.
Andy Langford, Pastor, Central United Methodist Church (Concord, North Carolina)
The Word is lively insofar as each generation renders it in the style and idiom of the day. The Common English Bible is fresh and compelling in both translation and format. It will be a useful resource for 21st Century churches, believers and seekers.
John Buchanan, Pastor, Fourth Presbyterian Church of Chicago
I don't know how many times I have read the Gospel of Matthew. Scores? Hundreds? Reading this clear and energetic translation has given me insights into the text and perspectives on Jesus I have never had before. I anxiously await the publication of the full Bible and look forward to sharing it widely. This is an exceptionally readable Bible that we will all want to 'take and read.'
Cynthia M. Campbell, President, McCormick Theological Seminary
Our reading group was transformed by this experience of reading and commenting on the Common English Bible . It's significant that people from age 15 to 85 were so fired up by reading the translation.
Eileen Parfrey, Springwater Presbyterian Church (Estacado, Oregon)
People often strengthen their connection with God when they connect with a new insight in God's Word. The Common English Bible —a new translation of the original Hebrew and Greek into 21st century English—makes such insights more likely to happen.
Herb Miller, editor of The Parish Paper
...I am very encouraged by this translation and really enjoying it. I personally like the way the Genesis story states 'human' instead of 'man'. That is so important to the text!
Furthermore, as a follower of the ancient Celtic Christian way of seeing, I love the fact that Jesus refers to himself as "The Human One." In the Celtic way, Jesus was seen as the "Great Remembrance." That is, we are so far removed from God that we have forgotten what true humanity looks like. When we see Jesus, however, we remember what we're are supposed to be. So, again, I applaud you on your choice. It is fresh and fascinating.
Thank you, again for such an important work! May God continue to bless you.
Rev. Jack Gillespie
Genesis 2 is a problem spot for translations where God sees that Adam is alone, and he proceeds to form the beasts of the field. The NIV,even the fine ESV/RSV, blunders, changing "And the Lord God formed the beasts of the field" to "Now the Lord God *had* formed the beasts of the field..." The grammatical construction is ruined, and in fact uses a verb tense that doesn't even exist in the Hebrew. Changing the "and" to "so" or some other such word is okay, so long as the sense of the vav consecutive is maintained, which you do nicely.
Genesis 37 is also particularly tricky. The verse that has Joseph being taken out of the pit often has it as "the brothers lifted Joseph out of the pit"—a corruption of the text. The text says "*they* lifted Joseph out of the pit"—and the immediate antecedent to the word "they" is the Midianite traders, NOT the brothers. By interpolating the words "the brothers" into the text, a translator can corrupt the text. Your CEB Genesis has it right in both places—a real rarity in modern translation!
Thanks so much for sending the New Testament. I'm looking forward to seeing it and looking at some key places where modern translations mess things up. I'm confident you folks did a fine job!
I am reading Genesis and I have to tell you that this is very good. It has made it where I have understood a lot that I didn't before. I actually love it and will definitely read the whole thing.
Charles Sutherland, ET Lowe (Nashville, Tennessee)
Thank you for the opportunity to review the Common English Bible . As a child I initially began studying the Bible while using the King James Version. It is in fact my favorite translation. I had the opportunity to read through the Gospel of Matthew with an emphasis on my favorite verses. I look forward to purchasing a copy of the CEB as soon as possible.
Minister Pamela Turner (Chicago, Illinois)
I really like the new translation. I'm pleased with its simplicity and style, and I love the new typesetting, especially the font and size choice. This is going to be a welcome contribution to the church.
I have read the Common English Bible of the book of Matthew. I was impressed with its integrity to the truth of the scriptures. I have no problem with a translation being in the common vocabulary of today's culture. In fact, I recommend it highly. Years ago I heard a man say, "The best translation of the Bible is the one you will read." This translation will certainly assist the average person in understanding the message of the Bible.
Dr. Ken Riggs, Administrator, Pleasant View Christian School
The Common English Bible is a translation that is easily accessible to the average reader and also meets the highest expectations of students and scholars. It is the perfect companion for personal study and reflection and is equally at home in the classroom or in the hands of scholars. The language is plain, clear and contemporary making the connection from sacred text to daily life an easy step for scholar and student alike. As I have been using The Common English Bible for my own personal study and reflection I have discovered new beauty and meaning in well known and obscure passages alike. And every now and then I have one of those beautiful and rare "Aha moments" when new light is shed on sacred text and upon my own life. I offer my gratitude for the gift of a fresh look at the treasure of the book we value above all others.
Rueben Job, Bishop and author of Three Simple Rules
A Perkins student came into the bookstore to pick up some Spanish resources and I gave her a copy of the CEB Luke sampler to take with her. She was back in the store 20 minutes later and so excited about the new translation that she bought five copies of the Decotone New Testament. She shared with me that many of her family members are illiterate and in the past she has been frustrated in her efforts to read the Bible to them. But now she has new hope that they will respond to the Good News because the CEB is so easy to understand and so clear when read aloud. This story is a wonderful reminder of why we're here, and I'm proud to have this opportunity to share this new translation with our customers.
Jen Edwards, seminary store manager (Dallas, Texas)
For most of my life, I've been an active member in the major denominations including the mainline Protestant churches and Roman Catholic Church. I'm also a poet, writer, and life-long student of the Bible, so when I read a new translation I want a lot! I particularly look for clarity, accuracy, literary quality, and readability – concise but precise and, if possible, poetic. When context allows for gender inclusiveness (as it usually does) I want that too. So, with those criteria in mind and spirit, I'm happy to see the Common English Bible meets my personal preferences but, more importantly, has the potential to be an instrument of healing for Bible lovers in all parts of the Church. May this book bring us together as one in the word and Body of Christ.
Mary Sayler (Lake Como, Florida)
This is a significant contribution to the readership of the Bible. This translation would be entirely appropriate for access in pews, distribution in Sunday schools, and indeed, to everyone!
Chaplain and Reverend Ray W. Stubbe (Wauwatosa, Wisconsin)
I am enjoying reading the CEB . I like the translation.
William Dillon, Men's Bible Study leader (Arlington Heights, Illinois)
I find this [CEB] most refeshing and delightful. My journey with the Bible started in 1951, 60 years ago, when I was a teenager seeking to fill the hunger that was deep in my heart. The only Bible I had then was KJV. I'm very thankful for this new and very refreshing translation.
I find the Common English Bible refreshing because the translation communicates with the language and idioms that real people use in worship and Bible study.
Rudy Rasmus, pastor and global humanitarian at St. John's United Methodist Church and co-author of Jesus Insurgency: The Church Revolution From the Edge