The new edition of the Common English Bible (CEB) will be released in print and made available to the public for the first time on August 1, publicist Audra Jennings has told The Christian Post.
The publisher of the new version is hoping it will make the Bible understandable and attractive to as many people as possible. To that end, the new edition of the CEB has made several “bold” translation choices, including changing Jesus' “Son of Man” title to “the Human One.”
With the complete edition of the Common English Bible arriving from the printers this week and rolling into stores starting next month, associate publisher Paul Franklyn said the goal of translators was to make the Bible accessible and more appealing to readers of various backgrounds and denominations.
“There are a number of translations available for conservative churches,” Franklyn told The Tennessean. “This is trying to make a bridge between conservatives, moderates and liberals.”
On their website, the publishers compare the Common English Bible to the New International Version and the New Revised Standard Version.
For their “bold” new edition, the publishers say they gathered over 100 biblical scholars from across two dozen denominations and from various ethnic backgrounds to translate the Bible from the original Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek texts into plain English. The publishers also field tested the new edition among 500 readers from more than six dozen groups.
Some other changes in the Common English Bible include swapping out “alien” or “foreigner,” used by some translations for passages like Leviticus 19:33-34; the Common English Bible applies the term “immigrant” instead.
The translation is also gender-inclusive, as the passage in Matthew 5:21-22 involving Jesus' teaching on the true meaning of murder shows. In the Common English Bible Jesus warns, “But I say to you that everyone who is angry with their brother or sister will be in danger of judgment.”
Another translation change involves the Lord's prayer, which avoids the King James Version's “hallowed be thy name” and includes “uphold the holiness of your name” instead.
A very unique aspect of the Common English Bible also involves its use of contractions, as readers of other English Bible versions are more likely to find “it is” instead of “it's” in the text.
The new translation was produced by five denominational publishing houses and cost about $3.5 million and four years to complete.
The Common English Bible was released in digital format late last year and made available on Bible websites, but this is the first time the new Common English Bible will be available for sale in print. Publishers have so far only made it available in paperback.
In May, Fuller Theological Seminary voted to add the Common English Bible to the NRSV and the TNIV as translations that could be required for students doing biblical studies. "We wanted something that was an academically excellent translation from Greek and Hebrew, and one that reflected our strong position regarding women in leadership," Dr. Joel B. Green, professor of New Testament Interpretation, told The Christian Post.