Two months before its release in stores, the Common English Bible, in its complete form, debuts online and in digital print.
Unlike any other translation, the CEB is not simply a revised or updated Bible. It is penned as a bold new translation written at a “comfortable level for over half of English readers,” and created with words 21st century readers use every day.
“The new Common English Bible is the only translation to combine and balance highly respected ecumenical biblical scholarship necessary for serious study with responsiveness to 21st century clear communication requirements for comprehensive clarity.”
Approved for official use in biblical studies courses by Fuller Theological Seminary, Pasadena, Calif., translators and reading specialists through extensive field-testing, have reviewed the texts to ensure a smooth and natural reading experience.
More than 500 readers in 77 groups field-tested the translation, with every verse read aloud in the reading groups. Potentially confusing passages were identified and if necessary, reworked to clarify the meaning from the original languages.
The Bible was translated by 120 biblical scholars from 24 denominations all over the world representing accredited schools such as Princeton Theological Seminary, Wheaton College, and Yale University directly from the original Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek texts.
“The Common English Bible is the result of collaboration between opposites: men working with women; scholars working with average readers; conservatives working with liberals; many denominations and many ethnicities coming together around the common goal of creating a translation that unites rather than divides, with the ultimate goal of mutually accomplishing God’s overall work in the world,” Paul Franklyn, associate publisher, said in a statement.
The hopes are that with easier readability, church worship and participation can enhance as well as personal Bible study.
Non-denominational, the new Bible features an inclusive translation, using male and female pronouns where appropriate to indicate the meaning of the original texts when referring to general human beings. The CEB is also the only translation to use contractions where the text warrants an engaging conversational style.
Another feature includes detailed color maps from the National Geographic.
Funded by the Church Resources Development Corp, the CEB was sponsored by the Common English Bible Committee, which meets periodically and consists of denominational publishers from Disciples of Christ, Presbyterian Church U.S.A., The Episcopal Church, United Church of Christ, and The United Methodist Church.
Digital editions of the Bible are available on Kindle, iPad, iPhone, Nook, Sony, Olivetree, Logos, BibleWorks, Accordance Software, ChristianBook, Kobo, OverDrive, Blio, Copia, Lightning Source, and YouVersion.
Though regularly priced at $9.95, the introductory price for all electronic versions will retail at $5.95 until September 1.
Bible Gateway and Bible Study Tools will also incorporate the new translation into their searches.
“When I first heard of the Common English Bible, I wondered why we needed still another translation,” J. Ellsworth Kalas, author and preacher professor wrote. “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.”
“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 interpretation, can be read and understood by a range of ages, educational backgrounds, and aptitudes,” the Library Journal also praised.
Coined as a “fresh translation to touch the heart and mind,” the CEB is currently online at CommonEnglishBible.com.