The Common English Bible, the newest translation touted for its modern, easy-to-read language, is doing better than expected and is now in its third printing.
There are now 500,000 copies of the translation in print, including New Testament-only editions. The entire Bible was released in paperback just last month and is selling quickly, according to an announcement Monday. Sales have exceeded the publisher's first print-run expectations by 50 percent.
Paul Franklyn, associate publisher, says the surge in interest in the CEB is due in part to recent media coverage. The New Testament edition has been out for a year.
The CEB has been approved for use in classrooms at Fuller Theological Seminary in Southern California. It was given the green light for its gender-inclusive language and its accessible language.
Some of the changes in the new translation include replacing the term "alien" with "immigrant," updating "brother" with "brother or sister," and changing "the Son of Man" to "the Human One."
With regard to the latter change, Joel M. Hoffman, who holds a PhD in theoretical linguistics and is author of And God Said: How Translations Conceal the Bible’s Original Meaning, contends that in isolation, "the Human One" is a better translation.
However, in the broader context of the New Testament, Hoffman argues that the "Son of Man" is central.
"[T]he term 'son' in the NT is hardly a neutral one. It is part of the trinity. And it makes possible the progression from 'son of man' to 'son of God,'" he wrote in his God Didn't Say That blog.
The CEB was developed over four years and the process involved 120 translators as well as more than 500 persons from 22 faith traditions who field tested the new edition. Reading groups would read the text aloud to each other and comment on unclear or awkward phrasing.
The committee translated directly from the original Hebrew and Greek texts.
Publishers say the CEB is not simply a revision or update of an existing translation but rather a "bold new translation" designed to be relevant, readable and reliable.
The release of the entire CEB comes just months after the updated New International Version made its way to shelves earlier this year. The first revision to the popular NIV in 25 years, the updated version has also adopted gender-neutral language.