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Monday, November 21, 2011

Common English Bible

A few weeks ago, our church had a missions emphasis weekend.  We had two missionary couples visiting with us; one couple who are presently serving in Gent, Belgium and another couple who had formerly served in China.  Gib Gerlach, who presently serves on staff with the International Mission Board, spoke in our services that particular Sunday night about he and his wife's time in China and his work now with the IMB.  Of all the things he shared about "going" on mission, whether it's 8,000 miles away or 80 feet into the yard next to yours, one thing he shared touched me deeply.

He shared that 2,500 people groups still do not have Bibles in their native languages.

That's 2,500 people groups who can't read God's word, because they don't have it translated into their own language!  And many who do have a Bible in their language can't read it, because of illiteracy.

We are so blessed in the Western world to have Bibles in many different translations.  I don't know for sure, but I'd be willing to bet that you have multiple copies of God's Word in your house.  I do in mine!  So, you might ask, "Why another version of the Bible when we already have so many?"  I ask that same question myself!  It is for that very reason that I was interested in being part of the "Thank You-Come Again- I Promise" Blog Tour for the Common English Bible.

Beginning this week, which happens to be National Bible Week, and over the course of the next three months, I will be taking a look at the Common English Bible.  I hope you will join me as I examine this new translation of the Bible.  Because God's Word is not to be treated lightly, I will be consulting with my husband (also Associate Pastor of our church) as well as the Senior Pastor and group of Elders as I look at this translation.  Besides the website for the CEB, here are several other places where you can learn more about this new translation:

Common English Bible Translation Background:
Known for being "built on common ground", 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 clearly translate the Bible's original Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek languages into 21st century English.  More than half-a-million copies of the Bible are currently in print.  It's also available online and in 20 digital formats.
"When we say 'built on common ground', we mean that the Common English Bible is the result of collaboration between opposites: scholars working with average readers; conservatives working with liberals; teens working with retirees; men working with women; many denominations and many ethnicities coming together around the common goal of creating a vibrant and clear translation for 21st century readers, with the ultimate objective of mutually accomplishing God's overall work in the world; in essence, helping Bible readers live on common ground, " says Paul Franklyn, PhD, associate publisher for the Common English Bible.
The CEB is written in contemporary idiom at the same reading level as the newspaper USA Today - using language that's comfortable and accessible for today's English readers.  It's available - with and without the Apocrypha - in multiple editions and bindings.
Combining scholarly accuracy with vivid language, the CEB is the work of 120 biblical scholars from 24 denominations in American, African, Asian, European, and Latino communities, representing such academic institutions as Asbury Theological Seminary, Azusa Pacific University, Bethel Seminary, Denver Seminary, Princeton Theological Seminary, Seattle Pacific University, Wheaton College, Yale University, and many others.
Additionally, more than 500 readers in 77 groups field tested the translation.  Every verse was read aloud in the reading groups, where potentially confusing passages were identified.  The translators considered the groups' responses and, where necessary, reworked those passages to clarify in modern English their meaning from the original languages.  In total, more than 700 people worked jointly to bring the Common English Bible to fruition; and because of the Internet and today's technology it was completed in less than four years.
The CEB is sponsored by the CEB Committee, an alliance of five publishers that serve the general market, as well as the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) (Chalice Press), Presbyterian Church (USA) (Westminister John Knox Press), Episcopal Church (Church Publishing, Inc.), United Church of Christ (The Pilgrim Press), and the United Methodist Church (Abingdon Press).

If  you are interested in the Common English Bible and would like a copy to examine for yourself, leave a comment to this post telling me what version of the Bible you are currently studying/reading from and I will pick a winner on Friday!  Be sure to leave me your email address so I can contact you if you win.  If you are chosen, you will be sent a softcover copy of the Common English Bible.  But don't fret if you don't win this week!  As part of this blog tour I will be giving away a softcover copy of the CEB EACH WEEK for the duration of the tour.  So, come back each week for your chance to win!
"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  (CEB)


    Aalderinks said...

    I've never heard of this version. I am currently using the ESV, it's also what our church uses. I checked on my Bible app, and the CEV is actually listed there. I guess I'll have to check it out too!

    Anonymous said...

    oh no...I tried to post and had trouble...not sure if both will go through or not...

    I love Bibles...every translation, covering and word! My man just bought me a beautiful ESV bible. I do not have a CEV and would love the chance to win it :) Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Jennifer! And for the chance to win!! :)

    Happy thanksgiving to you and your family!