Common English Bible Thinline Tan/Brick Red DecoToneCommon English Bible Thinline Tan/Brick Red DecoTone by Anonymous

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The Common English Bible @CommonEngBible, is being hailed as a new translation for the modern world and after having a chance to peruse the book, since November, what really impressed me about this translation, that although it is slightly comparable to the ESV, due to it being written in a fluid writing that makes the reading of God’s Word, even more accessible to the average reader, at the same time, the language is very modern that makes it a change from reading the bible from more traditional versions such as the NKJV or ESV or even NRSV.

Though personally preferring the ESV and NKJV, for the language and particularly the KJV, for its poetic language, what I like and think many will enjoy with the CEB, is that it is geared toward reading as people today speak.

There were some translation of the scripture that I personally thought was questionable, but one has to keep in mind, that there is a variation across the board, with each of the different translations that are out there, and if you are looking for a bible for in depth bible study,it helps to have several translations on hand, just to get an idea of how the verses may varied, but for everyday reading, the CEB, really accomplishes that goal.

Some of the differences the reader may encounter ,for example, Genesis 1:1, that the CEB actually provides examples from the CEB, NRSV, and NIV to help readers see how this current translation differs and can be seen at this link: http://www.commonenglishbible.com/Explor…

One has to keep in mind, that different translations, has always been met with doubt, so it helps to use any translation of the bible, with a translation that you are comfortable with, but also, with an open heart, take the time to compare and see what is it about any translation, that is used, that makes it worth being used.

In this case, those who are more comfortable with say, the KJV, may find the CEB, confusing, but there are vast differences too in resources that are use to translate a bible and personal preference and the CEB seems to be almost similar to that of the Good News Bible, although, there were a few cases that the “natural” wording, read out loud, more un-natural than it was intending.

Truthfully, the NLT and NRSV seem to have better word flow than the CEB, where at times, the wording seem choppy and stagger in a pace that didn’t read comfortable.

However, given how new the CEB is at the time, there will bound to be mixed reviews and it will take really more than cursory reading the CEB to see how much more of a comfortable read it is, so its really about taking the time to compare the translations and taking the time to read about the background when it comes to choosing a bible.

For more in depth studying, I can see the NLT,NRSV, ESV and NKJV, still winning out, but for an everday read, I can see the CEB, being a more comfortable read for those who are either very familiar with the bible, or those who are new to reading the bible for the first time, making the CEB, a bible translation to consider.

If you are looking for, how does the verses compare with other translations, here is one resource: http://www.commonenglishbible.com/Explor… but with how new the CEB is, it will be awhile to really get the feel of the CEB as a whole.

Some things to note, when considering this version, the CEB was written to be read at a seventh grade level, and the language is of a more common English than what would be found in the NRSV or ESV so expect to see translations that will differ more than any other bible that is out there.

When it came to how the Common English Bible was translated, the following is shared,

Combining scholarly accuracy with vivid language, the Common English Bible 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. They translated the Bible into English directly from the original Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek texts.

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 English their meaning from the original languages. In total, more than 600 people worked jointly to bring the Common English Bible to fruition.”

Dr. Franklin is quoted as saying regarding the Common English Bible translation that,

Translators came from the largest groups in the country, but the term “mainline” is inaccurate as a label because the translators often (more than half of the time) are evangelical regardless of denominational tradition.  They are Presbyterian (17), Episcopal (17), Methodist (17), Baptist (14), Christian Churches (7) Catholic (12), Lutheran (5) Nazarene (5), and Pentecostal (5).

The CEB is comparable in reading level to the NIV, but the CEB starts over fresh with Hebrew and Greek instead of trying to preserve the KJV vocabulary that is still very strong in the NIV and especially ESV.  The ESV is actually the RSV, which was translated by the so-called mainline denominations in 1951.

Our goal was builing common ground rather than choosing sides between denominational controversies.

The verdict is really out there as far as the CEB goes, with it not being a bad translation, a definite shift from the translations that are out there, including that of the Message and Amplified Bible, and may fall into, up to the reader themselves.

As a resource for deeper bible study, that is debatable there and the CEB really seems to be geared  more for just general reading and not really for academic or in depth study, but this doesn’t detract from its appeal to a more mainstream audience that would find this and easier translation to read.

Either way, the CEB is still worth checking out and has merit for use for anyone’s bible reading.

I would suggest, if you are looking into other viewpoints and insights about the CEB, here are several good posts that are out there regarding, the Common English Bible:

  1. http://schleitheim.com/blog/2010/09/01/relevant-readable-and-reliable-english/
  2. http://rdtwot.wordpress.com/2011/12/16/the-common-english-bible-some-scattered-thoughts/
  3. http://churchthought.com/first-thoughts-on-the-common-english-bible/
  4. http://betterbibles.com/2010/09/03/blind-comparison-of-the-common-english-bible/

Want a copy of the CEB for your own perusal and addition to your library? Participate in the giveaway and on January 31, 2012, I will pick a lucky winner to send their very own copy of the Common English Bible to discover this new bible translation on their own.

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The winner will be picked on January 31, 2012 and announced on Twitter, Facebook and here. Make sure to leave entries in the rafflecopter to count toward winning your very own copy of the Common English Bible!


This giveaway is also a participant with the “Off the Shelf” giveaway that is going on at Here’s My Cup Lord! Drop by Here’s My Cup Lord, to discover other book giveaways that are going on now as well!

© 2012, Sunflower Faith. All rights reserved.

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3 Comments


  1. Warning: Illegal string offset 'front_end_comment_add' in /home3/sfadmin/public_html/wp-content/plugins/comment-ip-trace/fn/front-end.php on line 35
    marilyn lisenbee
    Posted January 6, 2012 at 8:22 am | Permalink

    I would love to win this Bible.


  2. Warning: Illegal string offset 'front_end_comment_add' in /home3/sfadmin/public_html/wp-content/plugins/comment-ip-trace/fn/front-end.php on line 35
    Ginger
    Twitter: heresmycuplord
    Posted January 6, 2012 at 6:44 pm | Permalink

    I love the way you listed the pros and cons giving the reading a better view. Thanks for joining in with us and for all of your support.
    Ginger recently posted..Off the Shelf {Giveaway!}My Profile


  3. Warning: Illegal string offset 'front_end_comment_add' in /home3/sfadmin/public_html/wp-content/plugins/comment-ip-trace/fn/front-end.php on line 35
    Posted January 10, 2012 at 6:24 pm | Permalink

    I am old fashioned in that I consider the KJV to be the version to end all versions but I like to when doing bible study I will read a verse in KJV and then use several other versions to see what they say. I think it enriches and helps me understand better that way. I would love to read this version and see how it helps me grow.

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    By Off the Shelf {Giveaway!} | Here's My Cup Lord on January 5, 2012 at 8:03 pm

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