My dear wife got me an Amazon Kindle for my birthday, which I’ve been enjoying immensely. Poking around in the Kindle store, I decided I should download a version of the Bible. But which one? I usually read either the New Revised Standard Version or the Revised English Bible. But the Kindle version of the NRSV hasn’t been released yet, and I didn’t see one for the REB.
Then I came across the Common English Bible. I hadn’t previously heard of it, but after a little investigation I discovered that the translation was just completed this year under the auspices of publishers associated with the Episcopal Church, Presbyterian Church (USA), United Methodist Church, Disciples of Christ, and United Church of Christ. The translation was made by scholars from “22 faith traditions,” according to its website, and is intended to be a Bible for “the whole church of Jesus Christ.”
The intention of the CEB is to preserve the scholarly accuracy comparable to the NRSV while being more readable for the average person in the pew. It seems that it’s intended to fill a niche for mainliners similar to that of the New International Version in the evangelical world. Interestingly, Fuller Theological Seminary, the big evangelical seminary in Southern California, has approved the CEB for official use among faculty and students, replacing the NIV. It seems that the school was not pleased that the 2011 version of the NIV–which will replace the TNIV–is a less-gender-inclusive translation, and it determined that the CEB was a good alternative.
In any event, I haven’t really dipped into the CEB much yet, but I’m looking forward to experiencing the Bible in a fresh translation. (Also, it was only about $5.00 for the Kindle version!)