Common English Bible

The Common English Bible is a new translation of the Bible that aims for accuracy and fluidity. The word used very often in their publicity and on the CEB blog to describe the text is "fresh." I have not yet spent a lot of time with the text, which I hope to do soon, but I think that is a fair assessment. The translation is easy to read, and at times it grabs you in a new way with its presentation. I can't say that I agree with everything I have read so far, but on the whole this is a nice work.

Something I like is their translation of Galatians 1:1:

From Paul, an apostle who is not sent from human authority or commissioned through human agency, but sent through Jesus Christ and God the Father who raised him from the dead

This passage does a nice job of bringing out the meaning and implication of the prepositions ἀπό and διά.

Something I don't like is their translation of the phrase usually translated as "Son of Man." Take, for example, Mark 8:31:

Then Jesus began to teach his disciples: “ The Human One  must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, chief priests, and the legal experts, and be killed, and then, after three days, rise from the dead. ”

I understand the rationale for the different translation, as explained in the preface and on the blog, but call me a traditionalist. This change from the traditional wording jars me strongly.

The translation team for the CEB is broad and ecumenical, with a lot of different church traditions represented. It includes the Apocrypha as well. For an interesting read on how the team used technology in the translation, see the July 30, 2011, blog entry.