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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent translation
The Common English Bible is a new bible translation that is relevant, readable and reliable. Completely new, the Common English Bible is not simply a revision of an existing translation. This is a bold new translation designed to meet the needs of readers in today's language. At first, you might think a "modern language bible" would be more like The Message, or even the...
Published on October 18, 2011 by David Kenney

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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A new version
I wish I would have spent a little more money and bought one with bigger print. My eyes are not what they used to be.
Published 10 months ago by Delores I Nelsen


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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent translation, October 18, 2011
The Common English Bible is a new bible translation that is relevant, readable and reliable. Completely new, the Common English Bible is not simply a revision of an existing translation. This is a bold new translation designed to meet the needs of readers in today's language. At first, you might think a "modern language bible" would be more like The Message, or even the Good News bible, something watered down so that it can be easily understood with a fifth grade reading level. That is not what this is.

The CEB is the combined effort of 120 bible scholars from 24 denominations and the members of over 70 reading groups who orchestrated a huge translation event to create a bible that is both accurate in translation while at the same time being readable in modern English.

With so many translations available, why do we need another translation? Well, cultural and religious settings have changed dramatically; even modern worship affects the words we use in our churches. In today's culture, language is changing even faster because of the computer age. All of these changes, plus countless others are so impacting that a completely new translation of the Bible becomes necessary.

Here is Genesis 1:1-2 from the popular NIV

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.

...and here it is again from the CEB

When God began to create the heavens and the earth--the earth was without shape or form, it was dark over the deep sea, and God's wind swept over the waters...

Here is the Lord's prayer from Matthew 6:9-13 in the CEB

Pray like this:
Our Father who is in heaven,
uphold the holiness of your name.
Bring in your kingdom
so that your will is done on earth as it's done in heaven.
Give us the bread we need for today.
Forgive us for the ways we have wronged you,
just as we also forgive those who have wronged us.
And don't lead us into temptation,
but rescue us from the evil one.

I like this translation a lot and look forward to reading more of it. I think for those who are hard core word-for-word supporters, will find that reading the CEB from the pulpit will be much more attractive than reading the Message or the NLT.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Surprisingly terrific, December 11, 2011
I did not expect the Common English Bible to offer much new or to be an improvement over existing translations. I generally use the NRSV for preaching and Bible Study, and compare with NIV because so many of my people use it. I find most paraphrases such as the Message or translations for modern readers such as NT Wright's Kingdom NT (and I love NT Wright) affected and cute. The CEB was marketed so heavily by the UMC's publishing house that it looked to me like a publishing gimmick, something that would end up unused in church libraries with Moffatt, the TEB, etc.

I was wrong. I was sent a sample New Testament and began to use it for story time for a ministry I lead for children with disabilities because I thought it would read more easily for them. Each month, I was surprised how much I liked the way the story I read had been rendered. I began to read common passages to see what the translators had done with them, and was consistently pleased.

Often when I'm reading a text for teaching, I find myself reading a line and repeating it for the people in a way that I feel makes the original reading more accessible for them. I also add contractions and appropriate colloquialisms to make the text more clear for people. The CEB sounds like what I try to accomplish when I do this for people. It's a very true translation, but it's extremely accessible and easy to read. It's remarkable what the translators pulled off. They've accomplished the primary task of Bible translation--to render the original text with clarity for modern readers--extremely well, maybe better than any translation available.

I plan to use it more in my teaching, and I hope that additional resources become available. In particular, it would be helpful if a good study Bible was produced and if the text was available online for free somewhere, such as Oremus Bible Browser's version of the NRSV or the many places the NIV is available on the web.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Fresh Readable Translation for a New Generation of Cross Denominational Readers, October 3, 2011
A unique feature of "The Common English Bible" is the collaboration of 120 biblical scholars from 24 denominations in American, African, Asian, European, and Latino communities in cooperation with representation from academic institutions including Asbury Theological Seminary, Azusa Pacific University, Bethel Seminary, Denver Seminary, Fuller Theological Seminary, Princeton Theological Seminary, Seattle Pacific University, Wheaton College, Yale University, and many others. The translation is directly from the original Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek texts.

The work includes an association of five major Christian publishers. More than 500 readers representing over 70 groups field tested and provided feedback prior to publication.

"The Common English Bible" is:
* A fresh readable translation for a new generation of cross denominational readers
* Academically accurate
* Endorsed by respected Christian leaders, seminary professors, and pastors

Features especially like include:
* The handy size and quality Bible paper
* The user friendly format with topical headings and clearly defined chapter breaks
* The easy to read font with a balance of white background space for easy reading
* The easy to locate footnotes
* The detailed color maps

Preliminary sales indicate a broad base of acceptance and insure the popularity of "The Common English Bible." An ideal translation for church worship, personal Bible study and devotional reading.

A complementary copy of this product was provided me for review purposes. The opinions expressed are my own.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nice New Translation, October 27, 2011
Common English Bible....Holy Bible
I enjoy reviewing different Bibles, so when this became available I chose it to review. The Common English Bible has Special Features that other Bibles do not have. These features are: This Bible translation is the work of 120 leading Bible scholars from 24 denominations and tested by over 75 reading groups in 13 denominations. All of these great people used their Bible knowledge to create a translation of the Bible that is accurate and easy to read and understand in modern English.

There are a few special pages in the front of this Bible that list a few very interesting things for me, which are: Abbreviations and Terms, Measures - Capacity and Linear measures and Monetary measures, and a Hebrew Calendar page. I love this feature since I don't know anything about these things. There is also a few pages included in the Preface that explains about the Common English Translation.

One of my favorite Bible passages is Proverbs 3:56. Here it is in a few translations to compare:
King James Version
5Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.
6In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.
NIV
5Trust in the LORD with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
6 in all your ways submit to him,
and he will make your paths straight.
Common English Bible
5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart;
don't rely on your own intelligence.
6 Know him in all your paths,
and he will keep your ways straight.

And I think everyone's favorite is John 3:16. Here it is in these translations.
KJV
16For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
NIV
16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
Common English Bible
16 God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him won't perish but will have eternal life.

Do we really need all of these different translations? Well for me, I like having one of each translation so I can the verses or passages from each one. Saying the same thing in a little different way helps me understand what I am reading so much more. So this new translation is awesome for me. I have enjoyed reading different areas of this Bible to give me a better understanding of what I am reading. To me, we can't have too many Bible Study tools, and that's what I think is great about the new Common English Bible.

I encourage you to pick up a copy and check it out for yourself. I have the paper copy and it is a very nice size, doesn't take up a lot of room and just the right size to carry along in your Bible cover with your other Bible.
I want to thank Audra Jennings at B&B Media Group for providing a copy of this Bible to read and review. I was not expected to write a positive review. The opinions in this review are mine only.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A very satisfying version of the Bible, March 25, 2012
The Common English Bible offers a translation that is easy to read and is sure to appeal to the average believer who wants to enjoy God's word conveyed in every day language. From my perspective, this version appears to be an accurate, faithful version of the Bible, similar to the NIV or KJV. Passages that I've read in the NIV that I had to read a few times to understand were much more easily grasped in the Common English Bible. I especially plan on using this Bible with my children, as it is written in such an accessible manner. When I considered my favourite passages, I was quite pleased for the most part. For example, Jeremiah 29:11-12 reads "I know the plans I have in mind for you, declares the Lord; they are plans for peace, not disaster, to give you a future filled with hope. When you call me and come and pray to me, I will listen to you". I love how this promise is conveyed in this version. However, I felt that some verses were not rendered as well as in others, such as Phillipians 2:9-10 where it speaks of God giving Jesus the name above every other name so that at his name "everyone in heaven, on earth, and under the earth might bow" (CEB), instead of the strong language used in the NIV where it states everyone "will bow". While I know that in the end it is conveying the same promise of what is to occur in the future, I simply prefer the NIV for some passages.

Overall, however, I am greatly enjoying reading through the CEB and strongly recommend it for readers looking to purchase the Bible for the first time. 4 out of 5 stars.

A copy of the Bible has been provided courtesy of the publisher & the B & B Media group for the purposes of this unbiased review.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My absolute favorite translation, September 27, 2012
About five years ago I joined the ranks of those insatiable searchers for the "perfect Bible" - you know, the best translation, the exquisite design and binding, the right amount of extras (e.g., concordance, footnotes, etc.) - despite all the evidence which suggested that the "perfect Bible" is the one which you read. If I've spent less than a $1,000 on Bibles, I'd be amazed. Of all the Bibles I've owned, though, and this includes stellar Cambridge and R.L. Allan productions, nothing is more broken in than this simple paperback.*

It seems that the blog-world doesn't lack in armchair biblicists, seminarians and former seminarians, pastors, preachers, teachers and priests, all of whom have something to say about translation. Even the most academic postulators don't always prefer the most academic translation. At the end of their rope, there are now charts, graphs and entire websites dedicated to the strengths and weaknesses of each English translation. Still, Christian discussion boards abound with neophytes or homeward bound Christians all of whom want to know, "Which is the best translation?" This is definitely a problem that only those of us in industrialized, first-world countries face as many Christians the world over don't have Bibles in their homes much less the ability to read one if they did. And while proper translation is to be desired so that the specific nuances of the Hebrew-Greek idioms are conveyed in the most accurate English idiom so that the text enriches our understanding rather than leading to harmful, fundamentalist interpretation, there comes a point when such concern can become obsessive and cloud one's appreciation of the Bible or any religious text, whether in translation or not.

Despite all the efforts of the best academic, the average person isn't choosing their preferred Bible translation based on what manuscripts it uses. And while translation philosophy may come in to play, it only happens in a roundabout way. For example, take the KJV: people like it because they grew up with it; or because most of the biblical phrases that have made their way into Western culture are from it; or because they think it sounds more reverent; or it's the first one they learned; or they associate it with stability and/or tradition and/or being rooted in history. Ask most people what Textus Receptus is and they'd just as likely guess that it's the name of a dinosaur; Nestle-Aland, on the other hand, is obviously the person who started that food company.

As pastor, professor and blogger Jim West has said, "If one can't read Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek with great facility, one could do no better, in English, than the CEB if wanting to `hear' the Word of God." The biblical scholars who produced this translation, despite their individual misgivings on some accounts, have managed to produce a Bible which translates the original Hebrew and Greek constructions into a natural, common English idiom. That makes this Bible a true joy to read, not a chore. I personally use it in my daily meditations and prayer, I read it walking into the office, I read it while taking the elevator, and I even use it to teach from. I've e-mailed several of the scholars who produced this translation, and they all stand behind it and highly recommend it to the neophyte and "expert" alike. While scholars will and should quibble over the theological impact of certain translations, no scholar involved with this project has, to date, expressed any substantial misgivings about their involvement with its production.

Again, Jim West had this say about the CEB, with which I completely agree:

"[T]he translators have done a brilliant job of expressing the text's underlying intention. It is, to my mind, superior to the NIV, the TNIV, the ESV, the NKJV, the RSV, the NRSV, and the KJV. Only one version excels it in vividness and that would be the Revised English Bible. However, that said, in terms of accuracy of translation, the CEB excels even that excellent rendition."

*Actually, my pocket Oxford NRSV still holds the record for being the most broken in, but that has more to do with the fact that I carried it day in and day out in my back pocket where it was sat upon, scrunched, and yoga-ed very many other yoga positions and not due so much my actual utilization of it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just Good, Old, Plain English, November 19, 2011
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Our congregation have joined a Baptist and Nondenominational church together to make The Genesis Church. This Bible is also what we have joined together from New King James and NIV. Thanks for the Common English Bible! I got mine in a matter of a few days from "TROY" of Tennessee, thru Amazon. Thanks so much. Now bible study is easy.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A new version, June 7, 2013
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I wish I would have spent a little more money and bought one with bigger print. My eyes are not what they used to be.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars great translation, January 26, 2013
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I grew up on the KJV, then in college went to the NASB and NRSV, enjoyed the TNIV for a while, but now found a translation I truly enjoy. Traditional texts still feel traditional but fresh and new. I am aware of some of the complaints by traditionalists and purists, but I enjoy the CEB because of its readability. Its not a paraphrase, its still a translation, but totally readable and in everyday language
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Easy to understand, December 21, 2012
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Amazon Customer (Unadilla, NY United States) - See all my reviews
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I bought this as a gift for a new Christian who was having trouble understanding some of the other versions of the Bible. She was part of my Bible Study group and it was tough to see her get so frustrated. After giving her this version, she called to tell me that it helped her a lot and she was able to answer more questions in our Bible Studies than she ever had previously. It was a joy to see her growing in the word of the Lord!
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