A Comparison of the CEB and NIV 2011

I keep trying out the Common English Bible because it has the Apocrypha and the language is a bit easier to read. But then I find times when I am comparing with the NIV 2011, which is still my favorite. (If only they had stepped up and boldly put out an edition with the Apocrypha!)

This morning my reading was from Galatians and this verse from 6:1 caught my attention.

1 Brothers and sisters, if a person is caught doing something wrong, you who are spiritual should restore someone like this with a spirit of gentleness. Watch out for yourselves so you won’t be tempted too.  (CEB)

1 Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted. (NIV)

The conservative, old-fashioned, Pentecostal in me just wants to scream out, like that book title, Whatever Became of Sin?

However, in reading those two translations, do you think it’s just simply saying the same thing? Is “doing wrong” the equivalent of “sin”?


10 thoughts on “A Comparison of the CEB and NIV 2011

  1. I think it depends on how you view sin and want to preach about sin…and how today’s generation understands sin…I’m convinced that the early church viewed sin as doing wrong.

  2. I have more problems with the term “consider yourself Spiritual” than I do the terminology of sin. I think, ” those who live by the spirit” is a much better term. But that might be showing my bias’s. 🙂

  3. A couple thoughts . . .
    1) I think “you who are spiritual” is a better translation than “you who live by the spirit.” The Greek reads humeis hoi pneumatikoi and the term pneumatikoi is an adjective, based on the noun pneuma “spirit.” The NIV, while I definitely wouldn’t say is WRONG, is a facilitation of the Greek. But on your main point . . .
    2) I like the word sin, and that is what I preferred at first, BUT . . . Many, particularly in a secularized Christian society like the West, know what “sin” is, and don’t view themselves as doing it. The popular theology is, “Well, sin refers to thinks like killing, armed robbery, and the like; generally crimes which directly attack other people . . . and I don’t do that.” Perhaps a phrase like, “doing something wrong” might resonate with people in a way like “sin” doesn’t. Someone might not view lying to their boss as a sin, but perhaps would view it as doing something wrong.

  4. Hi Justin…my caution is that a lot of Christians I know who don’t think they are spiritual…are in fact Godly people living a Godly life and keeping in step with the Spirit…whereas there are many within the church who consider themselves to be spiritual…who within the framework of my bias’s are spiritual loonies in need of correction…who don’t think they are.

  5. This conversation reminds me that, as great as Bible translations are, there is a definite need for Pastors who are willing to expound God’s Word, week after week. THANKS, GUYS!

  6. I’m yet to get a copy of the NIV11…I’m not sure if its available in Australia yet…but I love reading through all versions of the Bible and my devotional Bible is the TNIV Books of the Bible..which has no chapter / verse headings and the books are in historical order…

    It does make sermon prep and study harder and so currently I’m using a NLT for that purpose, with a ESV and ISV on hand to compare.

    I find I like different versions for different scriptures..which again is probably showing my bias towards how I want to preach or think about what it is saying.

  7. Both translations are good. I think “doing something wrong” is a meaningful phrase for a lot of people today. I think it is always good to have a literal translation in your tool kit, but sometimes, the dynamic translations like CEB and NIV communicate better. The CEB has an aim to try and speak to people who do not have a lot of religious background.

    My next Bible purchase will likely be the NIV2011/KJV parallel Bible that Zondervan publishes now.

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