Since the arrival of the Common English Bible, I have been intrigued by the simple approach to translation. It is designed to make the Bible clear.
For lifelong Christians, that isn’t easy. I have trouble still with calling Jesus “the Human One,” and calling the ark a box.
But where I see how the CEB excels is in the Apocrypha. I’m not familiar with the Apocrypha, so reading the CEB helps me flow in the text much easier than the NRSV. It’s actually a pleasure reading the Apocrypha with the CEB.
The CEB Study Bible is now out and I’ve had a copy of the Gospel of Mark for awhile. The sample CEB Study Bible reveals a simple study Bible. The notes are very simple. They do not try to push “doctrine.” They try to reveal clarity. There are sidebars in the main text that explore a subject a bit more deeply.
This isn’t the ESV Study Bible, to be sure. It’s not trying to overwhelm you with notes. It’s trying to get the reader a bit more engaged in the text.
The approach to Scripture is revealed in an intro article by Joel Green. It’s called “The Authority of Scripture,” and I thought it was well done.
Here is part of the last paragraph (using 2 Tim. 3:16-16 for the base):
This text is helpful for anyone thinking about scripture’s authority, for two reasons. First, it reminds us of the claim of our faith, that scripture has its origins in the aims and voice of God… Scripture beats witness to God because God enables speech about God and God’s activity in the world. Second, it reminds us of the purpose or direction of scripture’s authority. The role of scripture isn’t to teach us lessons about history, medicine, archaeology, architecture, science, geography, and so on… Instead, engagement with scripture should produce this: “that the person who belongs to God can be equipped to do everything that is good.” We exhibit our best beliefs about the Bible not so much by what we say about the Bible but through scripture-shaped hearts and lives.
This is a Bible that might be considered as a good alternative to the NIV Study Bible.
I will still utilize the NIV far more, but the CEB continues to impress me with their aim in getting people INTO the Scriptures.