Cokesbury had a huge sale last week and it included the Common English Study Bible. I was able to obtain this translation when it first came out through the generosity of the publisher, and I’ve found it to be a refreshing translation. It certainly has its “quirks,” but for common reading (and for me it’s so helpful in reading the Deuterocanonical books) it’s a nice translation. I have found myself using the CEB and NIV together the past year or so.
The Study Bible is a nice addition. I would compare it to the NIV Study Bible in purpose. It helps the reader read the Bible. I find the ESV Study Bible gets into some depth that stretches into study and theology. To this point (and it’s early for me) the CEB Study Bible has put together a tool to help the common believer simply read better.
I purchased the hardcover edition with the Apocrypha, so let me start out by saying this thing isn’t going into my briefcase! This picture has my first copy of the Common English Bible (with Apocrypha) on top of the CEB Study Bible. To put it bluntly… this thing is HUGE.
The type font is not too small. There is color everywhere. Pictures are not overwhelming, but useful.
The sidebars offer very helpful insights into definitions or cultural issues or textual issues of the particular passage.
The maps are beautiful.
Typically I am more of a fan of a plain text Bible, so I am grateful I have a black letter CEB with Apocrypha. But this study Bible, I think, is very helpful for those wanting just some basic insights into what is going on in the passage.
While this translation, like very translation these days, will fall victim to labeling (too “Reform,” too “Conservative,” too “liberal”) I think, as a “conservative” Christian, this translation is extremely helpful in reading the text well. I also think this study Bible will be helpful to open up passages a little more clearly, in the vein of the NIV Study Bible.