A sampler for the forthcoming Common English Bible, the Gospel of Matthew, is now in press. I hope to receive a copy of this sampler before too long. I have been very interested in the CEB project since I first learned of it, a year or so ago, and read the goals its production and translation team have for it. I was intrigued by the first goal for the CEB:
Clarity of language, as in “plain speaking”
Very few English Bibles have had “plain speaking” as any goal, let alone their first goal. I hope that this goal will be achieved in this translation. Far too many English Bibles are made by exegetes who know the biblical languages well, but set aside their natural ability to speak and write English well when they translate the biblical language texts to English.
I also hope that there will be sufficient time for linguists and English scholars to interact with the sampler, and perhaps other books (37 are now complete) of the CEB before this new translation is published, when revisions are much more difficult to make. I have been trying, ever since I heard of the CEB project, to receive permission to study drafts of the CEB in case I, as an English Bible reviewer, might be able to help the CEB better live up to its goals. But I have been unsuccessful. Perhaps there are confidentiality requirements preventing someone who is not on the translation team from having any review input. I would hope not. I have appreciated the warm welcome my revision suggestions have received from several other English Bible translation teams. Many of the suggestions have been adopted as revisions.