Eddie Gonzalez posted a comparison of the Common English Bible with some other translations looking at whether it lives up to its claim of being “relevant, readable, and reliable.”
Eddie shows two different passages. About each he asks, “(1) Which is the CEB translation?; and (2) Which is the most comfortable, readable English version?”
When I looked at the versions, I was most sensitized to unnatural English syntax and Biblish. So something like, “Most assuredly, I say to you” got pushed into the pile of translations that definitely aren’t “common English.”
Let me editorialize here and ask, “What do you get for the girl who has everything?” For the English-reading public, a generic Bible version is probably going to have a tough time getting noticed. It’s like someone deciding to bring out a new hand soap or brand of chewing gum. The market is too big and too saturated. So, I predict that the only hope for a new English translation to find any readership is to be different. Find a niche. Be the first Open Source translation. Be the slangiest version. Be anything but common. Because with versions like the NIV and NET and CEV out there, a common language translation has to compete with some very firmly entrenched competitors. ESV and The Message are two good examples of translations that have gained a foothold by being different rather than common.
I appreciate Eddie’s attempt to be fair even while he has his doubts about the version. Note mshedden’s comment regarding possibly polemical translation choices which may cause the CEB more trouble in gaining acceptance.
I should have done better research. A number of other friendly bloggers have been looking at the CEB as well:
- TC Robinson: First Impressions of the CEB New Testament: Romans
- Paul Thinking Out Loud: Yet Another Translation: Common English Bible (CEB)