Natural English highlights in the CEB

There is a lot of natural English in the newly published CEB New Testament. There are some English wordings which could be made more natural. I have listed some of the latter that I’ve spotted so far, in my comment on David Ker’s preceding post.

In this post I’d like to note some wordings in the CEB that stand out to me as particularly good, natural English. As always natural English in a translation wording does not mean that that wording is an accurate translation, nor does it mean that it is not accurate. Naturalness and accuracy are two separate translation factors.

These CEB wordings strike my ears as being quite good (I’ll boldface what stands out to me):

  • I’m torn between the two because I want to leave this life and be with Christ, which is far better. (Phil. 1:22)
  • Let’s throw off any extra baggage, get rid of the sin that trips us up (Heb. 12:1b)
  • My brothers and sisters, what good is it if people say they have faith but do nothing to show it? (James 2:14a)
  • I hope to visit you and talk with you face-to-face (2 John 12b)

If you have access to the CEB, what are some particularly natural wordings that you have found?

5 thoughts on “Natural English highlights in the CEB

  1. Jesús S. says:

    I find them quite good. Bear in mind anyway that English is my second language so perhaps my opinion is not a very well-informed one.

    However, I still find their rendering of Genesis 1:2 deeply disturbing: “(…)and God’s wind swept over the waters (…)”

  2. John says:

    I am not a big fan of the CEB. I find that often it has a mix of registers–jargon with colloquial with technical. However, I like 2 John 4:

    “I was overjoyed to find some of your children living in the truth, just as we had been commanded by the Father.”

    I would provide examples of in my opinion not so good renderings to back up what I said before, but I understand that this post is only for favorable examples, so I will refrain 🙂

  3. Amy says:

    I really appreciate the straight-forward language used in this new version. Some examples:

    If those who claim devotion to God don’t control what they say, they mislead themselves. Their devotion is worthless. James 1:26

    Love should be shown without pretending. Hate evil, and hold on to what is good. Romans 12:9

    …be of one mind, sympathetic, lovers of your fellow believers, compassionate, and modest in your opinion of yourselves. 1 Peter 3:8

    For those new to the faith, young people, ESL speakers, I think the CEB will be especially readable. To examine a new verses every day, consider following the Common English Bible Twitter page –

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