In a few short days, I’ll have for you, my dear devoted readers, a review of the newly translated “Common English Bible.”
I say new, and I use the term broadly. In the world of biblical translations, two-to-three year old is as new as it gets. I must say. I’ve had it for a while, so it’s been there on the shelf staring at me this past year and a half, maybe two. I can’t remember when I got it exactly, but I know it wasn’t long after it came out so between you and me it could be longer than two years. I’m not good with dates, darling.
See, the problem is that I feel bad making my first review (of which there’ll be quite a few) of something I’m not particularly fond of. I don’t mean the Bible of course, I mean this specific translation. You might’ve read a few things hither and tither about it, or maybe you’re one of those blessed few whose priest or vicar decided to use it during their homily. Within, the good name of inclusivity is well guarded. Should one depart from the casuistry of inclusive language, one might find himself amongst the many martyrs of good scholarship. The CEB’s translations committee certainly kept this in mind, as they prayerfully decided to translate “Son of Man” as “The Human One.”
The Common English Bible is a foretaste of heavenly manna. St Paul’s condemnations of sexual immorality are phrased as “No way!”, “sleep around” and you’ll be no way’ed back to Leviticus!
I shouldn’t spoil it for you, and if I did I must apologise: I’m truly sorry. Otherwise, the CEB was well put together physically. It was thin, light, extremely flexible. I could see Jehovah’s Witnessing this door-to-door.
If I’m to be frank, and not to spoil my horrible review (that most likely will be up tomorrow), what I took away from the CEB was as follows:
- it’d be a good audio-book for children, should the inclusive language be removed
- there are some serious doctrinal errors in the translation of certain passages
- when reading this, you feel as if it happened last week on Eastenders because of the language used in certain chapters and verses.
- it wouldn’t be horrible if there was a version that used UK/Eire/Nfld&Lbdr/Aus/NZ/Can/regular English (honour, saviour).
- the Psalms aren’t that bad
But more on all that tomarrah. In the meantime, you should pop on over here and play until you get the answer you really really think you should. Trust me, I spent a good hour at it and I finally got Mozart