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Classification of new (to me) translations

Rev. Dr. Timothy M. Hall

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Good afternoon,


I have recently purchased some new Bibles and was looking for some help classifying them as I am not familiar with them. How do you all classify the following translations into either: formal equivalent, moderating, or functional equivalent?


Common English Bible

God's Word


Thanks for all the input.

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See Chaper 2 — Overall suggestions, of Dr. J's Bible Study Methods which is in your library. There are two charts that address your question.


  The Translation Spectrum chart shows GW's placement between Mediating and Functional Equivalent versions. Dr. J's Bible Library Organization chart shows CEB within the Functional group.


Jenney, Timothy P., Dr. J’s Bible Study Methods: A Step-by-Step Approach by Timothy P. Jenney, Ph.D. Accordance electronic ed. Altamonte Springs: OakTree Software, 2014.



Edited by Solly
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Thanks Joseph. I have not had the opportunity to do more than a cursory glance of that module. I appreciate the tip!

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CEB and CEV are very different translations...


“The truly happy person doesn’t follow wicked advice, doesn’t stand on the road of sinners, and doesn’t sit with the disrespectful. 

 Instead of doing those things, these persons love the LORD’s Instruction, and they recite God’s Instruction day and night! 
 They are like a tree replanted by streams of water, which bears fruit at just the right time and whose leaves don’t fade. Whatever they do succeeds. 
That’s not true for the wicked! They are like dust that the wind blows away. 
 And that’s why the wicked will have no standing in the court of justice— neither will sinners in the assembly of the righteous. 
 The LORD is intimately acquainted with the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked is destroyed.”
(Psalms 1:1–6 Common English Bible)
Version Information
The Common English Bible (CEB) is more than a revision or update of an existing translation. It's an ambitious new translation designed to read smoothly and naturally without compromising the accuracy of the Bible text.
A key goal of the translation team is to make the Bible accessible to a broad range of people; it's written at a comfortable level for nearly all English readers. As the translators do their work, reading specialists working with 77 reading groups from more than a dozen denominations review the texts to ensure a smooth and natural reading experience. Easy readability can enhance church worship and participation, and personal Bible study. It also encourages children and youth to discover the Bible for themselves, perhaps for the very first time.
The Common English Bible is committed to the whole church of Jesus Christ. To achieve this, the CEB represents the work of a diverse team with broad scholarship, including the work of over 120 scholars—men and women from 24 faith traditions in American, African, Asian, European and Latino communities. As a result, the English translation of ancient words has an uncommon relevance for a broad audience of Bible readers—from children to scholars.
The Common English Bible is a distinct new imprint and brand for Bibles and reference products about the Bible. Publishing and marketing offices are located in Nashville, Tennessee. The CEB translation was funded by the Church Resources Development Corp, which allows for cooperation among denominational publishers in the development and distribution of Bibles, curriculum, and worship materials. The Common English Bible Committee meets periodically and consists of denominational publishers from the following denominations: Disciples of Christ (Chalice Press); Presbyterian Church U.S.A. (Westminster John Knox Press); Episcopal Church (Church Publishing Inc); United Church of Christ (Pilgrim Press); and United Methodist Church (Abingdon Press).
1 God blesses those people
    who refuse evil advice
    and won’t follow sinners
    or join in sneering at God.
2 Instead, the Law of the Lord
    makes them happy,
    and they think about it
    day and night.
3 They are like trees
    growing beside a stream,
trees that produce
fruit in season
    and always have leaves.
Those people succeed
    in everything they do.
4 That isn’t true of those
    who are evil,
    because they are like straw
    blown by the wind.
5 Sinners won’t have an excuse
    on the day of judgment,
    and they won’t have a place
    with the people of God.
6 The Lord protects everyone
    who follows him,
    but the wicked follow a road
    that leads to ruin.
Contemporary English Version (CEV)
Version Information
Uncompromising simplicity marked the American Bible Society's (ABS) translation of the Contemporary English Version (CEV) that was first published in 1995. The text is easily read by grade schoolers, second language readers, and those who prefer the more contemporized form. The CEV is not a paraphrase. It is an accurate and faithful translation of the original manuscripts.
The CEV began as a result of studies conducted by biblical scholar Dr. Barclay M. Newman in 1984 into speech patterns used in books, magazines, newspapers, and television. These studies focused on how English was read and heard, especially by children. This led to a series of test volumes being published in the late 1980s and early 1990s.
The CEV New Testament was released in 1991, the 175th anniversary of ABS. The CEV Old Testament was released in 1995 and the Apocryphal/Deuterocanonical Books were published in 1999.
The translators of the CEV followed three principles; that the CEV:
must be understood by people without stumbling in speech
must be understood by those with little or no comprehension of "Bible" language
must be understood by all.
"The drafting, reviewing, editing, revising, and refining the text of the Contemporary English Version has been a worldwide process extending over a period of slightly more than ten years. It has involved a wide variety of persons beyond the core team of ABS translators and the consultant experts who have worked closely with the team. The creative process has also involved scholar consultants and reviewers representing a wide range of church traditions and with expertise in such areas as Old Testament, New Testament, Hebrew language, Greek language, English language, linguistics, and poetry. In all, this process involved more than a hundred people in the various stages of the text creation and review process. And it is this process, carried out in constant prayer for the guidance of the Spirit of God, that guarantees the accuracy, integrity and trustworthiness of the CEV Bible" (from Creating and Crafting the Contemporary English Version: A New Approach to Bible Translation—New York: American Bible Society, 1996).
Version information and CEV quote taken from BibleGateway
EDIT-- PS: In Dr. J's chart i would place the CEB about where the REB is on the chart.
PPS:I haven't fully warmed to the CEB and never had more than a NT psalms of the CEV, I still prefer the TEV in place of the CEV although the CEV is designed for someone with a more limited vocabulary (the delight of such a translation is sometimes a spade is called a spade,  and we get shake from our comfortable traditional readings).
Edited by Daniel Francis
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