Ah, it’s too early to tell.
I’ve read the first 13 chapters of Matthew in the sample download, and I am becoming more and more impressed. It reads very smoothly and easily, yet it’s also very much a traditional Bible. Sure, there are places which concern me a bit, particularly their use of “the Human One” for the more traditional “Son of Man”. There are other things I noticed so far, but that one is the most jarring. But overall, this is a very…uh…Biblish…uh…Bible? It doesn’t make you think it’s a cheap imitation designed for kids until the become ready for the real thing. No, this is a real Bible, a serious Bible. It will look very natural in a real leather cover.
Everything that I have questioned so far is easily understood when I check with the original Greek, or read the translation director’s explanation. And the use of contractions helps make for the smooth reading, and I find it actually refreshing.
Of course, we can’t judge a Bible by one book, can we? But if we could, then based on the first thirteen chapters of Matthew, the CEB looks like it will be a home run. The batter has just swung and hit the pitch, and the ball appears to be headed for the fence.
(And then again, one home run does not a season make…does it?)
[UPDATE: Those of you coming here from the Wesley Report and other places who want to know what’s going on, you can download your own pdf file of the Gospel of Matthew in the new Common English Bible at this link. ]