or “I Got Mine!”

We’re all way past that idea, aren’t we? My CEB New Testament arrived yesterday. One of the first things I did was look at the copyright page and the preface, and I found absolutely no reference to the United Methodist Publishing House or Abingdon. The preface says it’s “sponsored by the Common English Bible Committee, which is an alliance of denominational publishers, including Presbyterian (USA), Episcopalian, United Methodist, Disciples of Christ, and United Church of Christ representatives.” The only hint that it comes from the United Methodist Publishing House is the mailing address, which is Nashville, Tennessee.

I noticed the blogs yesterday had numerous references to bloggers getting their new free New Testament, and several had already written early reviews. I guess it must take a little longer to get the mail up here in Minnesota, and I was wondering when mine would come. Then my son texted me in the late afternoon telling me that his had arrived, and so when I arrived home after work I anxiously checked our mailbox to see if mine was here, too. It was!

My son’s second text noted that the font size in the New Testament was comfortably large, so that was the first thing I looked at. And I can confirm his conclusion – it is comfortably large, a great relief after seeing so many NRSVs with such small print I couldn’t read it comfortably. For nearly everybody, there should be no eyestrain with these New Testaments. Hopefully the complete Bibles, when they are published next year, will have this same font size. I can also say that the notes, few though they are, are also in a large enough font that most of us should be able to read them with little difficulty.

I haven’t been able to take a lot of time to read it yet, though I decided one of my best first steps would be to read the gospel of John, a book which I have studied carefully in a couple other translations. I read five chapters last night, just to get a good feel for the translation. (Of course, I had already gotten a good feel for it, having read the CEB downloads of Matthew and Genesis.)

Aside from the well-known and jarring “human one” for “Son of Man”, I have to say the biggest disappointment I’ve seen so far is the fact that the translators decided to play it very safe in John 3:16, by rendering this well-known verse as, “For God so loved the world that he gave his only son, so that everyone who believes in him won’t perish but will have eternal life.” Yup, there it is, God so-o-o-o loved the world. They could have done it like the Holman CSB and said, “For God loved the world in this way:…”, but no, they apparently didn’t want the controversy of changing such a well-known and well-loved verse.

Oh well, lots of other translations say God so-o-o-o loved the world. I suppose I can live with it, but they had the chance, and they didn’t do anything with it!

Anyway, I’ll be reading much more of this new translation called the CEB, and hopefully I will be able to give you further impressions of it in the near future.