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Monday, September 14, 2015

CEB Student Bible

The CEB Student Bible
Common English Bible, Student Edition
1600 Pages
ISBN: 1609261798

At first glance the CEB Bible appears to be trying to make the scriptures understandable and relateable to young people and those new to the Bible. Because what is found here would not work so well with those who have been exposed to the most literal of translations. There are so many things changed within the confines of this book, many of the passages either loose their strength or their meaning or both. For example: changing "the Son of Man" to "the Human One," or Mathew 23:33 has been changed from "you serpents, you brood of vipers" to  "you snakes, you children of snakes"
First of all, I have never heard baby snakes referred to as 'children' - also, aren't our children taught that baby lions are called cubs, kangaroos called joeys, etc., So, it is insulting to me as a parent to think that my kids couldn't also learn that baby snakes are referred to as a brood. Over and over again, in a side by side comparison CEB dumbs the language down so much in an attempt to make it gender neutral and politically correct that using it to study is pointless.

- Each chapter begins with an Introduction, Key Themes, Tips For Reading, Quick Facts includes Author, Setting, and Date Written.
- Each chapter ends with Wrestling With: which calls for deeper reflection through questions
-followed by Reading Differently- this section prompts you to use bibliodrama, lectio divina, or for ex. at the end of the book of Job it suggests you try reading during a thunderstorm or in a park, then evaluate what feelings this verse brought up in you, while in these surroundings.

I found the extras in the CEB interesting and thought provoking. I feel they add to the study, either by asking questions that make you reflect upon what you just read or by what CEB refers to as reading in weird places. They suggest reading what may have become familiar to us in Church or Bible Study Groups, in weird places to "shake things up" so that we can gain "new insight to where God is in the world." 

While there are some parts of this Bible I did like, I did not like the neutral, dumbed down language. If you are going to study the Bible, it needs to be as it was written, with strong language - like Repent, Blasphemy, the Son of Man, etc. I can't call it a translation - because it's so far off the mark. I recommend using this Bible only as a secondary means of study - maybe to give you a new perspective. But even those new to faith and teens shouldn't be exposed to this as their introduction to Bible study.


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