About nine weeks ago (or thereabouts) our pastor chose to read from the Common English Bible during the church service. Up until that moment I had never heard of this particular translation of the Bible. I quickly opened my Bible to the passage so I could read along and see the difference in the two translations. My first thought was this translation would be excellent for my children. The very same week I received a request to review The CEB Student Bible! Coincidence?!
The Common English Bible was completed in 2001. Biblical Scholars from twenty-two faith traditions worked on the fresh translation of the Scriptures. Early translations were also reviewed and commented on by reading groups from different denominations, ages and social strata.
The CEB Student Bible is targeted to young people. Most likely for people between the ages of twelve and twenty-five or so. However, I think this Bible would be useful in the hands of any youth leader and I enjoyed it as well. For the past eight weeks I set my favorite translation aside and strictly used this Bible.
Physically the Bible is comfortable to hold. The pages are thin but still thick enough to prevent the next page’s print from interfering with reading. The pages are thick enough that I did not worry about tearing them while trying to turn pages. During my time of use none of the pages were torn and the book doesn’t look too beat up…yet. I’m a little rough on books and every paperback Bible I’ve ever owned usually has to be held together by rubber bands after a couple of years use. The pages are off white with a matte finish. I like this feature since it prevents eye strain. The maps from National Geographic in the back are fantastic.
Every book of the Bible contains an informative introduction from a Biblical scholar who has worked in youth ministry. The introductions point out notable themes, list a few “quick facts”, give some reading tips and a general overview. I really enjoyed reading the introductions. The Bible also contains over four-hundred articles from Biblical scholars and youth ministry leaders from various denominations as well as prayers and reflections from youth. Each book also has discussion questions and activities designed for youth ministry. The meditative prayer practice of lectio divinia is also endorsed and explained.
Overall I enjoyed reading and using The CEB Student Bible (even though I am forty-two and not in a youth group!). My twelve-year-old son also gives his “thumbs up” for this translation. He has already asked me to give the student Bible to him once I finish up this post.
I’ve also been given permission to host a giveaway! Please leave a comment on this post or my Facebook share by October 29th 2015 for a chance to receive a free copy from Abingdon Press.
Legal stuff: The kind folks at Abingdon Press through the services of Side Door Communications offered me this product for free in exchange for this blog post. I accepted their offer and gave no guarantee that I would write something nice.