The more I get to know the CEB Study Bible, which I recently reviewed, the more I appreciate the fresh footnotes and study helps, but I’m also grateful for a new review copy of a reader edition of the Common English Bible (CEB) that includes the Apocrypha.
With or without study aids, the contemporary text and ecumenical input of scholars from most of the major denominations make this Bible ideal for easy reading alone or aloud in church worship.
The review copy of CEB I recently received from Church Publishing would make an excellent Christmas gift for teens and young adults but also an inexpensive pew Bible for church members who might want to present a memorable gift to their congregation or parish. I’ll include an Amazon ad below, as I do with each review for readers who might want to order. Thanks to the online help of Bible Gateway, the following excerpts from the CEB may be helpful, too, in giving you a feel for the reader-friendly text:
From the NT book, James 5:13-16
If any of you are suffering, they should pray. If any of you are happy, they should sing. If any of you are sick, they should call for the elders of the church, and the elders should pray over them, anointing them with oil in the name of the Lord. Prayer that comes from faith will heal the sick, for the Lord will restore them to health. And if they have sinned, they will be forgiven. For this reason, confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of the righteous person is powerful in what it can achieve.
From the apocryphal book, Judith 15:13-14
I will sing to my God a new song.
Lord, you are great and glorious, marvelous in strength
never to be outdone.
May all of your creation serve you;
and they came into being.
You sent forth your spirit
and it shaped them;
there is no one
who can resist your voice.
From the apocryphal book, Sirach 2:1-6
My child, if you come to serve the Lord,
prepare yourself for testing.
Set your heart straight, be steadfast,
and don’t act hastily in a time of distress.
Hold fast to God
and don’t keep your distance from him,
so that you may find strength
at your end.
Accept whatever happens to you,
and be patient
when you suffer humiliation,
because gold is tested with fire,
and acceptable people are tested
in the furnace of humiliation.
Trust him, and he will help you;
make your ways straight,
and hope in him.
©2013, Mary Harwell Sayler
Common English Bible with Apocrypha, paperback
Common English Bible – Pew Bible with Apocrypha, hardback