Showing posts with label American Bible Society. Show all posts
Showing posts with label American Bible Society. Show all posts

October 29, 2019

Holy Bible: Contemporary English Version


Most of the Bibles I discuss on this blog come as review copies from Bible publishers, who have just released a new translation, study edition, or children’s Bible. This time though, I bought the Holy Bible: Contemporary English Version (CEV) from Amazon because I often choose this version from many, many choices on Bible Gateway when I need the wording of an easy-to-read translation.

Unlike Bible paraphrases, which usually group verses together, thus making them impossible to follow the readings in a Bible study group, the CEV has verse-by-verse numbering typical of most translations. Chapter and verse numbers, of course, were not in the original biblical texts in Hebrew, Greek, and Aramaic, but they’re helpful additions that enable us to follow along, even if someone reads from a translation we’re not using.

Besides that feature, the word choices in CEV are familiar enough for non-CEV readers to follow. Take, for example, the Lord’s Prayer (aka Our Father) in the favorite version recorded in Matthew 6:9-13:

“Our Father in heaven,
help us to honor
your name.
Come and set up
your kingdom,
so that everyone on earth
will obey you,
as you are obeyed
in heaven.
Give us our food for today.
Forgive us for doing wrong,
as we forgive others.
Keep us from being tempted
and protect us from evil.”

A footnote in my paperback copy of CEV (hotlink below) goes on to say, “Some manuscripts add, ‘The kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours forever. Amen’.”

Most contemporary translations omit that verse, too, but some include it with a footnote to let you know it was not part of the original Gospel text. It is, however, biblical and was an established part of the church liturgy in King James' day.

To give you another example of the CEV translation, look at Psalm 23. As you read, notice now the word choices are true to the intent and meaning of this beloved prayer-poem, while being so much clearer in meaning:

“You, Lord, are my shepherd.
I will never be in need.
You let me rest in fields
of green grass.
You lead me to streams
of peaceful water,
and you refresh my life.

You are true to your name,
and you lead me
along the right paths.
I may walk through valleys
as dark as death,
but I won’t be afraid.
You are with me,
and your shepherd’s rod
makes me feel safe.

You treat me to a feast,
while my enemies watch.
You honor me as your guest,
and you fill my cup
until it overflows.
Your kindness and love
will always be with me
each day of my life,
and I will live forever
in your house, Lord.”

And, finally, I wanted a copy of CEV because it's the translation I chose for the one Bible verse I posted beside my desk. This beautiful reminder of God’s love for us is shown so clearly in Zephaniah 3:17, CEV!

“The LORD your God
wins victory after victory
and is always with you.
He celebrates and sings
because of you,
and he will refresh your life
with his love.”

Amen!

review by Mary Harwell Sayler, ©2019


Click this link to order. 



April 24, 2018

When life is a challenge, The Challenge Study Bible will help!


Recently I did an online search for the Contemporary English Version (CEV) of the Bible produced by the American Bible Society and discovered that Bridge-Logos had released The Challenge Study Bible in CEV this very month! I immediately requested a copy, which the publisher kindly sent in a hardback with large print even in the footnotes.

As you’ve most likely noticed, a larger font for footnotes is highly unusual, but then so is this unique edition, supervised by Don Wilkerson, co-founder of the highly successful Teen Challenge program begun over 50 years ago to help people who suffer from various dysfunctions find ways to function well – physically, mentally, and spiritually.

In addition to the accurate, reader-friendly text of CEV, this special edition includes words of guidance, wisdom, inspiration, and encouragement in footnotes gleaned from a variety of current and classical Christian leaders. With rehab a major emphasis, the publishing team has successfully shown Christians of all ages and backgrounds the spiritual tools and social skills needed to get through tough times with God’s help.

For example, the first footnote in Genesis 1:1 says, “Nothing lasts that is not rooted and grounded in the nature and character of God. A God who created mankind and the whole world by the Word of His power certainly can recreate those in the process of needing a life change.” The reader is then encouraged to check out the topic “Conversion” in the Topical Index, page 1912.

Turning to that page, we find:

CONVERSION
A man can never change himself; but it is also gloriously true that what he cannot do, Jesus Christ can do for him. (Acts 26:1)
A person can give up drink, drugs, and crime, but what is needed is a complete transformation by the power of God. (1 Thess. 1:9)
God can recreate those in the process of needing a life change. (Gen. 1:1)
Let this be your turning point to seek God and follow in His ways and will. (Isa. 48:18)
Nature forms us, sin deforms us, but Christ transforms us! (1 Cor. 6:9)

The topical index then suggests seeing “New Beginnings, New Birth, New Life” for relevant scriptures. So, turning to “New Life,” for example, the statement “When Jesus came into your life, you were made brand spanking new,” concludes with a reference to 2 Cor. 5:17, which, in the CEV, says:

“Anyone who belongs to Christ is a new person. The past is forgotten, and everything is new.”

The 5:17 footnote goes on to say:

“The word new is from the Greek word ‘kairos,’ intended to describe something that is brand-new or recently made. It also carries the idea of something that is superior. When Jesus Christ came into your life, you were made brand spanking new. The new you is superior to the older you. In fact, you are so new that you’re called a new creature. The word ‘creature’ is the same word used to describe the creation of the world. When God created the universe, He used no existing materials or old elements to make anything…. Now the same word is used to describe what happened to you the day you got saved. Everything about you is a ‘new you’.”

That doesn’t mean we won’t slip back into old habits or unworkable ways that take us away from God's Way! Not surprisingly then, this edition includes scriptures on topics such as “Relapse/Backsliding,” “Relapses, Avoiding,” and even “Relapse, Causes of,” all of which intend to provide both warnings and encouragement as we become more adept at living life in the spirit, power, and word of the Lord.

Mary Harwell Sayler, poet-writer, reviewer

The Challenge Study Bible, hardcover