The Common English Bible

I love Bible translations, especially new ones. Translations help readers experience God’s Word in fresh, new ways—and they give preachers (and others) new tools to play with!

I grew up in a faith tradition that read only the King James Version (KJV), but I discovered modern translations when I was in seminary in the early 1990s (the 1990s seemed to churn out new translations left and right). Since then, I have settled primarily on the (1) New Living Translation (NLT) and (2) the Contemporary English Version (CEV).

The most recent Bible translation that I am getting to know is the Common English Bible (CEB). The New Testament is already available with the full version expected later this year. I received a free copy of the New Testament when it was released last year and have been using it for my personal Bible reading, sermon preparation, and some of my preaching.

Last fall, for my sermon on a passage from the Old Testament book of Joel, which was video-recorded in preparation for the Board of Ordained Ministry ordination interviews, I emailed the folks at the Common English Bible to see if they would send me a copy of a yet-to-be-published passage from Joel—and they did!

In sermon preparation, I like to read Scripture in a number of different translations. For both preaching and personal reading, I prefer smooth, readable translations (like the NLT and CEV and now the CEB)—and this is where the CEB excels!

One of my favorite parts of Scripture is the Psalms. You can get the Psalms as a free PDF download on this page (Genesis, Matthew, and Luke are also available). So far, I love what I’ve read in the Psalms from the CEB!

If you’re interested in comparing the philosophies/methodologies of various translations, see this chart at the CEB site. Also, check out the rest of the site to learn more about the Common English Bible.

The CEB is published by the Common English Bible and is supported by publishers from several different denominations, including The United Methodist Church. You can also search and read the CEB (New Testament) at, which is where I do most of my Bible reading and research.

Have you checked out the CEB yet? If so, what do you think about it?

Also, check back here Monday for exciting details on the upcoming Lenten blog tour conducted by the Common English Bible!

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