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The Contemporary English Version Learning Bible is the work of the combined efforts of the editors and writers of this version and the CEV’s corresponding commentary.
In the Forward to the book Creating and Crafting the Contemporary English Version (1996), America Bible Society President Eugene B. Habecker describes the beginnings of this version:
Work on the CEV began in 1984 when Dr. Barclay Newman, Ph.D., a distinguished biblical scholar who had provided several decades of service as a translations consultant in the Asia Pacific Region of the United Bible Societies, first began to apply his considerable knowledge to his own first language—English. He meticulously studied the language that people, and especially children, used and were exposed to on a daily basis through books, magazines, newspapers, the movies, and television. This eclectic and careful study helped him to understand what terms and sentence structures were most understandable to people who used English in their day-to-day communication. He learned what sorts of constructions confused readers, and even more significantly, he learned which terms and grammatical constructions were likely to be misunderstood by people who heard texts being read aloud.
Those who do not have much of a religious or Christian background can manageably understand the CEV Learning Bible as it succeeds in simplifying the texts’ meaning. Additionally, the CEVL is also good source of deeper study and biblical exploration for more experienced readers. It was written with today’s modern sensibilities in mind. Moreover, the CEVL has writing that is very direct and imbued with more force whenever the text requires it. A good example of this is taken from Hebrews 11:1: As compared to another popular version of the Bible:
“Faith makes us sure of what we hope for and gives us proof of what we cannot see”.
“Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see”.
A good example of this is taken from Hebrews 11:1:
As compared to another popular version of the Bible:
Although the meanings are similar, the Contemporary English Version Learning Bible’s text is written in a stronger imperative voice, expressing it with more command and affirmation.
One of the concerns with producing a modernized version of the Bible is the risk of filtering out the original meaning that the ancient writers’ intended. I have always encouraged those seeking to understand the truths of the Bible to read alternative versions to deepen, amplify and enrich their understanding on greater levels than if the reader had only read a singular version.
The Contemporary English Version Learning Bible comes with is a Bible and bible handbook in one! The CEVL comes equipped with many tools to enliven and strengthen the novice and veteran in their personal Scriptural study.
The commentary contains over 10,000 notes to assist readers in a deeper exploration of history, people, geography and the times. The commentary is divided into six helpful and informative categories:
· People and Nations
· Objects, Plants, and Animals
· History and Culture
· Ideas and Concepts
· Cross references
There are tons of Scriptural and contextual cross-references that lead you to other verses and articles to enrich your personal study.
The CEVL is a good addition to anyone’s biblical library. Its modern sensibility makes it easier for newcomers or seekers in Christianity to get an initial grasp of deep, spiritual meanings and concepts. Moreover, the added commentary and content truly makes this a great learning experience for novices and more experienced readers alike.
You can find out more about the Contemporary English Version Learning Bible and other products at OliveTree.com !
Originally published in Palm Addicts