About the CEV

Discussion in '2004 Archive' started by DeclareHim, Jun 8, 2004.

  1. DeclareHim

    DeclareHim
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    I was wondering what some of your opions were about the Contemporary English Version. I like it although it leans toward the paraphrase end of the spectrum.it is very similar to the NLT. I am going to use the International Standard Version when its complete but I am using the CEV for now.
     
  2. Askjo

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  3. Craigbythesea

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    DeclareHim,

    I am posting for your consideration an article with which I am in agreement.

    The Contemporary English Version

    Barclay M. Newman, ed., Holy Bible: Contemporary English Version. New York: American Bible Society, 1995. The New Testament appeared in 1991.

    This is a paraphrastic version, designed for children (at a fourth grade reading level). It is similar to the Good News Bible previously published by the American Bible Society, though at a lower reading level, and it is apparently aimed at the same market: the Sunday-schools of the mainline churches. As might be expected, many Biblical distinctions and concepts usually considered very important by conservatives are practically erased in the CEV, even more so than in the Good News Bible. For example, the CEV translators believed that the Bible's way of saying God spoke through the prophets (perfect for teaching the inspiration of the Scriptures) was too difficult for children, and so the very concept is eliminated. (e.g. Hebrews 1:1 "God's prophets spoke his message to our ancestors" instead of "God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets.")

    Key theological words, including grace, justification, righteousness, sanctification, redemption, atonement, repentence, and covenant, are avoided in the CEV. In the volume Creating and Crafting the Contemporary English Version Barclay Newman discusses the elimination of these and other familiar terms under the heading, The War on Gobbledygook.

    Though it is careless with regard to basic theological ideas and words, the CEV is very careful to steer young readers away from the old "sexist" interpretations found in all Bibles prior to their generation. Besides the regular use of the new gender-neutral language (e.g. avoiding translation of "man" and "he" in thousands of places), it features many dubious renderings that obscure the teachings of the Bible concerning the family. In Genesis 2:18, Eve is called not a "helper" but a "partner" of Adam; in 1 Peter 3:1, Colossians 3:18 and Ephesians 5:22 women are advised somewhat ambiguously to "put their husbands first" (along with the children?) rather than told plainly to "submit" to them (the word is hupotassō, correctly rendered "obey" elsewhere in the CEV); in 1 Corinthians 11:10 the CEV says a woman should wear a head covering not merely as a "sign of authority" (i.e. her husband's authority, nearly all commentators agree) but "as a sign of her authority." The tendency in all this "dynamic equivalence" is clear enough: it serves more to obscure the meaning than to make it plain.

    The CEV also makes an attempt to tone down the seeming anti-Judaism of the New Testament by avoiding the word "Jews" wherever it is used in reference to opponents of Jesus. David G. Burke, the director of the ABS translation program, says that the purpose of this was to combat anti-semitism; and so instead of "Jews" they give "the people" or "the religious leaders." This novelty in particular drew much applause from reviewers in the mainline church magazines. Burke ventured further to say:

    "The poorly informed modern reader ... is not equipped to be able to sort out that 'the Jews' who seem constantly to be opposing Jesus and the Jesus movement (and are even viewed as seeking evil purposes) are in fact in so many cases just other Jews who happen not to have accepted Jesus' identity as Messiah ... It is very difficult for the modern reader to think this through in terms of the kinds of real-life ambiguities that would have applied then as now; that is, to consider that many of these 'enemies' or 'opponents' may have been acting ... as best they knew how to be responsible and faithful to the tradition as they understood it." *

    Burke's apology for those who "happen not to have accepted Jesus' identity as Messiah" is understandable in the context of an inter-faith dialogue (the paragraph above is quoted from a publication of the American Interfaith Institute), but we must object to this tendency to avoid offending non-Christians in a translation of the New Testament. There are, after all, many other things in both the Old and the New Testament which are bound to offend someone or other, and we cannot become expurgators of the Word of God while claiming to be faithful translators of it. If, like Burke, we are concerned to help children to avoid misunderstandings, perhaps the best course would be to present them with such curriculum materials that will achieve this without expurgating the Bible itself. It may even be wondered whether such simplified Bibles as the CEV really serve their educational purpose as well as the old catechisms and Bible Story books did for earlier generations. As Richard John Neuhaus puts it, "In the past, there was no shortage of Bible story books and other Bible-based literature for children, but they were not told that a book written for third-graders was the Bible itself." (First Things, May 1997).


    * David G. Burke, "Translating 'the Jews' (hoi Ioudanioi) in the New Testament: Pertinent Passages in Recent Versions," in Removing the Anti-Judaism from the New Testament, edited by Howard Clark Kee and Irvin J. Borowsky. (Philadelphia: American Interfaith Institute, 1998).

    Literature
    • Barclay M. Newman, ed., Creating and Crafting the Contemporary English Version: A New Approach to Bible Translation (New York: American Bible Society, 1996).
    • David G. Burke, "Translating 'the Jews' (hoi Ioudanioi) in the New Testament: Pertinent Passages in Recent Versions," in Removing the Anti-Judaism from the New Testament, edited by Howard Clark Kee and Irvin J. Borowsky. (Philadelphia: American Interfaith Institute, 1998).
    • Marvin Olasky, "Good cause, bad method: A WORLD Easter report on Bible translation: Christians have a responsibility to fight anti-Semitism, but changing the Bible is not a legitimate option," in WORLD, Volume 16 Number 14 (April 14, 2001). Olasky reports details of the part played by Irvin J. Borowsky, a Jewish layman, in the editing of the CEV.


    Bible Research > English Versions > 20th Century > CEV
     
  4. Tangent

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    That article says it well. The CEV is far too "dumbed-down" for my taste. The job of the translators is not to smooth over all difficulties so that the text can be easily understood by everyone, and no one is offended. Their job is to render the Bible accurately but readably into (in our case) English. This the CEV often fails to do.
     
  5. DeclareHim

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    Yes it is very simplistically written. But it reads very similar to the NLT which is highly regarded on this board. It does lean toward the paraphrase side of the spectrum. But I know its very popular with my peers. (I'm only 16)many use the NIV teen study Bible but they all like the CEV far better (My parents go to a KJVO church but on Teusdays I go to the local Christian Center.)It is dumbed-down alot.But for instance I like John 3:16 "God loved the PEOPLE of this world so much that He gave his only Son, so that everyone who has faith in him will have eternal life and never really die." I really like them adding the word People there instead of just world. But I am switching to the International Standard Version when its completed. A lot more literal translation that has not been dumb-down. I down-loaded it at e-sword.net and really like how it reads. thx for the post.
     
  6. Craigbythesea

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    I personally don't know anyone on this board who has a high regard for the NLT (although some probably do). From my point of view, it is a disgraceful fraud—not a true translation, but a re-working of the Living Bible Paraphrased. The proof of this can be found in the many instances where the NLT retains loose paraphrases by Kenneth Taylor in the Living Bible word for word. Even Tyndale house, the publishers of the NLT, admit that the NLT is not a translation in the usual sense of the word, but a “translation in it own right,” what ever that means. And one of the so-called translators of the NLT told me in personal correspondence that it was a paraphrase rather than a translation.

    Since you are 16 and obviously not intellectually challenged, there is no good reason for you not to use the most accurate translation available in the English language as your primary study Bible. That translation is the NASB, and you can add it to your E-Sword program for $20. That may be a lot of money for you, but it would be a good investment. You are no longer a child and no longer have any good reason to use translations for children and those who are intellectually challenged, or too lazy to read a translation written at the 11th grade reading level.

    By the way, I really enjoy reading your posts on this message board. Just knowing that there are young people like you who love God and the Bible is very encouraging. [​IMG] Hang in there!
     
  7. DeclareHim

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    Thanks Craig [​IMG] . I am really looking forward to the ISV coming out. I actually own a NASB Bible and enjoy it. I just like the ISV a bit better but will always keep the NASB around.
     
  8. Bro.Bill

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    DeclareHim
    If you have e-sword,it has the ESV which is very good,highly accurate and highly readable.It may interest you. It's free.
     
  9. DeclareHim

    DeclareHim
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    I have the ESV from e-sword and I do like it. But
    personally I think it reads very similar to the NIV, I dont have an NIV. So I haven't studied it closely but I have been told they read very closely. I prefer the ISV but I think highly of the ESV.
     
  10. Dr. Bob

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    I received an ESV as a gift (from a BB member!) and have only begun to read it. I try to read a different version devotionally in a year or so, then take it for more detailed look at certain passages in juxtaposition to the original languages.

    I have great disdain and no use for "loose" translations or paraphrases or amplified "bibles".
     
  11. Craigbythesea

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    Amazing!!! :D

    But, then again, I received a gift of some books from a BB member also :cool: . This truly is a fine message board with many very fine Christians posting on it. [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     

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