I mentioned recently that I had obtained the Common English Bible Study Bible (Abingdon, 2013). Instead of offering a full-blown review, I am going to do several “soundings” in various parts of the study Bible. In this “sounding” I am going to explore the introductory materials and front/back matter.
First, what is the Common English Bible? In my view, it is a fresh translation especially geared towards ease of understanding for those that did not grow up in the church, and produced largely by and for a wide variety of faith traditions. Sponsors of the translation include publishers from the following traditions: PCUSA, Epicopalian, United Methodist, Disciples of Christ, and United Church of Christ.
The front matter includes a brief preface, Table of Contents, and tables that show the differing “canons of Scripture” representative of several faith traditions (Protestant, Roman Catholic, Orthodox, Anglican). The back matter includes a number of short, but penetrating “big-picture” essays.
– “The Authority of Scripture” (Joel Green)
-“The Bible’s Unity” (Marianne Meye Thompson)
-“How We Got the Bible” (Daniel Reid)
-“The Bible and Its Chronology” (Pamela Scalise)
-“Guidelines for Reading the Bible” (Brian D. Russell)
Next, there is a selective and limited concordance, but I will say that it was wise for them to include some important phrases (“faith has healed you”) as well as the normal set of individual keywords.
The last set of items in the back are full-color maps. Brilliant quality.
The CEB Study Bible has all the “trappings” one would expect, front and back. In the next “sounding” we will get into some texts.