Book Review – cev youth bible ? Edited by Nick Page

This edition of the Bible is aimed at teenagers. Well, perhaps it is aimed at Evangelical parents and other relatives looking to buy a Bible for teenagers, which is nearly, but not quite, the same thing.

The Contemporary English Version is a Bible translation which uses a restricted vocabulary. It is a fairly progressive translation, for example, translating ?the Jews? as ?the people? in an attempt to tone down some of the perceived anti-Semitic language of the fourth Gospel. Similarly, it uses gender inclusive language for the people of God. What is odd though is that the notes and text-boxes which go alongside the biblical text don?t all use inclusive language themselves. This is the first clue that the notes are in some way competing with the text. The CEV avoids difficult words like Redemption or Grace in its attempt to be a Bible for those with a limited vocabulary (eg younger readers and those who use English as a second language) ? yet the editor puts in a text box explaining what Redemption is in the middle of the book of Ruth and Grace gets similar treatment in the middle of Ephesians.

Does the third chapter of the fourth gospel need a note in the margin telling the reader to ?Commit your life to Jesus. Promise him that you?re going to change your life. Talk to someone about this??

Worried that you know that you have been saved but that it doesn?t feel like it? ? don?t worry, help is o­n hand in a text-box in the middle of Isaiah. Proof texts galore.

The CEV is a simplified text, but is that really an excuse for simplistic notes? (Abortion? ? read Psalm 139). Unsurprisingly, the Song of Songs is not allowed to reach its climax ? sorry, conclusion, without a page-long essay o­n keeping sex within heterosexual marriage. Substitutionary atonement makes a guest appearance in a text-box o­n Judgement ? ??the Bible is clear: people have to pay for their sins. Or ask Jesus to pay the price??

If you are looking to give someone a Bible in clear simple language with marginal notes which have a distinct bias to the religious right then look no further. Looking for the same text without the notes? ? check out other CEV editions published by Collins.

The ?cev youth bible ? Contemporary English Version? edited by Nick Page is published by Collins and costs ?15.99

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