When we think of Bible translations that were considered ‘fresh’ or even ‘radical’ in the last couple of generations there are usually three that come to mind:
- The Living Bible
- The Message
- The Voice
Each of these resonated with readers who were looking for a unique or fresh take on familiar words, and The Living Bible was ‘renovated’ years later to become the NLT.
However, in the last ten days or so, I have been reminded through various sources that it is too easy to overlook two translations done by the American Bible Society:
- Good News Bible aka GNT aka Today’s English Version (TEV) aka Good News for Modern Man
- Contemporary English Version aka CEV
(The CEV should not be confused with the CEB, the recently-released Common English Bible.)
If you’re scanning BibleGateway.com, it’s a good idea to check out how the verse or passage in question is rendered in these two versions. A warning though, sometimes we think a verse says something and then we try to find a translation that says what we want it to say. This is where having multiple translations can help us have greater clarity of meaning.
This week I’ve found both the GNT and CEV to be exactly what I needed with a particular reference. Each is its own version — the CEV wasn’t an update to the Good News as some of us believed at the time — with the CEV having the lower (easier) reading level.
And… if you have a bent for philanthropy don’t forget to support the work of The Bible Society in your country.
Our goal in sharing scripture is not to make the Bible relevant, but to communicate the relevance it already has.