Bible Translation: CEV


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What type of translation is the CEV Bible translation?

The American Bible Society (ABS) used the dynamic equivalence (thought-for-thought translation) method to create the Contemporary English Version (CEV) translation. It is also known as Bible for Today’s Family. Their stated principles include:

  • must be understood by people without stumbling in speech
  • must be understood by those with little or no comprehension of “Bible” language
  • must be understood by all.

Bible scholar Dr. Barclay M. Newman studied speech patterns in 1984 focused on how English is read and heard, especially in children, that resulted in some test volumes in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

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What is the Contemporary English Version (CEV) Bible translation?

Over a 10-year period, the creative process involved over 100 scholar consultants and reviewers from a wide range of church traditions providing expertise from the Old Testament, New Testament, Hebrew, Greek, and English language along with linguistics and poetry. There was constant prayer and guidance from the Spirit of God to ensure “accuracy, integrity and trustworthiness”.

CEV is written in easy-to-read and easy-to-understand contemporary English. The New Testament was released in 1991, the Old Testament in 1995, and the apocryphal/deuterocanonical books in 1999. There is an Anglicized version for our friends across the pond in Britain.

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