This is 1 Thess. 4:15 in the King James Version of the Bible: “For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.”
Here is how the verse reads in the New American Standard Bible: “For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep.”
The Common English Bible says: “What we are saying is a message from the Lord: we who are alive and still around at the Lord's coming definitely won't go ahead of those who have died.”
What's going on? The Greek word translated “prevent” in the KJV is phthano, a verb, “to come beforehand.” So why does it say “prevent” in the KJV? In the 1600s the word “prevent” did not mean “to stop,” as it does now, but actually “to come before.”
Language is always changing. Words change their meaning, especially over hundreds of years. In order to have a translation accurately represent the original Hebrew and Greek, it must be updated from time to time, reflecting the change in language.
The Common English Bible is a new translation written to make it accessible to a broad range of people. It was designed to be at a comfortable reading level for over half of all English readers.
I am taking part in a blog tour of the Common English Bible. I'll be blogging more about this Bible as the days go by.
You can see the blogs of others taking part of this tour here: http://CommonEnglishBible.com/CEB/blogtour
I received a complimentary copy of the CEB from its publisher for the purpose of this blog tour.