Thursday, December 8, 2011

Common English Bible

I received my new Common English Bible* yesterday. I right away turned to John 1:5 as a friend and I had just been discussing the various translations of that verse.
This is the CEB:
The light shines in the darkness,
and the darkness doesn't extinguish the light.

The reason for the discussion was that one Bible (NRSV) read:
The light shines in the darkness and the darkness did not overcome it.
But another Bible (ESV) read:
The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

Our discussion was about the “overcoming.” Was the reference to something in the past (“did not” in the NRSV) or to something still happening (“has not” in the ESV)?
I had looked up the verb tenses in Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament. In the Greek, it is the second aorist active indicative of katalambano. Robertson gives this idea, “The light keeps on shining in spite of the darkness that was worse than a London fog...” (page 8, volume v).
In my mind, the idea seemed to be that the light keeps on shining despite the darkness still all around. John was not only writing about Herod or others trying to snuff out the light of Jesus while He was on earth. John was writing prophetically, perhaps, that even now the light of Christ cannot be extinguished by the darkness.

So it was with great interest I turned to John 1:5 in my new CEB. I was very pleased with the translation. That's it exactly! The light is shining! The darkness doesn't extinguish it!

I hope you'll be a part of that shining light dispelling the darkness.

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:

*I received a complimentary copy of the CEB from its publisher for the purpose of this blog tour.

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