I know that some mainline Protestant denominations (including the one where I work) are still trying their best to promote the Common English Bible (CEB), but the more I read of this Bible, which came out back in 2011, the less I like it. Several months ago, I had this verse brought to my attention:
Those born from God don't practice sin because God's DNA remains in them. They can't sin because they are born from God. (1 John 3:9, CEB)
Oh my, this is such an awful rendering of that verse! "God's DNA"? What, now?
The Greek word in question is σπέρμα (sperma), which (as you may have guessed, is pretty similar to the English word "sperm." Now obviously, they weren't going to translate the verse as "God's sperm remains in them." They want to sell a few copies, at least. Most other translations say something along the lines of "God's seed is in them," which seems a bit more tactful. But using the word DNA? That just seems ridiculous to me. What's more σπέρμα, or some variant thereof, appears a few dozen times in the Bible, but this is the only verse where the CEB translators rendered the word as "DNA." So it's inconsistent at best, completely anachronistic at worst.
I've complained in the past about the CEB's use of "Human One," rather than "Son of Man." That one still grates on me, even though I understand the linguistic/theological choice behind it. But the DNA thing is just...weird. And don't even get me started on their use of the word "divvy" in Psalm 22...
I don't generally rant against particular Bible versions, but the CEB was the go-to Bible in our church for quite awhile. It actually looks like the pastors have been leaning back towards the NRSV lately, which I think is a good choice. And I don't think the CEB is completely worthless. I just don't think it will ever become a standard choice for my personal use. Thanks for reading.
(adj.) wild and frenzied; from Greek κορυβαντες (Korybantes)