WHO: The Common English Bible translation is sponsored by the Common English Bible Committee, an alliance of five publishers: Abingdon Press, Chalice Press, Church Publishing Inc., Pilgrim Press, and Westminster John Knox Press. It’s a denomination-neutral Bible, with translator scholars responsible to each other in peer review.
Board of Editors:
Paul N. Franklyn, Associate Publisher and Project Director for the Common English Bible, Nashville, TN.
David L. Petersen, Old Testament Editor and convener of the translation board, is Professor of Old Testament at the Candler School of Theology, Emory University, Atlanta, GA.
Joel B. Green, New Testament Editor, is Professor of New Testament Interpretation at Fuller Theological Seminary, Pasadena, CA.
Elizabeth Caldwell, Readability Editor, is the Harold Blake Walker Professor of Pastoral Theology at McCormick Theological Seminary, Chicago, IL.
David A. deSilva, Apocrypha Editor, is Trustees' Distinguished Professor of New Testament and Greek at Ashland Theological Seminary, Ashland, OH.
Emerson B. Powery, Associate Editor for Apocrypha and NT, (PhD, Duke University) is a Professor of New Testament at Messiah College, Grantham, PA.
Brent A. Strawn, Old Testament Associate Editor, is Associate Professor of Old Testament at the Candler School of Theology, Emory University, Atlanta, GA.
Ted Hiebert, Old Testament Associate Editor, is Francis A. McGaw Professor of Old Testament at McCormick Theological Seminary, Chicago, IL.
Cynthia Long Westfall, New Testament Associate Editor, is Assistant Professor of New Testament at McMaster Divinity College near Toronto, ON.
Carol A. Wehrheim, Associate Readability Editor, is an editor, writer, and Christian education consultant, Princeton, NJ.
Neil M. Alexander, Publisher for the Common English Bible, has served as an executive in religion publishing for 26 years.
See complete bios, and the list of translators and reading group leaders at the Common English Bible website.
Here are Elizabeth Caldwell and David L. Petersen explaining the Common English Bible project:
WHAT: The Common English Bible is the result of collaboration between opposites: scholars working with average readers; conservatives working with liberals; teens working with retirees; men working with women; many denominations and many ethnicities.
The Common English Bible is the newest translation by the largest number of biblical scholars & church leaders in words 21st century readers use every day, aligning academic rigor with modern understandability, proven through extensive field-testing with, and acting on feedback from, hundreds of readers.
The Common English Bible is the only translation to extensively use contractions where the text warrants an engaging conversational style (not used in divine or poetic discourse).
Among all Bibles available today, the Common English Bible is the only one that includes exclusive, detailed color maps from National Geographic, well known for its accurate topographical map making. The complete Common English Bible is comprised of 66 books: 39 in the Old Testament and 27 in the New Testament. Editions of the Common English Bible are also available with the 18 books of the Apocrypha, as found in Catholic, Greek, and Slavonic Bibles.
WHERE: The international headquarters of the Common English Bible is Nashville, TN. The Bible is available in general and Christian retail stores through its distributor Abingdon Press. It’s searchable and/or available online at
and many other sites
WHEN: The Common English Bible was conceptualized in January 2007. The New Testament was released in August 2010. The complete digital format was released June 2011. The complete print format (Old & New Testaments) was released July 2011. The print format Apocrypha was released August 2011.
WHY: The Common English Bible is a non-polarizing Bible translation. It’s the result of collaboration between opposites: men working with women; scholars working with average readers; conservatives working with liberals, many denominations and many ethnicities coming together around the common goal of creating a translation that unites rather than divides, with the ultimate goal of mutually accomplishing God’s overall work in the world.
The CommonEnglish Bible is also needed today because the digital revolution is accelerating changes in the English language and its everyday usage and understandability. This translation is necessary to clearly communicate God’s Word because 9,000 new words & meaning revisions are added yearly to the English lexicon. The Common English Bible is today’s freshest translation and uses natural, 21st century English.
The Common English Bible has uncommon readability and relevance for a broad audience of Bible readers – from children to scholars.
HOW: 120 biblical scholars from 24 denominations in American, African, Asian, European, and Latino communities representing such academic institutions as Asbury Theological Seminary, Azusa Pacific University, Bethel Seminary, Denver Seminary, Fuller Theological Seminary, Princeton Theological Seminary, Seattle Pacific University, Wheaton College, Yale University, and many others. (See website for entire list.)
Additionally, more than 500 readers in 77 groups field-tested the translation. Every verse was read aloud in the reading groups, where potentially confusing passages were identified. The translators considered the groups' responses and, where necessary, reworked those passages to clarify in English their meaning from the original languages.
In total, including church leaders and editors, more than 700 people worked jointly to bring the Common English Bible into being.