Overview of Bible Study

New English


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The New English Bible

In 1946, as a result of an initiative taken by the Church of Scotland, delegates from the Church of England, the Church of Scotland, and the Methodist, Baptist, and Congregational churches met to lay plans to produce a completely new English translation of the Bible. These churches were joined by the Presbyterian Church of England, the Society of Friends, the Churches in Wales, the Churches in Ireland, The British and Foreign Bible Societies, and the National Bible Society of Scotland; and work began in 1948. Representatives of the Roman Catholic Church of England and Scotland attended as observers.

The first edition of the NT was released in 1961, and the complete translation, including the OT, was published in 1970, available with or without the Apocrypha. It was well received in Great Britain and in the United States, despite its British idiom.

The New English Bible translation is freer than either the KJV or the RSV. Rather than presenting a word-for-word translation, it attempts to reproduce the meaning of the text in contemporary language.

For the American reader, it is important to remember that the New English Bible was intended for a reader familiar with British rather than American English. The NEB includes words that are in use in Britain or Scotland, but which are unknown to the average American reader. As a term for a pile of stones used as a memorial, the Scottish word "cairn" appears 6 times, for example, and the word "hind" for a female deer is better understood by Americans as "doe".

Overall, the New English Bible does what it was supposed to do, offering a valid reproduction of the thought behind the Scriptures to the contemporary reader of British English.





Overview of Bible Study