4 Stars Out Of 5
Plain and Simple, but Simply Good
March 21, 2012
I was gifted this bible, and while I still prefer the flow and readability of the New Living Translation, the Common English Bible is clear and will be quickly understood by those wanting an easier translation in everyday language, yet retaining a bit more of the formality customarily found in translations such as the NRSV or NAS bibles.
First thing I liked was the appearance of this bible (Navy EcoLeather). It is not flashy; just a simple, practical-looking bible for everyday use. It is of nice size, 5.5" by 8.5" and the dark navy leather-like cover is thin and flexible, not stiff. It does lay flat when opened. Pages are silver edged. Two grey ribbon markers. Binding is sewn. It is light to medium weight.
The bible is separated into two parts. The first section contains all of the devotional features of this bible: User Guide, Outline of Daily Devotions (which are also broken down into weekly themes for the 52 weeks of the year, then by books, and then topically); Spiritual Practices, such as helps for a better prayer, study, and worship life, scripture memorization, fasting, etc. There are also three separate reading plans: Bible in one year with a handy chart to keep track, New Testament in 90 days, and a One-Month Sweep for a quick overview of the entire bible. There is also a small selection of verses for when you are discouraged, impatient, tempted, etc.
The second section consists of the entire bible in the Common English version, with several color maps at the back. There is no concordance. It is NOT a red-letter. Print is 9-point, so I do need my glasses when reading. It is in double-column format.
The daily devotions (365 of them) are the type you would find in any devotional: A topic, a scripture reading or two, commentary, several reflections in the form of questions, a prayer, and finally, a space to jot personal notations. I find it very convenient to have a complete annual devotional and bible all in one volume.
I would have loved a bible like this when I was a new Christian 30 years ago. It has all the tools to help one develop a strong, spiritual foundation for living, in a plain and simple package that is attractive for both men and women. The only reason I give 4 stars and not 5 is that it is not of the extrememly high quality of the more expensive leather bibles, and it is lacking a concordance and red-letter. However, I do recommend it highly!