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About the CEV

Contemporary English Bible

Contemporary English Version

  • Approximate Reading Level: Grade 4
  • New Testament Published 1991
  • Old Testament Published 1995
  • 1999 Apocryphal/Deuterocanonical books published

The History Of the Contemporary English Version
Published by the American Bible Society, the Contemporary English Version has the goal of uncompromising simplicity. Also known as the Bible for Today’s Family, the CEV is written at a fourth grade reading level, making it appropriate for children and adults with limited English skills. In 1991, the 175th anniversary of the American Bible Society, the CEV New Testament was released. The CEV Old Testament was released in 1995. In 1999, the Apocryphal/Deuterocanonical books were published. An Anglicized version was produced by the British and Foreign Bible Society, which includes metric measurements for the Commonwealth market.

Contemporary English Version - Translation Method
The Contemporary English Version translators used the dynamic equivalence (thought-for-thought as opposed to word-for-word) translation method. The CEV uses gender-sensitive language for humanity but not for the Godhead. The translators also attempted to simplify certain archaic-sounding words into more modern parlance. For example, Exodus 20:14 renders “Do not commit adultery” to “Be faithful in marriage.” The Contemporary English Version is not, as some have assumed, a revision of the Good News Bible, which is also published by the American Bible Society. Rather, it is a fresh translation with a lower reading level, making it more accessible to more people around the world.