Continuing with our periodic look at the new Common English Bible, we now turn to the Beatitudes found in Matthew 5.
Below is how the CEB translates this famous passage into English:
Now when Jesus saw the crowds, he went up a mountain. He sat down and his disciples came to him. He taught them, saying: “Happy are people who are downcast, because the kingdom of heaven is theirs. Happy are people who grieve, because they will be made glad. Happy are people who are humble, because they will inherit the earth. Happy are people who are hungry and thirsty for righteousness, because they will be fed until they are full. Happy are people who show mercy, because they will receive mercy. Happy are people who have pure hearts, because they will see God. Happy are people who make peace, because they will be called God’s children. Happy are people whose lives are harassed because they are righteous, because the kingdom of heaven is theirs. Happy are you when people insult you and harass you and speak all kinds of bad and false things about you, all because of me. Be full of joy and be glad, because you have a great reward in heaven. For, in the same way, people harassed the prophets who came before you." - Matthew 5:1-11 (CEB)
1) The decision to go with "happy" over "blessed" is not as jarring as it once was since there are a number of modern translations that do this. For the CEB's rationale in doing this, you can go here.
2) Verse three and five each have unique ways of translating the more traditional renderings of "poor in spirit" and "meek". Instead they go with "downcast" and "humble" in hopes of making them understandable to the modern ear. Hmm..... Changing "meek" for "humble" maybe, but I am not sure that "downcast" accurately captures "poor in spirit." I might have to do some more thinking on this one.