Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Bible Review: CEB Thinline w/Apocrypha

I received a surprisingly wonderful edition of the CEB w/Apocrypha in the mail last week. It is the DecoTone CEB Thinline Bible w/Apocrypha. I say "surprising" because it is a review copy, and I figured that I would receive a hardback or paperback edition. But this is not the case. I am going to focus this review on the numerous features of this thinline edition of the CEB. If you want more info on the CEB itself, we have discussed it on a number of occasions and you can read those comments here or you can just check out the translation's website.

This edition of the CEB is a true thinline Bible. While it is similar in width to the HarperOne NRSV thinlines, its dimensions are a very portable 5 3/8" x 8 3/8",without being compact. At times, I have felt the NRSV thinline was a bit too big. But even with its smaller size, the CEB Thinline has a 9-point type, which makes it fairly easy on eyes.

Of all its features, the one thing that really stands out is the feel of this Bible. It is a very soft synthetic leather, known as DecoTone. It is probably similar to the Italian Duo-Tone or imitation leather that is now being used more often in many Bibles. This truly has a great feel to it. While it is both supple and flexible, it also lays open flat on a table or in your lap. Recently, I have found myself preferring the very soft, synthetic leather covers over the standard leather, both bonded and genuine. The only question is durability and how long it will hold up to continued use. At this point, I am not sure.

Some other nice features include the Deuterocanonicals being in their own section, but divided and labeled by which ones belong to which Church's canon. In addition, while there are no cross-references in the Old Testament, all Old Testament reference in the New Testament are noted at the bottom of the page. This is a definite advantage over the NRSV thinlines. Also, there are 8 full-color National Geographic maps in the appendix.

All in all, a very nice and useful thinline Bible. It is simple, but well executed.

**Thank you to B&B Media Group for the review copy**


Theophrastus said...

It is nice that you like the physical format. What did you think of the translation?

Ted said...

I'm finding that I'm enjoying reading the CEB Old Testament much more than their New Testament. I think they did a much better job with their Old Testament translation than the New. (I can't comment on the Apochrypha, since the paperback edition I bought, didn't include it.)

Timothy said...


I need more time with the CEB before I feel I can give a well-reasoned critique. It certainly has a contemporary feel to it and reads quite smoothly. In its attempt to bring "up-to-date" the Bible for contemporary readers, and all that goes along with that, it does abandon terms and vocabulary that have been a part of Christian theology, in English, for many hundreds of years. My previous posts on the CEB have touched on a few of these issues, most notably the "Son of Man" vs. "the Human One."

As another example, I look at the CEB version of Psalm 1. It reads really well, but also is quite different than what is generally found in most Bibles. Is that good?

Anonymous said...

The CEB is really growing on me. I can foresee a Catholic edition sometime in the near future. There were a number of Catholic translators involved and that's a good thing.

Timothy said...


BTW, congrats on the new blog. I especially like the title of your post on the CSB: OUP to Catholics: 'Drop Dead'. Funny and to the point!


Anonymous said...

I just spoke with someone from the CEB and they plan to release a "Catholic edition" sometime in the near future. No date was set but they stated it should be in less than a year.

Colleague said...


Can you tell me if the CEB Thinline is sewn or glued?


Timothy said...


Unfortunately, I left that edition in my classroom at the end of the school year. But if memory serves me, I think it is glued.