The Common English Bible (CEB) Women’s Bible debuted last year with Abingdon Press as a part of the United Methodist Publishing House. The latest specialty edition is a collaborative effort by mainline Protestants to provide a contemporary translation strong on accuracy and readability.
Beth Bingham, a student at Virginia Theological Seminary, is on track to become an Episcopal priest. She does a study group with female inmates twice a month. She couldn’t wait to bring The CEB Women’s Bible to share with the female inmates and share her Hagar insights following a great revelations in her studies. She began to see Hagar in a different light when she studied the CEB Women’s Bible. She discovered in her conclusion that she was more than just the servant who bore Abraham a child when his wife, Sarah could not. She saw her as the first single mom.
“Many of the female inmates are single moms,” said Bingham. “When I talked to them, it was like a light went on.”
This is not the first women’s Bible, but others have been from a conservative evangelical point of view. All five editors of the CEB Women’s Bible are women and so are all 80 of the commentary contributors. The team includes mainly seminary professors and pastors, but also Christian novelists and a rabbi.
The women who edited and wrote commentaries for The CEB Women’s Bible hope it will illuminate scripture for lots of readers.
The CEB Women’s Bible, like most others, offers Holy Land maps, introductions to the books of the Old and New Testaments, and footnotes. However, it also has a definite female emphasis.
The CEB Women’s Bible is off to a strong start, aided by innovative marketing techniques such as soliciting reviews on the RevGalBlogPals website. There are some emerging male fans.