New “Common English Bible” aims for gender neutrality

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Bible lovers listen up: The Common English Bible is upon us, and this one is built for the twenty-first century. In a four-year, $3.5 million effort to provide Christians with a book as accessible as USA Today, a translation team numbering more than 200 biblical scholars and ecclesiastical leaders representing a slew of denominations have cleaned the old Book up pretty good.

The committee pretty impressively translated from original Greek, Hebrew, and Aramaic texts on their way to achieving a more gender-neutral body of morality tales and prescriptions for living. For instance, one verse in Luke now reads "brother or sister" instead of just "brother." And the common Old Testament "son of man" rendering in reference to Jesus is here changed to "human."

With the news of a new Big Lebowski-inspired Bible on the way called The Abide Guide: Living Like Lebowski (though Dudeism is more philosophy than religion), the continuous introduction of various iterations and permutations of the original teachings shows no signs of letting up. Some say the more the merrier; others fear some kind of spiritual dilution. Like an evolving Constitution, it's a very complex issue with many points of view. But one should not lose sight of the garden for the plants; I suspect the original wisdom wasn't caught up in lexical niceties.

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