CEB Student BibleA newly published student edition of the Common English Bible (CEB) has close ties to Candler, with associate professor Elizabeth Corrie serving as general editor and faculty, students, alumni, and past Youth Theological Initiative (YTI) participants contributing commentary. First published in 2011, the CEB aims to combine accuracy with readability in order to make the text more accessible to contemporary English speakers. It was translated and edited by 120 biblical scholars from 24 denominations, including six Candler faculty members.

The CEB Student Bible (Common English Bible, 2015) continues that tradition. The project brought together a varied group of scholars and youth ministers from over a dozen different denominations to craft more than 400 articles, discussion questions and activities designed to help students age thirteen and older engage with the text. And unlike many Bible editions marketed to youth, this one is designed to make you think.

“There are a lot of ‘Youth Bibles’ out there that include sidebars and commentary that tell youth what to think, rather than inviting them to think for themselves, to do theological reflection on their own and with their peers,” says Corrie, associate professor in the practice of youth education and peacebuilding at Candler and director of YTI. So for the CEB Student Bible, Corrie approached the project with YTI “scholars” in mind—those 40 high school students who come each summer to Emory’s campus for three weeks of Christian theological education.

“YTI draws young people who have lots of questions, who want to engage the Bible critically and make connections between faith and the world,” she says. The scholars’ desire to go to a deeper level of thought and exploration informed the editorial choices made along the way.

Not only did Corrie consider the perspectives of the students she engages, but she enlisted their help in creating the final product. “We need to take young people seriously as Christian leaders now, not just in the future,” Corrie says. To that end, she insisted that actual young people’s voices be included in this student Bible—and they were:  34 youth contributed prayers.

“I see this as a Bible created with youth as well as for youth, and that is something unique.”

Other contributors from Candler and Emory’s Graduate Division of Religion include:

Aubrey Buster, PhD student in Hebrew Bible, who wrote discussions and articles for 1 and 2 Samuel and 1 and 2 Kings and articles for Joshua

Christina Conroy, PhD candidate in Theological Studies, who wrote discussions and articles for 1 and 2 Chronicles

K. Parker Diggory 09T, PhD candidate in Hebrew Bible, who wrote the introduction for Nehemiah

Sarah Farmer 08T, PhD candidate in Person, Community, and Religious Life, who wrote discussions and articles for Joshua

Rachelle R. Green 14T, PhD student in Religion and assistant director of YTI, who wrote discussions and articles for Esther, 1 and 2 Timothy, and Hebrews

Susan E. Hylen, associate professor of New Testament, who wrote introductions for John and 1-3 John

Joel LeMon, associate professor of Old Testament, who wrote introductions and articles for Psalms, Isaiah, Hosea, and Joel

Jessica Smith 05T, PhD student in Theological Studies, who wrote articles for Acts

Brent A. Strawn, professor of Old Testament, who wrote introductions for Jeremiah, Micah, Nahum, Zephaniah, and Malachi