Common English Bible’s bad translation of 1 Peter 1.2

The Common English Bible has this rendering for 1 Pet 1.2:

God the Father chose you because of what he knew beforehand. He chose you through the Holy Spirit’s work of making you holy and because of the faithful obedience and sacrifice of Jesus Christ.

Apparently, the translators wanted to understand “obedience” as being that of Christ’s, so they then had to render the Greek preposition eis as “because of.”

One wonders if they saw this as an opportunity to mute the necessity of man’s obedience for salvation. (Translators are also human and quite prone to showing their own denominational prejudices.)

That little word eis, you’ll remember, has caused much grief to Protestants because of its appearance in Acts 2.38: “for the forgiveness of sins.” Some of them have argued, against all evidence, that it has to mean “because of” since baptism just can’t be a requirement for forgiveness. (But see Mt 26.28 for the same phrase.)

Others, like Daniel B. Wallace in his Greek grammar, have put an end to that, but on theological grounds still close their eyes to the plain meaning of the text.

Maybe the translators of the CEB need to get the message on that little word in 1Pt 1.2 as well.

(Ernest Clevenger reviewed the CEB on BNc recently.)

For more on Bible versions, see the site category.

J. Randal Matheny

Be pithy.

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