Audra Jennings, or 800.927.0517, x104
Diane Morrow, or 800.927.1517, x106

NASHVILLE, TN (August 2011) – The new Bible translation just releasing, the Common English Bible ( / Twitter @CommonEngBible, is unique among all Bible versions for having the most number of scholars, church leaders, and average readers who worked on it – 700. Similarly, the translation’s simultaneously releasing companion atlas is unique because it’s the only Bible version available that contains maps of biblical geography drawn by the internationally renowned and award-winning cartographers of National Geographic, the society best known for its accurate map renderings.

“No other Bible has partnered with National Geographic to take advantage of its superb map-making skills,” says Paul Franklyn, PhD, associate publisher. “The Common English Bible is the first Bible translation to help readers benefit from National Geographic’s outstandingly clear and precise identification of important biblical locations.”

Print editions of the Common English Bible include eight color maps from National Geographic: “Israel in the Late Bronze Age,” “Exodus,” “United Monarchy,” “Babylonia and Israel,” Roman Empire,” “Palestine (at the time of Jesus),” “Jerusalem (at the time of Jesus),” and “Paul’s Journeys.”

The companion volume to the Common English Bible, its Bible Map Guide ($12.95 SRP, ISBN 9781609260743), is a full-color oversize (10” x 15”) book of 21 maps showing where the events of the Bible happened. A brief narrative that describes what’s being shown and what chapters and verses of the Bible are being illustrated accompanies each map. Sidebars, photographs, and timelines highlight interesting facts about the lands of the Bible. And an exhaustive index makes it easy to locate the places mentioned in the Bible. Bible Map Guide is already in its second printing after only three weeks in stores (retailers can order quantities by calling 1-800-251-3320).

“Our objective with Bible Map Guide is to accomplish for biblical geography what we’ve done for the biblical text,” says Franklyn. “We’ve made it easily understandable for everyone from average readers to advanced students of the Bible.”

Nearly four years in the making, with more than 700 people involved and a budget of $3.5 million, the Common English Bible is now available in seven print editions, including one with the Apocrypha. While the New Testament was released a year ago, and the digital version of the entire Bible debuted in June on 20 platforms, this is the first time the complete Common English Bible is obtainable on paper.

“Despite the English Bible market having so many options available, the Common English Bible stands apart from them all,” says Franklyn. “It’s the result of large-scale collaboration between opposites: scholars working with average readers; conservatives working with liberals; teens working with retirees; men working with women; many denominations and many ethnicities uniting  to create a fresh translation using vivid natural language.”

The Common English Bible is the work of 120 biblical scholars from 24 denominations in American, African, Asian, European, and Latino communities, representing such academic institutions as Asbury Theological Seminary, Azusa Pacific University, Bethel Seminary, Denver Seminary, Fuller Theological Seminary, Princeton Theological Seminary, Seattle Pacific University, Wheaton College, Yale University, and many others. They translated the Bible into English directly from the original Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek texts.

Additionally, more than 500 readers in 77 groups field-tested the translation. Every verse was read aloud in the reading groups, where potentially confusing passages were identified. The translators considered the groups’ responses and, where necessary, reworked those passages to clarify in English their meaning from the original languages. More than 700 people worked jointly to bring the Common English Bible to fruition; and thanks to the Internet and today’s technology it was completed in less than four years.

Visit to see comparison translations, learn about the translators, get free downloads, and more.

The Common English Bible is sponsored by the Common English Bible Committee, an alliance of five publishers that serve the general market, as well as the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) (Chalice Press), Presbyterian Church (USA) (Westminster John Knox Press), Episcopal Church (Church Publishing, Inc.), United Church of Christ (The Pilgrim Press), and The United Methodist Church (Abingdon Press).

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For a media review copy of the Common English Bible and to schedule an interview with Paul Franklyn, please contact Audra Jennings, or Diane Morrow,, at 1.800.927.1517.