As the Church Times blog has reported, the Evangelical Alliance here in the UK, noticing that no Bible could be found for President Barack Obama’s second swearing in, decided to send him one. And they didn’t just send him any old (or new) Bible; they sent him a copy of The Poverty and Justice Bible, of which they also write:
Recently Prime Minister Gordon Brown was presented with The Poverty and Justice Bible at Downing Street. And in July last year, hundreds of Bishops carried The Poverty and Justice Bible as they marched across Westminster in a campaign against world poverty.
As a (former, more or less) Bible translator I was interested to find out what translation is used in this Bible. The answer is at this Bible’s own website: the text is that of the Contemporary English Version (CEV):
Almost every page of the Bible speaks of God’s heart for the poor. His concern for the marginalised. His compassion for the oppressed. His call for justice.
The Poverty and Justice Bible megaphones his voice as never before.
Using the clear Contemporary English Version (CEV) text, it highlights more than 2,000 verses that spell out God’s attitude to poverty and justice.
But the blessed Barack needs to be careful with his gift. I presume that this particular text is the British edition of CEV, which actually differs quite substantially from the US and “Global Standard” editions of this version, as I documented here. So if, as I would consider appropriate, he gets copies of CEV for his daughters, and if he ever finds time to have family devotions with them and uses The Poverty and Justice Bible, there is some danger of confusion.
I can’t help thinking that there would have been more of an outcry in some quarters if Obama had been sworn in on The Poverty and Justice Bible than if no Bible was used at all!