—from Paul’s Letter to the Romans (all bold emphases added):
1:3— “His Son was descended from David” vs “concerning his Son, who was descended from David according to the flesh” (ESV). κατὰ σάρκα, “according to the flesh,” is untranslated in the CEB. This becomes problematic in light of Paul’s use of κατὰ σάρκα throughout Romans. κατὰ σάρκα appears to be a technical term in Romans.
Perhaps ἐκ σπέρματος, “from offspring of,” rendered “descended from”—is sufficient.
1:4— “publicly identified” is good for the Greek ὁρισθέντος, rendered “declared to be” in ESV and others. I go with the CEB here.
1:5— “faithful obedience” vs “obedience of faith” (ESV). CEB treats πίστεως descriptively, avoiding the ambiguity of the ESV and others. Perhaps the CEB is to be preferred in light of the unfaithfulness of the Jews at 3:3.
1:15-17 marks a new paragraph against ESV and others at 1:8-15 and 1:16-17. I’m going with the ESV and others here because of οὕτως, linking verse 15 with verse 14, naturally.
3:22— “through the faithfulness of Jesus Christ” vs “through faith in Jesus Christ” (ESV). Of course I prefer the CEB here! It’s time to seriously rethink this matter.
What we have here is διὰ πίστεως Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ in relation to δικαιοσύνη θεοῦ with the prepositional phrase εἰς πάντας τοὺς πιστεύοντας. It’s time we also recognize that Messiah was expected to be faithful and obedient. Paul brings this out in 5:19 and Phil. 2:8.
3:25— “Through his faithfulness, God displayed Jesus as the place of sacrifice where mercy is found by means of his blood.” We have a major rearranging of furniture here with “Through his faithfulness” for the Greek διὰ πίστεως, being applied to God’s covenant faithfulness, rather than the traditional reading of a text like the ESV (“to be received by faith”).
Now the only initial reason I see for this rendering in the CEB is to look back at the 3:3, where we find τὴν πίστιν τοῦ θεοῦ, “the faithfulness of God” and in v. 5, θεοῦ δικαιοσύνην θεοῦ, “the righteousness of God, with both of these coming together in 3:21-26.
4:1— “So what are we going to say? Are we going to find that Abraham is our ancestor on the basis of genealogy?” Now this is major rearrangement! What was Richard Hays, the translator of Romans in the CEB, thinking?
I first encountered this “rearrangement” in Mr. Hays Conversion of the Imagination: Paul as Interpreter of Israel’s Scripture (pp. 61-69). It commends itself in light of Romans 3:27ff. Also, let us NOT forget that Paul didn’t break his thought at 3:31.
5:1— “Therefore, since we have been made righteous through his faithfulness combined with our faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” Now you have to really wonder what’s going on with the CEB.
My informed assumption is that πίστεως is here treated as a plenary genitive, “his faithfulness combined with our faith,” with πίστεως functioning also anaphorically, pointing back to Abraham’s faithfulness, the God’s faithfulness, or Jesus’ faithfulness.
To be honest, this is too much for me to process right now.
6:4— “We too can walk in newness of life.” I remember Mark Strauss criticised the ESV “newness” here. Well, I was surprised to see the CEB, a newer translation, making the same “mistake.”
8:3-13—the Greek σάρξ, sarx, is rendered “selfishness,” “self-centered.” I find “selfishness” for sarx to be too weak, too narrow. Is Paul only talking only about “selfishness”? I think of “selfishness” as one among many vices.
8:26— “but the Spirit itself pleads.” The neuter English pronoun “itself” is used here for the Greek neuter pronoun αὐτὸ. So neuter pronoun for neuter? Fair enough? Now the gender of the Holy Spirit is called into question?
10:4— “For Christ is the goal of the Law…” vs “For Christ is the end of the law…” (ESV) The CEB’s “goal” is to be preferred for the Greek τέλος. But I find the TNIV’s “Christ is the culmination of the law so that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes”—to be superior.
12:1— “This is your appropriate priestly service” vs “which is your spiritual worship” (ESV). I go with the CEB here, given the significance of λογικός and the cultic imagery of λατρεία.
16:7— “Say hello to Andronicus and Junia… They are prominent among the apostles…” vs “They are well known to the apostles” (ESV). I read the verse in Greek. Consulted a few NT guys on the verse. I simply cannot defend the ESV’s rendering of the prepositional phrase ἐν τοῖς ἀποστόλοις as “to the apostles.”
If you’re use to reading Romans from a Bible translation in the Tyndale/KJV tradition, you’ll find the CEB both refreshing and challenging at times.
See my First Impressions of Galatians here.