Not having read the BBE (Bible in Basic English) but being aware of the reason it was written, one would expect it to be popular; though, Today’s English Version (TEV) proved more popular.
The TEV was later published as the Good News Bible and a massive marketing push promoted this translation into a best seller, with “copies even made available through grocery store chains”.
No doubt, various organizations would have purchased bulk copies of the BBE for distribution because of its simple wording, before the TEV was published in 1966, as they have done with the TEV and its later edition the Good News Bible (GBN).
Bible in Basic English - Translation MethodHowever, the people that I know do not use it. In fact, the New King James, English Standard Version and New American Standard Version seem to more popular. Issues concerning claims regarding the difficulty in understanding theologically charged words in preference for alternative renderings are somewhat pretentious. Either a person learns the definition of the word (i.e. redemption means brought back) or the person does not desire to learn English.
In an effort to simplify the text, Professor Hooke and his team limited the vocabulary to C. K. Ogden's Basic English vocabulary of 850 words which is said to be able to give the sense of anything which may be said in English. One hundred words that were helpful to understand poetry were added, along with 50 "Bible" words.
Bible in Basic English - Pro’s and con’sAs is evident in the following Scriptures, the BBE certainly is sufficient for a basic understanding of what the Bible teaches:
The Bible in Basic English strives to simplify the Bible so that more people worldwide can read and understand the text. By using the Basic English vocabulary, this goal is accomplished. The BBE is certainly straightforward and simple. However, the restrictive nature of the Basic English vocabulary presents two problems. First, the narrow limits of the word list make it difficult to keep the BBE completely parallel to the Greek and Hebrew. Second, the beauty of the poetry of other versions such as the New King James Version and New American Standard Bible is lost in the BBE, as are the subtle shades and nuances of the language that make the Bible rich in expression and meaning.
- Happy is the man against whom no sin is recorded by the Lord (Romans 4:8)
- You make search in the holy Writings, in the belief that through them you get eternal life; and it is those Writings which give witness about me. And still you have no desire to come to me so that you may have life. (John 5:39–40)
- And that from the time when you were a child, you have had knowledge of the holy Writings, which are able to make you wise to salvation, through faith in Christ Jesus. Every holy Writing which comes from God is of profit for teaching, for training, for guiding, for education in righteousness: So that the man of God may be complete, trained and made ready for every good work. (2 Timothy 3:15–17)
The Bible Bears Witness To The Son Of God, The One Everyone Needs To Know.