Common - Common Edition New Testament

Copyright © Timothy E. Clontz 1999. All rights reserved.
The Common Edition: New Testament

The Common Edition is the result of a decade long study of the New Testament and numerous English translations in the modern church. The goals for this edition are:

1) To be accurate to the Greek Scriptures and yet highly readable,
2) To balance traditional wording with modern English, and
3) To reflect the standard Christian understanding and wording of the New Testament.

The purpose of these goals is to create a standardized New Testament for the modern English reader.

There are two ways to create a standardized text. The first way is to create a text of such surpassing scholarship and expression that it practically eliminates the use of other editions for decades or perhaps centuries. The second way is to isolate what the most widely used editions have in common, eliminate what they do not have in common, and place the results in a single text.

The King James Version succeeded in both of these two ways.

Over the past hundred years there have been numerous attempts to create a new English standard Bible. Each of these attempts has sought to produce a standardized edition in the first way I have described. The Common Edition New Testament follows the second method.

A standardized edition of any work seeks a balance between extremes. The most literally accurate version may not be the easiest to read. The most traditionally worded may not be very modern.

It cannot have a target audience; what is best for preachers and theologians may not be best for the daily devotional reader.

Finally, a standardized edition cannot be innovative. One reviewer gave me the highest compliment I could receive when he said, "there's nothing new about it!"

I hope that readers will find in these pages exactly what they would expect from a standardized edition, and that no matter what versions they have used in the past, they will find something familiar here.

This initial release into the public domain is intended for free distribution. The text itself is copyrighted, with the following provisions:

1) The Common Edition: New Testament may be copied and distributed in electronic or printed form for free.
2) It may be bound or downloaded for personal use or for a gift.
3) It may not be sold by anyone other than the editor.
4) The text may not be altered.
5) No more than 10,000 words may be included in a document published for sale without the express written permission of the editor.
6) No more than 20% of a document published for sale may be quoted from this edition without the express written permission of the editor.
7) All distributions of the Common Edition, and all documents which quote the Common Edition, must contain the following copyright notice: Common Edition New Testament, Copyright © Timothy E. Clontz 1999. All rights reserved.

If you find a phrase or word which is unclear, or which you believe needs review, please email the editor at

Although it is not appropriate to dedicate a New Testament to any individual, the editor would like to give his gratitude to the many people who have labored to preserve this text. Those who penned the autographs often faced ridicule or death. Nameless monks sleep in the dust, who faithfully copied one manuscript to another down through the centuries. By the time of the Reformation, William Tyndale had one wish: to make the Christian Bible available in English to the poorest farmhand in England. For this crime he was strangled and burned at the stake.

And then there are those who have simply loved these words enough to live by their highest ideals. Without the goodness of their lives no one would believe there to be anything Holy about a Bible. One such godly man was M. D. Barefield, who learned to read as an adult just so that he could make this word his own. My grandfather, Bill Clontz, who will always be an example for my family, gradually bought larger and larger print Bibles and finally began using the Bible on tape – just to keep the Word fresh in his heart. Such people always stay fresh in the hearts of those who have known them, and their love for God is contagious.

Timothy Clontz
March 14, 1999

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