Some history and background to the New European Version
In the course of mission work worldwide, Carelinks became aware of a huge shortage of Bibles, both amongst baptized believers and their families, and those we were teaching. We observed this was also the case with the ecclesias baptized by our brethren in the Christadelphian Bible Mission. It's all very well appealing for Bible to "read the Bible for yourself", but they need Bibles. And due to high postage costs and economic pressures, there are virtually no organizations who will send out free Bibles to poorer countries.
We considered buying large numbers of Bibles, but we found that the cheaper Bibles are printed on heavier, cheaper paper, and are often the antiquated AV. The cost of postage is more than the cost of the Bible itself, as postage rates have risen many times over in real terms in recent years. So weight is a real issue.
The call of the Gospel is responded to by the poor of this world, and it's no easy matter to buy a Bible, and there are problems with availability too. The Christadelphian Bible Mission do not give free Bibles to the nearly 10,000 brethren and sisters in Malawi, but sell them- which is perhaps understandable given the scale of the need.
We realized there was a huge need, and decided to do something about it- aware that we were likely to face criticism for anything to do with producing a Bible! But the need had to be met.
We enquired of the major publishing houses as to the possibility of using a standard Bible in modern English such as the NIV. We found a large sum had to be paid up front, and then a significant sum per copy printed- even if they were given away free.
We therefore appealed for assistance to remediate the text of the AV and RV into modern English, at the same time fixing up some of the more glaring errors of common translations such as the place of the comma in Lk. 23:43. Some 19 Christadelphians participated in this process. We took the opportunity of including a very basic commentary on the Bible text, and a reduced version of Bible Basics- as well as the Bible Companion reading table. We were careful to not mention the word "Christadelphian" within the entire volume, as it is not a "Christadelphian" Bible, nor is it a translation. We have never made any claim to having the proficiency in Hebrew and Greek required to produce a fresh Bible translation.
We got a very competitive printing quotation from a Christian printing company, and ended up with a lightweight volume on thin paper in large 12pt. type, with a high quality sewn binding, along with commentary and Bible Basics, for a price far cheaper than any modern English Bible can be bought in the shops. There was good response to appeals to sponsor the Bibles being sent into the mission field, and over 10,000 NEV Bibles and NTs are now in active use worldwide. Many expressions of gratitude have been received and they regularly feature in reports in Gospel News magazine.
The need for Bibles of course continues and will continue, and so in this sense our work continues. Constructive criticism of the text and commentary is invited and will be taken note of in future reprints.