The blog for the Common English Bible has some interesting entries and responses to criticism.
One issue that I’ve heard – and experienced – is unhappiness with the use of “happy” instead of “blessed” in the Sermon on the Mount. Here’s what the CEB folks say about that issue:
Several readers of the CEB have written to say that they do not approve of the term happy in this passage. We don’t get good reasons why this word is wrong, other than some like the KJV word, blessed. Perhaps some Christians are suspicious of words that evoke human emotion because they prefer a faith that is based on fact or reason. Perhaps others mistakenly assume that happiness as a human condition is about human self esteem and not something that God does or wants.
We might concede that it is possible to trivialize the meaning of happiness in our culture, to mistake happiness for personal self gratification, but the CEB editors are not willing to let a trivial misapplication of the word derail the correct use of the meaning from the Greek. First, the use of the term in this way is not an innovation. The NRSV uses the term happy throughout the Old Testament for macarisms like these in Jesus’ sermon. The TEV translation used the term happy with the same beatitudes in Matthew. Second, the first sense given the term in the BDAG Greek Lexicon is “fortunate, happy.” Makarios actually belongs to a large semantic domain in Greek, reflecting Greco-Roman discussion about what constitutes genuine happiness. Third, contemporary happiness studies identify happiness in terms of growth, integrity, and well-being (flourishing and contentment).