Washington. Promise keeps, the Christian men’s evangelical group, which encourages men from all walks of life to commit themselves to church, family and racial harmony, staged what has been called the largest religious gathering ever in the United States. The event, held on October 11, attracted about half a million participants to the nation’s capital, to focus on religious and family issues, including bible study and prayer. The American Bible Society provided the organization with one million copies of their Bible, the Contemporary English Version (CEV). The CEV is the first mass-produced Bible that is written using common English and contains no anti-Judaism. (see Explorations 1995, Vol. 9, #3)
Promise Keepers is a powerful and quickly growing group, with rally attendance growing from 4,200 in 1991, to over one million in 1996. Teachings emphasize the literal interpretation of the Bible, the belief that the Bible is “God’s written revelation to man” and is “without error in the original manuscripts”. Across the country and around the world, thousands of Promise Keepers gather on a regular basis in over 20,000 local fellowship groups for Bible study. Bible interpretation, daily family reading of the Bible, and clergy support by Promise Keepers emphasizes the importance of their use of the CEV. Translated directly from the original Greek, Hebrew and Aramaic, the CEV Bible represents an entirely new concept in Bible translation because of its emphasis on readability and appeal for readers of all ages and backgrounds. Although most Promise Keepers already owned bibles, because of the common language used in this translation, the CEV is easier and more likely to be the Bible read and studied.