Christian Standard Bible

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Christian Standard Bible
Complete Bible
Derived fromHolman Christian Standard Bible
Textual basis
Translation typeOptimal equivalence[1]
Reading level7.0[2]
PublisherB&H Publishing Group
CopyrightChristian Standard Bible®

Copyright © 2017

by Holman Bible Publishers.
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness covered the surface of the watery depths, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the surface of the waters. Then God said, "Let there be light," and there was light.[3]
For God loved the world in this way: He gave his one and only son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.[3]

The Christian Standard Bible (CSB) is a modern English Bible translation of the Christian Bible. Work on the translation was completed in June 2016, with the first full edition released in March 2017.[4] The translation was updated in February 2020.[5]


The Christian Standard Bible (CSB) is a major revision of the 2009 edition of the Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB). The CSB incorporates advances in biblical scholarship to improve upon translation decisions, word choice, and style. It also removes some of the novel features of the HCSB, such as consistently translating the tetragrammaton as "Lord" rather than "Yahweh" and using "brothers and sisters" for the plural term "brothers" in Greek.[6]

The HCSB was translated by an international team of 100 scholars from 17 denominations. The HCSB New Testament was released in 1999, and the entire translation was released in 2004.

Work on the CSB revision was undertaken by the Translation and Review Team, a trans-denominational group of 21 conservative Evangelical Christian biblical scholars. Backgrounds represented include Southern Baptist, Lutheran, Presbyterian, conservative Anglican, and non-denominational Evangelical churches.[7]

Ongoing translation decisions are governed by the ten member CSB Translation Oversight Committee,[8] co-chaired by Dr. Thomas R. Schreiner and Dr. David L. Allen.[9]

In February 2020, an update to the translation (CSB Text Edition: 2020) was released. Adjustments affected less than 1% of the 2017 text, and focused on edits to footnotes, cross references, punctuation, and word/phrase choices.[5] The Translation Oversight Committee provided specific explanation about their decision to translate hilasterion in Romans 3:25 as "mercy seat" rather than the 2017 rendering of "atoning sacrifice" or the traditional rendering in English Bibles, "propitiation."[10]

Translation philosophy[edit]

The CSB (and original HCSB) translators used a methodology they termed "Optimal Equivalence." Optimal Equivalence draws from both formal and dynamic translation philosophies, balancing contemporary English readability with linguistic precision to the original languages.

Based upon criteria from a quantitative linguistic comparison of eight popular English Bible translations, the CSB was found to hold the most optimal balance of Readable vs. Literal scores.[11]

Textual basis[edit]

The CSB Translation and Review Team used the latest available Greek, Hebrew, and Aramaic texts. The Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia 5th Edition (BHS5) was used for the Old Testament and the Novum Testamentum Graece 28th Edition (NA28; i.e., the Nestle-Aland 28th edition) and United Bible Societies 5th Edition (UBS5) was used for the New Testament (the HCSB used BHS4 and NA27/UBS4).


  1. ^ Optimal Equivalence draws from both word-for-word and dynamic translation philosophies, balancing contemporary English readability with linguistic precision to the original languages. Translation Philosophy of the CSB
  2. ^ "FAQ: What is the reading level of the Christian Standard Bible?". Retrieved January 17, 2017.
  3. ^ "B&H to Launch Christian Standard Bible (CSB) Version in 2017". Retrieved January 17, 2017.
  4. ^ a b "2020 Updates". CSB. Retrieved 2021-06-12.
  5. ^ Strauss, M.L. A Review of the Christian Standard Bible. Theomelios 44:2. Retrieved 12/16/2019:
  6. ^ "Holman Christian Standard Bible: Original Translation Team and Translation and Review Team" (PDF). A PDF document containing the full list of original translators of the HCSB, and translators of the CSB.
  7. ^ "CSB Translation Oversight Committee". Retrieved January 18, 2017.
  8. ^ "About - Dr. David L. Allen". Retrieved January 18, 2017.
  9. ^ Schreiner, Thomas (January 2020). "Mercy Seat in the Christian Standard Bible" (PDF). Retrieved June 12, 2021.
  10. ^ "A Quantitative Evaluation of the Christian Standard Bible" (PDF). A report by Dr. Andi Wu of Global Bible Initiative. Translations evaluated were the ESV, KJV, NASB, NET, NIV, NKJV, NLT, NRSV, and CSB. Criteria included Transfer Rate of Syntactic Relations, Consistency Rate of Word Choices, Syntactic Fluency Rate, and Common Vocabulary Rate. Though other translations reflected better scores in the individual categories, the CSB achieved the highest score (70.3%) when all four criteria were combined.

External links[edit]