Holman Christian Standard Bible

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Holman Christian Standard Bible
The Holman Christian Standard Bible.jpg
Full nameHolman Christian Standard Bible
Complete Bible
Textual basisNT: Novum Testamentum Graece 27th edition. OT: Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia with some Septuagint influence.
Translation typeMediating[a]
Reading levelMiddle School
Version revision2009
CopyrightCopyright 2004 Holman Bible Publishers
Religious affiliationProtestant
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.
For God loved the world in this way: He gave His One and Only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him might not perish but have eternal life.

The Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB) is a modern English Bible translation from Holman Bible Publishers. The New Testament was published in 1999, followed by the full Bible in March 2004.


The roots of the HCSB can be traced to 1984, when Arthur Farstad, general editor of the New King James Version of the Bible, began a new translation project. In 1998, Farstad and LifeWay Christian Resources (the publishing arm of the Southern Baptist Convention) came to an agreement that would allow LifeWay to fund and publish the completed work.[2] Farstad died soon after, and leadership of the editorial team was turned over to Dr. Edwin Blum, who had been an integral part of the team. The death of Farstad resulted in a change to the Koine Greek source text underlying the HCSB, although Farstad had envisioned basing the new translation on the same texts used for the King James Version and New King James Version. He followed the Greek Majority Text which he and Zane C. Hodges had authored. After Farstad's death, the editorial team replaced this text with the consensus Greek New Testament established by twentieth-century scholars.[3] The editions of the United Bible Societies and of Nestle-Aland's Novum Testamentum Graece were primarily used, along with readings from other ancient manuscripts when the translators felt the original meaning was not clearly conveyed by either of the primary Greek New Testament editions.

Translation philosophy[edit]

Holman Bible Publishers assembled an international, interdenominational team of 100 scholars and proofreaders, all of whom were committed to biblical inerrancy.[4] The translation committee sought to strike a balance between the two prevailing philosophies of Bible translation: formal equivalence (literal or word-for-word) and dynamic or functional equivalence (thought-for-thought). The translators called this balance "optimal equivalence."

According to the translators, the goal of an optimal-equivalence translation is "to convey a sense of the original text with as much clarity as possible". To that end, the ancient source texts were exhaustively scrutinized at multiple levels (word, phrase, clause, sentence, discourse) to determine their original meaning and intent. Afterwards, using the best language tools available, the semantic and linguistic equivalents were translated into as readable a text as possible.

Textual source[edit]

Making use of the most recent scholarly editions, the translators worked from the Nestle-Aland Novum Testamentum Graece 27th edition and the United Bible Societies' Greek New Testament 4th corrected edition for the New Testament, and the 5th edition of the Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia for the Old Testament.

In the case of significant differences among Hebrew manuscripts of the OT or among Greek manuscripts of the NT, the translators followed what they believed to be the original reading, and then cited the alternative(s) in footnotes. There are a few portions of the NT that the translation team and most biblical scholars today believe were not part of the original text. However, these texts were retained (and indicated in large square brackets) because of their undeniable antiquity and their value for tradition and the history of NT interpretation in the church.


The HCSB is available in electronic form for WORDsearch and Bible Explorer software.[5] An HCSB Study Bible became available in October 2010.[6] The HCSB is available online.[7] It is marketed in Christian publications as an apologetics Bible and has a version specifically for the Microsoft Xbox 360 called Bible Navigator X.[8] It is also available in Accordance Bible Digital Library.


The 2nd edition HCSB appeared in 2010. The most significant change was the expanded use of the covenant name of God, known as the tetragrammaton, rendered as "Yahweh," rather than the traditional English "LORD." In the first edition Yahweh was found in 78 places; the update increased that to 495 instances.[9] (The tetragrammaton appears in over 6,800 places in the Old Testament)[10]: 142  Print editions began rolling out in 2010.

In June 2016 B&H Publishing announced a revision of the translation called the Christian Standard Bible (CSB).[11] The CSB print edition began appearing in March 2017 with the electronic edition already available. The 2017 edition of CSB returned to the traditional practice in English Bible versions, rendering the tetragrammaton with a title rather than a proper name, thus removing all 656 appearances of the personal name of God—Yahweh. Now Adonai (Hebrew for Lord) and the tetragrammaton are both translated by the same English word (with a small typographic distinction). This was a major reversal of the translation committee direction over the previous decade, of highlighting God's personal name in Scripture. As stated in the introduction of the HCSB: "Yahweh is used more often in the Holman CSB than in most Bible translations because the word LORD in English is a title of God and does not accurately convey to modern readers the emphasis on God's name in the original Hebrew."

Comparison of Psalm 83:18[edit]


May they know that You alone—
whose name is Yahweh—
are the Most High over all the earth.


May they know that you alone—
whose name is the LORD
are the Most High over the whole earth.


  1. ^ Called by the translators "optimal equivalence", the translation is a mediating translation in the stream of the NIV and similar, but slightly more literal.[1]


  1. ^ wordsearchbible.com Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB) Archived February 16, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ Vance, Laurence M. (2000). "The Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)". Dial-the-Truth Ministries. Retrieved 2019-09-28.
  3. ^ Dewey, David, 2004. A User's Guide to Bible Translations (Downers Grove, IL: Intervarsity Press, 2004). ISBN 0-8308-3273-4.
  4. ^ "The Bible is God's revelation to man ... it is God's inspired Word, inerrant in the original manuscripts." From 'Introduction' to the HCSB. Text of the 'Introduction' also at BibleGateway.com.
  5. ^ Edwards, ElShaddai. He is Sufficient. "HCSB: 2nd Edition text available." Copyright 2007-2009 ElShaddai Edwards, retrieved July 25, 2009.
  6. ^ This Lamp Blog. Retrieved December 31, 2009.
  7. ^ http://biblia.com/books/hcsb/, https://www.mywsb.com/reader. Retrieved March 8, 2016.
  8. ^ "Bible Navigator X". bhpublishinggroup.com.
  9. ^ Gillis, John W., MaybeToday.org. "The HCSB 2nd Edition and the Tetragrammaton." MaybeToday.org, Retrieved July 25, 2009.
  10. ^ Knight, Douglas A.; Levine, Amy-Jill (2011). The Meaning of the Bible: What the Jewish Scriptures and Christian Old Testament Can Teach Us (1st ed.). New York: HarperOne. ISBN 0062098594.
  11. ^ B&H to Launch Christian Standard Bible (CSB) Version in 2017. B&H Publishing Group

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]