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The Holman Christian Standard Bible (1999)

by Holman Bible Editorial Staff

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881419,633 (4.28)None
It's here. The complete edition of the translation so accurate, yet so inspiring to read, it literally sets the standard for generations to come. Twenty years in the making, the Holman Christian Standard Bible is the work of 100 scholars from around the world collaborating on-line, in real time with the benefits of the best technology that has ever been used in the service of Bible translation. This edition includes an introduction to each book of the Bible, full center column references, a concordance, words of Christ in red, a presentation page, full-color maps, and more.… (more)
  1. 20
    Holy Bible - Evangelical Heritage Version (EHV) by Wartburg Project (divinepeacelutheran)
    divinepeacelutheran: My go-to version of the Bible. No additions or deletions. Easy to read.
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The Old and New Testaments in a recent translation.

The HCSB does not want to be boxed into the categories of either "formal equivalence" (word-for-word, e.g. KJV, ASV, NASB, ESV, etc.) or "dynamic equivalence" (thought-for-thought, e.g. NIV, NLT, CEV). Instead they come up with a new category: "optimal equivalence," which they claim recognizes that form cannot be separated from meaning and thus is an attempt to make the best sense of both words and thought, but in practice seems to just mean that they generally try to translate "literally," and will give notes with the literal when so idiomatic that they have used different expressions.

Holman Christian is a publishing company; as far as I am aware this is the only translation that takes the name of a publisher and that's quite telling. Why does it need to exist? Despite the introduction the jury is out on that topic: it's not like there haven't been decent recent translations or revisions (see: NASB, ESV) or a lack of versions attempting to clarify meaning (see: CEV, The Voice). Holman Christian now has its own Bible to publish, so there you go.

Nevertheless there are many times when the translation philosophy succeeds and can provide some clarity by bucking the trend. The use of Yahweh for the Divine Name is a positive; the fact that they still use LORD plenty of times is just inconsistent and confusing. The work is certainly a translation and is not translationese, and does capture the essential aspect of the text in a comprehensible way to someone in the 21ste century.

And then it will go and render Psalm 51:5 in an even more "dynamic" way than the NIV.

Despite the fact that it would seem to be a publisher's ploy for profit Holman has been generous with the HCSB, providing it free for programs like e-Sword and in this free Kindle edition. The reason for its existence is an open question; why its translators felt the need to come up with a new category ("optimal equivalence") which functionally is not much different from what can be seen in more translated FE versions like the ESV and in the less interpretive DE versions like the NIV and the CEB (despite the unwarranted NIV hate) seems unnecessary and perhaps a bit presumptuous. But since it's here it's worth a look-see; I still prefer the ESV as maintaining the best translation balance, see value in the ASV, NASB, and NRSV as study resources, and would put the HCSB with the NIV as good versions to read to expand one's way of understanding how the text should be rendered without having as many of the inferential pitfalls that come with the "interpretive" end of the DE spectrum (although for mature students there's a time and place for that as well).

Mild recommendation. ( )
  deusvitae | Nov 18, 2014 |
I looked for the smallest Bible I could find at a Borders, and this was it. Well, it's certainly small enough to qualify as "compact". As for "large print", the body of the text is readable; however, the cross-reference footnotes after each chapter and the regular explanatory footnotes at the bottom of the page are microscopic. I admit part of the problem is me. I'm 64 years old and, like most everyone else my age, close reading is beginning to be a challenge

I wish Holman had made the footnote font the same size as the font of the body of the text, even if they had to add a quarter inch or so to both height and width. It would still have been a compact Bible.

I don't normally "rate" Bible, considering them all to be five stars. However, I've given this one four. ( )
1 vote SherryThompson | Jul 16, 2011 |
Best book in the world. Where life is…
  spinblueelder | Jul 26, 2008 |
Love this translation.
  robtjimenez | Feb 8, 2008 |
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Dedication
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In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.
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For God love 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. (John 3:16)
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
The "Holman Christian Standard Version" is is a different translation than other "Standard Versions". Please combine it only with other HCSB editions. Combine it only with complete editions, not with the New Testament alone which should be combined into a separate work.
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It's here. The complete edition of the translation so accurate, yet so inspiring to read, it literally sets the standard for generations to come. Twenty years in the making, the Holman Christian Standard Bible is the work of 100 scholars from around the world collaborating on-line, in real time with the benefits of the best technology that has ever been used in the service of Bible translation. This edition includes an introduction to each book of the Bible, full center column references, a concordance, words of Christ in red, a presentation page, full-color maps, and more.

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