Christian Standard Bible
Formerly the Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)
Publish Date: 2017
Publisher: Holman Bible Publishers
Project Length: 1998-2004 (HCSB, 6 years), 2016-2017 (CSB, 1 year)
Translation Team: The HCSB translation was begun by Dr. Arthur Farstad who had also served as the General Editor for the NKJV. After his death, Dr. Edwin Blum led the translation committee and a team of more than 100 translators and proofreaders. Tom Schreiner and David Allen later directed a ten-member Translation Oversight Committee to produce the CSB.
Translation Concerns: In 1998, LifeWay Christian Resources agreed to fund and to publish the translation project which eventually became the HCSB. One of the motivations behind the translation of the HCSB was to provide an alternative for the Southern Baptist Convention to use in their curriculum. They had previously purchased rights to the NIV, but copyright fees were costly, and many were uncomfortable with the move toward gender-inclusive language in the TNIV.
The publishers of the HCSB describe their translation goal as “optimal equivalence” or a balance between formal equivalence (word-for-word translation) and functional or dynamic equivalence (meaning-for-meaning translation). The translators sought to convey a sense of the original text as clearly as possible.
The CSB made several significant revisions to the HCSB. These revisions include:
- Translating the divine name (YHWH) consistently as “Lord” rather than “Yahweh” (following the widely accepted tradition in English translation after the ASV’s use of “Jehovah”)
- Removing capitalization for divine pronouns (following standard practice in English grammar)
- Replacing “Christ” with “Messiah” in cases where that rendering better captures the implication of the name
- Replacing “slaves” with “servants” in 128 cases
- Revising gender-related language to be non-specific in English (for example, “man” or “mankind” is rendered “people,” and when appropriate to the context, “brothers” is translated “brothers and sisters”).
Revisions: The Holman Christian Standard Bible was published in 2004 by Holman Bible Publishers. The HCSB was revised and a second edition was printed in 2010. The Christian Standard Bible is a 2017 revision that officially replaced the HCSB.
Main Sources: Dr. Arthur Farstad, the General Editor for the NKJV, began a new translation using the Greek Majority Text instead of the Textus Receptus (KJV/NKJV) or the United Bible Societies’ texts (most other English translations). Farstad’s work formed the basis for the HCSB/CSB. After Farstad’s death, Dr. Edwin Blum took over leadership of the translation project and switched to the United Bible Societies’ critical texts for translation of the New Testament. The Old Testament is translated from the Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia Masoretic Hebrew text, the Dead Sea Scrolls, other ancient Old Testament manuscripts.
Target Audience: Although originally motivated to meet a need expressed by the Southern Baptist Convention, the CSB was translated by an interdenominational team and is intended to reach all readers of the Bible.
Distinctive: The CSB seeks to strike a balance between literal and dynamic approaches to translating the Bible. It’s more literal than the NIV, but less so than the NASB or ESV.