Holman Christian Standard Bible

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The Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB), sometimes referred to simply as the Christian Standard Bible (CSB), is the most modern English translation of the Bible, and the first to take advantage of computer technology.

The Southern Baptist Convention reportedly provided $10 million in funding for this new translation,[1] to "safeguard the Scriptures from trends toward cultural pluralism, political correctness and drifting theology."[2] Critics considered this project to be a "preemptive strike against a competitor," the "'inclusive' recasting of the NIV called Today's New International Version," which "was savaged by conservative Southern Baptists and other sticklers on this issue but endorsed by prominent evangelicals."[2] Because of the SBC's funding and support of the translation, it is now the official Bible translation used by the SBC on its website whenever Scripture is referenced there (primarily within the online version of the Baptist Faith and Message).

The Holman Christian Standard Bible is the primary new translation of the 21st century.[3]

Brilliant verses

The Holman translation of Job 39:29 concerning the extraordinary eyesight of Eagles (the finest in the entire animal kingdom) is brilliant: "... its eyes penetrate the distance."


While the Holman has been criticized as a modern conservative translation of the Southern Baptist Convention, it has several liberal twists:

  • Its translation of Matthew 9:18 describes the child about to be raised from the dead by Jesus as merely being "near death" rather than deceased. This is in disagreement with other major translations.[4]
  • Its translation of Luke 16:23 replaces "hell" in the NIV translation with Hades: "And being in torment in Hades, he looked up and saw Abraham a long way off, with Lazarus at his side."
  • It uses the term "miracle", which could be considered to be a slightly pejorative term for a "sign" or marvelous work by God.[5]

Furthermore, the original translator (Arthur Farstad, general editor of the New King James Version) planned to use the same underlying text for HCSB as was used in the NKJV. However, upon his death, his replacement decided to use the same text as used by other modern translations.

In addition the HCSB omits the Comma Johanneum as well as the Ethiopian's confession of faith in Acts 8:37; not surprisingly it has earned the wrath of the KJV Only crowd.[6]