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Holman Christian Standard Bible dedicated; described as historic, accurate, readable

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)–New Bible translations are a rarity. So rare, in fact, there have only been seven pure translations in the past 570 years.

“This is a historic event for us, and we pray future generations will see this as a profoundly historical day as well,” James T. Draper Jr., president of LifeWay Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention, said as he opened the April 2 dedication service for the new Holman Christian Standard Bible. “This just doesn’t happen that often.”

Draper was joined Broadman & Holman Vice President Ken Stephens, Holman CSB General editor Ed Blum and a standing-room only crowd of several hundred LifeWay employees and guests in Nashville, Tenn., in celebrating the completion of the first major English-language translation of the Bible in more than 30 years.

Although there have been numerous revisions of existing translations of Scripture, the Holman CSB is an all-new translation directly from the original biblical languages. The 20-year project involved an international team of 100 translators, editors and biblical scholars representing 20 denominations and non-denominational churches.

“Our culture needs a healthy infusion of biblical precepts,” Draper said. “The goal for the Holman Christian Standard Bible is to be the most accurate and readable translation possible.”

“We saw a need to develop a translation that encourages people not only to read the Bible, but also to study it,” Stephens said. “This translation combines a precise rendering of the biblical text with a reader-friendly style geared to contemporary English usage.”

Noting that the Holman CSB New Testament was released in 2001, Stephens observed, “There is a pent-up demand for the full translation.”

One example of this demand is the California homeschool mother who wrote, “I can’t wait for the whole Bible to come out! The New Testament I have is a paperback, and it’s starting to fall apart — from use.”

Those endorsing the Holman CSB include Henry Blackaby, Gary D. Chapman, Charles Colson, Steve Green, Beth Moore, Paige Patterson, Pat Robertson, Adrian Rogers and Charles Stanley.

Work on the Holman CSB began in 1984 under Arthur L. Farstad, the former general editor of the New King James Version. After his death in 1998, leadership of the project passed to Blum, a translation project colleague of Farstad’s and a former pastor and Dallas Theological Seminary professor who holds doctoral degrees from DTS and the University of Basel in Switzerland.

Blum said team members –- who all affirm a personal belief in biblical inerrancy — were scattered throughout the country as well as Canada and Africa. They stayed in contact through the Internet and through committees -– three in Dallas and two in Nashville.

“Never before in history has there been as much information about the Bible as there is today -– from archaeological discoveries to analysis of ancient manuscripts to years of study and statistical research on individual Bible books,” Blum said. “Translations made as recently as 10 or 20 years ago do not reflect many of these advances in biblical research.”

The Holman CSB team cited four primary reasons for the new translation:

— To provide a highly readable text that precisely retains the original and full meaning of Scripture in order to encourage and enhance Bible study.

— To provide today’s generation with a fresh translation of the Bible in its own language, keeping in step with the rapidly changing English language.

— To take advantage of the latest advances in biblical scholarship and computer technology that were not available to previous translators.

— To safeguard the Scriptures from trends toward cultural pluralism, political correctness and drifting ideology.

The first printed editions of the full Holman CSB will be released April 15, including a large print hardcover and formats to fit church classroom and worship assembly needs. Leather and paperback pocket sizes, regular and large print Ultra Thin reference and specialty editions for groups such as military personnel will be released later in 2004.
A list of forthcoming products, and the entire Holman CSB text online, is available at http://www.holmancsb.org.
(BP) photos posted in the BP Photo Library at http://www.bpnews.net. Photo titles: DRAMATIC EFFECT, ON DISPLAY and MUSICAL MOMENT.

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