Twenty years in the making, the first printed editions of the complete Holman Christian Standard Bible (Holman CSB) are being released April 1, 2004. The Holman CSB is an all-new translation of God's Word commissioned by Broadman & Holman Publishers, a division of LifeWay Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention.
The Holman CSB was developed with four distinct goals in mind:
• To provide English-speaking people across the world with an accurate, readable Bible in contemporary English;
• To equip serious Bible students with an accurate translation for personal study, private devotions, and memorization;
• To give those who love God's Word a text that has numerous reader helps, is visually attractive on the page, and is appealing when heard;
• To affirm the authority of Scripture as God's Word and to champion its absolute truth against social or cultural agendas that would compromise its accuracy.
"We saw a need to develop a translation that encourages people not only to read the Bible, but also to study it," says B&H president Ken Stephens. "Classic translations, though they're accurate, can be a challenge to modern readers who aren't familiar with the vocabulary and grammar. On the other hand, an oversimplified version, even if it's reader-friendly, misses some of the nuances that make Bible study fulfilling and complete."
Work on the Holman CSB began in 1984 under Arthur L. Farstad, the former general editor of the New King James Version. After Farstad's death in 1998, leadership of the project passed to his translation colleague, Dr. Ed Blum, a former pastor and Dallas Theological Seminary professor who holds doctoral degrees from DTS and the University of Basel in Switzerland.
Blum directed a team of 100 translators, editors, and biblical scholars in the U.S., England, Scotland, Singapore, Israel, and Kenya, representing twenty different denominations and non-denominational churches. All members of the team affirm a personal belief in Biblical inerrancy.
Justifying the costly, time consuming translation process in a world already filled with other popular renderings of the Bible, makers of the Holman CSB give four major reasons:
• Each generation needs a fresh translation of the Bible in its own language. Since each new generation must be introduced to God's Word in its own language, there will always be a need for new translations. The Holman CSB is a new translation for today's generation.
• English, one of the world's greatest languages, is rapidly changing, and Bible translations must keep in step with those changes. The Holman CSB seeks to serve today's 1.3 billion English speaking people with a translation they can easily use and understand; one that reflects recent changes in punctuation, formatting, and vocabulary, while avoiding slang, regionalisms, or changes made specifically for the sake of political or social agendas.
• Rapid advances in biblical research provide new data for Bible translators. There has never been as much available 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.
• Advances in computer technology have opened a new door for Bible translation. The Holman CSB has used computer technology and telecommunications in its creation perhaps more than any Bible translation in history. An advanced Bible software program, Accordance, was used to create and revise the translation at each step in its production.
The complete Holman CSB New Testament was first released in 2001, and to date more than twelve print and audio editions are available, many including Psalms and Proverbs. Even without the full text completed, the Holman CSB gained enough interest to enter the Christian Booksellers Association Top Ten General Versions and Translations chart several times in the past few years.
Ministry leaders are endorsing the Holman CSB. Author Beth Moore calls it, "a fabulous translation of God's Word! A scholarly work true to the original languages yet very reader friendly."
Pastor Charles Stanley says, "I would recommend the Holman Christian Standard Bible to new believers and seasoned scholars alike. The translation is easy to read and thoroughly researched."
Others endorsing the Holman CSB include Charles Colson, Gary Chapman, Pat Robertson, and Paige Patterson.
The first complete Holman CSB editions will include a general purpose large print hardcover as well as pew, drill, children's, and gift format Bibles for church use. Many more editions will release in 2004, from pocket size (May) and specialty Bibles for military personnel (July) to the popular leather bound UltraTrim Reference Bible (October).
For information and to read the entire Holman CSB text online, visit http://www.holmancsb.org.