I’m still using the ESV as my main Bible, but I’ve started keeping the HCSB close at hand for comparison’s sake. Why? Because the HCSB is relatively very recent scholarship and it is a very recent completely new translation of the scriptures from the original languages. I think that is an important point to consider.

While it is certainly true that the Holman has its unusual renderings here and there, it is actually a refreshing new translation to read. The English, though not written to be exceptionally easy to understand (it’s not aimed at kids or ESL people), is English the way we speak today. It’s not the English of fifty years ago, or the English of 150 years ago. It’s certainly not the English of 400 years ago, like you get in the KJV! No, it’s written so today’s American reader with a typical education can easily understand the words and phrases.

Having said that, it’s also noteworthy that the Holman does not try to make difficult concepts easy to understand by translating them to fit a particular theological viewpoint, as certain other translations unfortunately do. Theological ambiguities remain ambiguous, as they should.

All in all, I think the team of translators Holman assembled for the HCSB project did an admirable job. The Holman CSB is a very good Bible to use if you want only one version, and it’s certainly worthy of inclusion in a group of several Bibles used for comparison. I’m keeping mine handy and willingly recommend it.

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