Discover the strengths of the HCSB translation

by LifeWay Staff

The Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB) is considered to be one of the most significant Bible translations available. Taking into account the advancements in scholarship, translation theory, and contemporary English usage, scholars prayerfully translated the original texts to provide a Bible focused on accuracy and readability. Following are the top strengths the translation offers to individuals new to the faith as well as seasoned scholars.

What makes the HCSB different than other translations?

1. It was translated from the original texts. The HCSB was translated by a team of 100 top-notch scholars and English stylists from 17 different denominations using the earliest manuscripts in the original biblical languages – Greek, Hebrew, and Aramaic – as a starting point. They also employed the use of optimal equivalence translation philosophy – a balance of formal equivalence (word-for-word accuracy) and dynamic equivalence (thought-for-thought approach).

2. It uses 21st century speech patterns and language. The HCSB is rendered in language that can be easily understood by modern readers. This means, for example, that readers won't find older English words like "behold" or "shall." They will, however, find up-to-date speech patterns including contractions. Reflecting linguistic advances in vocabulary, grammar, punctuation, and formatting while retaining meaningful theological terms, the translation helps illuminate obscure or long misunderstood passages of Scripture.

3. It employs the latest in translation accuracy. Today's biblical scholars have better information about ancient texts than scholars did years ago. While translations made even in the last 10 or 20 years do not reflect some of these significant advances in research, the HCSB incorporates vast amounts of this information. This fact led Dr. Peter Flint, Dead Sea scroll scholar at Trinity Western University, to write, "The Holman Christian Standard Bible is one of the most textually sophisticated English Bibles available anywhere." (See the video, "A Fresh Look at the HCSB," for examples of how this translation method impacted the text.)

A Fresh Look at the HCSB

For additional information and comparisons of specific Scripture passages, visit

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