Bible Overview: Holman Christian Study Bible
wing of the Southern Baptist Convention had signed an
exclusive contract to use only the New International
Version (NIV) in their Sunday School curriculum. When that
contract was nearing an end, the Baptists engaged the
services of Arthur Farstad, who had been one of the lead
translators of the New King James Version (NKJV) to help
them make their own version. The reasons
for wanting to stop using the NIV and make their own
version came down to these main points:
Holman is the publishing wing of the Southern Baptist
having to pay a lot of money to publish curriculum with
the NIV, which is owned by Zondervan Publishing (one of
There was a
revision of the NIV which was forthcoming at the time,
which sought to incorporate gender-neutral language (to
They sought to
buy the rights to the New American Standard Bible
(NASB), but to no avail.
They wanted a
Bible that they could control any and all revisions on.
the plan was to use a Greek text close to that used by
the King James and NKJV, but when Mr. Farstad passed
away, they decided to instead use the Greek text
employed by the NIV, American Standard Version, and
practically all newer translations. While this may
not seem noteworthy, there are some large differences:
multiple verses that are found in the KJV and NKJV are
absent from these Bibles (Acts 8:37, is one such
HCSB includes these verses, but places them in large
black brackets to alert the reader that they do not
believe those verses belong in the Bible. However,
in over 1500 instances, various words and phrases are
just missing from the HCSB. One example of
a phrase missing from the HCSB is, “and whosoever
marries her which is put away commits adultery” from
The HCSB was released in 2004, and a revised
edition was released in 2009. Some changes
are as follows:
In the 2004
edition, any words added by the translators (usually for
clarity’s sake) were placed in brackets [like this] so
the reader would know those words were not in the
original Greek. In
the 2009 edition, there is nothing to alert the reader
to these additions because the brackets have been
it is possible that they have added words which change
the meaning, but you would not be able to tell from just
reading their Bible.
The KJV and NKJV both place added words in italics to
alert the reader that these words have been added.
The King James
Version translated the name of God (YHVH in Hebrew) as
“the LORD” in the Old Testament (except in 4 instances
where it is translated “Jehovah”). Most English
Bibles follow this same practice. The name of
God appears 6,828 times in the Old Testament. The HCSB
translated it “Yahweh” (which some believe is
a more accurate pronunciation than Jehovah) 75 times in
the original edition, but almost 500 times in the
revised edition. The
apostles, when quoting from the Old Testament, never
once are recorded to say God’s name, but instead always
said the Greek word KURIOS, which is translated “Lord.”
There are some
questionable translations within this version of the
Bible, and the following are a sampling:
Micah 5:2 –
The KJV says of Christ that His goings forth have been
from of old, from everlasting. The HCSB says
that Christ’s “ORIGIN is from antiquity, from eternity.” The KJV says
that Jesus is eternal; the HCSB says that Jesus had a
beginning, an origin.
3:16 – the KJV says Jesus is the only begotten Son of
HCSB says that Jesus is the “one and only” Son of God. But the Bible
says all Christians are children of God (Galatians
Jesus is the only
Son of God, then we cannot be sons of God.
I Samuel 6:19
– the King James says 50,070 people died. The HCSB says
that seventy of the city of 50,000 died. No other
translation of the Bible agrees with the HCSB in this
sought to create a conservative translation of the Bible
that was readable, but still true to the original. As such, they
did not try to translate word-for-word (as does the KJV,
NKJV, ASV, and NASB).
This version is only slightly more literal than
understand about this version before putting your trust
was translated exclusively for the Southern Baptist
was paid for by the Southern Baptist Convention.
Though some of
the Old Testament was translated by other denominations,
the New Testament was exclusively translated by
It is owned,
100%, by the Southern Baptist Convention.
Part of the
motivation for creating this translation was $$$$.
It does not
strive to give the words of God, but in most instances
seeks to give what the translators think the meaning of
the passage was.
many cases, they interpret the Scriptures instead of
The people who
oversaw the creation of this new translation sought to
create a conservative version that they could own and
edit as they see fit.
Though it may be easier to read than some other
versions, one must be careful in trusting it completely. When
translators decide to give their interpretation of God’s
word instead of translating it, it stops being God’s
word and becomes their own commentary and opinion. Right or
wrong, when a religious group—partially motivated by
money—creates their own translation of the Bible, it
will be viewed suspiciously by others. This
translation is useful for comparative purposes, but this
writer would not make it his primary Bible from which to
read and study.
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