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Holy Bible Holman Christian Standard Bible: Red-Letter Text Edition Hardcover – April, 2004

4.2 out of 5 stars 53 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 1084 pages
  • Publisher: Holman Bible Publishers (April 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1586400681
  • ISBN-13: 978-1586400682
  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 1.4 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (53 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #169,386 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
As a pastor who has used the New International Version for years, I was very interested in a new translation that would be more accurate than the NIV yet still be readable. That is a tall order, but the Holman Christian Standard Bible fills the order.
The HCSB is also more precise and accurate than the NIV. In the Gospel of Mark, eight times the NIV fails to translate the uniquely favorite Greek word of Mark, euthus, translated "immediately," but the HCSB is always careful to translate this word.
In Matthew 26:64, when the high priest asks Jesus if he is the Christ, the literal Greek rendering is "You said it." However, this is an idiomatic expression which means "yes." So how should this reply be translated? The NIV has, "Yes, it is as you say." The HCSB has the more literal, "You have said it," and adds a footnote explaining that this as an affirmative expression.
In Ephesians 6:10-13, the apostle Paul speaks of the armor of God. In the NIV, both verse 11 and verse 13 urge the believer to "put on the full armor of God." However, the Greek words are different in each verse, and the HCSB picks up this difference, translating verse 11, "put on the full armor of God" but verse 13, "take up the full armor of God."
While being more accurate than the NIV, the HCSB is often more contemporary than the NIV as well. For example, Psalm 90:2 in the HCSB: "Before the mountains were born, You gave birth to the earth and the world, from eternity to eternity, you are God."
This language is more modern than the NIV, which says, "Before the mountains were born or you brought forth the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlating you are God."
In Esther 3:6, the NIV refers to "who Mordecai's people were," but the HCSB refers to "Mordecai's ethnic identity.
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Format: Hardcover
Every Bible translation, starting from another language, is a mixed bag. Overall, I would recommend this Bible for daily use, memorization and study. The translators were careful; this is a no-nonsense translation and should be taken seriously.
The Holman Christian is more literal than the NIV, but doesn't read as smoothly. This is to be expected, since the NIV paraphrases more for stylist reasons. But the HCSB does read clearly. It is precise.
The HCSB is less "word for word" than the NASB, which is good and bad; the NASB doesn't read as smoothly as the HCSB, due also in part to the awkward verse paragraphing employed by the NASB publishers. Also, the HCSB will footnote major excursions from the literal, keeping the process fairly honest. Still, since the HCSB is not a purely literal translation (ie. the translators give themselves the freedom to paraphrase as deemed necesary for your understanding), one is never sure where the God's word ends and the interpretation begins. (I guess that problem exists with all translations, doesn't it?)
To compare, the English Standard Bible (ESV), another new conservative translation now available, reads more elegantly than the HCSB. However, part of the "elegance" is due to the fact that the ESV employs sayings and phrases comfortable amongst older Bible folk (Ie,. it retains some archaicisms for that effect.) For example, the ESV in Matthew 7:1 reads, "Judge not, that you be not judged." Do you know anyone that talks that way? Or "Fret not yourself because of evildoers" (Ps. 37:1 ESV). Sure, it's quaint, but wouldn't you be embarrassed reading that to a current audience? The HCSB will always read like modern literature, in wording, sentence strcture and sentence length.
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Format: Hardcover
The Holman Christian Standard Bible stands at the crossroads of being a great achievement and a slight disappointment. The HCSB was a work of some of the best scholarship there is out there and it shows. The passages are very accurate to the scriptures for the most part (though see my remarks below on Matt. 23), there is little to dispute about that. Now, Holman wanted to make a translation that was both literally accurate and dynamic. This has been tried before by two translations: God's Word [to the Nations] and the International Standard Version. Where and how a translation maneuvers between the two types of translation technique often determines if it will ultimately be sucessful and these two were not. Happily, I am glad to say that the Holman Christian Standard Bible does pull off this translation style a great deal better that its two predecessors. I also must commend Broadman & Holman for the terrific helps they have incorperated into this version, such as plan of salvation and endless footnotes.
Still, this grandiose effot quite often falls a bit short when everything is put together. The few slight problems in the HCSB come when this jumbled mixture of literalness and just-when-needed dynamic translation are then taken and formed into phrases, sentences, and paragraphs that the normal English-speaker will understand and appreciate. A lot of passages in the Holman bible seem very "contrived", going against the natural flow of the English language, and especially against the smooth poetry and prose normally given to the translation of scripture. This translation also is perhaps unnecessarily over-modernized, becoming almost chatty.
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