Bible Translations

I have been doings lots of bible reading lately, mostly been inspired by so many of the new translations. Researching new bible translations has actually turned out to be a great project as it has caused me to read my bible much more than my normal daily devotions.

As most of you I have been on a journey to find the perfect translation that can be used for reading and studying. Ok, lets be fair we will never have the perfect translation, but I hope to find the right one for me.

I grew up reading the NKJV, as my Pastor use to preach from the KJV. For nearly 20 years that was my study/reading bible. When I did serious bible study I also used the NASB, and some others like the NIV, JB Phillips, & Amplified bible. But the NKJV was my main one that I love to read. In 2000 I made the switch to the ESV bible. It was slow and I was unsure if I was doing the right thing. What I found right away that it was similar to the NKJV, but a bit more modern. In some places I really liked the choice of words that it used in the NT.

Well switching over to the ESV made me think, there are a whole lot of new translations out there, maybe I should look them all over. By this time I had been reading the ESV for at least 4 years. I went and bought the The Evangelical Parallel New Testament That is where I came across the HCSB. This Parallel bible has 8 translations, pretty good, pretty, pretty good.

The more I compared the HCSB with the ESV, and TNIV, the more I liked it. So I went and bought one for me and my whole family. It was a bit tough to change from the ESV to the HCSB , because I myself had endorsed the ESV some much to all of my friends, even gave it as a gift to my pastor. Don’t get me wrong I really do like the ESV, and for me it was more readable than the NASB (my opinion). Now, I really like theHCSB, I had given my son both the HCSB , & the ESV and he is 13 years old, and does seem to prefer the ESV, but could be due to my influence on him. Either way I don’t care, as long as he reads his bible.

Today, I am reading the HCSB as my devotional bible, and I also use it to study. I really would like to have a Parallel Bible ESV & HCSB. Maybe someday that will be available. When I do serious study, I will use my 8 Translation Parallel bible, and all of the recent Greek helps that are available to me.

I really do love the HCSB, I really enjoy reading it, and have the comfort of knowing that it is accurate and great to read.

So which Translation is the best one? Rick Mansfield said it best

“The One You Read”

For those of you who would like more information on the HCSB I recommend these sites:

Broadman Holman

He is sufficient
The Link

All of these blogs have great comments on the ESV & HCSB plus lots to say about other translations, and some really great articles.

9 Responses

  1. Hello Robert. We are currently enjoying a discussion over at Will’s Anwoth Blog, and I wanted to also visit your blog. Appreciate your efforts.

    I too have a fondness to the HCSB translation, and I am looking forward to the anticipated refinements coming perhaps next year.

    I prefer so-called literal translations, and CSB’s fresh, essentially-literal approach really adds some wonderful vocabulary to my studies and sermons. However, it would be dishonest of me to suggest that I am really familiar with this translation yet, since I have only purchased a copy (The Apologetics Study Bible) a few months ago, and still haven’t included it into any of my regular reading/study programs.

    Just in case you may be interested in discussing translations further, let me continue by saying that I have only read since a child, and then later studied when I was saved in my twenties, from the King James Version. Even now as I approach my forties (almost 39 – first time honest), I still use this translation, which will always occupy a special place in my heart. It is also the translation used where I fellowship. While I have had several different study Bibles in this particular translation, the current one in my possession is a Thompson Chain Reference.

    Since last June 2007 I have been reading through the Bible using a NASB Ryrie study Bible (revised edition). Once I complete this I intend to study the Epistles for some time using, perhaps, several other study Bibles that I also purchased last year; namely, NASB MacArthur, NKJV Nelson, and ESV Scofield.

    With regards to my HCSB, I may either read through the New Testament afterwards with this translation, or add it as a fourth translation in my focused study of the Epistles.

    I have always been fond of books. Obviously Bibles are something much more precious. Love reading about translations, even the smell of leather, page composition and font usage gets me excited. I know sad. 🙂 Of course such things fail in comparison to the Word itself.

    I would love to hear more about your own interest in translations and your collection of Bibles. Enjoyed what you have shared so far.


  2. Hello Mark,

    Ah yes the gimmick outreach.

    One reason I have begun to network over these blogs with folks like Will, Mark (The Lamp), & ElShaddai, is so that I can continue to grow and these guys give you some really good stuff to think about. Plus none of them appear hostile. I don’t like hostile sites. We are so diverse, and sometimes we lack scriptural understanding, so it is nice to be able to converse with others that are like minded, and have common goals (i.e. love God with all your mind…).

    I’ll go through my library an take an inventory of which translations I have and discuss a bit further my personal interest of each one.

    I am still waiting for Rick (The Lamp) to publish his review of the NET bible, another translation that I enjoy. Really looking forward to reading that.

    I have gone to several books stores to try and find the New English Bible, but none of them carry it. I have a B&N gift card and wanted to use it to purchase one. But it is not enough to order on-line. I think I will got the B&N next time and add another $10.00 so that I can use it on-line.


  3. Is the “New English Bible” the NET Bible you mentioned in the previous paragraph? If so Christian Book Distributors do have versions/copies of this new translation (which of course is free online).


  4. Christian Book Distributors carry versions of the NET Bible, assuming “New English Bible” is the NET Bible you refer to in your last paragraph.


  5. Hello Mark,

    the “New English Bible” (NEB) is yet another translation that has a very similar name. I read about this translation over at “The Lamp” (Rick M. – he is on my blog roll). He does a very nice job of discussing and reviewing various bibles.

    Actually, what I am looking for is the “Revised English Bible” (REB) it is the revised version of the NEB. Ugh, some of these names are so similar it’s hard to remember what it’s called.

    Read Rick’s review on it, it’s very good.

  6. Robert,

    I have lots of comments on the REB on my site – it’s my 1b translation! My first choice for personal reading over all other translations, including the HCSB. See for some comments and recommendations.

    If you’re still interested in the NEB (which I like as well), your best best is eBay or a used bookstore like as it’s been out of current print for some time now. There are tons of copies on eBay in several formats.


  7. ElShaddai,

    I was able to use my B&N gift card on-line under their used section, but this one was new from another dealer. It’s a hardback, and could not find a leather one.

    When I compile my list of bibles that I own and prefer I’ll be sure to reference your link. As my posting will be what I like about them, and not all exhaustive. I’ll be referencing yours and Rick’s for further detail.

    If you have other reviews on other versions I’ll add those as well.

    Take care,

  8. Go with the HCSB. It is incredibly accurate and readable at the same time.

    The ESV is, in my opinion, overhyped. The HCSB is much better and more consistent.

    Let me offer one example: Psalm 23:6

    ESV: “Surely goodness and mercy”

    HCSB: “Surely goodness and faithful love.”

    The issue is how you faithfully translate “chesed.” To stick with the KJV tradition, ESV renders “chesed” “mercy” in Ps 23:6 but everywhere else, it has “steadfast love.”

    But the HCSB renders “chesed” “faithful love” not only here but everywhere else.

    I can go on with more inconsistencies in the ESV. Don’t get me wrong, no translation is perfect, but the HCSB is quite go and far better than the ESV.

  9. Well I am coming to this discussion late and it may be over – maybe I will jump start it.

    I have chosen the HCSB – I used the NIV for over 20 years, made the switch to the ESV but found much of it as wooden and very “KJV-ish” in sentence structure.

    In using the HCSB and listening to the preaching of many who have adoped the ESV (Piper, Horton, Ryken, – almost without fail, when they speak of the “literal” meaning of a word or passage – there it is already translated for me in the HCSB!!!

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