Book Reviews -- By: Anonymous

Journal: Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society
Volume: JETS 55:4 (Dec 2012)
Article: Book Reviews
Author: Anonymous

Book Reviews

HCSB Study Bible. Holman Christian Standard Bible. Nashville: Holman Bible Publishers, 2010, lxii + 2280 pp., $49.99.

The Holman Christian Standard Bible (hereafter HCSB) first appeared in 2004. Although most readers know the name Holman has Southern Baptist connections, the translation was the result of a team of scholars of many denominations. The goal was to provide a “multi-denominational effort, reflecting the very best in updated Bible translation scholarship” (p. xi). The HCSB Study Bible (hereafter Study Bible) appeared in 2010 and represents the work of more than a hundred scholars. It was the editors’ goal to take the same approach in the creation of this work as they had taken on the original HCSB. General Editor Jeremy Howard affirms the commitment those scholars have to the biblical text: “Each of our contributors honors the Bible as God’s inspired and inerrant Word” (p. xi).

The introductory pages contain several useful sections: (1) “Features of the HCSB Study Bible” (pp. xii–xv), which familiarizes readers with the overall layout; (2) “Essay Contributors” (pp. xxiii–xxiv), which alerts readers to twenty-seven key essays placed throughout the Study Bible; (3) “List of Maps, Illustrations, and Charts” (pp. xxv–xxix), particularly helpful where topics might potentially be covered in various parts of Scripture; (4) “List of Hebrew Word Studies” (pp. xxxi–xxxiii); (5) “List of Greek Word Studies” (pp. xxxiv–xxxvi); (6) “Introduction to the Holman Christian Standard Bible” (pp. xxxix–xlv), which provides explanation and insight into HCSB translation philosophy; (7) “How to Read and Study the Bible” (pp. xlvii–lv), a helpful overview to Bible study and interpretation for the work’s intended audience; and (8) “The Origin, Transmission, and Canonization of the Old Testament Books” (pp. lvi–lxii), which includes a defense of the OT canon and also discusses the proper place of the Apocrypha. (A corresponding essay entitled “The Origin, Transmission, and Canonization of the New Testament Books” appears later in the Study Bible [pp. 1596–1600].)

An introduction to each biblical book appears at the beginning of each work. The main headings in each introduction are consistently “Circumstances of Writing,” “Message and Purpose,” “Contribution to the Bible,” and “Structure.” Commentators receive room enough to adequately overview the key issues related to their particular book; the introduction to Genesis, for example, is much longer than the introduction to Obadiah.

The Study Bible is aesthetically pleasing and boasts a user-friendly layout. Good color usage helps the reader distinguish various items...

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