Book Review: “ Christian Standard Bible” Thomas R. Schreiner, David Allen, et al., eds. (Holman Bible Publishers, 2017) -- By: Jeff David Miller

Journal: Priscilla Papers
Volume: PP 31:3 (Summer 2017)
Article: Book Review: “ Christian Standard Bible” Thomas R. Schreiner, David Allen, et al., eds. (Holman Bible Publishers, 2017)
Author: Jeff David Miller


Book Review: “
Christian Standard Bible” Thomas R. Schreiner, David Allen, et al., eds. (Holman Bible Publishers, 2017)

Jeff Miller

Jeff Miller is editor of Priscilla Papers and teaches biblical studies at Milligan College in eastern Tennessee. He holds a PhD and an MDiv. He has attended several CBE conferences, including the July 2017 conference in Orlando, Florida. He writes for Arise as a member of CBE’s blog team. Miller has published articles in Priscilla Papers, Mutuality, Bible Translator, Christian Standard, Leaven, Restoration Quarterly, and Stone–Campbell Journal. He has been a youth minister and, more recently, a worship minister.

The Christian Standard Bible (CSB) is a revision of the Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB). The CSB was published in March 2017 by Holman Bible Publishers, which is affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention.

This review does not pretend to be comprehensive. A full review would need to consider a broad variety of factors and features, from the translation’s manuscript base to the maps at the end of the finished product. Instead, this review is limited to three matters that may be of heightened interest to evangelical egalitarians. First, the gender makeup of the translation team. Second, the translation philosophy regarding gender language. Third, several test cases. More about these and other features of the CSB can be learned at www.CSBible.com.

The HCSB involved 102 translators, eleven of whom are women. The group is largely, but not entirely, complementarian. The CSB revision is the work of the twenty-one members of the CSB Translation and Review Team. One member of this team is a woman—Dorian G. Coover-Cox, associate professor of Old Testament Studies at Dallas Theological Seminary.

A statement about the CSB’s approach to gender language is available at CSBible.com. It states a tendency toward retaining “a traditional approach to translating gender language.” It also notes, however, avoidance of “being unnecessarily specific in passages where the original context did not exclude females.” For example, “brother(s) and/or sister(s),” instead of simply “brother(s),” occurs approximately 175 times in the CSB, but never in the HCSB. There is also some progress in preferring “person/people” over “man/men.”

The following list of test-cases, though brief, gives a sense of the CSB’s treatment of passages which are often consulted when studying women in Christian leadership. The table gives the reading of the CSB and, for the sake of comparison, the 2011 New International Version. Many of these test-cases include footnotes, which would be too cumbersome to reproduce here.

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