Short Notices -- By: Anonymous
The Holy Bible: Christian Standard Bible: UltraThin Reference Bible. Nashville: Holman Bible Publishers, 2017. Pp. xi + 1196 (8 maps). $129.99, premium leather.
Formerly known as the Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB), the Christian Standard Bible (CSB) is newly revised as of 2017. For those unfamiliar with the CSB, the “optimal equivalence” translation philosophy places the CSB somewhere between the ESV and the NIV. To offer a few examples of translation: ἱλασμός in 1 John 2:2; 4:10 is translated as “atoning sacrifice,” ἀρχηγός in Acts 3:15; Heb 2:10; 12:2 is translated as “source” (and “ruler” in Acts 5:31), and δικαιόω in Acts 13:38 is translated as “justified” (rather than, e.g., “freed”). Genesis 1:27 reads: “So God created man in his own image; he created him in the image of God; he created them male and female.” Psalm 1 opens with a reference to “the one who” (1:1), which is followed by a reference to “his delight” in 1:2. Psalm 8:4 refers to a “human being” followed by “a son of man,” whereas the quotation of Ps 8:4 in Heb 2:8 reads “man ... the son of man.” Hosea 6:6 translates çٌم as “faithful love,” and Hos 6:7 speaks of violating the covenant “like Adam.”
In terms of textual criticism, Deut 32:8 reads “people of Israel” (rather than “sons of God” or “angels of God”), and Deut 32:43 speaks of God avenging the “blood of his servants,” rather than the blood of his “children.” As for NT text-critical decisions, preferred readings include “Jesus” in Jude 5, “name” in 1 Pet 4:16, “disclosed” in 2 Pet 3:10, and “moved with compassion” in Mark 1:41. Mark 16:9–20 is included in the main text, placed in brackets after a solid line, along with the caveat that “some of the earliest mss conclude with 16:8.” A similar statement is found in John 7:53–8:11, though this text includes a solid line after the passage as well. In the NT readers will find explicit OT quotations in bold.
The editors have employed headings liberally throughout, which serves to break up the text for the reader. In general these work well, but the caution is they can, at times, wade too far into the realm of interpretation. For example, it is unnecessary to enumerate signs in John where the Gospel itself does not make this identification (e.g., John 6:16–21). In some cases, less is more.
The result is a readable translation that will prove valuable for those who consult it. As to presentation, the premium leather edition sent to me is engagingly soft and easy on the hands, and it comes with two ribbon markers: one red and one black. A table of weights and measures, a concordance, and a collection of eight (color) maps round out this edition. For those interested, there is now a CSB Study...
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