Holman Christian Standard Bible

Does anyone here use the Holman Christian Standard Bible with much regularity?

I’ve read many good things about it – namely that its an accurate, modern-but-not-too-modern translation. While Holman Bible Publishers is indirectly owned by the Southern Baptist Convention, there doesn’t appear to be anything which explicitly defines that translation as a Southern Baptist translation – or even a fundamentalist translation. The translators represent a large number of denominations. There really doesn’t seem to be that many disadvantages with this Bible.

I am seriously considering picking up either a copy of the newly released HCSB Study Bible or maybe just a copy of the translation. It may even replace my NJB as my primary Bible if I like it well enough.

My first question would be whether it includes all the books of the Bible, or only the Protestant canon. I wouldn’t be happy with an incomplete version.

Yes, it is complete. It contains the Torah, the Prophets, the Psalms, the Gospels, Pauline and Catholic letters plus the Revelation to John. It even includes highly under-read books such as Ruth and the Letter to Philemon!

It contains Tobit? 1and 2 Maccabees etc?

I doubt this.

I really didn’t want to like this translation when it came out, but the parts I have looked at have been pretty impressive in terms of accuracy. I haven’t done a thorough investigation though.

What about the books the Protestants omit?

*]1 and 2 Maccabees
*]Wisdom of Solomon
*]Ecclesiasticus (or Sirach)

When I search Amazon for Holman Bible or Holman translation and Catholic I get zero results. Since you say it is a Baptist publishing house they probably don’t publish a Catholic version of the Bible.

As I said earlier, I would not want an incomplete version of the Bible.

I do not see this bible on the USCCB website for approved translations for Catholic study and devotions. As mentioned in an earlier post it must have all books in the Catholic bible. I believe the total number is 73.

How do you know it is “accurate”.

It is an incomplete edition; it can be found in its entirety (or lack of same) here:


By comparing the source text to the translation. I took some specific passages that are usually messed up and looked them up in the Holman translation and was pleased to see that they seemed to be correct. Although, I only did this for a few passages, so it’s really not a scientific sample. And I’m certainly not interested enough in the Holman translation to do a wholesale comparison.

It’s a Baptist translation, uses Yahweh for YHWH which the Vatican has done away with. It does not contain the Deuterocanonical books. It does not have Catholic notes. It does not have an Imprimatur or a Nihil Obstat. Why fool with it?

If you want a formal equivalence translation get an RSV-CE from Ignatius Publishing. BTW, any formal equivalence bible, RSV, ASV, ESV, NASB Holman are going to be light years different from the extreme dynamic equivalent NJV.

Thanks for everyone’s input. I have invested in the Cambridge ESV Wide-Margin Bible to be my primary Bible here on out. I really liked the translation of the HCSB and would have chosen it, however I realized that what I was looking for also needed to have wide margins.

Since you have decided to kind of stay away from the traditional RC Bibles, did you consider the Orthodox Study Bible?

I used to have an Orthodox Study Bible, but found it to not only be a poor translation but also found the notes unhelpful.

The ESV is a revision of the RSV. My daughter (a Protestant) has the wide margin NIV Cambridge Bible, it makes a very nice presentation, very attractive layout.

I hope you are not confusing the Orthodox Study Bible with the Oxford Study Bible. I find the translation interesting. Using the St Athanasius Setuagint for the OT and the NKJV for the NT.

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