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Christian Standard Bible (CSB) – The Study Bible

Christian Standard Bible (CSB) – The Study Bible
The Holman Christian Standard Bible has always been a very significant Bible, but seemingly little used in the UK. CWR did publish the Holman Bible in 2007, as part of their one-year chronological reading plan, Cover to Cover
This is the new version. It is the Christian Standard Bible (CSB) from Holman Bible Publishers, a division of Lifeway Christian Resources
There are already a large number of new CSB Bibles in the UK market: the Study Bible (Adult), the Big Picture Interactive Bible (Children), ‘She Reads Truth’ Bible (Women) and later in 2017, the Apologetics Bible.
Both customers and shop staff are telling me that this Bible is already doing very well in this market. I’m glad, as it is a very good Bible and I am pleased to include it in this book review. 

CSB The ‘Study’ Bible

Holman Bible Publishers won, in 2011, an ECPA Award for their study notes and interior material. The Holman Study Version was recognised as being one of the best Bibles around. 
Now the new CSB Study Bible continues to offer the ECPA award-winning Holman study system with more than 15,000 study notes and tools presented on the same page as the biblical text to which they refer. The CSB Study Bible is then expanded to also offer additional word studies and feature articles. 
In the CSB Study Bible, there are 315 word studies, 141 photographs, 62 timelines, 59 maps, 20 articles 16 illustrations and 15 charts. The black text is in two columns (with centre column references). The presentation pages are full-colour and finally, there is a one-year reading plan.
The reading audience for the CSB Study Bible is fairly wide, from pastors and church leaders seeking a Bible true to the original text, and easy for the congregation to understand, to Christians looking for a study Bible that is straightforward and easy to use.  
There are 12 designs in the Study range, from a hardback right up to an indexed premium leather Bible. The font size is 10 points. 
The CSB Study Bible is an extremely valuable study Bible. The Hardback is priced under £50, and is well worth buying in order to ensure that you are as up-to-date as possible in the world of the Bible. It certainly has my support. 

The new CSB Bible from Lifeway Christian Resources

Proverbs 3: 5-6 (CSB): ‘Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not rely on your own understanding; in all your ways know him, and he will make your paths straight’. 
In 2015, I published a small book, ‘The Guide to Selling the Bible’ (Together Magazine, ISBN 978-0-9932454-0-4), and obviously this revised Bible was not included. However, the Holman Christian Standard Bible is there! The new CSB revision would be an excellent addition to the book. 
Over 20 years ago, a team of more than 100 top conservative scholars from 17 denominations came together to translate an English translation faithful to the original Scriptures - the Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB). Broadly this was achieved, and the translation has worked extremely well particularly in North America. Around 3 years ago - and under an English stylist, Michael Card - the translators began reviewing the text of the HCSB Bible to provide today’s readers with a new translation that is more ‘accurate and readable’
The Barna Group reported recently that only 37% of Americans read their Bible once a week or more. Ownership in the USA remains very strong but readership and engagement are actually quite weak. In fact, the numbers of those who are sceptical towards the Bible has nearly doubled from 10% to 19% in just three years. Sadly, this is now equal to the number of people who are Bible engaged, who read the Bible at least four times a week and who believe it to be inspired word of God. America is heading down the same road as Europe!
Lifeway Christian Resources believes that one factor cannot be denied: the importance of a reader’s translation of the Bible. This is an important aspect of the new CSB revision from the Holman Christian Standard Version
The translators are looking for that ‘sweet spot’ of the balance between ‘Fidelity’ and ‘Readability’ that opens the door for people to read and understand the Scriptures. 
Where is the CSB Bible in terms of a combination of ‘fidelity’ and ‘readability’? 
The publishers have printed a chart developed by Global Bible Initiative. This shows the CSB revision as being: 
  • better than the ESV in terms of readability.
  • better than the NIV in terms of fidelity.
This is impressive - and this constitutes a major consideration for customers endeavouring to purchase a new Bible. 
I hope that the Christian Standard Bible will rank alongside many of the versions of the Bible in the UK market. It deserves to do so.
Eddie Olliffe

Bookseller and Distributor for the past 35 years. Now Consulting Editor of Together Magazine. I blog on Christian Spirituality, UK Publishing and Bookselling matters.

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Products mentioned in or related to this blog post
CSB Study Bible, Hardcover (Hard Cover)
Holman Bible Staff,
Retail price: £36.99
Your price: £36.99