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The 'She Reads Truth' Bible (CSB) (Book review)

The 'She Reads Truth' Bible (CSB) (Book review)

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.

Already, customers and shops 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 ‘She Reads Truth’ Bible

This version is the CSB Bible is designed for women: She Reads Truth. There is a Twitter version: @shereadstruth - and a Facebook version. This is a devotional Bible with an excellent number of inserts. It is a good Bible for partners seeking a gift for their spouse, and for fathers and mothers purchasing for their daughters. 

The She Reads Truth community was started five years ago by Raechel Myers and Amanda Bible Williams to help bring women together online to study and explore God’s word. What was a casual group of women is now a worldwide community exploring the Bible. 

Both women said, ‘By the grace of God and the Council of the Holy Spirit, we pray that every person interacted with the ‘She Reads Truth Bible’ may become like the tree of Psalm 1, planted by streams of water that bears fruit in its season and and whose leaf does not whither’. 

Women most likely to read this Bible are those between the ages of 25 and 34, with a secondary age group of 35 to 54. The She Reads Truth Bible contains study materials, and 183 devotional readings written by the She Reads Truth team, and invites women to engage with God’s word each day. 

The Bible also includes 66 designs by top calligraphy and hand-lettering artists to aid in memorisation and understanding of Scripture. 

There are 10 designs to the She Reads Truth range, from a hardback (around £35-£40) right up to an indexed genuine leather Bible. The print size is 8.5 points.

This is a very good Bible for women, and one which is regarded around the world as an excellent devotional Bible. And it’s in the new CSB edition!

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, 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: 

  1. better than the ESV in terms of readability.
  2. 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 She Reads Truth Bible, Poppy Linen (Hard Cover)
Myers, Raechel & Williams, Ama
Retail price: £36.99
Your price: £36.99