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Holman Christian Standard Bible (Digital Reference Edition)

4.58  ·  Rating Details ·  1,934 Ratings  ·  59 Reviews
This reference edition of the HCSB has been optimized for easy reading on digital devices. It includes more than 35,000 links to textual notes, alternate readings, explanatory notes, cross references, and Old Testament citations in the New Testament. The table of contents is organized by headings within each chapter and the corresponding verse numbers, and the ebook file h ...more
ebook, 0 pages
Published September 15th 2010 by B&H Publishing Group (first published January 1st 1943)
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This is a re-read of The Holy Bible for me, so this review will be specifically about this Holman Christian Standard Bible translation, which I obtained for free on my kindle from Amazon.

I will admit that the language of this translation makes it easy to understand some of the more complicated verses of the Bible. The language is modern and contemporary. For someone who has never read the Bible before, this version might be a good way for them to be able to be introduced to the books contained
Oct 15, 2012 Laurie rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nook
This Bible translation was free for my Nook, and I've been pleasantly surprised to find it accurate, conservative, easy to read and easy to navigate. I have not felt compelled to purchase any other Bible version for my own reading or for following along at church, although our congregation favors the NIV (1984) and our pastor favors the NASB.
Rachael Seow
Jan 01, 2016 Rachael Seow is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
I'm joining Reading the Bible as Literature challenge hosted by Roof Beam Reader. I obtained this bible for free from Amazon. The language is easy to understand. Just finished reading Genesis. I'm going to get through Exodus for a couple of days.
Stephen N. Collins
My favorite translation for personal devotion.
Jan 10, 2016 Keith rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The rating is for the translation. The Bible itself is always a 5-star read.
May 10, 2017 Alex rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Actually the Christian Standard Bible, but that didn't show up on GoodReads so selected HCSB.
Dec 02, 2014 Sarah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The first time I remember hearing about the HCSB translation was in John Macarthur's book: 'SLAVE: The hidden truth about your identity in Christ', in which this translation is used because it translates 'doulos' literally as 'slave' rather than the less accurate translation of 'servant' or 'bondservant'. That made me curious to take a better look at the translation. This translation uses "Optimal Equivalence" as the translation method which they consider to be a careful cross between formal equ ...more
Dina (ReviewTime)
The Sportsman's Bible contains numerous devotions written for hunters and fishermen that connect the timeless principles of God's Word with the passion of millions of North American outdoors enthusiasts.

About the binding & cover
The cover of this Bible is Bonded Leather, with Mothwing(tm) fall camouflage. The bonded leather this Bible is made from feels more sturdily, and durable, then any bonded leather Bible I have held. The zipper & zipper slide are a very sturdily, which reminds me of
Dec 25, 2013 Ethan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: bibles
The Old and New Testaments in a recent translation.

The HCSB does not want to be boxed into the categories of either "formal equivalence" (word-for-word, e.g. KJV, ASV, NASB, ESV, etc.) or "dynamic equivalence" (thought-for-thought, e.g. NIV, NLT, CEV). Instead they come up with a new category: "optimal equivalence," which they claim recognizes that form cannot be separated from meaning and thus is an attempt to make the best sense of both words and thought, but in practice seems to just mean tha
Todd Miles
I am not going to rank the Word of God - how can it be anything other than 5 stars. But I do want to make a few comments about the translation. Attempting to depart from the formal equivalent translation - dynamic equivalent translation continuum, the HCSB opts for what they call "optimal equivalence." As near as I can figure, if measured upon the preceding continuum, they will be inconsistent, sometimes being very formal and other times giving a dynamic translation. I wonder how helpful that is ...more
Jacob Aitken
Nov 22, 2013 Jacob Aitken rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: translations
The ranking applies to the translation and format, not to the Word of God.

1. The HCSB is not as beautiful as the RSV/ESV, nor as literal as the NASB. Still, in communicating to those who do not know "church-ese" but not abandoning the text, it is very good. It is infinitely superior to the NIV in this regard.

2. The New Testament format does a nice job in setting apart and bold-facing Old Testament quotations. Oddly enough, they do not cite the references.

3. It's surprisingly well-bound. I
Zack Melvin
Apr 07, 2012 Zack Melvin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Bible, of course, as the inerrant word of God, is the greatest book ever penned by man - it needs no review. You don't review the Bible - the Bible reviews you.

This format of the HCSB Bible, in my opinion the greatest English translation of the Bible currently in existence, is actually a great Bible for reading - though it's not recommended for study. It has a two-column format, as any other pew Bible does. It does not have footnotes, which can sometimes be distracting during a normal readi
Oct 14, 2010 Reepacheep rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read through all of the Biblical text, from Genesis to Revelation--that is to say, I haven't read through all of the publisher's notes, which include the following:

1) Subject Index
2) Plan of Salvation
3) Introduction to the Holman Christian Standard Bible
4) A Short History of the Bible: age, languages, and books (with a brief summary of each book

The two-column layout is very readable, although my wife prefers a single-column layout, which is available in a different edition (view at
Todd Partridge
Sep 16, 2016 Todd Partridge rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Bible is good, full of love and hope; this Bible reflects it beautifully.

I would like to thank the Holman Christians for providing this Bible—it has made a terrific benefit in my life. I am in a much better place now because of your love. Thank you.
The HCSB is based (both the New and Old Testaments) on previous translations that have gone through and number of revisions (over a good number of years I think). The translations were a blessing to me because they use common English, rather tha
Dec 30, 2013 Daniel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Enjoyed reading the New Testament in this translation… it's definitely a helpful version to keep handy when studying. I think I generally prefer versions that have been around a little longer and had time to have some of their perhaps overly novel translations tested and revised if needed… there were a few spots where I had a hard time figuring out why the HCSB team chose the translation they did. But still, they follow their translation philosophy well, and it's a helpful addition to the Bible ...more
Russell Freeman
I enjoyed this version of the Bible. It seems to require a lower reading level than some of the other modern versions, and it also presents a different translation in places that shed new light on the text for me. Nonetheless, some of the idiosyncracies were grating for me (translation γλωσσαι as "languages" in 1 Corinthians 14). I am not yet willing to teach and preach out of it, but maybe I could be convinced with another run through.
Jan 02, 2016 Sterling rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I like several of their nuances, like how they handle slave. But I suspect our US heritage causes many misunderstandings and limits adoption by many. Still, their use of "slave" rather than servant in many places was extremely helpful to me, and helped me also to view my relationship with the Lord more accurately.

I would switch permanently to HCSB in a heartbeat if it would ever become mainstream.
This review is a reflection on the translation, not the Scriptures.

This is the least enjoyable translation I have read to date. The sentences are choppy, without flow. Is it more accurate because of this, I am not knowledgeable enough to speak to this, but I am doubtful. What I do know is that it was work to get through this particular translation, I am glad to be done with it, and look forward to putting it back on the shelf.
Douglas Audirsch
Sep 27, 2011 Douglas Audirsch rated it it was amazing
I am reading this version of the Bible through this year. I simply read 5 chapters every day first thing in the morning while I drink my coffee. Some days are interrupted due to a fluctuating schedule, but I just pick up where I left off and keep on going on. I enjoy this version. It reminds me somewhat of the NIV in its modern, easy-to-read, tone. However, it has several distinctives. One of which is that it uses the word "Yahweh" for the name of God instead of the generic "Lord".
May 18, 2013 Shawn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was a pleasant translation of the Scriptures for reading and devotional use. I would guess that it is written at approximately the same reading level as the more popular New International Version. Although it is a translation and not a paraphrase, I still prefer the more rigid word-for-word approach that the New American Standard Bible takes when I need a study Bible.
Lisa Morrow
Mar 18, 2014 Lisa Morrow rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
With the help of "A Woman's Guide to Reading the Bible in a Year," I finished the Bible in a little under a year! I'm so glad that I saw that my Goodreads friend and one of my favorite authors, Robin Lee Hatcher, was reading this "Bible reading guide," and I decided to put it on my "to-read" list and download it on my Kindle.
Buzz Park
Oct 29, 2016 Buzz Park rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
While the HCSB is currently my favorite translation of the Bible, I wasn't a big fan of the narration.

However, it is currently the only narrated version of the Holman Christian Standard Bible available on Audible, so it is what it is.

5 stars because it's the Bible and it's my favorite translation, 3 stars for the narration
Dec 31, 2015 J. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: christian
I downloaded this edition free on my Kindle and read it with a one-year Bible plan. It's the Bible, so of course it's gold. I admit that NKJV is probably still my favorite translation, but this one simplifies the language more, and seems more literal.
Matt Maples
This is certainly not my favorite version of the Bible, but it wasn't bad. I would recommend other versions though such as the English Standard version, the NIV or if you want a really good reading Bible then you might try the New Living Translation.
Nov 26, 2016 Bruce rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great Blessed interpretation by the oldest bible translators in America, Easy to use

and understand.Wish all youthful people would take time daily to get acquainted with this unstoppable truth or word of GOD
May 27, 2012 Kiki rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction, classic
My rating is more for the contents of the book than this particular translation. I guess the translators were trying to translate the Bible into modern English, but I feel like the plain language they chose took some of the power and beauty out of the words.
Brian King
Jan 08, 2014 Brian King rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This translation speaks to me as a Millennial Generation person. Maybe it doesn't work for you, but the difference of word choice from say, ESV or NIV is very helpful to allow me to see past old religious bias.
Feb 05, 2011 Martine rated it liked it
This electronic version of the Bible wasn't easy for me to navigate. I would have enjoyed a much more user friendly setup. Nevertheless, it proved to be an excellent resource when all you have handy is an ereader! In addition, I really did enjoy the translation!
Feb 21, 2014 Jonathan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Having read the HCSB, I have been impressed. The translation bravely throws aside KJV translation errors in favor of a more accurate reading. Also having a background in Greek and Hebrew, I applaud the use of brackets throughout the NT denoting verses that were likely not original to the text.
bob clark
Nov 29, 2015 bob clark rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

This concordance is relevant, modern and easy to understand. I recommend this version of God's Word to anyone eager to read the Truth.
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“Though the fig tree does not bud and there is no fruit on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, 18 yet I will triumph in •Yahweh; I will rejoice in the God of my salvation!  19 Yahweh my Lord is my strength; He makes my feet like those of a deer  and enables me to walk on mountain heights! ” 2 likes
“If anyone thinks he is religious without controlling his tongue, then his religion is useless and he deceives himself. 27 Pure and undefiled religion before our God and Father is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself unstained by the •world.” 1 likes
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