Joseph Leskey's Reviews > HCSB: Holman Christian Standard Bible

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it was amazing
bookshelves: fact, reference-book, adventure, history, own, philosophy-theology-and-logic, most-favored, favorites, reviewed, currently-reading
Recommended for: ANYBODY!!!!!!!
Reading for the 5th time. Most recently started January 2, 2019.

~Review of the Bible:

Well, first off, this most excellent collection of prophesy, psalm, and story, is something that is abnormally large. Secondly, I've actually been meaning to write this review for a year or so, so I'd name myself late but in earnest, but I shan't to avoid lawsuit by the ghosts of ancient Kerr's. *cough, cough*

Thirdly, my review is probably fallible, just so you know.

Now, to render a dignified review. I'm feeling too thrilled with the concept of restfulness to review all the different versions [of the Bible] [that] I’ve read, so I'll review the entire sort of thing. (You can tell I was able to quickly call to mind terminology pertaining to this situation.)

Now, from a literary perspective, the Bible is quite suitable. I mean, I’m not a professional judge of ancient Israelite poetry (I like things to rhyme myself); nor am I an authority of prophetic verse. All the chronological and historical narrative is very interesting, if not sometimes horrendously bloody and generally messy, but the latter descriptions are simply what you should expect if you read history. So yippee!

From the distinct perspective of one who wishes to be entertained, well, much of the Bible is, in fact, entertaining, especially if you’re the sort of person who would get entertained by it. However, the sole purpose of reading the message of Salvation, the history of the universe (and Israel), and the prophesied future is not necessarily to derive entertainment. Don’t correct me if I am wrong. This is a personal opinion. The Apostle Paul had personal opinions too, I hope you understand, so you can’t blame me for following his example. But, so as not to get you mildly confused, I am entertained whilst I read the Bible. Especially when I read things like Job 40, Genesis 1-X IF X = X, Jude, and Psalms something or the rather.

From the theological POV, well… One might say that the Bible is rather important. In it you can fetch yourself an abundance of very distinctly theological concepts. In fact, if one derives theological concepts from any source that is not ultimately descended from those in the Bible, the study thereof may or may not cease to be theology, if you take my meaning correctly. And then there’s the matter of divine inspiration and you can’t get much better than that theologically. AND I SHOULD KNOW BECAUSE I EXPRESS INTEREST IN THEOLOGY, I HOPE YOU UNDERSTAND. I also just washed dishes.

And, finally, as an historical and prophetic account, let’s just say the Bible does quite nice for itself. Overall themes, the eternal plans of God, and all the complicated history and politics… I really do enjoy all this stuff. It reminds me of worldbuilding. And one can be brilliantly happy as said individual recognizes cause and effect and long term effect. It’s really all quite thrilling. In the Bible, we see the doom and the cause of doom, swords and the use of swords, an ark and a floating ark, giants, the Creation of the world (which is mildly important), Simon being renamed “Rock,” all the advanced history of Redemption (which is very important; note the capitalization—of course I capitalized “Rock” too, so that doesn’t mean much. Forgive me the transgression I enacted against your time), and Paul (more on him later, if I feels like it). Um… where’s all the prophecy in this, you say? “Ah ha!” I say wisely. “It’s present. Oh, it’s present. Just because your mortal eye can’t detect it doesn’t mean it isn’t present. Note the first item in this list–‘doom and the cause of doom.’ That right there is the essence of prophecy, save if it is pertaining to Redemption. And then we have Revelation. More on that later, too.

But what about the point of view that we have all yearned for? The perspective we need to fuel the continuation of our thought. The essential viewpoint which we have suffered through this review to see? BEHOLD: THE PERSONAL PERSPECTIVE OF ONE, Joseph Leskey:
Ha ha ha. What a joke. Me, give you my personal perspective on things? Well, of course I will, but it’s still hilarious to the well functioning contents of my cranium.

My personal opinion has been displayed throughout all the review. So really all that remains to do is to review each individual book included in this massive compilation. Or probably I won’t, if my fortitude turns traitor. If I do review all the books, that means I’m really going to be glaring at myself in the mirror some time because of the 66 plus paragraphs I may be going to write. Of course, I’d do that anyway, but that’s as beside the point as the obvious fact that I’m just doing the Protestant canon, seeing as I don’t feel like doing anything else.

Ahem, let’s get a format going here.

Ah, now here’s a fine book. Especially the first two chapters, in which we get the creation of the world and all that dwells within it, and a nice garden. After that the human race is just a little bit messed up and they start sweating while they work. Grant, they also started wearing clothes, so good things happen alongside the bad. We also get to see the story of Abraham, with whom the Old Covenant was made, and who is mentioned more than a couple times in the rest of the Bible. And the history of Israel begins to unfold, which is really fun. Further, Redemption is first alluded to in Genesis.
As for how much I like the book, I like the first two chapters best. And I like the scattered thrilling concepts like Nephilim and the like.
Congratulate me on a brilliant feat. I forgot all about the Flood. That’s also in Genesis. It’s really interesting. I like those chapters too.
Also, Genesis is a very key element in the whole Origins Controversy or whatever they call it these days. And I do like a good controversy. Not that a controversy is by definition a good thing, but I sure do like the debate that arises out of it.

Exodus isn’t entirely sunflower seeds, prunes, cold wintery days and chocolate (I purposely excluded the serial comma—which I strongly believe in—here. Those last two things wanted each other’s company). In fact, Exodus is more like people wandering around in wildernesses and other people getting overrun by grasshoppers. Still, it’s an excellent historical account. Have a recommendation.

Well, I, er, um, ew? Just a tiny bit bloody and just a small amount of mess. Or a little bit more than that. Or the entire book is dedicated to blood and messiness, garments, skin conditions, and concentration consecration of priests. And how to purify things, if that helps. But, of course, it’s actually a very important book—to the Levitical priests at the very least. You just have to get past your original impression. That’s it.

Or, if you can’t get past it, just kind of ignore it [your original impression].

Or just go read John, but that’s beside the point.

The title explains it all. I’m not going to call it boring; I’ll just recommend it to the people who want to know the dimensions of things and how many people were in such and such. There’s some interesting history, mayhap?

The law over again (I’m referring to its existence in Exodus) and history. Quite good if you’re in the mood for that sort of thing. I think that there’s some details which are just really captivating, but I’m afraid I’ve forgotten most of Deuteronomy. It was an accident.

Ah ha! Joshua. Great things lie in here if you’re interested in military conquests and stuff, as I am. And a wall takes a tumble due to a distinctly different military conquest.

Detailed history in here about Judges and stuff. Not bad, not bad. Although really some things could have gone better. Entirely riveting stuff though, I’m sure.

Here’s one of the books that is actually one complete, concentrated story the whole way through. It’s not bad at all. Gives you a peek at ancient Israelite culture.

1st & 2nd Samuel: (Psst… DID YOU SEE ME CHEAT? <= <— <=)
Very interesting history in here. Also, Samuel’s a prophet. Of course, there’s some mess. Too, King Saul enters the scene, and David is really relevant. People make a couple bad choices.

1st & 2nd Kings: (I like this cheating I’m doing here.)
Well, either a king pleased God and did some nice things, or they really, really, really didn’t. Though sometimes they played switcheroo. Lots of interesting history. Evil times. Evil, evil, evil, and not only evil, but wicked as well. Ah ha. Sounds a lot like most of the world’s history.

**Here I fell asleep and stopped writing this review for a time, but that is of no consequence.**

1st & 2nd Kings, continued:
You also can find yourself some interesting prophets and droughts and stuff in the two chronicles of the Kings.

(I guess that was all I was going to say about it…)

1st & 2nd Chronicles:
Genealogy, genealogy, and more genealogy. And some extended family history too. Basically, chronicles.

Well, my brain has failed to produce words for some reason, but basically, a temple gets built and Jews move about. I think. *laughs derisively at self* But it’s a fine book.

Ah ha. I totally forgot what happened in Nehemiah. Tells you how well I read it. *grins with no real humor and quickly refreshes my memory* Well, that was easy. It turns out I hadn’t forgotten after all. Nehemiah’s the cupbearer who did all that construction. Obviously. I’m affronted at the slothfulness of my mind. Anywho, I like Nehemiah well. It’s superbly interesting, reading about all those people doing all that work. Gives you another look into ancient culture, does it.

Well, this is another book that is definitely a story, and a fine one at that. We get to see great pending conflict and old culture and whatnot. So it is, by definition, fine, just fine.

Ah, now I am right fond of Job. It does a body good to intake all the mesmerizing information manifesting through it, like stuff pertaining to Leviathans and stuff. (“And stuff” is so useful. I recommend it.) I do—like you should if a) you have a heart that’s much softer than petrified cabbage, or j) you just happen to—feel sorry for poor ole Job. He really had it kinda rough, y’know? Job (the book)’s exceedingly interesting, but it is possible for it to excite commiserating thoughts with the object of the main character. You really do feel bad for the feller. Unless if you aren’t in the mood too. That too is not my fault. (I’m just assuming that I’ve already said something isn’t my fault in this review. It seems like I did.)

Now this is a laudable compilation if ever there was one. The title describes the content very well. Conversely, the content fulfills the tile very well. Isn’t it nice that we have the laws of logic? (You can get quite philosophical with the laws of logic, you know, just so long as you can think of a “why” question, such as “why does order exist?” But that’s not relevant. Actually, it is, but I don’t feel like connecting thoughts at the moment.) In Psalms, you can find anything you feel like. No need to verify this statement; I’m generalizing. There’s agony, grief, depression, misery, mourning, sorrow, anguish, and remorse, but there’s also joy, exultation, happiness, gaiety, elation, and my internal thesaurus got stuck, so that’s it. There’s long psalms and there’s short psalms. There’s psalms that don’t rhyme and there’s psalms that don’t remotely rhyme, but they both aren’t meant to rhyme, so I can’t complain. There’s ancient literary devices by the dozens. There’s pleas and thanksgivings. There’s the numerous works of David’s pen. Proves that a king must have education, no? And there’s even a large hint of prophecy.

Proverbs is an alright thing. I mean, kind of odd to expect sensible instruction by somebody who had seven hundred wives, but there you have it. Politics, that’s what it is. When someone has seven hundred wives, you say “politics” to yourself and move thyself onwards. But, in all actuality, there’s some good advice in here, such as: “Give not sleep to thine eyes, nor slumber to thine eyelids” (Proverbs 6:4, KJV (so I don’t accidentally work against copyright laws; unlike some, I don’t believe that the King James Version is THE version. It’s a marvelous work, and it’s the most fun to read, but it’s a bit archaic if you follow me.)) Actually, though, that verse could be taken out of context, so how about, “The heart of him that hath understanding seeketh knowledge: but the mouth of fools feedeth on foolishness.” (Proverbs 15:13, KJV (see above for an Explanation of my choice here)) Any which way, Proverbs is quite nice, if you feel like you could use half a pearl of wisdom and/or a grim thinking session upon the ways of the fool.

A brilliant work about the futility of all that is done under the sun. Just marvelous. Labour, profit, it’s all futile, don’t you see, unless if there is an ultimate truth, some great absolute behind it all. Or, if you want to eat, it’s a good idea to labour and get profit, because profit is exchangeable for food. But that’s not being properly philosophical. Anyway, I do really enjoy this book.

Song of Solomon:
Well, it’s a little bit mushy. And one should definitely compare their fiancée’s nose to a tower. And her neck to “the tower of David builded for an armoury, whereon there hang a thousand bucklers, all shields of mighty men.” And then of course, let’s not forget that Solomon’s legs were like pillars of marble.

Ah, now this is more like it. As we all know, a book by a prophet is usually equivalent to a book full of prophecy, and guess what sort of person it was that wrote this book? Exactly. And he prophesies about the Messiah, so that’s all very nice.

Ah, yes, the prophet they describe as “Weeping.” The fact of the matter is, he had some fairly depressing prophecies. Not a unenjoyable book though, if you’re speaking in an absolute sense.

Same sort of thing.

Some fascinating prophesy and visions here. Seeing as there is an absolute and the original impressions of Ecclesiastes don’t apply, it’s well worth reading.

Entirely too enthralling. And Lions and furnaces and Messianic implications.


Okay, believe it or not, I feel as if I’d rather be done reviewing, so let’s just take Amos, Obadiah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi, and assume they’re all full of rich prophecy. You can further assume that I enjoyed them. With that assumption made, I hope you realized I did not include Jonah in all that. Here’s it:
Jonah contains the well known story of the prophet being swallowed by a great big fish. I don’t mind reading it one bit. Those two sentences definitely deserved me sacrificing my valuable time to exclude Jonah from the list of exclusions.

— But now, enter, The New Testament!!!! —

I like Matthew. I really do. It’s got the Wise Men in the Christmas story and just different important things like the Sermon on the Mount.

Excellent account of Jesus’ life, even if somewhat lacking in the Christmas story area.

Ah ha! Now here is a very fine account of the Christmas story, though without the Wise Men. Of course, telling the Christmas story is not the sole purpose of the Gospels, but one likes to know where it is. Luke is also very well researched and detailed.

John is my favorite of the Gospels, I’ve discovered. It does, in fact, cover the Christmas story, if a little briefly: “And the Word was made flesh…” (John 1:14, KJV (so as to avoid copyright infringement)). John, the Gospel of, is just really an overall excellent work. And it reveals the deity of Jesus quite emphatically.

I am passing fond of Acts. All the earliest history of the church, right there. Ha. Who knew?

ALL PAUL’S NUMEROUS LETTERS (My entire being delights in this great efficiency.)
I like all of Paul’s letters well. Too bad so much confusion went and sprang out of them. A pity, that’s what it is. The letters are simply rolling in theological information and instruction as to the proper conduct of the church, which hasn’t entirely been followed in every case, may I just say briefly…

This might be Paul’s letter or it might not, but any which way, it’s a good example of things written by pen an’ ink. Very exhilarating concepts to be found in it, there are. And also, by means of reading commentary on Hebrews, I got the word “apostasy” stuck in my head. It’s actually very fun to say, but it is not very good taste to go around bellowing it. Which doesn’t mean I didn’t do so, but that’s beside the point… What is good taste, anyway? … Who defines it, I wonder…

Brilliant points are made within James’ letter and I like it well, despite Martin Luther’s misgivings.

1 & 2 Peter:
Actually, I’m seriously getting tired of my review here… Peter’s epistles, like the rest of all of them, are quite fine and excellent and nice and, if you feel like it, thought-provoking, and stuff…

The enormity of the dullness I feel in relation to this review is singularly enormous.

1, 2, & 3 John:
Now here are some direly grand letters, if “direly grand” is a thing (it technically could be but it’s not what I meant). They contain good stuff like assurance of salvation and ink pens.

A commendable missive. I have oft found myself appreciating the constituent sentences quite nicely. It quite compels one’s head to think. Which is a good action for a head to preform.

Ah ha! The book entitled—by the author, may I add—The Revelation of Jesus Christ. It happens to be a really great book, especially in this particular instance of the morphing fourth dimension, seeing as it is the last book in the Bible and
A whooo hooo!
For done with my review,
Shall I be,
And I so merrily,
Shall shout exuberantly!

Okay… In truth, I didn’t expect that. *ahem* *glares suspiciously at the above extemporaneous horror and carefully continues reviewing*
Aside from *cough* that *cough* *is still suspicious*… I say, aside from that, Revelation is just brilliant in and of itself. I mean, sure, it’s a prophecy of some of the greatest destruction that ever happened in the universe’s time, but that’s inconsequential. One has to admit, the fact that it is a prophecy of disastrous happenings lends it quite a bit more interest.
Further, whoever reads it (and doesn’t on it preform the old action represented by the sign ± ) is blessed. Proof:
Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand. (Revelation 1:3, KJV (still to avoid legal warfare))
So, yes, it’s automatically a particularly nice book. Please note that if you hear it you’re blessed, too. And then there’s the fact that the happenings in Revelation haven’t happened yet. That there really makes a difference. It means the Bible covers it all, from the exact moment time began (Genesis 1:1, “In the beginning…”) to when the present world ends as we know it (Revelation 21:1, “…for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away…”). Which is, one might say, right nifty. And you get quite a interesting new type of locust.

And I’m done.
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Reading Progress

Finished Reading
Finished Reading
August 30, 2016 – Shelved
September 10, 2016 – Shelved as: fact
September 10, 2016 – Shelved as: reference-book
September 10, 2016 – Shelved as: adventure
September 10, 2016 – Shelved as: history
December 26, 2016 – Shelved as: own
February 2, 2017 – Shelved as: philosophy-theology-and-logic
July 27, 2017 – Started Reading
July 27, 2017 –
4.0% "Only 96% left! I'm going places."
July 28, 2017 –
4.0% "I know, I know. I'm amazing—reading an entire part of a percent. Anyway, poor ole Moses."
July 29, 2017 –
5.0% "Okay, when an 83-year-old guy comes into your palace with his older bro (assuming this man's walking stick eats all your magicians' snakes), expect hail."
July 31, 2017 –
8.0% "Interesting stuff in this part of the Bible. The early form of boxer briefs, the dimensions of tables, and a whole lot of blood."
July 31, 2017 –
10.0% "Messy, messy, messy…"
August 3, 2017 –
11.0% "I'm reading Numbers… very, uh, interesting. Actually, there's a lot of numbers."
August 4, 2017 –
11.0% "A whole lot of numbers…"
August 12, 2017 –
14.0% "…"
August 16, 2017 – Shelved as: most-favored
August 16, 2017 – Shelved as: favorites
August 27, 2017 –
21.0% "Ancient Israelites: "Okay let's cry a lot about Benjamin. Done. Now, let's go kill them all. Aah, they're fleeing before us! Let's go make sure they're all dead (save 600). And destroy their cities, animals, and everything. Now we oughta cry again. and ask God why there's a tribe missing. (It's 'cause you killed 'em, guys.) Now let's get them wives—how should we work around our oath?" (*Kills/kidnaps*)"
August 28, 2017 –
22.0% "Friendly note to the memory of [the former] King Saul:

When attempting to convince your son that it would be a good idea to kill his best friend, due to the fact that the guy would be a threat to his kingship, the most tactful thing to do is not to attempt to spear your son to death.

A helpful being"
August 28, 2017 –
22.0% "David & Co.: *relax in cave*
David & Co.: *watch as the leader of their adversaries comes into the cave and begins to have a rather private moment*
David: *cuts of the corner of the guy's robe*

I don't know about you, but I detect rudeness here."
August 29, 2017 –
23.0% "All this military campaigning is rather fun to read…"
August 31, 2017 –
24.0% "Conclusion: David was very good at killing giants, but he had a few family issues."
September 1, 2017 –
27.0% "David: If only somebody would fetch me water from the city gates of Bethlehem… I'm kinda thirsty, y'know?
King David's men go fetch David water from the city gates of Bethlehem, at risk to their lives.
David: I can't drink this! My men risked their lives for it. *Dumps water on ground.*
David's men: (aside) Yes… we did. And if the King didn't want to drink it… maybe WE could have? Well, we're never doing that again."
September 1, 2017 –
28.0% "I say."
September 3, 2017 –
29.0% "Ah, yes, Hezekiah, the king who shows a relatively neutral (but powerful) country all his wealth and stuff.

And then, of course:

Isaiah: King, (I can't believe you were so dumb…) Babylon will come and take all your things, your Dad's things, his Dad's things, and so on and so forth. Oh, and they'll take some of your descendants too.

Hezekiah: (Oh nice, my sons'll have to deal with with.) That's awesome, Isaiah!"
September 6, 2017 –
33.0% "Folks were rather hard on the animals in those days…"
September 11, 2017 –
36.0% "Well, bless his heart!"
September 13, 2017 –
37.0% "You know, shouldn't Haman have been mildly concerned that all his friends and his wife unanimously advised him to build a seventy-five foot gallows for his enemy?

Of course, he was somewhat off his rocker. Haman was the sort of fellow who gathers together all his friends (and his wife) and precedes to tell them how fabulously wealthy he is. And how many sons he has. As if they didn't know…"
September 15, 2017 –
38.0% "Poor ole Job. Not only does he have to have a horrendous time of it, but he also is forced to listen to his three philosophical friends weep and endure them sitting next to him for seven days and nights saying nothing. Plus they're literally throwing dust everywhere."
September 20, 2017 –
42.0% "Psalms isn't quite as bloody as Leviticus."
September 24, 2017 –
44.0% "Methinks David was having his set of troubles."
September 27, 2017 –
45.0% "Poor David."
October 1, 2017 –
46.0% "There's a lot of these little psalm fellows."
October 5, 2017 –
51.0% "Well, I'm not entirely sure Solomon liked his veggies."
October 16, 2017 –
57.0% "It must have been interesting, being a prophet."
October 23, 2017 –
63.0% "Poor guy who told Jeremiah's father that his wife had given birth to a son."
October 28, 2017 –
66.0% "Got past the bulk of the lamenting…"
November 2, 2017 –
69.0% "Ezekiel got to prophesy to a lot of inanimate objects when you think about it."
November 9, 2017 –
74.0% "I think Jonah didn't realize something one or two times…"
November 16, 2017 –
78.0% "Reached the books of the New Testament. Much less bloody, I must say."
November 21, 2017 –
83.0% "There. I read Luke's rendering of the Christmas story. It's not quite as enjoyable without such verbal constructs as "sore afraid," "lo," and "it came to pass." I'll have to read it again in the good ol' KJV. On a different stream of thought, 2% of the Bible is a lot more than two percent makes it sound."
November 26, 2017 –
85.0% "John certainly knew how to start a book."
December 1, 2017 –
87.0% "Nearly to the end of John's most excellent book, I am."
December 4, 2017 –
89.0% "I've always enjoyed Acts."
December 8, 2017 –
91.0% "Excellent book, Romans is."
December 11, 2017 –
93.0% "I must say, Paul tells you a bunch of a stuff when he writes (or dictates) a letter."
December 17, 2017 – Finished Reading
December 23, 2017 – Shelved as: reviewed
January 1, 2018 – Started Reading
December 31, 2018 – Finished Reading
January 2, 2019 – Started Reading

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