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NASHVILLE - America's oldest Bible publisher has launched the most extensive project in its 256-year history: the Holman Christian Standard Bible, an all-new translation directly from the original biblical languages.

Holman Bibles, the Bible publishing division of Broadman & Holman Publishers is committed to developing a fresh English translation of the Bible and producing a full line of Bibles and reference resources to enhance Bible study, according to B&H publisher and president Ken Stephens.

Stephens said that the translation combines a precise rendering of the Biblical text with a reader-friendly style geared to contemporary English usage.

We saw a need to develop a translation that encourages people to not only read the Bible, but to study it. Classic translations, though they're accurate, can be a challenge to modern readers who aren't familiar with the vocabulary and syntax. On the other hand, an oversimplified text, even if it's reader-friendly, misses some of the nuances that make Bible study fulfilling and complete, Stephens said.

Our goal is that the Holman CSB will convey precise, complete meanings from the original languages in a way today's readers will more readily understand and appreciate as they study the Bible, he added.

In addition to additional cross-references and footnotes, most editions of the Holman CSB will include a word study feature in the margins. The word studies came as an outgrowth of the translation process, according to Edwin Blum, the Dallas-based general editor of the translation project.

In working through the Greek and Hebrew texts, the translation team often came to words that had several possible translation options. To decide on the best English rendition, we would take ourselves through focused word studies. Eventually, we realized that these studies themselves were both interesting and instructive in honing in on the exact meaning of the words. By including some of these, we hope to bring readers even closer to the truth of Scripture, Blum said.

Another way Holman is bringing readers closer is through market research that was conducted in 16 cities nationwide among a variety of evangelical and mainline Christians, pastors and Christian bookstore operators. Developing a name for the translation was an important part of the process, according to David R. Shepherd, B&H vice president for Bible publishing and executive editor for the project.

Holman Christian Standard Bible is derived from comments we received in user discussion groups, Shepherd said. Other topics discussed included the clarity and precision of the text, study features, formats and other details that would make the Holman CSBTMa top notch Bible translation for serious study.

In addition to producing an effective Bible translation for study purposes, Holman was also motivated by the desire to have access to a translation that was not subject to political correctness or marketing pressures.

The Holman CSBis in the hands of Christians who will safeguard it now and for future generations, Shepherd said. Pop culture has a way of twisting any spiritual truth so that its "ears are tickled." The Bible is a favorite target of those who would engage in such cultural gymnastics.

We want the Word of God to be preserved for the next millennium, and Holman will stand firm even as the cultural trends change around it. We will not compromise the Word of God or drift with the socio-political winds, he added.

Work on the Holman CSB began in 1984 under Arthur L. Farstad, the former general editor of the New King James Version. After his death in 1998, leadership of the project passed to Blum, a translation project colleague of Farstad's. Blum, a former pastor and Dallas Theological Seminary professor, holds doctoral degrees from DTS and the University of Basil in Switzerland.

Blum directs a team of more than 80 translators, editors and biblical scholars in the U.S., England, Scotland, Singapore, Israel, and Kenya, representing 20 different denominations and non-denominational churches. All members of the team affirm a personal belief in Biblical innerrancy.

The first available portion of the Holman CSB to be released has come in the form of Experiencing the Word Through the Gospels, a book that includes the complete text of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, notes from Experiencing God author Henry Blackaby, and the new word study feature.

Other currently available products featuring newly translated text from the Holman CSB include "The Christ We Knew", a devotional book featuring separate chapters from all four Gospels arranged in chronological order with accompanying commentary from author Calvin Miller. Living with the End in Sight, a study book including the full text of Revelation along with scholastic commentary from author Ken Easley, arrived in July 2000. The complete New Testament was released in January 2001, and is currently available in several styles, with others coming soon. The entire Bible is slated for release in 2004.

The new translation is a natural outgrowth of the rich Bible publishing heritage of Holman Bibles. The company’s history dates back to 1743 when Christopher Sauer published the first Bible on American soil, a large German family edition. In 1869, Andrew Jackson Holman, an employee in the Sauer family printing business based in Philadelphia, purchased the company, gave it his name and established a reputation for producing fine quality Bibles, which continues today.

In 1979, the A.J. Holman Company was purchased from Harper & Row by the Sunday School Board of the Southern Baptist Convention, now known as LifeWay Christian Resources. It was merged with the Broadman Press division of the Sunday School Board in 1993 to create Broadman & Holman Publishers, now the trade publishing division of LifeWay Christian Resources.

Today, nearly 375 editions of the Bible in a variety of English translations and in Spanish and Portuguese along with a respected line of Biblical reference and commentary resources are published under the Holman imprint.



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Holman Christian
Standard Bible

Reading Level:
    Grade 9 - 10

First Published:
    New Testament: 2000
    Complete Bible: 2004

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