Book Review: CSB Ultrathin Reference Bible

Late last year Holman announced that they will soon be releasing the Christian Standard Bible.  Like some of you, I groaned at the thought of another translation going into an already flooded market of English scripture translations.  The CSB is a revision of the popular Holman Christian Standard Bible that was released in 2004.

Holman described the CSB as neither a Dynamic or a formal equivalent translation, but describes it as an optimal translation.  The introduction to the CSB states, “Optimal equivalence as a translation philosophy recognizes that form cannot always be neatly separated from meaning and should not be changed unless comprehension demands it.”

The readability of the CSB is greatly improved over its HCSB counterpart.  Though the HCSB was fairly easy to read there were parts that did not flow well.  This has been corrected in the CSB.  Tradition theological vocabulary such as justification, sanctification, and the like have been retained .  The only drawback with the translation is regard to cultural ideology.  In the introduction the CSB states, “The goal of the translators has not been to promote a cultural ideology but to translate the Bible faithfully.  Recognizing modern English, the CSB regularly translates the Greek word for ‘man’ as ‘people’.”  That is perhaps the only drawback of the translation, as cultural factors are a factor in proper hermeneutics.

Overall the CSB Ultrathin Reference Bible is good looking with a nice leather exterior.  The pages are thin, but strong and will stand up to daily use.  All things considered it is a good translation.

[Note:  This book was provided free of charge from B&H Publishing in exchange for an honest review.]

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