To start, watch the video posted discussing the translation. This will give some basic background on the translation.
My two favorite Bible translations are the ESV, which published in 2001, and the HCSB which published in 2004. The ESV translation seems to be increasing in popularity throughout churches. I am glad the ESV has been replacing the NIV, as I think it seems to be a superior translation in almost every aspect. I definitely lean towards the HCSB as being my preferred of the two, and I wish it would get more recognition.
Here are some positive things about the HCSB translation. The HCSB is a translation from the original languages. It is not an update of a previous translation. This is HUGE. There have been so many things that have been discovered and learned from manuscripts, such as the Dead Sea Scrolls. It also gives the many translators (over 100) the ability to discuss what works best based on the original languages.
The HCSB takes on a formal equivalence translation, which means they translate literal word for word. This is extremely important because we should read, as much as we can, the actual words written as much as possible. HOWEVER it does also use a dynamic equivalence, that is a translation meaning for meaning (or thought for thought). They use this approach when the word for word doesn’t translate well into English. For example, you won’t see the word “behold” in this translation. Quite simple, I feel this is the easiest to read English translation that is the most literal. Yes, translations like the NLT are easier to read, but those do not really have any formal equivalence translations involved. Translations such as the NASB (which I like) are more literal, but it does not flow as well, and misses out one some things as well ( minor, like accurate names used for God).
I encourage you, if you are searching for a new Bible, strongly consider the HCSB translation. It is excellent. Again, I like the ESV, and also the NASB but this HCSB translation, to me, is superior (especially reading through the prophets).
On to the actual review of the bible.
I received an HCSB thinline bible from Broadman & Holman for review. As you can see from above, I LOVE, the translation. My affinity towards the translation is strong, but I feel mixed on this particular bible. First of all, I love how light weight, affordable, and thin this bible is. I was getting to tired lugging my huge study bible around everywhere, so this is the perfect size.
I do have some issues with this bible though. I do not like how this is the 2004 translation, and not the most updated ( 2009). Granted, there are not a million differences, but there are a significant amount. The most updated version is also a lot more visually appealing in the structure of the layout.
One final note- I wish this was a single column. Now it’s not a deal breaker, but I love single columns much better. Many people prefer the double, which is fine, and more common. I am hoping that, at some point in the future, we will get an HCSB single column text.
I am giving this particular bible four stars out of five. It loses a star for being the old translation/design. Some people will complain that this isn’t a sewn bible- it’s glued. I agree that is a negative, however, this bible is cheap. If you search around, you can get it for about $15. For the money, you can’t beat it. It is a very nice, light weight bible, than can be carried around easily.