Search This Lamp

Comments Policy

1. Be courteous.
2. Don't make it personal.
3. Keep it Clean.
4. Don't be a troll.

See more about the comments policy here.  

Note to Spammers: All comments on this blog are moderated. This means that when you post comments linking to your imitation designer handbags, you are wasting your time because I will not approve them. Moreover, I will report you, and your IP address will be banned from all Squarespace sites.

Recent Comments 


Powered by Squarespace
« Bill Mounce Joins the NIV Committee on Bible Translation | Main | Mobile Blogging Test »

HCSB 2009: A Brief Survey of Selected Changes

HCSBAs of this writing, the only way to obtain a copy of the 2009 edition of the Holman Christian Standard Bible is through WORDsearch Bible software. I've had a copy of the updated text for a while but haven't had an opportunity to make a thorough evaluation of the text. I imagine this will be easier to do once it's available in Accordance when I can put the two texts side by side. In the meantime, though, I thought it might be useful to look at selected texts, especially in regard to previous trouble spots.

As mentioned in an earlier post, the 2009 HCSB will neither be designated as "revised" nor as a "second edition." The publisher does not feel that the number of changes to the text are significant enough to warrant a change in designation. New print editions will begin to appear in 2010.

While there are numerous improvements in the 2009 text, unfortunately, some traditional formatting remains in the 2009 HCSB such as capitalized pronouns referring to deity (which can be problematic in certain passages) as well as brackets around words "supplied for clarity for the translators." Personally, I believe the latter, especially, is wholly unnecessary in any translation and certainly so in one deemed as using "optimal equivalence." Fortunately, it's been reported that there are fewer brackets in the new text.

While I've stated before that overall, I believe the HCSB is one of the most technically accurate translations available (see for instance the discussion of John 3:16 in my original review), there were a handful of rather odd renderings in the original HCSB. The most infamous of these was found in Eph 2:2 which I'm glad to report has been changed in the 2009 HCSB:

Ephesians 2:2
2004 HCSB 2009 HCSB
in which you previously walked according to this worldly age, according to the ruler of the atmospheric domain,a the spirit now working in the disobedient.b

aLit ruler of the authority of the air

bLit sons of disobedience
in which you previously walked according to the ways of this world, according to the ruler who exercises authority over the lower heavens,a the spirit now working in the disobedient.b

aLit ruler of the domain of the air

bLit sons of disobedience

Of course the phrase originally questioned was "the ruler of the atmospheric domain" (τὸν ἄρχοντα τῆς ἐξουσίας τοῦ ἀέρος], traditionally rendered "the prince of the power of the air" (KJV/NASB/ESV) or "the ruler of the kingdom of the air" (NIV). This phrase is admittedly difficult to convey in English from a standpoint of its original intended meaning. The 2009 text is mildly better, but I still have trouble hearing that from the pen of an ancient writer. The NLT is more helpful here: "the commander of the powers in the unseen world."

Deluge No More
The original HCSB also had an unusual choice for the word traditionally rendered flood (‏מַבּוּל) in regard to the Noah story. The HCSB opted for deluge in ten places: Gen 6:17; 7:6-7, 10, 17; 9:11, 15; 10:1; 11:10. There's nothing technically wrong with the word deluge. It is often the word used in academic circles and is even used in the HALOT entry for מַבּוּל. However, it always seemed strange when read in front of a group at church. No, I'll be honest. It seemed odd when even reading it to myself.

The 2009 HCSB simply renders מַבּוּל as flood. For use in the church, this helps a lot.

Use of Yahweh
The original HCSB broke with most English translations to render the divine name, ‏יהוה, as Yahweh (instead of LORD--all caps) in 75 places: Exod 3:15-16; 6:2-3, 6-7; 15:3; 33:19; 34:5-6; Deut 7:9; 28:58; Judg 6:24; 1  Kgs 18:21, 24, 32, 37, 39; 22:7; 2  Kgs 5:11, 17; 2  Chr 18:6; Ps 68:4; 81:10; 83:18; 143:11; 145:3; Isa 30:27; 40:28; 42:8; 48:2; 51:15, 22; 54:5; Jer 16:21; Lam 3:55; 5:1; Ezek 6:14; 17:21, 24; 20:48; 36:23; 48:35; Dan 9:20; Hos 12:5; Joel 2:26, 32; Amos 4:13; 5:6, 8, 16, 27; 6:8; 9:6, 15; Jonah 1:9, 14; Mic 4:5; 5:4; Hab 1:12; 3:19; Zeph 3:9, 12, 20; Hag 1:14; Zech 14:7, 9; Mal 3:6, 16.

The 2009 HCSB increases this rendering to 504 occurences: Gen 4:26; 12:8; 13:4; 14:22; 21:33; 22:14; 26:25; Ex 3:15-16, 18; 4:5, 22; 5:1-3; 6:2-3, 6-8, 29; 7:5, 16-17; 8:1, 8, 10, 20, 22; 9:1, 13, 27-30; 10:2-3, 7-11, 16-17, 24-26; 11:4, 7; 12:12, 31; 14:4, 18, 25; 15:3, 26; 16:12, 15; 18:11; 20:2, 5, 7, 10-12; 29:46; 31:13, 19; 34:5-6, 14; 18:21; Lev 18:21; 19:12; 21:6; 22:2; 22:31; 24:16; Num 6:24-26; 15:41; 36:2; Deut 1:11, 21; 4:1; 5:6, 9, 11-12, 14-16; 6:3-4, 13; 7:9; 10:8, 20; 12:1, 5, 11, 21; 14:23-24; 16:2, 6, 11; 18:5, 7; 21:5; 26:2, 7; 27:3; 28:58; 29:25; 32:3; Josh 22:22; 24:14, 15, 19, 22, 31; Judg 6:24; 7:18, 20; 10:16; Ruth 1:17; 1 Sam 17:45; 2 Sam 6:2, 18; 1 Kings 5:3, 5; 8:17, 20, 44, 60; 10:1, 9; 11:4, 6, 9; 14:21; 18:21, 24, 32, 36-39; 20:28; 22:8, 15-16; 2 Kings 3:11; 5:11, 17, 25, 28; 18:6; 19:4; 1 Chron 16:2, 8, 10, 29, 36; 17:24. 26; 22:7, 19; 23:13; 29:16; 2 Chron 2:1, 4; 6:7-8, 10-11, 14, 16; 12:6; 13:9-11; 14:11, 13; 15:9; 16:8-9; 18:6-7, 15; 19:4; 20:6, 17, 20, 29; 21:10, 12, 14; 24:18, 24; 28:10; 29:5, 10; 30:1, 5-9, 19, 22; 32:8, 11, 17; 33:4, 12-13, 16-18; 34:21, 23-24, 26, 33; 35:3; 36:13, 15; Ezra 4:1, 3; 6:21; 7:6, 27-28; 9:5, 8; 10:11; Neh 1:5; 9:5-7; 10:29; Job 1:21; Psalm 7:1, 3, 17; 8:1, 9; 9:1, 10; 16:2; 18:31, 49; 20:1, 5, 7; 22:23; 25:11; 29:1-2; 30:4; 33:12, 20, 22; 34:3, 9; 41:13; 46:11; 47:2; 48:8; 50:1; 54:6; 68:4; 69:31; 74:18; 79:5; 80:19; 81:10; 83:16, 18; 86:11; 89:15; 92:1; 96:2, 8; 97:12, 99:2, 6; 100:3, 5; 102:15, 21; 103:1, 22; 104:1, 35; 105:1, 3; 106:47-48; 109:21; 113:1-5; 115:1; 116:4, 13, 17; 118:10-12; 119:55; 122:4, 8; 129:8; 130:1, 3, 5; 135:1-6, 13-14, 19-20; 143:11; 144:15; 145:21; 148:5, 13; 149:4; Prov 18:10; Isa 12:4-5, 7; 24:15; 25:1; 26:8, 13; 30:27; 37:4; 40:28; 42:8; 44:6; 47:4; 48:1-2; 50:10; 51:15, 22; 54:5; 56:6; 59:19; 63:16-17; Jer 3:17; 10:6, 10, 16; 11:21; 12:16; 14:7, 9; 15:16; 16:21; 22:9; 23:6; 26:9, 26:16, 20; 31:6, 35; 32:18; 33:2, 16; 44:16, 26; 46:18; 48:15; 50:34; 51:19, 57-58; Lam 3:55; 5:1; Ezek 6:7, 14; 17:21, 24; 20:48; 36:20; 36:23; 39:6-7; 48:35; Dan 9:20; Hos 2:20; 7:10; 12:5, 9; 13:4; 14:1; Joel 2:26, 32; Amos 4:13; 5:6, 8, 16, 27; 6:8, 10; 9:6, 15; Jonah 1:9, 14; 2:7; Micah 4:5; 5:4; 6:9; 7:17; Nahum 1:11; Hab 1:12; 3:18-19; Zeph 3:2, 9, 12, 15, 17, 20; Hag 1:14; Zech 10:6-7, 11-12; 11:4; 13:3, 9; 14:7, 9; Mal 1:6, 11, 14; 2:2; 3:6, 16

Of course, even this increase in usage of Yahweh is less than 10% the the full number of times the divine name is used in the Old Testament (6828 hits according to a search in Accordance). Compare the HCSB, for instance, with the New Jerusalem Bible, which renders יהוה as Yahweh 6342 times.

Most of this kind of usage comes when there is specific reference to the name of God (Gen 4:26; 12:8; Ex 20:7, etc.) or when the God of the Bible is being contrasted with other gods such as the renewal of the Covenant at Shechem in Josh 24 (see specifically vv. 14, 15, 19, 22, 31) or Elijah's confrontation with the priests of Baal (1 Kings 18:21, 24, 32, 36-39). In these kinds of contexts, the use of Yahweh especially makes sense and has been something I've done for years on my own when reading this texts publicly. It makes no sense in 1 Kings 18:22 for Elijah to say "If the LORD is God, follow him, but if Baal, follow him" since Baal can mean "master" or "lord," too. The contest is between Yahweh and Baal, and the rendering in the HCSB clarifies this. The same can be said for Joshua before the Israelites in Josh 24. Only Yahweh makes sense in v. 15: "But if it doesn’t please you to worship Yahweh, choose for yourselves today the one you will worship: the gods your fathers worshiped beyond the Euphrates River or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living. As for me and my family, we will worship Yahweh” (emphasis added).

By the same token, though, the mixing of LORD and Yahweh in the same verse somehow seems unusual. Consider the following two examples:

"But Jehoshaphat said, 'Isn’t there a prophet of the LORD here? Let’s inquire of Yahweh through him.'” (2 Kings 3:11) 
"So they called out to the LORD: 'Please, Yahweh, don’t let us perish because of this man’s life, and don’t charge us with innocent blood! For You, Yahweh, have done just as You pleased.'” (Jonah 1:14)

Somehow the mixing of LORD and Yahweh seems a bit unusual as if to suggest they're two separate words in the underlying Hebrew. Or take for example Psalm 119. יהוה occurs 24 times in Psalm 119 (1, 12, 31, 33, 41, 52, 55, 57, 64–65, 75, 89, 107–108, 126, 137, 145, 149, 151, 156, 159, 166, 169, 174), but Yahweh only occurs in v. 55 because "name" is specifically mentioned.

A Few Others
More comparisons will have to come later, but I did take a moment to look at the HCSB page over at the Better Bibles Blog. In the comments, a number of people suggested certain phrasings/renderings in the 2004 text that could be improved. Of course, these are varied opinions, and not everyone would agree that each suggestion is valid. Nevertheless, I decided to take a quick scan through those suggestions to see if any had been updated in the 2009 text. There weren't really very many that have been changed (and if you don't see it below, it remains the same), but besides Eph 2:2 and the issue over the choice of deluge, I found these:

Genesis 4:1
Adam knew his wife Eve intimately, and she conceived and gave birth to Cain. She said, “I have had a male child with the LORD’s help.” Adam was intimate with his wife Eve, and she conceived and gave birth to Cain. She said, “I have had a male child with the LORD’s help.”

Proverbs 11:8
The righteous is rescued from trouble;
in his place, the wicked goes in
The righteous one is rescued from trouble;
in his place, the wicked one goes in.

1 Peter 2:6
For it stands in Scripture:

Look! I lay a stone in Zion,
a chosen and valuable cornerstone,
and the one who believes in Him
will never be put to shame!
For it is contained in Scripture:

Look! I lay a stone in Zion,
a chosen and honored cornerstone,
and the one who believes in Him
will never be put to shame!

Revelation 1:12
I turned to see the voice that was speaking to me. When I turned I saw seven gold lampstands, I turned to see whose voice it was that spoke to me. When I turned I saw seven gold lampstands,

1 John 3:17
If anyone has this world’s goods and sees his brother in need but shuts off his compassion from him—how can God’s love reside in him? If anyone has this world’s goods and sees his brother in need but closes his eyes to his |need|—how can God’s love reside in him?

1 Peter 1:13
Therefore, get your minds ready for action,  being self-disciplined, and set your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. Therefore, with your minds ready for action, be serious and set your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.

A number of chapter comparisons between the 2004 and 2008 editions have been posted at the Christian Insight website. Robert Jimenez has written a number of posts about the 2009 HCSB on Inquiring Minds. Also, a special HT to Robert for alerting everyone to the new HCSB website, (you'd think that Lifeway would send out emails to HCSB supporters about this). Will Lee at Anwoth has an interview with Dr. Blum, the general editor of the HCSB, specifically about the second edition. And, of course, the ETS paper Dr. Blum presented last year comparing the HCSB to other translations was based upon the changes found in the 2009 text.

Again, once the 2009 text is available in Accordance, changes will be easier to determine, when I can set the 2004 and 2009 texts side by side and run Accordance's comparison feature. And, of course, I look forward to getting a print copy of the 2009 HCSB text in hand--even if that doesn't occur until 2010! What about you? Anyone else with a copy of the 2009 text? What other changes stand out to you? Anything significant? Leave your thoughts in the comments.

PrintView Printer Friendly Version

Reader Comments (34)

I'm glad we share the same view about those "annoying" brackets. I see a few changes along the gender lines. A good start. :-D

October 10, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterT.C. Robinson

Thanks for this, Rick. As an Eastern Orthodox Christian, I find the increased use of the name "Yahweh" problematic. Although I've never been a great fan of the HCSB, I've consulted it often in the past, and sometimes I have read it exclusively for short stretches of time. This change will consign it to the end of the shelf where I have the JB and the NJB -- that is, the place where I put unique translations for which, however, I have little practical use.

Re: 1 Peter 1:13, what is up with that rendering of νήφοντες? Come on, HCSB translators, be serious!

October 10, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterEsteban Vázquez

Michael Card uses the HCSB in his new book. Card is not only a musician, but also has an MA in NT from Western Kentucky Univ. where he studied with
William Lane.

October 10, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterClay Knick

Actually, those brackets should be disappearing completely. There will probably even be some textual changes in the print edition from what you have in the electronic edition, according to some conversations with the HCSB's Brand Manager.

October 10, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterWill


That's good to hear.

October 10, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterT.C. Robinson

By the way," rel="nofollow">here's the link for that.

October 10, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterWill

Will, sorry I missed your earlier post. That's very good news about the elimination of the brackets. I hope they'll hold to that.

October 10, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterR. Mansfield

[...] HCSB 2009: A Brief Survey of Selected Changes [...]

The use of the supposed vocalization of God's name is not only problematic to Orthodox Christians, but also to Jews, for whom the Third Commandment (to Catholics, the Second Commandment) implies that God's name is not be used (until the Temple is rebuilt, when the Name will be used by the High Priest in the Holy of Holies on Yom Kippur day).

Pope Benedict XVI has expressed his concern about the use of the word (which is not allowed in the Catholic liturgy by order of the Vatican). The most recent version of the Jerusalem Bible in English (the CTS edition) omits the word. My understanding is that new translations may not use it and receive the imprimatur. And similarly, the word is a problem for many high-church Protestants.

Now -- before you think to yourself -- well what does that matter with a Protestant translation (one closely affiliated with the SBC) -- consider -- we don't actually know how God's Name is [was] pronounced. The standard vocalization is a plausible guess but it is not the only possible vocalization. Given the reverence with which almost all Jews and Christians hold God's Name, consider what it would mean to consistently miswrite and mispronounce God's Name -- in formal church and learning settings!

October 11, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterLarry

Larry, I certainly have high regard for Jewish tradition, and I mean no disrespect here, but I've always felt that Jewish practice of not saying God's revealed name is a misunderstanding of Ex 20:7. The intent "not to take/carry (‏נשׂא) the name of God in vain" never meant to never speak the name. Not speaking the name simply misses the point.

And by the way, I don't know if the HCSB rendering of Ex 20:7 is all that helpful here: "Do not misuse the name of the LORD your God" because that would seem to relegate the meaning to simply swearing when it actually means more than that (although that's included as well).

I believe it has much more to do with claiming allegiance to this particular God and then acting or living one's life as if this were not the case or as if that allegiance did not really matter. This was very much a concern in ancient Israel where people who professed Israel's God often involved themselves with pagan rituals as if it didn't matter. Or as a modern example, the politician who makes a big deal about his spiritual beliefs to win votes and then is exposed in a longtime sex scandal.

And, of course, it had other meanings as well--using the name for incantations and the like, as well as the common reduction to simply "swearing."

To simply avoid saying the name as if that will keep one from breaking the commandment misses the point of the commandment itself. It creates an unnecessary legalism, the very kind of legalism of which Jesus often found himself at odds with the Pharisees.

Now having said that, Christians who have the freedom to use the name should not use that freedom to provoke unnecessary offense. Years ago, I was a teaching assistant at a local Catholic university and one of the students in the class was a practicing Jew. As I graded her papers, I never took issue with her over the fact that she would never even completely spell out the word God. I didn't feel that was my place even if I disagreed with this kind of restriction. If I were teaching on Sunday morning, and I knew for certain that a person of Jewish background was part of the class, I would not use the name Yahweh out of consideration for my guest. In this I take the "gentleness and respect" aspect of 1 Peter 3:15-16 very seriously.

But all of that doesn't mean that in every context I feel the need to avoid using the name of God. I have the freedom to do so, but again I should use such freedom wisely.

In these places I referred to in the post such as Elijah on Mt. Carmel, or Joshua before the Israelites, the use of God's name makes much more sense and people have a better understanding of the text. I have no problem with the passage being translated in this way, and in fact applaud it because I've read these texts aloud that way for years when teaching these passages.

As for the exact pronunciation being unknown, yes this is true, but I think Yahweh is a pretty good guess. Obviously the name of Ἰησοῦς wasn't pronounced GEE-ZUS either. But it's the spirit of intent behind such things that's more important that the particulars in my view.

Again, I intend no disrespect in my response. I'm merely stating my position as a point of discussion.

October 12, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterR. Mansfield

Rick, that's an interesting interpretation, but one that I don't agree with.

"To take up" in Exodus 20:7 is an ellipsis on "to take up on the lips" -- see for example, Psalms 16:4, 50:16.

The Hebrew לַשָּׁוְא has a dual, ambiguous meaning. It can mean "falsely" (see Exodus 23:1, Ezekiel 13:6–9; Psalms 24:4, 144:8,11; Job 7:3) but it can also mean "for nothing" (1 Samuel 25:21; Jeremiah 2:30; 4:30; 6:29; 46:11; Psalm 127:1). This latter meaning is quite together with the literal meaning "to take up on the lips" gives the Jewish interpretation -- it is a literal interpretation rather than an allegorical interpretation (as you give) but it is -- I argue -- a valid interpretation.

In any case, it is clear from many, many passages in the Bible that the Name of God has special meaning. We sing praise to God's Name (Psalms 7:17, 9:2, 18:49), we give glory due His Name (Psalm 29:2), we exalt His Name (Psalm 34:3), and we fear His Name (Psalm 61:5). God's Name defends us (Psalm 20:1) and saves us (Psalm 54:1). We trust in His Name for deliverance (Psalm (Psalm 33:21). His Name endures forever (Psalms 72:17, 135:13). His Name reaches to the ends of the earth (Psalm 48:10). His name is holy (and note, importantly, "holy" means separate) and awesome (Psalm 111:9). God guides us His Name's sake (Psalm 23:3). It is the Name of God that brings both judgment and blessings (Isaiah 30:27). In other words there is a clear identification between God and God's Name. And, by the doctrine of holiness (= separateness) the faithful keep a distance from the Name.

So, when God makes His Name dwell in a place (Deuteronomy 12:5,11,21; 14:23-24; 1 Kings 8:29; 9:3; 2 Kings 23:27) that place becomes a location of His special presence. To say that God's Name dwells in that place means that God Himself dwells there. God's Name is God's glory: when Moses asks God to see His glory, He exponds His Name (Exodus 33:18-19; see also Psalm 102:15 and Isaiah 59:19). To say God's Name is "in" an angel is to say that the angel has the authority of God (Exodus 23:21).

God has put His Name on His people (Numbers 6:27, Jeremiah 14:9) and on that basis, they pray for deliverance for His Name's sake (Jeremiah 14:21).

This carries even over to the New Testament. Jesus's divinity is proven in a remarkable way -- Peter heals in the name of Jesus (Acts 4:7-10) and there is no other "name under heaven ... by which we must be saved (Acts 4:12). In Acts 5:41, the apostles who left the Sanhedrin rejoiced that they had been counted worthy of suffering for the "name".

Following Isaiah 45:23, Paul says that every knee shall bow and every tongue shall give praise to God (Romans 14:11), but he clarifies in Phillipians 2:10-11 that this applies to the name of Jesus. In Romans 10:13, Paul quotes Joel 2:32 that everyone who calls on the Name of God will be saved and applies this to the name of Jesus. See also 1 Corinthians 1:2 and James 5:14. Baptism is done in the Name of God (and the rest of the Trinity) in Matthew 28:19.

Regardless of Biblical basis, it is clear that Jewish tradition clearly treats the name itself as holy (that is -- separate) which is amply illustrated throughout well-established Jewish law. And, in Jewish mysticism, God's Name has special powers (perhaps the most surprising of which is classic story of the chief rabbi of Prague's creation of the golem by inscribing the Name on a homunculus-shaped piece of clay.

Now why does this matter? I think it matters for inter-religious dialogue. Perhaps it does not matter in a purely sectarian environment, but even there, it builds certain habits. Regardless of whether or not your exegesis is correct, it is certainly a red flag for Jews (and problematic for non-Protestant Christians). I can still imagine settings where it might be appropriate (e.g., certain academic situations) but I'm less convinced that it is appropriate for a general translation -- and certainly not for a translation that aspires to universal use (and not to be classified as only a "Baptist translation.")

October 12, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterLarry

Larry, I agree with much of what you say in the comment above with the exception of a blanket prohibition against pronouncing the name. There's obviously a wide range of meaning in the command.

Some of what I was describing as well as other points to made are found in Durham's exegesis in the Word commentary. I've also read Dan Block on the subject, but can't place the source at this exact moment.

Regardless, I know the commandment is not a blanket prohibition against saying the name. To suggest so merely creates a "hedge" around the commandment and in doing so, misses the point of it.

Again, I don't mean disrespect; I simply disagree. You're right that this usage in the HCSB may very well limit its widespread use outside of Evangelical circles. Fortunately, we have a wide variety of translations for various uses and audiences.

It's interesting though, that this seems to have only become a significant issue in the last few years. Translations using the divine name have been around for a while-- the ASV, JB, and NJB for instance. The HCSB uses the name less than 10% of the times of these other translations--only in specific contexts.

Ultimately, God gave us his name for a reason. It was not so we could try to manipulate him--thus the commandment in Ex 20:7, but it was so we could have relationship with him. Teaching that we cannot ever use the name creates an extra burden and adds an unneeded barrier to that relationship that he desires to have with us.

October 12, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterR. Mansfield

I have noticed that the Kindle edition has the 2009 text.

October 13, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterSteve Skinner

It’s interesting though, that this seems to have only become a significant issue in the last few years.

Well, this is not correct. It has been a controversial topic ever since it was coined in 1516. (See, for example, the citations and discussions in the Oxford English Dictionary). The first use of it in English Bible translation, of course, was Tyndale in 1530 (and even here, his use was so shocking that he had to footnote his use with a reference to Wycliffe's use of "Adonoy").

I must say I am surprised that you do not mention the use of its use in the KJV and the Geneva versions.

Note that this use was reportedly a heavily criticized aspect of the ASV as this preliminary report on the RSV mentions:

George Dahl, "Revision of the American Standard Version", Journal of Bible and Religion (Oxford University Press) (May 1941), p. 105: "So far as the American Version is concerned, the most unpopular change was undoubtedly the substitution of the composite name, Jehovah, for the old form LORD (with capitals)."

This hardly seems to be an exaggeration since, all translations deriving from the ASV have dropped its use, including the RSV, NASB, and the JPS 1917 (note the wide spectrum of views in those translations).

October 13, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterLarry

I'm not suggesting it was never questioned. Certainly it has. Not to mention the fact that "Jehovah" is simply an incorrect designation itself.

It appears (to me) that use of the name has become a more significant issue to some in recent years.

October 13, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterR. Mansfield

First of all, let me say that I enjoy reading your blog; your insights have inspired me to begin my own search for a primary translation, though I will confess to being somewhat frustrated with my progress so far. There are some things I like (and don't like) about every translation, and a translation that fits both my theological perspective and my preferred reading/study style has proven elusive so far.

Anyway, I've noticed that much has been happening with Bible translations lately--the demise of the TNIV (which was one of my favorites, incidentally), revisions to the NLT and HCSB, the (slightly more) widespread availability of the NET, and the announcement of a major revision of the NIV in 2011, just to name a few. I was wondering--is there a chance that you might revisit/amend your list of top ten translations in light of recent developments?

Thanks for all your hard work!

October 17, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterChad Whitley

[...] the HCSB is crisp and modern. I like reading from it. I’ve heard that it is under-going some changes and from what I’ve seen, I’m not too impressed with some of the renderings the [...]

October 19, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterHCSB Update « Absolute T

In a recent email response from Dr. Blum to some of my inquiries about the 2E, these are some of his responses:
1) The brackets are disappearing (yeah!).
2) The bullets are staying (ugh).
3) "The Lord's declaration" will remain "The Lord's declaration."
4) The first hard copy to be printed ca. Feb 2010 will be the Apologetics Bible and/or the Ministers Bible, to be followed by a Study Bible in the Fall.
5) They have hired a new marketing director and there will be a more aggressive marketing strategy for the HCSB 2e (I would hope so, but I'll believe it when I see it).
6) Dr. Blum would like to see a quality leather-bound pocket New Testament, but he wasn't sure that was going to happen.

Hope this helps.


October 25, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterWandering Friar

Useful article! I appreciate the comments too. This discussion prompted me to buy a 2004 HCSB yesterday, as I personally much prefer the old convention of LORD in small caps. Since the capitalized pronouns and the black bullets are not being removed, I thought I'd better get the current version while it's still around.

I also find the use of boxes (e.g. the charge put up on the cross, Mt 27.37) strange. These quirks work against the HCSB becoming my primary version, but all said I value the HCSB translation for the insights it provides (e.g. its rendering of Jn 3.16) and the useful footnotes.

December 19, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterdarrelltan

[...] For my interests, I’m very excited to be able to finally do  a full comparison of changes in the updated HCSB text. This text is not being referred to as a “second edition” by Lifeway because they said the number of changes didn’t warrant it (after seeing for myself, I disagree, but, hey, I’m not the publisher). Last year an electronic copy of the updated text was first released in WORDsearch although we were told print editions wouldn’t see the changes until this year (2010). Based on my own hunting through the WORDsearch text, I wrote a post “HCSB 2009: A Brief Survey of Selected Changes.” [...]

[...] the HCSB is crisp and modern. I like reading from it. I’ve heard that it is under-going some changes and from what I’ve seen, I’m not too impressed with some of the renderings the [...]

[...] minor improvements to the HCSB translation on every page and many major changes as well. I posted a preliminary survey of the changes to the text a few months ago, and I hope to write more on this in the future. Note 2010 copyright for the HCSB [...]

I read where the HCSB has a new rendering wherein several changes were made in the text. The question then is , "Which of the two is the real HCSB text?" Which of the two translation committees was supposedly correct? That the big problem with re-publishing a different text every year or two with the same name.

June 26, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLarry (2)

Larry, you say your read this–where? In this post? I hope you read the post above before just commenting. Tread carefully because if you come here just for the purposes of arguing without paying any attention to the post itself, that is a violation of my commenting policy and you can become banned. Just a fair warning. If you’re here for legitimate discussion, you are always more than welcome.

As for the HCSB, let me begin with your last statement. The HCSB has not been re-published with a new text every year or two. The text for the entire Bible was released in 2004. Updates were made to the text in 2009 and they are just now seeing print this year.

I can tell you that for the most part, the changes are stylistic in nature. There were some awkward phrasings that were corrected in particular and lots of minor tweaks made along the way. The decision was made to use the divine name more often as opposed to the traditional LORD. But again, if you’ve read my post above, you know this.

Which translation committee was correct? Well, in a sense, that’s a straw man question because it was the same committee merely improving on their work. ALL translations do this. Generally a translation is released and then based upon feedback and their own discussions, changes are made, and usually these are primarily stylistic in nature. Even the KJV went through this process.

So, it’s not a matter of which is the real HCSB text; they both are. The 2009 text is the one that the publishers are using from this point forward, though.

June 26, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterR. Mansfield

I may be in the minority, but the elimination of the brackets is a minus for me. I felt that the brackets were one of the strong contributions of the HCSB. I've found the itallicization of words in the KJV/ASV/NKJV/NASB to be a bit too frequently used and sometimes misleading, but I've found that some sort of mechanism for signaling to the reader that words have been inserted is very helpful for several reasons. I found the HCSB, with its generous use of footnotes in combination with the lower case brackets, to be helpful in terms of forging a middle way forward.

June 28, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterH Jim

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>