Friday, 13 January 2012

thumbs up for the HCSB

I don't like changing bible translations. I've never had a copy of the ESV. I like my NIV (1984 edition). However, I am, for the moment, using the Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB).

Holman (under LifeWay Christian Resources) is the publishing arm of the Southern Baptists Convention who apparently became fed up with having to pay so much to use NIV text in all their teaching resources so made their own translation (see here for more info). It is supposed to be more readable than the ESV but to have more formal equivalence (that sort of means you can match English words with Greek words) than the NIV. If that is the case, that's pretty remarkable.

I have decided to try it. Glen began using it a while ago to try it out. The Principal heard him reading it aloud while in class and came and asked what translation it was. He said he found it easy to follow and wanted one. Our children also find it easy to follow when it is read aloud. To my mind, if children, and ESL speakers find it easy to follow, then that is a pretty high recommendation.

I am appreciating the difference a new translation makes to bible reading. Different aspects of the story stand out. There are different emphases. I see things afresh or see new things.

There are things I don't like. I don't particularly like the type setting nor the great big bullet points that mark out something or other (if, like me, you don't read the preface to find out about what they mean, they get pretty annoying) and I find some of the expression clumsy. But on the whole, no big complaints from me, but I am not really qualified to assess a translation!

1 comment:

Erin said...

Interestingly one of the reasons I started using HCSB was because it was free to download to my phone, where as you have to pay for NIV. I generally don't like changing versions but had had alot of respected Christians say they liked it.
I like it too, and sometimes reading a different version of a well known passage makes me see things I had just read over before or understand things a bit differently. But don't think I'll be changing my paper copy any time soon (I have the 84 version of NIV, not as much of a fan of the New NIV, it feels a bit more wordy/clunky to read aloud than HCSB or NIV 84)