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July 28 2011 5 28 /07 /July /2011 08:47

The Holman Christian Standard Bible was a development of the King James Version associated with the Southern Baptist movement. It attempts to produce a readable version of the King James Version with optimal equivalence to the text. Supplied words are added at places along with substantial footnotes and this has caused some criticism.

The origins of the Holman version

The Holman Bible

The Holman Christian Standard Bible was the brainchild of Arthur Farstad, the general editor of the King James Version who launched an independent translation project. He linked up with Lifeway Christian Resources but when he died, his place was taken by Edwin Blum. The Holman Bible is strongly associated with the Southern Baptist movement in the United States which funded the project.

Translation philosophy

An interdenominational team of 100 scholars was gathered and they translated from certain well-respected texts: the Biblia Ebraica Stuttgartia for the Old Testament, the United Bible Society Greek New Testament and Nestle-Aland's Novum Testamentum Graece. They referred to other documents where necessary.

The translation attempts to tread a tightrope between literal and functional equivalence. This is between a word for word translation which does not always read well in modern English and it is an adaptation to give the proper sense of the text.

The team opted for the happy medium of what they called optimal equivalence, though this has not been universally accepted as a valid approach.


The translator's aim was to render the text more readable to the common reader.To this end, the translation included a number of supplied words in italics. These were always included if there was a difficulty in understamding the sense of the text properly without them.

There is no questioning the honesty of the translation which identifies supplied words, though some scholars have argued about specific words that they believe do not adequately render the give out meaning of the text.

However, for the sake of meticulous honesty, the translators have added many footnotes to show alternative readings of the text. The Holman Bible publishers have added more footnotes than there are in any other Bible translation so that those who want to study the Bible will be well-guided.

It is generally agreed that the translation is not biased though there were criticisms of the translation of Christ's statement to Peter in Matthew "Whatever you bind on Earth will be bound in heaven and what you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven."

It was noted that this text which sits uneasily with Baptist theology of authority was rephrased as "will have been loosed," which does not translate the text accurately but sits more easily with Baptist thought than the literal translation. (Bibleresearcher.com)

bible study and notes

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