Tuesday, November 28, 2017

With the HCSB Out of Print, What Will You Preach from Now?

So let me say, I am bummed about the end of the Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB) back in March 2017. I would not have considered switching the translation I preached from had the HCSB stayed in print! You cannot even buy the HCSB anymore from Lifeway. What I really liked about it was the fact that the translated YHWH, found 6,828 places in Scripture, as “Yahweh” instead of “Lord,” and DOULOS was translated “slave” instead of “servant,” but that all changed in the CSB. The CSB scholars elected to translate YHWH as “Lord” and DOULOS as “servant.” So the CSB made their translations closer to the New American Standard Version and the English Standard Version with these changes. As noted in a previous post all the good translations have their strengths and weaknesses. The good ones include: English Standard Version (ESV), New American Standard Bible (NASB), New Revised Standard Version (NRSV), NIV (1984 edition), New Living Translation(NLT), and New King James Version (NKJV). I am not going to go into the strengths and weaknesses of each translation, because I have already written about this previously. I wanted to let you know that beginning in January I will begin preaching from the English Standard Version, and here is why:

1.    I like the overall "Word for Word" translation philosophy of the ESV. A bible must have readability, be easy enough to read, and fidelity to the original text, dynamic vs. literal. The closer the translation to the Word for Word means more authority carries over into the scripture reading, memorization, and preaching. Not to say there is no dynamic usage, but the overall leaning is towards the literal word for word.

2.    The ESV translation committee decided to stop translating after 17 years. In a September 2016 article by Christianity Today the chair of the translation committee stated, “The decision now to create the permanent text of the ESV was made with equally great care—so that people who love the ESV Bible can have full confidence in the ESV, knowing that it will continue to be published as is, without being changed, for the rest of their lives, and for generations to come,” We do not have to worry about crossway producing a NESV or a RESV anytime soon, like within my lifetime! That is not to say a time may come in the future to review, not because the word of God changes, but because the English language does change. So we will not have to worry about the rug being jerked out from under us.

3.    The ESV has been translated in the same tradition as the King James Version. The KJV is still a very trustworthy transition, and the ESV keeps this great heritage.

4.    The ESV is a smoother to read aloud in worship services than the NASB. Make no mistake the NASB is the most literal “Word for Word” translation, but it is awkward and wooden in places. The ESV is smoother for us in public settings.

5.    My Ordination Bible is an ESV. I know it is the weakest of my arguments, and maybe even selfish, but my ESV is like an old friend. I have sermon notes and thoughts scattered throughout!

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