Bible Translation Week: Christian Standard Bible

By Noel Jesse  •  Sep 8, 2017 at 6:02am  •  Article

Today, I am wrapping up my weeklong series on Bible translations.  Join me this week at Riverview as we launch into a new series where we are going to preach oneish sermon from each book of the Bible.

 

 

 

The Christian Standard Bible (CSB) is the new kid on the block when it comes to Bible translations.  It literally came out this year and it is already making quite a splash, securing a lot of impressive endorsements.  Of course, it’s published by the juggernaut Lifeway so that probably helps.

Why the CSB Bible?

Whenever a new translation of the Bible comes out, the obvious questions is “Why?”  I mean, don’t we have enough translations already?  The answer is always twofold: scholarship and readability.  Our Statement of Faith at Riverview says,

“We believe the Bible is inspired by God, the only infallible, authoritative Word of God. It is composed of the 66 books of the Old and New Testament, and was written without error in the original manuscripts. It is the highest authority over all other forms of revelation.”

Notice the italicized section?  The Bible was written without error in the original manuscripts.  The message of the Bible is consistent and has been remarkably preserved down through history (more on that here) but there are always minor tweaks not just in study of the oldest copies of the Bible, but also in how our culture hears and understands certain words and phrases.  One example would be the word “slave.”  You read that word in a Western American context and your mind will immediately race to the African Slave Trade.  While there are plenty of commonalities between our history and the time of the Bible’s authorship, there are also significant differences.  Those need to be taken into account in modern translations.

The CBS uses a translation methodology called “Optimal Equivalence” that tries to land somewhere between a “Word for Word” translation and a “Thought for Thought” translation and I have to say they have done pretty well.  Here’s where they land (on a graphic they provide which is clearly biased toward their translation (not that it is untrue):

Graphic Courtesy of CSB.

How am I using the CSB?

As I am studying the Bible (especially for this series we are launching at Riv this weekend), I am reading the CSB alongside the ESV.  I have to admit, there have been several times I have preferred the CSB, mostly because the translation is smoother than the ESV.  While I am not ready to make the full leap to the CSB, you are definitely going to hear me preaching out of it and referencing it from time to time.

 

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