HCSB paper at ETS

Mark Strauss was not the only scholar to present a paper on an English Bible version at the recent ETS conference. Ed Blum, General Director of the HCSB translation team, gave a paper titled A Comparison of the HCSB with Other Major Translations. Dr. Blum’s paper is now posted in its entirety on Rick Mansfield’s blog. Dr. Blum concludes:

In summary, the HCSB is more accurate than the NIV, ESV, or NLT. It reads well and has a modern, American vocabulary. Particular attention was devoted to clear and contemporary word order and formatting. The HCSB is more up-to-date in scholarship, and it offers more help and notes to the readers so they can understand what God is saying to them.

12 thoughts on “HCSB paper at ETS

  1. Bryon says:

    I really have to politely disagree with the statement, “the HCSB is more accurate than the NIV, ESV, or NLT.” The statement the “TNIV attempts to be gender neutral” is also bewildering to me.

    The HCSB fails to footnote alternative renderings as detailed as the TNIV, NIV, NRSV and the NLT have. At times cross references appear to make no sense at all. The HCSB feels rushed in places. It isn’t a bad translation. It has some unique and memorable wording, but there better choices out there for what I want in a translation.

  2. Wayne Leman says:

    Jeremy wrote:

    I agree the HCSB is slanted in it’s rendering of the New Testament.

    Can you share some examples? We like evidence from examples on this blog.

  3. Sam K says:

    I think the statement “the HCSB is more accurate than the NIV, ESV, or NLT” is misleading, or at least ambiguous. Couldn’t all translations say this about themselves?

  4. Wayne Leman says:

    I think the statement “the HCSB is more accurate than the NIV, ESV, or NLT” is misleading, or at least ambiguous. Couldn’t all translations say this about themselves?

    And many do. I noticed that statement also. It is very difficult to objectively evaluate *overall* accuracy of a Bible version. It is very difficult to objectively evaluate many things about a Bible version, *overall*. It is much safer, IMO, to evaluate translation wordings on a case-by-case basis. That is why we ask in our blog posting guidelines for commenters to include evidence to support claim. It is easy to make subjective statements saying one version is better than another. It is another matter to provide explicit evidence demonstrating in a scholarly way that one translation wording is better than another.

  5. Melody says:

    My main caveat with this is his take on the gender issue. He fails to provide an example of where the TNIV “overdoes it” in the gender issue. I also disagree with the comparison to NLTse, as he seems to be going for quantity rather than quality. What about the book of Proverbs, which continues to use “son” rather than “child”? The NLT makes the gender shift on this one, whereas the translators of the TNIV recognized that the book was originally intended for sons of the king.
    I also question his statement that the CSB is more accurate than the other translations. All translations have made that claim at some point or another without sufficient proof.

  6. Chris says:

    I am sorry but the HCSB is not more accurate than the NIV and ESV. NLT I will give you that one. Everytime I pick up a copy of the HCSB, I think I am reading a wishy-washy (if that is a word) copy of the Bible. Plus, replacing the word Blessed with Happy in the Psalms and Proverbs just want to make me vomit. Has the Body of Christ become so blind that we have to replace words that have little meaning with words that have a better meaning and not know the difference. I am sorry but I cannot call the HCSB an accurate translation but a want a be translation in lines with the NIV and ESV.

  7. Wayne Leman says:

    Chris, you have a right to your opinions, but we ask that such strong language not be used on this blog about any Bible version. Please see our Posting Guidelines in the top margin. You would be welcome to include specific examples from any translation you disagree with and state why you disagree with them.

  8. Robert Jimenez says:

    Wayne, I am really hoping that you all would do (and maybe you have), and serious review of the HCSB, and point out it’s strength and weakness. I know that Rick M. has, and I have read the others as well, but I think that you guys would do a fair and balance review of the HCSB.

    I still read it daily, but I am also reading the TNIV, and the NLT. Honestly, and this is subjective, but I love and hate the HCSB. I was hoping this would be the bible I stuck with for a long time, but now I have my doubts.

    I appreciate you guys and the service you provide the body of Christ.

  9. Wayne Leman says:

    Thanks for your kind words, Robert. Maybe we can do a review of the HCSB. Rick always does a great job with his reviews, but I’m sure we would be able to add something as well.

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