The Problem of Choosing A Good Bible Translation

How do you find a good Bible translation? Well, it depends on what language you speak. If you speak English, I can recommend the Holman Christian Standard Bible. It’s my choice of the modern translations because it is accurate, it is readable, and it is not as theologically biased as some translations tend to be.

If you aren’t satisfied with my recommendation then I will happily point you to Mark Strauss and Gordon Fee’s book entitled, How to Choose a Translation For All Its Worth.

The problem of choosing a translation in English is a minor problem. If you grab an NIV or an HCSB or an ESV or even the older KJV you will be reading the Truth (just don’t fall into the trap thinking that The Message is a translation!). There are nuances where a word choice could have been more precise or might have captured the original meaning more clearly, but it’s a minor problem that is solved by careful exegesis of the text.

There are bigger problems to worry about.

Bible Translations Needed

What if you don’t speak English? Well, there are Bible translations in 4,516 languages. There are even some languages that also have numerous versions to select from, though I don’t know if it is to the extent of the selection in the English language.

My Top 11 Posts In 2011 // Plus A Free Gift!

I thought I’d take a minute to thank you for reading, commenting, and sharing my blog posts in 2011!

As a way of showing my appreciation, I’d like to give one of my readers a new NIV Archaeological Study Bible from Zondervan. I’ll explain how you can get a copy below.

But first, here are my top 11 posts from 2011:

  1. Making Disciple-Making Disciples – “Sermons, seminars, and classes need to be extra-curricular to the more risky and time consuming core curriculum of modeling a transformed life in front of others.”
  2. Bible Translations, Tools and Tech for the 21st Century: HCSB – “After 2,000 years of church history we have never been more advanced technologically nor have we ever had more ancient manuscripts and a better understanding of the ancient world than we do now. My view is that the Holman Christian Standard Bible does the best job (not perfect job) of utilizing all of these new innovations and ancient manuscripts to give us the most trustworthy English translation yet.” 

Introducing A New HCSB Audio Bible [Review]

[Update 9.2.11: The audio version of the HCSB New Testament is now available on for free.]

There is a new voice only recording of the Holman Christian Standard Bible New Testament read by Dale McConachie. Dale kindly gave me a free download for review and I have to say, I really like it. Ever since YouVersion added access to audio Bibles, I’ve found myself listening to the Bible a lot. Since they have yet to include an HCSB audio Bible, I was excited about this new audio Bible since it is my translation of choice.

To begin, let me say that there is already an official audio recording of the HCSB read by actor David Payne that can be bought on Amazon for $63. The product description says, “Audio edition of the complete HCSB translation on 64 compact discs, dramatically and dynamically read by actor David Payne.” This virtually ensures that I will never use this audio version. I can’t imagine paying $63 and uploading 66 books of the Bible to my computer from 64 cds. I’m also turned off by “dramatically and dynamically read”. I’m further turned off that there is background music.

So, again, I’m excited to announce the voice only audio version that Dale is working on. Before I go into some of the reasons why I like Dale’s version, I should say that I primarily use the NLT audio Bible and have enjoyed it to some extent but this new HCSB version is fast becoming my favorite.

Bible Translations, Tools and Tech for the 21st Century: HCSB

Translating, studying, and sharing the Bible has never been easier thanks to the technology that is available to us today. There are plenty of innovations out there but in this series of posts I want to share with you some of the tools I’m using and why. Welcome to the 21st century of studying the Bible!

The first part of this series will highlight the translation I use and why I believe modern advancements in linguistics, technology, archaeology, research and collaboration make it the best English translation available.

The Holman Christian Standard Bible is the most balanced version of the Bible that exists today thanks to contemporary scholarship, technology, and archaeology.

21st Century Translation – The HCSB is a contemporary, readable, English translation that is based on the earliest manuscripts. Other popular translations are actually revisions of previous translations (such as the NKJV and the ESV).