HCSB Study Bible by Holman Bible Publishers

Kent Shaffer —  January 17, 2013

hcsb study bible 1

If you aren’t familiar with Holman Bible Publishers, they have their own Bible translation called Holman Christian Standard Bible. It is designed to convey a sense of the original text with as much clarity as possible.

This scholarly approach combined with about 15,000 of study notes makes the HCSB Study Bible (hardback) a fresh experience for those who love to go deep in their Bible reading.

HCSB Study Bible

HCSB Study Bible

HCSB Study Bible

Holman Christian Standard Bible is a 2003 translation created by a team of 100 international, interdenominational scholars and proofreaders working to achieve “optimal equivalence” – a good balance between formal equivalence (literal, “word-for-word”, etc.) and functional equivalence (“thought-for-thought”).

John 3:16
For God loved the world in this way: He gave His One and Only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life.

James 1:27
Pure and undefiled religion before our[a] God and Father is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself unstained by the world.

The Scripture text is a nice 9-point black type with the study notes set at 7.5 point. Some study Bibles cram too much on each page for the sake of saving space, but this layout has a breathability that I wish more Bibles would imitate. Part of this is because 50% of each page is devoted to Scripture, and part of it is simply good typesetting for readability.

HCSB Study Bible

HCSB Study Bible

Personally, I’m not a fan of hardback Bible covers. They are far less comfortable to hold than leather covers and feel more suitable for desk reading (at least when over 2 inches thick).

The binding seems sturdy enough except where it connects with the spine using a few glued pages. It may hold up, but I’ve had several short lifespans with Bibles crafted this way.

HCSB Study Bible

HCSB Study Bible

However, the study features are well worth it. Features include 15,000 study notes, 290 word studies, 141 photographs, 62 timelines, 59 maps, 24 articles, 16 illustrations/reconstructions, 15 charts, and more. It be good.

While the hardback HCSB Study Bible is a good Bible, its value lies in its study tools, so buy yourself a leather version of it.

Translation: Holman Christian Standard Bible
Publisher: Holman Bible Publishers (2010)
ISBN: 978-1586405069
Language: English
Cost: $49.99

Cover: Jacketed Hardcover
Pages: 2,336 pages
Type: 9-point black text
Dimensions: 9.2″ x 7.2″ x 2.3″
Special Features: 15,000 study notes, 290 word studies, 141 photographs, 62 timelines, 59 maps, 24 articles, 16 illustrations/reconstructions, 15 charts, and more

This post features a complimentary review copy and Amazon links.

Kent Shaffer

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I live in an RV with my wife and 2 kids and work with OpenChurch.com to help Christians collaborate and build a global Church library of free, open content.