What is the CSB?
The Christian Standard Bible (CSB) is a highly trustworthy, faithful translation that is proven to be an optimal blend of accuracy and readability. It’s as literal to the original as possible without sacrificing clarity. The CSB is poised to become the translation that pastors rely on and Bible readers turn to again and again to read and to share with others.
Each individual book of the Bible measures at a different reading level, due to differing writing styles of the biblical authors; some books are more readable than others. The average reading level for the entire text of the Christian Standard Bible is 7th grade.
The Christian Standard Bible (CSB) is a revision of the Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB), updating translation and word choices in order to improve on the HCSB’s balance of faithfulness and clarity, as well as to enhance the shareability of the translation to new Christians or those reading the Bible for the first time.
How is the Christian Standard Bible (CSB) different from the Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)?
The Christian Standard Bible is a revision of the HCSB, updating translation and word choices in order to optimize both fidelity to the original languages and clarity for a modern audience. The Translation Oversight Committee, co-chaired by Drs. Tom Schreiner and David Allen, incorporated advances in biblical scholarship and input from Bible scholars, pastors, and readers to sharpen both accuracy and readability.
We are committed to improving the translation based on advances in biblical scholarship and input from Bible scholars, pastors, and readers. Taking each of these factors into consideration, the Christian Standard Bible has improved on the HCSB’s faithfulness to the original text and clarity for a modern audience.
Holman Bible Publishers carries the name of a Philadelphia-based book binder, Andrew Jackson Holman and has a proud heritage as the oldest North American Bible publisher, dating back to 1743. While the publishing entity retains the name, the Holman family name in the name of a Bible translation often created more questions than answers. “Christian Standard Bible” removes those questions and increases appeal to the broad audience that the CSB is designed to serve.
There are no immediate plans, but we are considering it in the future.
Who is behind the CSB?
The revision and oversight committee, co-chaired by Dr. Tom Schreiner and Dr. David Allen, is composed of top biblical scholars from variety of colleges and seminaries and a range of conservative, evangelical viewpoints and denominations. These scholars provide oversight for the Christian Standard Bible, keeping the text up-to-date with current biblical scholarship and ensuring clarity for a modern audience. See complete list of Translation Oversight Committee members and their biographical information.
Holman Bible Publishers, a division of LifeWay, is the non-profit ministry that holds the copyright of the CSB and is responsible for its stewardship.
One hundred scholars from 17 denominations translated the HCSB from the original Hebrew, Greek, and Aramaic manuscripts. Keeping that trans-denominational focus, the revision and oversight committee of the CSB is comprised of top biblical scholars from a variety of conservative, evangelical denominations, including Southern Baptist, Lutheran, Presbyterian, conservative Anglican and non-denominational Bible churches. See more information about these world-class biblical scholars here.
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What is the CSB's translation philosophy and how does it compare to other translations?
The CSB was created using optimal equivalence, a translation philosophy that pursues both linguistic precision to the original languages and readability in contemporary English. This process ensures that both the words and thoughts contained in the original text are conveyed as accurately as possible for today’s readers. Learn more.
The CSB was created using optimal equivalence, a translation philosophy that pursues both linguistic precision to the original languages and readability in contemporary English. It is as literal a translation of the ancient source texts as possible, but, in the many places throughout Scripture where a word-for-word rendering might obscure the meaning for a modern audience, it uses a more dynamic translation. In all cases, the intent is to convey the original meaning of God’s Word as faithfully and as clearly as possible. See how the CSB compares to other literal and dynamic translations here.
Yes. The CSB is translated directly from the best available Hebrew, Greek and Aramaic source texts into English by biblical scholars who affirm the authority of Scripture as the inerrant Word of God and seek the highest level of accuracy in their translation. The CSB is as literal a translation of the original languages as possible while still balancing clarity in English, making it ideal not only for preaching and study, but also for reading and sharing with others.
The CSB is a highly accurate preaching text, translated directly from the best available Hebrew, Greek, and Aramaic source texts into English by biblical scholars who affirm the authority of Scripture as the inerrant Word of God; its source texts are the standard used by scholars and seminaries today. The text is not only highly accurate, it’s also remarkably clear; the CSB has been proven to optimize both accuracy and readability, making it accessible for your church members to also read on their own and to share with others. Learn more about the translation philosophy.
The textual base for the New Testament is the Nestle-Aland Novum Testamentum Graece, 28th edition, and the United Bible Societies’ Greek New Testament, 5th corrected edition. The text for the Old Testament is the Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia, 5th edition. Where there are significant differences among Hebrew, Aramaic, or Greek manuscripts, the translators follow what they believe is the original reading and indicate the main alternative(s) in footnotes.
The Christian Standard Bible retains a traditional approach to translating gender language into English. Masculine terms (Father, Son, King, etc.) and pronouns (he, him, his) are retained whenever they refer to God. To improve accuracy, the Translation Oversight Committee chose to avoid being unnecessarily specific in passages where the original context did not exclude females. When Scripture presents principles or generic examples that are not restricted to males, the CSB does not use “man,” “he,” or other masculine terms. At the same time, the translators did not make third person masculine pronouns inclusive by rendering them as plurals (they, them), because they believed it was important to retain the individual and personal sense of these expressions. Learn more.
The original text of Scripture does not distinguish pronouns referring to God by capitalization. Most Bible translations (including the King James Version) have followed this example and do not capitalize pronouns that refer to God. The Christian Standard Bible (CSB) adopts the traditional approach of not capitalizing pronouns and referents for two primary reasons. First, the original text of Scripture is not always clear about to whom a particular pronoun may be referring; translations that capitalize any reference to a divine person are often forced into making unnecessary judgment calls in passages where the interpretation is debatable. Second, since Scripture sometimes includes prophecies that have double fulfillment, the choice to capitalize a pronoun can have the unintended outcome of erasing the additional, non-divine meaning. Learn more.
Traditionally, English Bible translations have chosen not to supply vowels in order make the name of God (YHWH) pronounceable; they simply render this name as a title (Lord). The CSB Translation Oversight Committee chose to come into alignment with other English translations, departing from the HCSB practice of utilizing “Yahweh” in the text. The HCSB was inconsistent, rendering YHWH as “Yahweh” in only 656 of 6,000+ occurrences of YHWH, because full consistency would be overwhelming to the reader. Yet feedback from readers also showed that the unfamiliarity of “Yahweh” was an obstacle to reading the HCSB. In addition, when quoting Old Testament texts that include an occurrence of YHWH, the New Testament renders YHWH with the word kurios, which is a title (Lord) rather than a personal name. This supports the direction of bringing the CSB is in line with most English translations, rendering YHWH as Lord. Learn more.
In our context, the word “slave” primarily brings to mind our history of race-based slavery. The theologically appropriate connotation of the word is lost on most readers. In light of this obstacle, it seemed best to the Translation Oversight Committee to choose a word that is less apt to cause distraction and misunderstanding. Furthermore, the choice to render doulos as “servant” rather than “slave” aligns with the Old Testament’s use of ‘eved in reference to followers of God, and the New Testament’s use of a Greek word specifically meaning “servant” rather than “slave” when quoting from the Old Testament. The CSB retains the use of “slave” in contexts where slavery or a slave are clearly in view, but for references to Christian discipleship, “servant” is used. Learn more.
In the New Testament, how did the translation oversight committee decide whether to translate Greek Christos as “Messiah” or “Christ”?
New Testament scholars have debated over the years whether the Greek Christos is a proper name or a messianic title. Recently, a third option has presented itself: an honorific (e.g., “Augustus” for Augustus Caesar). The messianic import of an honorific will come to the surface in some texts and not necessarily in others, where it can effectively function as a proper name. The committee has therefore used “Christ” as the default translation wherever there is scholarly debate. When scholars are unanimous that Israel’s messianic heritage is in view, the committee uses “Messiah.”
Bible translators have access to more scholarship about the ancient manuscripts than was available at the time of older English translations (for example, the King James Version, published in 1611). The CSB (like NIV, ESV, NLT, and others) draws on the best manuscripts available as recognized by top biblical scholars. At points these older (closest-to-the-original) manuscripts do not include some phrases that were translated in earlier English translations.
The Christian Standard Bible uses textual footnotes to show important differences among Hebrew manuscripts and other texts such as the Septuagint and the Vulgate for the Old Testament and between various Greek manuscripts for the New Testament. The footnotes also show literal or alternate English translations of the same Hebrew, Aramaic, or Greek text, providing an excellent resource for serious study of God’s Word.
The CSB translation committee made several improvements to the 2017 edition of the CSB in January 2020. The improvements to the CSB total less than 1% change of the text. The adjustments within the CSB Text Edition: 2020 are neither radical nor extensive because the translation committee is happy with the work previously carried out. Further, they do not intend to regularly update the text with minor changes such as this. Still, good translation procedure requires any translation committee to be open to make changes as necessary. Learn more about the 2020 updates and find the full list of changes here.
Where can I find the CSB?
The Christian Standard Bible is available for free on your iOS and Android devices. Read the full text of the CSB at read.csbible.com or on Kindle, Bible.com, Bible Gateway, YouVersion, and more. We are working diligently with many partners to ensure that you will be able to access the Christian Standard Bible everywhere Bible translations appear.
Who do I contact?
Bulk discounts for the CSB Pew or Outreach Bibles start at 30% off! Email email@example.com to discuss bulk discount options for your church today.
Our Translation Oversight Committee is dedicated to making the CSB text reliable and accurate, and we know that with this comes the responsibility of being open to make changes as necessary. If you think you found an error in your Bible, please fill out this form. Our team reviews these reports on a regular basis and will make adjustments in future print runs. Thank you for taking the time to report this and helping us make the CSB reliable and accurate.
Holman Bibles desires to produce the highest quality Bibles that will last you a lifetime. If your CSB is beginning to show signs of wear and tear or the binding seems to be loosening, we would be happy to replace this. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org with the 13 digit ISBN, pictures of the issue, and the best address to send a replacement to.
You can contact LifeWay customer at email@example.com or 1-800-458-2772.
The text of the Christian Standard Bible may be quoted in any form (written, visual, electronic, or audio) up to 1,000 verses without the written permission of the publisher, provided that the verses quoted do not account for more than 50 percent of the work in which they are quoted, and provided that a complete book of the Bible is not quoted. The following credit lines must appear:
Scripture quotations marked CSB have been taken from the Christian Standard Bible®, Copyright © 2017 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Christian Standard Bible® and CSB® are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers.
Requests for permission beyond the 1,000 verses should be directed to and approved in writing by Holman Bible Publishers, One LifeWay Plaza, Nashville, Tennessee 37234.
For further questions, email firstname.lastname@example.org.