Speak Bible to Me: HCSB & LEB

There are many different Bible translations. Some make their claim as the "most literal" or "most accurate", but another category of translations steers more toward the feelings and intentions of Scripture versus being extremely literal. Moderate translations still strive for accuracy and are still pretty literal to a point, but they tone down the difficult jargon and make it easier for readers to understand what they are reading. A couple of Moderate translations are the HCSB and LEB.


The Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB) is an Optimal Equivalence translation based on ‘recognizing that form cannot be neatly separated from meaning and should not be changed.’ Holman Bible Publishing assembled a team of over 100 scholars from around the world and from 17 different denominations to complete the New Testament in 1999 and then the full bible in 2004.

1984 saw Arthur Farstad, the general editor for the NKJV, begin a new translation project based on the same texts used for the NKJV. This got halted when Farstad died 5 months into the work and the leadership transferred hands. The text used for the NT changed to use the Koine Greek (Novum Testamentum Graece) instead of the Greek Majority Text which Farstad helped author as the source text. The original CSB was to be published by LifeWay Christian Resources, the publishing arm of the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) which is why we know it as Holman CSB.

Fast forward to 2017, the CSB was released as an update of the HCSB. Holman Bible Publishers had become B&H Bible Publishing when joining LifeWay. From Publishers Weekly, ‘having Holman in the title was “an oddity, not an asset,” said Dr Jeremy Howard, B&H Bible publisher and renaming the new translation reflects its modernity.’ The revisions include using ‘Lord’ in place of ‘Yahweh’ for God’s personal name, in a return to the traditional practice seen in other English Bible versions, along with some other updates.


Lexham English Bible calls itself "your second Bible". Lexham says that the LEB compliments other translations as a sort of study buddy translation. It helps readers make sense of complicated terminology, idioms and phrases in the more literal translations, while LEB remains moderately literal. It is also a great translation to begin interlinear studies to cross examine the original texts to English. The simplicity of LEB allows for an easier first step into the original languages, especially when using software such as the Logos Bible Software, which Lexham recommends. LEB prides itself on having extremely transparent translation processes, again referencing the Logos Bible Software.

LEB was started by using the Lexham Hebrew-English Interlinear Bible and the Lexham Greek-English Interlinear New Testament. While so many translations are started with the mission of creating a more literal or accurate translation, the LEB was always intended to be used alongside your primary Bible in order to gain a new perspective and understand the difficult texts better.

Author Credits:

HCSB, Kennethan

LEB, JeanneDArcc









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