The Holman Christian Standard Bible
Whose Standard is it?
By Will Kinney
The Holman CSB is the latest in a long line of modern bible versions that rejects the Traditional Greek New Testament readings, as found in such English Bibles as Tyndale, Coverdale, Bishop's, Geneva, and the King James Bible.

The Holman version also frequently rejects the Hebrew Masoretic text and instead follows the Greek Septuagint, the Syriac, Vulgate, or in some cases, just makes up its own text as it goes along.

In its Introduction the HCSB makes several statements that reveal the nature of this translation. It says the basis for the New Testament translation is the Nestle-Aland 27th, and United Bible Societies' 4th corrected edition.

A closer examination of the Holman text reveals that they generally have omitted over 2000 words that are found in the King James Bible, but neither have they strictly followed the Nestle text nor the UBS. The N.T. text of the Holman version is not always like that of the NASB, NIV, RSV, or ESV (the 2002 English Standard Version) - in fact, none of these versions are exactly like that of each other. All of them pick and choose different textual readings and give different meanings to the same texts in literally hundreds of verses.

The Nestle-Aland, UBS texts often omit entire verses or phrases that the Holman places in brackets, indicating that they do not consider them to be inspired Scripture.

Entire Verses in Brackets
The Holman introduction says: "In a few places in the N.T., large square brackets indicate texts that the HCSB translation team and most biblical scholars today believe WERE NOT PART OF THE ORIGINAL TEXT." They say they include them for "their undeniable antiquity" and their "value for tradition".

These Scriptures are either God inspired and they belong in the Holy Bible, or they are spurious additions that have no place in any bible version at all. I firmly believe they are inspired Scripture.

Among the readings the Holman version places in brackets, and are not part of the UBS Greek text they say they are using, are the following:

Matthew 6:13 "For thine is the kingdom, and the glory, and the power, for ever. Amen" - The NIV, ESV omit these words entirely. NASB in brackets.

Matthew 17:21 "Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting." NIV, ESV omit. NASB in brackets.

Matthew 18:11 "For the Son of man is come to save that which was lost." NIV, ESV omit. NASB in brackets.

Matthew 23:14 "Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye devour widows' houses, and for a pretence make long prayer: therefore you shall receive the greater damnation." NIV, RSV, ESV omit; NASB in brackets.

Even though the textual support for hundreds of other words is the same as for these bracketed verses, the Holman chooses to entirely omit them. Just a very few of the hundreds of examples are the following:

The Holman version omits these words, even though the textual evidence is overwhelmingly on the side of including them.

Matthew 5:44 "Bless them that curse you"

Matthew 19:9 "And whosoever marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery."

Matthew 20:16 "For many be called but few chosen."

Matthew 27:35 "that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet..."

The entire verse of Mark 7:16 "If any man have ears to hear, let him hear." is omitted by the UBS text and the NIV, ESV. The NASB places it in brackets, but the Holman this time places the verse in the N.T. text WITHOUT brackets! Go figure.

The Holman CSB also brackets the following verses: Mark 9:44, 46 "Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched"; 15:28 "And the scripture was fulfilled, which saith, And he was numbered with the transgressors." ; and all of Mark 16:9 through 20 !!!

In brackets and thus not considered "original" by the Holman editors are Luke 17:36 "Two men shall be in the field; the one shall be taken and the other left"; and Luke 23:17 "For of necessity he must release one unto them at the feast." These verses are omitted by the UBS text, the NIV, RSV and ESV versions, while the NASB puts them in brackets.

The Holman version again demonstrates its total inconsistency in Luke 23:34 where we read: "Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do." These inspired words from the mouth of the Lord Jesus Christ have overwhelming textual support and not even the NIV, NASB, ESV place them in brackets, but the Holman version does!!!

The Holman version likewise omits "and said, Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of. For the Son of man is not come to destroy men's lives, but to save them." from Luke 9:55-56; and it omits the following words from the Lord's prayer in Luke 11:2-4 "Our...which art in heaven...Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth...but deliver us from evil." Again, these are only a few of the many examples that could be given.

The Holman again brackets John 5:3-4 about the angel coming down and troubling the water.

The Holman brackets Acts 8:37 which the NIV, ESV omit, and Acts 24:6-7, and Acts 28:29, and Romans 16:24.

Here are just a few verse comparisons to give you a better idea of what the Holman version is like.

Psalm 78:36 Can puny man DECEIVE God? According to the HCSB God can be deceived by man.

Psalms 78 tells us of Israel's rebellion and sin against their God and of his continued compassion towards them. One of the people's many recorded sins is found in v.36: "they did FLATTER him with their mouth, and lied unto him with their tongue."

We can flatter God - say all kinds of nice things about him yet not really mean them. God is not fooled by mans false words of adoration.

The Revised Version 1881, American Standard Version 1901, NIV, NKJV, Darby, Geneva, RSV, NRSV and the 2003 English Standard Version (ESV) all agree with the King James Bible that they " flattered " God. But the Holman Christian Standard Version, as well as the NASB, says: "they DECEIVED him with their mouth". That my Christian friend is an impossibility. I hope you aren't deceived into thinking the HCSB is the true Bible.

KJB - Exodus 14:25 "the LORD...took off their chariot wheels"

Holman - "caused their chariot wheels to swerve"

"TOOK OFF their chariot wheels" is the reading of Tyndale 1530, Coverdale 1535 (smote the wheels from their chariots), Bishops' Bible 1568, the Geneva Bible 1599, the King James Holy Bible 1611, Rotherham's Emphasized bible 1902, the NKJV 1982, the Revised Version 1881, the ASV of 1901 (the predecessor of the NASB), the KJV 21, Third Millennium Bible, Hebrew Names Bible, World English Bible, the two Jewish translations of 1917 and 1936, Darby, the Living Bible and 1998 New Living Bible, Green's interlinear, MKJV, the NIV and the Spanish versions - quitó las ruedas.

However the "scholarly" NASB tells us : "He caused their chariot wheels TO SWERVE". This is also the reading of the brand new 2004 Holman Christian Standard version.

Now I've had the unpleasant experience of having my car wheels swerve on ice or snow, but thankfully I have never had them come off yet. You have to admit there is a difference between the Lord taking off their wheels and the Lord causing them to swerve.

The word used here is # 5493 soor and it means to remove or take away. It is used in Exodus 8:8 "take away the frogs"; in 8:31 "he removed the swarms of flies", in 34:34 Moses took off the vail", Genesis 41:42 "Pharaoh took off his ring" and in Genesis 8:13 "Noah removed the covering of the ark".

Deuteronomy 32:5
Tremendous error and contradiction have been introduced into this section of Scripture by the NKJV, NIV, RSV, Holman, ESV and NAS ³bibles². This is part of the song of Moses which says in verses 3-5: ³I will publish the name of the LORD: ascribe ye greatness unto our God. He is the Rock, his work is perfect; for all his ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he.²

The next verse is where the lies of the modern versions enter. The true Holy Bible says: ³They have corrupted themselves, their spot is not the spot of his children: they are a perverse and crooked generation. Do ye thus requite the LORD, O foolish people and unwise? is not he thy father that hath bought thee? hath he not made thee, and established thee?²

If you look at the context, in the previous chapter God told Moses that the people would enter the promised land and would go a whoring after the gods of the strangers of the land and turn to other gods. God knew this before He brought them into the land, so their entering the land did not depend on their foreseen obedience to the law, but rather because of the covenant of grace made with Abraham.

They are still His children whom He bought (verse 6) , His people and inheritance (verse 9) and verse 19 still refers to them as ³his sons and daughters². They are His children even though disobedient, just as your child is still your child no matter what he does.

God¹s children did corrupt themselves with strange gods, and the spot or blemish they received belonged to the idolatrous practices of other people, but they are still His children, bought by God and belonging to Him as the rest of the chapter shows.

Now look at the NKJV in verse 5. ³They have corrupted themselves: They are not His children, Because of their blemish.² The NAS is similar with its: ³They are not His children because of their defect². The Holman Standard says: "this is their defect - they are not His children." These versions tell us they are not His children, and then in the very next verse tell us they are His children because He is their Father and He bought them!


1 Samuel 13:1
KJB - "Saul reigned ONE year; and when he had reigned TWO years over Israel..."

Holman - "Saul was 30 years old when he became king, and he reigned 42 years over Israel."

(There is no Hebrew text or any other text that reads this way. They simply made these numbers up out of thin air, just like the NASB, NIV did here.)

1 Samuel 6:19
KJB - "And he smote the men of Bethshemesh, because they had looked into the ark of the LORD, even he smote of the people FIFTY THOUSAND AND THREESCORE AND TEN men: and the people lamented, because the LORD had smitten many of the people with a great slaughter.

Holman - "God struck down the men of Beth-shemesh because they looked inside the ark of the Lord. He struck down 70 men out of 50,000 men. The people wept because the Lord struck them with a great slaughter."

(Again, the HCSB has not followed the Hebrew reading. Not even the NIV, NASB, ESV, or any other bible version I am aware of has rendered this verse as has the Holman Standard.)

2 Samuel 14:14
KJB - "For we must needs die, and are as water spilt on the ground, which cannot be gathered up again; NEITHER DOTH GOD RESPECT ANY PERSON: yet doth he devise means, that his banished be not expelled from him."

(We all die, regardless of social status, nationality, or spiritual condition)

Holman - "For we will certainly die and be like water poured out on the ground, which can't be recovered. BUT GOD WOULD NOT TAKE AWAY A LIFE; He would devise plans so that the one banished from Him does not remain banished."

(Direct contradiction of many Scriptures. God does take away life. He kills and He makes alive. See Deut. 32:39; 1 Samuel 2:6; 2 Samuel 12:15; Luke 12:5) The King James Bible correctly states many times that God is no respecter of persons. Yet the Holman Standard has changed this reading to "God shows no favoritism." This is wrong and a false teaching, yet most today would not even recognize it.

2 Chronicles 22:2
KJB - "FORTY AND TWO years old was Ahaziah when he began to reign..."

Holman - "Ahaziah was 22 years old when he became king..." (Footnote: Some LXX mss. and Syriac say 22; the Hebrew Masoretic texts read 42)

2 Chronicles 36:9
KJB - "Jehoiachin was EIGHT years old when he began to reign, and he reigned three months and ten days."

Holman - "Jehoiachin was 18 years old when he became king..."

Again, the Holman Standard rejects the Hebrew reading and follows the LXX.
Genesis 4:8
Both the Holman CSB and the NIV have added the words "Let's go out to the field" in Genesis 4:8. Their own footnotes say this reading comes from the Samaritan Pentateuch, the Septuagint (LXX - Greek), the Vulgate (Latin) and the Syriac but that the phrase is not found in the Hebrew Masoretic text. This additional phrase is not found in the NASB, NKJV, RV, ASV, ESV or any Hebrew translation. This is just one of MANY examples in the Holman version where they have rejected the Hebrew readings and brought things in from other sources.

Isaiah 19:3
KJB - "And the spirit of Egypt shall fail in the midst thereof; and I will destroy the counsel thereof: and they shall seek to the idols, and TO THE CHARMERS, AND TO THEM THAT HAVE FAMILIAR SPIRITS, and to the wizards."

(These are those who conjure up devils who impersonate dead people and deceive)

Holman - "Then they will seek idols, GHOSTS, SPIRITS OF THE DEAD, and spiritists."

(There are no ghosts, and the spirits of the dead cannot be accessed. This is a false teaching.

Jeremiah 8:8 The pen of the Scribes is in Vain
KJB "How do ye say, We are wise, and the law of the LORD is with us? Lo, certainly in vain made he it; the pen of the scribes is in vain." (The scribes did NOT ALTER the Scriptures, but the people were not obeying the law.)

Holman - "In fact, the lying pen of the scribes has produced falsehood." (Teaches the scribes DID ALTER the Scriptures)

Daniel 9:26
KJB - "And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, BUT NOT FOR HIMSELF."

(He died for His people and purchased His church)

Holman - "After those 62 weeks the Messiah will be cut off AND WILL HAVE NOTHING."

Micah 5:2
KJB - "But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; WHOSE GOINGS FORTH HAVE BEEN FROM OF OLD, from everlasting."

Holman Christian Standard - "Bethlehem Ephrathah, you are small among the clans of Judah; One will come from you to be ruler over Israel for Me. HIS ORIGIN is from antiquity, from eternity."

(Did Christ have an "origin"? How can you have an eternal origin? "Origin" is the reading of the Jehovah Witness version, who teach that Christ was a created being.)

Acts 13:33
KJB - "God hath fulfilled the same unto us their children, in that he hath raised up Jesus again; as it is also written in the second psalm, Thou art my Son, THIS DAY HAVE I BEGOTTEN THEE."

(This speaks of His resurrection, when Christ became the first-begotten from the dead.)

Holman - "God has fulfilled this to us their children by raising up Jesus, as it is written in the second Psalm: You are My Son; TODAY I HAVE BECOME YOUR FATHER."

(Was there a time when Christ was not the eternal Son of God? No Greek text reads as does the Holman here. In fact, the Holman again agrees with the Jehovah Witness version)

1 John 5:7
Apparently the Holman editors did not consider the strongest verse in the Bible about the Holy Trinity to have enough "undeniable antiquity" or "value for tradition" since 1 John 5:7 did not make the cut. The Holman version omits these important words from 1 John 5:7 "in heaven, The Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one. And there are three that bear witness in earth..."

KJB - "For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one."

Holman - "For there are three that testify:"

John 1:14, 18; 3:16
KJB "the only begotten Son"

HCS "the One and Only Son"

Why is this a problem? This is an error! Jesus is not the only son of God. Every Christian is a son of God, but Jesus is the "only begotten" Son.

John 1:42
KJB "Cephas, which is by interpretation, A stone."

HCS "Cephas (which means Rock)."

If you are familiar with the Roman Catholics church's teaching concerning Peter being the rock upon which the church is based, you will know why this is a problem. Oh, and by the way, the Greek is "petros" -"a small stone" here. Not "petra" - "rock".

John 3:13
KJB "Son of man, which is in heaven."

HCS "Son of man."

The words "which is in heaven" are completely out of the text (following Nestle-Aland corrupt text). This is the only verse in the New Testament that clearly teaches the omnipresence of Christ while He was here on earth. That is, Jesus was present in the 3rd heaven WHILE he was talking to Nicodemus on earth. And no doctrine is affected in the new versions, right?

John 9:35, 36
KJB "Dost thou believe on the Son of God? ... Who is he, Lord"

HCS "Do you believe in the Son of Man? ... Who is He, Sir"

What is the problem here? Well, aside from the fact that anytime someone changes God's words it is a problem, these two do not say the same thing. "Son of God" is a term used (especially in John's Gospel) to refer to the deity of Christ. "Son of man", however, more commonly refers to His humanity. No one had any problem in accepting his humanity. It was His deity that people had a problem with.

John 5:18 "Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill him, because he not only had broken the sabbath, but said also that God was his Father, making himself equal with God."

John 10:33-36 "The Jews answered him, saying, For a good work we stone thee not; but for blasphemy; and because that thou, being a man, makest thyself God."..."Jesus answered them...Say ye of him whom the Father hath sanctified, and sent into the world, thou blasphemest; because I said, I AM THE SON OF GOD?"

If you choose to use the Holman Christian Standard, you are free to do so if you wish, but don't be fooled into thinking it is the inerrant, unchanging, pure and inspired words of God - it isn't.