The Christian Standard Bible produced originally by Holman in 2004 by a 100-person team, follows, what Holman calls, an “optimal-equivalence” form of translation. Where the ancient manuscripts could be translated word-for-word and still maintain readability in English the translation team maintained the translation. However, in the case that the word-for-word translation produced text that was unreadable to the modern reader, the translation team opted for thought-for-thought translation. This combined translation style produces a text that is accurate to the original texts as well as the original thoughts of the writers.
Holman recognizes that a true “formal equivalence” (word for word) translation is nearly impossible to also be readable, but that also a purely “dynamic equivalence” (thought for thought) translation suffers from missing some of the features of the literal text. To combat these two issues Holman considers the CSB Bible translation to be “optimal equivalence”. Their goal is to maintain a formal translation in as many areas as possible, but when the formal translation produces unreadable text the translators, while using the best tools available, the nearest semantic and linguistic equivalents were used.
An area of concern among many readers is gender-inclusivity. The CSB Bible is translated as gender-accurate, meaning that when the text is clearly male or female the English translation indicates as such, but when the context is relating to a collection of people or a neutral the neutral or inclusive English term is used. Consider Luke 9:23 in the KJV “if any man will come after me…” and in the CSB Bible “if anyone would come after me…” The meaning of the text remains the same with a reduced possibility of misreading the text to be male only.
Reading Level: 8th Grade