Showing posts with label Christian Standard Bible. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Christian Standard Bible. Show all posts

May 26, 2018

CSB Worldview Study Bible


When I requested the CSB Worldview Study Bible from BHBloggers, I wasn’t sure how the worldview theme/ focus would be handled. After receiving my copy, which Lifeway kindly sent me to review, I still wasn’t sure. The articles seem to go on a bit, but I did find helpful clues.

The Introduction, for example, offered this insight:

“In the book of Job, we see how a false worldview results in false comfort." As Job went through terrible trials and suffering, his well-meaning friends “accused Job of having sinned. The friends shared a worldview that said, ‘Everything happens because of cause and effect. Do bad things, and bad things will happen to you. Do good things, and good things will happen to you.’ This worldview was the lens through which they viewed Job’s suffering. The book of Job challenges this perspective in light of an all-powerful, all-wise God who permits things to happen that are beyond our understanding.”

Another helpful example of intent in the Introduction considers Ecclesiastes where the worldview was “a life without meaning and purpose in the face of death.” And so the author “wrote a book that helps us understand the mind-set and worldview of someone who lives as though this life is all there is.”

Scanning the articles interspersed throughout this edition reveals theological and philosophical views expressed over the ages. The content of those articles and their placement between portions of scripture make the book most appropriate for reading and studying alone, unless, of course, your group aims to discuss religion and philosophy from a world view. For those of you who live in cosmopolitan areas where people come from all sorts of cultural and religious backgrounds, this edition should be well-suited to your goal of reaching others for Christ.

For example, the article “Speaking To A Non-Christian About Jesus” says,

“Knowledge of the background, culture, and worldview of one’s audience assists Christians in meaningfully sharing about Christ. Demographics are changing and peoples from all over the world are now neighbors to evangelical churches across America, especially in the larger urban centers. Christians, therefore, must increase their ‘CIQ’ - Cultural Intelligence Quotient - in order to successfully and meaningfully share Jesus with others.”

The article goes on to say, “Paul adapted his method of sharing Christ with unbelievers based on the audience.” Furthermore, “Sharing Christ in today’s world involves understanding the worldview of the people we are seeking to reach.”

Knowing scripture and what we believe are prerequisites for comfortably and accurately talking to others about Christ. If you haven’t yet read the Christian Standard Bible (CSB) text chosen for this edition, I highly recommend it. In fact, the CSB Study Bible is one of my all-time favorite study Bibles.

To give you a glimpse of its readable, accurate text, let’s look at Psalm 1, which could become a motif for this present edition:

“How happy is the one who does not
walk in the advice of the wicked
or stand in the pathway with sinners
or sit in the company of mockers!
Instead, his delight is in the
Lord’s instruction,
and he meditates on it day and night.”

May God help us to receive His Word, instruction, and love more fully and show us how to extend that forgiving, redeeming love to others in Jesus’ Name.

Mary Harwell Sayler, ©2018

CSB Worldview Study Bible, leatherflex


May 3, 2018

God’s Book of Proverbs


God’s Book of Proverbs,
which LifeWay Christian Resources kindly sent me to review, provides “Biblical Wisdom Arranged by Topic” in order to “give you God’s guidance in matters related to everyday life.”

Using biblical text from the Christian Standard Bible (CSB) published by Holman, the book groups topics alphabetically in the Table of Contents followed by headings ranging from “Anger,” “Beauty,” “Calamity” to “Wealth,” “Wickedness,” “Wisdom,” and “Wonder.”

Slightly larger than a typical paperback, this cloth-covered hardback edition makes an attractive, nicely sized book to give as a gift and/or keep in a purse or side pocket of a car, which is where my copy will most likely reside after this review, so I’ll have insightful, meditative-type reading material handy whenever I’ll be in a waiting room or any waiting mode.

To give you a few examples, I turned to “Discernment,” which lists 16 Proverbs such as:

The one who understands a matter finds success,
and the one who trusts in the LORD will be happy
.”
Proverbs 16:20

Counsel in a person’s heart is deep water,
but a person of understanding draws it out
.”
Proverbs 20:5

Under “Guidance,” you’ll find 43 Proverbs to guide your decisions, while “Happiness” has a couple of pages with such insights as:

Bright eyes cheer the heart;
good new strengthens the bones
.”
Proverbs 15:30

"The one who understands a matter finds success,
and the one who trusts in the LORD will be happy
.”
Proverbs 16:20

A joyful heart is good medicine,
but a broken spirit dries up the bones
.”
Proverbs 17:22

Those verses might especially speak to people with achy joints, arthritis, or aging bones! However, all of us can deepen our trust in the LORD with prayer, praise, regular Bible study, and these faith-building Proverbs that not only show us how God can be trusted, but that God knows our human nature and our spiritual needs.

Mary Harwell Sayler, ©2018, poet-writer, reviewer

God’s Book of Proverbs, hardback




March 26, 2018

Great & Small Bible makes a great baby gift!

When I received the Great & Small Bible, which Holman kindly sent me to review, my first impression was “Sweet!” And, indeed, the charming artwork, quality construction, and reader-friendly text of the Christian Standard Bible (CSB) make this edition a sweet gift for Christian parents of new babies.

While not actually for babies, the book encourages parents to jot down memorable moments in their child’s life from birth weight, height, etc., and also record the names of parents, siblings, grandparents, cousins, and more on the page “Your family loves you with a great love!”

One double-page insert focuses on the first times a child smiled, slept all night, rolled over, and other firsts, while another double-page spread encourages parents to record something about their baby’s first holidays.

My favorite double-page insert, however, says, “You are small, but we know you have a great future!” then provides lined writing space on the left to note “These are our greatest hopes for you.” On the page on the right side, parents can fill in spaces for “Our precious child, this is our prayer for you” and “We chose this special Bible verse for you.”

Instead of the typical baby book that many of us begin then forget, the inclusion of the CSB encourages parents to read the text each time they pick up this unique keepsake edition. The lovely artwork will please a growing child and, hopefully, cause them to ask to hear about their first year of life and, in the process, be drawn to reading God’s Word for themselves.

Mary Harwell Sayler, ©2018, poet-writer, Bible reviewer

Great & Small Bible, hardback




February 23, 2018

Christian Standard Bible: Kids Bible


Shortly after I’d featured the CSB Giant Print Reference Bible I bought to read during Lent, B/H Lifeway Bloggers kindly sent me a free review copy of the new Kids Bible edition of the Christian Standard Bible (CSB.)

This accurate and readable text not only invigorates my straight-through reading, it’s ideal for children ready to read and/or for parents to buy beyond Bible storybooks. With its clear language, large print, and a sturdy colorful cover, this edition will appeal to children from grade school on, especially since it includes a variety of features they can grow into such as study helps, maps, and a “Bible skills checklist.” Also, the CSB text corresponds well enough to other translations that it makes a good choice for encouraging memorization.

Scattered throughout the book, colored inserts provide important suggestions kids might not otherwise know such “How Do I Have Quiet Time With God?” or “The Names Of God” with biblical references to various characteristics Bible people used to describe and/or call upon God.

Another page features “The Ten Commandments” and, yet another, “The Books of Poetry” in the Bible. On the flip-side of the latter, “Psalms For All Times” lets children know to turn to “Psalm 8 & Psalm 19 (to) help you praise God for His creation,” whereas “Psalm 37:3-8 can help you trust in God.”

The New Testament has similar inserts such as “The Names Of Jesus” (Immanuel, Holy One, Chief Cornerstone, King of Kings), “The Miracles Of Jesus,” and also a double-page spread on the apostles. If some of these features are new to you, remember, you’re one of God’s kids too, so there’s no reason you can’t enjoy your own copy! Otherwise, I highly recommend this as an excellent Easter gift for children of all ages.

Mary Harwell Sayler, ©2018

Kids Bible, Christian Standard Bible, hardback







February 15, 2018

CSB Giant Print Reference Bible


The CSB Giant Print Reference Bible from Holman comes in a genuine brown leather cover with sewn-in pages that present the text in a very large 13-point font. This edition also has thumb-indexing (for easily finding each book of the Bible), scriptural references (for easily finding relevant verses), and clear maps (for easily finding biblical locales.) However, I bought this reader edition to read for Lent because of its clear, accurate translation.

Last year Holman Bible Publishers introduced me to their new Christian Standard Bible translation when they sent me a review copy of the CSB Study Bible, which I keep on my desk for study and research. No way, though, could I use that edition to read the whole Bible cover to cover during Lent!

To prepare for my Bible study groups each week, I rely on the hefty CSB study edition (and others, too) to get a better understanding of the scriptures we’ll read and discuss together. But the heft of a study Bible and the wealth of footnotes and sidebars become very distracting when you just want to sit down and read the Bible straight through as you would any book.

Conversely, this nicely sized Bible fits comfortably on my lap, and the goatskin leather feels comforting to the touch. Although the cover might feel slightly dry at first, the natural oils in our hands will soften and silken the leather in time. Since I didn’t want to wait for that pleasure (which serves the lovely purpose of enticing me to hold on and keep on reading!) I rubbed a little mineral oil onto my hands then rubbed the entire surface of the leather. Not only does this soften the cover immediately, it helps to protect the leather without going rancid as vegetable or animal oil will eventually do.

The important aspect of this particular Bible, though, is that it speaks to me!

As occurs with every text translated from one language into another, countless choices of synonyms present themselves - each of which must stay in keeping with the context of the overall thought and the surrounding verses. In addition, word usage changes over time, making it even more complicated to translate Hebrew and Greek biblical texts into English we can relate to and understand. The CSB does this exceptionally well, which encourages me to keep reading as I aim to take in the sweeping view of God’s Word during these 40 days of preparing for Easter.

Mary Harwell Sayler, ©2018, poet-writer, reviewer

CSB Giant Print Reference Bible, genuine leather, thumb-indexed


January 15, 2018

Christ Chronological – a book review

God does provide! Right when the research for my newest writing project required a chronological account of Christ, B&H Lifeway Bloggers kindly sent me a review copy of Christ Chronological, which I highly recommend for Bible students, teachers, pastors, writers, and all who want to follow the sequential movements of Jesus as shown in the Christian Standard Bible (CSB) translation of the Gospels.

Beginning with “The Prehistory and Birth of Christ” and ending with “The Resurrected Jesus Completes His Ministry,” this hardbound book presents each color-coded Gospel account of Jesus with headnotes or footnotes in black ink to illuminate each passage. Regarding “The Birth of Jesus,” for example:

“Matthew seeks to show the cohesion between Jesus’s birth and OT prophecy through his many ‘fulfillment’ quotations (1:22-23). Luke, however, gives an account of the events that triggered the pilgrimage of Joseph and Mary from Nazareth to Bethlehem as a means of placing Jesus’s birth in the context of Greco-Roman history. Chronologically, Luke’s account could fit seamlessly between Matthew 1:25 and 2:1.”

In “The Anointing of Jesus at Bethany,” we learn:

“There is little variation between Matthew and Mark on the account of Jesus’s anointing. John, however, fills in a number of details that are left unstated in the Synoptics. John, for example, highlights the role of Lazarus, Mary, and Martha, three key characters in his Gospel. A harmony of the three accounts would seem to indicate that Jesus, his disciples, Lazarus, Mary, and Martha were all present at the home of Simon, a man presumably healed of leprosy by Jesus. John singles out Judas Iscariot’s indignation, whereas Matthew and Mark refer more generally to all the disciples. This shows the underlying contrast John is seeking to make between Mary’s devotion and Judas’s impending betrayal.”


In discussing “The Passion of Jesus,” footnotes tell us:

“All four Gospel writers record the arrest of Jesus at the hands of his betrayer, Judas. Each author, nevertheless, has his own emphases. Matthew is characteristically concerned with showing how the unfolding of the events fulfills Scripture. Mark has a similar interest in fulfillment but adds an interesting detail about a naked bystander – an insertion that many believe to be a cryptic reference to the author himself. Luke adds more vivid detail to the event, including Jesus’s healing of a servant whose ear was severed. Not surprisingly, John offers the most detail about the characters. In addition, Judas’s role is overshadowed by Jesus’s surrender. Through this, John demonstrates how Jesus remains in complete control of the unfolding events. Collectively, the four accounts give a full-orbed picture,” which could well be said of this entire book.

Mary Harwell Sayler, ©2018, poet-writer, reviewer

CSB Christ Chronological, hardback




May 12, 2017

CSB Study Bible

The new CSB Study Bible, which Holman kindly sent me to review, has many of the features found in the previously reviewed award-winning Holman Study Bible. The most notable difference, of course, is its use of the Christian Standard Bible (CSB) text – the newly published revision of the Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB) translation, which came out in 2004.

As an “optimal equivalence” translation, the CSB provides a word-for-word rendering of scripture unless the meaning might be obscure to most readers, in which case a thought-for-thought translation takes precedence.

To give you an idea of how those options compare, read the HCSB translation of Psalm 1:1 below, followed by the revised text in CSB:

How happy is the man
who does not follow the advice of the wicked
or take the path of sinners
or join a group of mockers!
” (HCSB)

“How happy is the one who does not
walk in the advice of the wicked
or stand in the pathway with sinners
or sit in the company of mockers!
” (CSB)

Besides the implication that women and children may also be “the one” struggling with a choice of peers, the CSB retained the parallelism of walk/ stand/ sit found in most translations.

That same page in the CSB Study Bible includes a sidebar on the Hebrew word “’ashrey” [pronounced ash-RAY] and gives the number of occurrences in the Psalms, along with a definition, shown in part here:

“’Ashrey, an interjection especially frequent in Psalms, means happy (Ps. 1:1) and implies blessed (Ec. 10:17) and happy (DN. 12:12.) It is similar to baruk (“blessed”) but probably more secular. ‘Ashrey is never used of or by God.”

Such sidebars on key words can be found throughout the book. In addition to those word studies, this edition also uses bold type to highlight quotations from scripture found elsewhere. For example, in the third chapter of his gospel, Luke includes a quote from Isaiah 40. The CSB Study Bible then uses a boldface font to call our attention to this as we read, “A voice of one crying in the wilderness: Prepare the way for the Lord.”

Both the original and present study editions from Holman provide such excellent features as cross references, introductions to the individual books, helpful footnotes, photos, charts, maps, timelines, and essays on major biblical and theological issues. However, the CSB Study Bible has even more articles, such as “Reading the Bible for Transformation,” “Faith and Works,” and introductions to the Pentateuch, historical books, wisdom books, prophetic books, and the gospels.

Instead of one bookmark, the new edition has two, which I appreciate because of Sunday School discussions on the Old Testament and Wednesday studies on the new. However, both of these Bibles have sewn-in pages, which lay flat on a desk – the most likely place for reading and studying the impressive aids found in both of these highly recommended Holman study editions.

Mary Harwell Sayler, © 2017, poet-writer, reviewer


CSB Study Bible, hardcover



CSB Study Bible, genuine leather