Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Book: She Reads Truth CS Bible

Today's book is a two-pronged reviewed. We're taking a look at the She Reads Truth Study Bible, which uses the new Christian Standard Bible (CSB) translation. So, we'll take a look at the She Reads Truth study notes and pass a little judgment on the CSB while we're at it.

First, a few observations on the CSB in general. It's an update from the Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB), reflecting many translation revisions and some changes in underlying text choices. The translation revisions are unfortunate in places, as the HCSB had used the Divine Name of Yahweh in some places but not others, while the CSB returns to the traditional use of a small-caps Lord in all places where the Name occurs. Going to a standardized usage was a good idea, but I would have preferred the name. A more fortunate change was returning to servant for the Greek "doulos," where the HCSB had used slave. Current English does not really have a good answer for that translation: the "slavery" of the Roman Empire was substantially different from the "slavery" of recent centuries, so slave brings up the wrong connotation, but many of us picture Alfred, Batman's "servant" when we see servant, which is far too weak.

In all, while it has some difficulties in translation, I'm finding myself a fan overall of the CSB. I still find the NASB a stronger translation for seeing the underlying language, but the CSB does use slightly more readable English. I've switched over to CSB for my preaching/teaching, so that shows if I think it's good enough translation.

Now, on to the She Reads Truth study add-ins found here. First, they are drawn from the authors of the book, She Reads Truth, which, in turn, came from a blog with the same title. Raechel Myers and Amanda Bible Williams (yes, her middle name is "Bible") are primarily responsible for the extra content, though other authors are involved.

The first note to make is that this is more of a "devotional" Bible than a "study" Bible, though there are some good study helps like book introductions, maps, and timelines. The typical study Bible has verse-by-verse commentary, which is not present here. Instead, there are devotionals written and placed with their relevant passages of Scripture throughout the text. These are of excellent quality and do well as challenges to the reader.

We've got the hardcover version and I am surprised that the pages are a bit thin compared to most hardcover Bibles I have. They are closer to the thinness of leather-type Bibles, but you are trying to put a rather large amount of content inside a manageable cover. You can either make the print too small to read or make the paper thin.

In all, I like this Bible. The artwork included is nice, but I'm not a Medieval Era monk who is just dying for an illuminated text, so I can live without it. The content, while geared toward women, is not too hard to stretch toward men as well--though I did snag this Bible for my wife. She's enjoying it much more than a previous "Study Bible for Women" which she felt was too watered down and simplistic.

I did get one free from Lifeway to review. I also bought 5 as gifts for others, but technically, the first one was a freebie so I'll disclose it while asking this question: was I influenced to review well by the free one if I went out and bought five?

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