WHAT ABOUT THE HOLMAN CHRISTIAN STANDARD BIBLE?
The Holman Christian Standard Bible (CSB), which was published in April 2004, has soared to No. 5 in the General Versions & Translations category in Christian retail stores in the USA and Canada. (#1 New King James, #2 New International, #3 King James, #4 New Living) Roughly 1.5 million copies have been printed of the entire Bible.
It is published by Broadman & Holman, a division of LifeWay Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention. The CSB was produced by a team of "100 scholars and English stylists representing more than 20 different denominations."
Though it is a more literal version than the New International and therefore is more to be recommended in that regard, the CSB is based upon the Alexandrian Greek Text so it can never be purer than its polluted Egyptian exemplar. The Alexandrian Text is so-named because it is derived from a tiny minority of manuscripts (e.g., Sinaiticus, Vaticanus, and a few others of similar character) dating to the early post-apostolic centuries and originating in the region of Alexandria, Egypt. This was a hotbed of theological heresy, which teaches us the "oldest" is not necessarily "best" in the field of New Testament manuscripts. After examining a number of heretical readings in the early Egyptian manuscripts favored by modern textual critics, Edward F. Hills, who had a doctorate in textual criticism from Harvard and began writing in defense of the King James Bible in the 1950s, concluded: "Thus we see that it is unwise in present-day translators to base the texts of their modern versions on recent papyrus discoveries or on B and Aleph. For all these documents come from Egypt, and Egypt during the early Christian centuries was a land in which heresies were rampant. So much was this so that, as Bauer (1934) and van Unnik (1958) have pointed out, later Egyptian Christians seem to have been ashamed of the heretical past of their country and to have drawn a veil of silence across it. This seems to be why so little is known of the history of early Egyptian Christianity. In view, therefore, of the heretical character of the early Egyptian Church, it is not surprising that the papyri, B, Aleph, and other manuscripts which hail from Egypt are liberally sprinkled with heretical readings" (Edward Hills, The King James Version Defended, p. 134).
The Egyptian manuscripts given such strange preference by modern textual critics, such as the Vaticanus and the Sinaiticus, bear evidence of being corrupt above all other Greek uncials or minuscules. Consider this important testimony by John William Burgon, one of the greatest textual scholars of the last 200 years, who dedicated much of his life to the study of Greek manuscripts and who personally analyzed the Vaticanus in Rome: "When we study the New Testament by the light of such Codexes as B Aleph D L, we find ourselves in an entirely new region of experience; confronted by phenomena not only unique but even portentous. The text has undergone apparently AN HABITUAL, IF NOT SYSTEMATIC, DEPRAVATION; has been manipulated throughout in a wild way. Influences have been demonstrably at work which altogether perplex the judgment. The result is simply calamitous. There are evidences of persistent mutilation, not only of words and clauses, but of entire sentences. The substitution of one expression for another, and the arbitrary transposition of words, are phenomena of such perpetual occurrence,
that it becomes evident at last that which lies before us is not so much an ancient copy, as an ancient recension of the Sacred Text. And yet not by any means a recension in the usual sense of the word as an authoritative revision; but only as the name may be applied to the product of individual inaccuracy or caprice, or tasteless assiduity on the part of one or many, at a particular time or in a long series of years. There are reasons for inferring, that we have alighted on five specimens of what the misguided piety of a primitive age is known to have been fruitful in producing. ... THESE CODEXES ABOUND WITH SO MUCH LICENTIOUSNESS OR CARELESSNESS AS TO SUGGEST THE INFERENCE, THAT THEY ARE IN FACT INDEBTED FOR THEIR PRESERVATION TO THEIR HOPELESS CHARACTER. Thus it would appear that an evil reputation ensured their neglect in ancient times; and has procured that they should survive to our own, long after multitudes which were much better had perished in the Master's service" (John Burgon and Edward Miller, The Traditional Text of the Holy Gospels Vindicated, 1896, pp. 32, 33).
It is admitted by all sides of this debate that the Alexandrian text was rejected wholesale by the churches from the 5th to the 19th centuries and was only "recovered" by modern textual critics in these last days. Most influential textual critics of the past 200 years have been skeptics and the fact that their theories fly in the face of divine preservation is none of their concern. The few evangelicals who have been authorities in this field have tried to shoehorn the theories of modern textual criticism into their biblical faith, but the only product is confusion. If the purest apostolic text was "buried in the sands of Egypt," so to speak, for 1500 years of church history, including the entire Protestant Reformation era and the great missionary era of the 16th to the 19th centuries, what does that tell us about biblical preservation? Scholarly fundamentalists who have adopted modern textual criticism try to solve this problem by saying that the Bible does not teach an explicit doctrine of preservation, that preservation is only hinted at it in an implicit manner, and that since God has not told us (they allege) how He would preserve the Scriptures it is possible that He did it by burying them in Egypt. I am thankful that I have the Spirit of God as my Teacher (1 Jn. 2:27) and the Word of God as my sole authority (Acts 17:11) and that I don't have to buy such a ridiculous theory!
In a few instances the CSB uses brackets to question verses that are omitting outright in the United Bible Societies critical Greek New Testament. For example, it brackets Matthew 17:21 and Acts 8:37 instead of omitting them entirely. Lest we think that the CSB is more textually conservative than the United Bible Societies Greek New Testament, the Introduction to the CSB explains the significance of the brackets: "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." Why did they not remove the verses entirely, then? They tell us that they left them in with brackets because of their "value for tradition." The verses are not inspired Scripture and yet they are left in the Bible because of tradition? What kind of nonsense is this?
1. THE HOLMAN CHRISTIAN STANDARD BIBLE HAS AN ABBREVIATED NEW TESTAMENT.
The Introduction to the CSB says it is based on the 27th edition of the Nestle-Aland Greek New Testament (which is the same as the 4th edition of the United Bible Societies Greek New Testament). Jack Moorman also did a firsthand study of the differences between the Nestle-Aland Greek text and the Received Greek text underlying the Reformation Bibles. He published this in "Missing in Modern Bibles: Is the full Story Being Told" (Bible for Today, 1981), concluding that the Nestle-Aland is shorter than the Received Text by 2,886 words (934 MORE words than were omitted in the Westcott-Hort of 1881). This is equivalent to dropping the entire books of 1 Peter and 2 Peter out of the New Testament.
2. THE HOLMAN CHRISTIAN STANDARD BIBLE OMITS OR QUESTIONS ROUGHLY 45 ENTIRE VERSES AND 147 MAJOR PORTIONS OF VERSES THAT WERE INTACT IN THE REFORMATION BIBLES.
Consider some examples:
---- 5:22 -- "without a cause" omitted
---- 5:44 -- "... bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and ... which despitefully use you, and" omitted
---- 6:13 -- "For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen" bracketed
---- 9:13 -- "to repentance" omitted
---- 12:47 -- "Then one said unto him, Behold, thy mother and thy brethren stand without, desiring to speak with thee" omitted
---- 18:11 -- "For the Son of man is come to save that which was lost" bracketed
---- 19:9 -- "and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery" omitted
---- 23:14 -- "Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye devour widows' houses, and for a pretence make long prayer: therefore ye shall receive the greater damnation" bracketed
---- 25:13 -- "wherein the Son of Man cometh" omitted
---- 1:2 -- "the prophets" is changed to "Isaiah the prophet," thus creating an error because the quotation is from both Malachi 3:1 and
---- 2:17 -- "to repentance" omitted
---- 6:11 -- "Verily I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for Sodom and Gomorrha in the day of judgment, than for that city" omitted
---- 9:44 "Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched" bracketed
---- 9:45 -- "into the fire that never shall be quenched" omitted
---- 9:46 "Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched" bracketed
---- 10:21 -- "'take up the cross" omitted
---- 11:10 -- "in the name of the Lord" omitted
---- 11:26 -- "But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses" bracketed
----13:14 -- "spoken by Daniel the prophet" omitted
---- 15:28 -- "And the scripture was fulfilled, which saith, And he was numbered with the transgressors." bracketed
---- 16:9-20 -- entire last 12 verses of Mark's Gospel bracketed
---- 1:28 -- "blessed art thou among women" omitted
---- 2:14 -- "peace, good will toward men" is changed to "peace among men in whom he is well pleased"
---- 4:4 -- "every word of God" omitted
---- 4:8 -- "and said unto him, Get thee behind me, Satan" omitted
---- 4:18 -- "to heal the brokenhearted" omitted
---- 9:55, 56 -- "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" omitted
---- 11:2 -- "Our ... which art in heaven" omitted
---- 11:2 -- "Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth" omitted
---- 11:4 -- "deliver us from evil" omitted
---- 11:11 -- "bread of any of you ... will he give him a stone? or if he ask" omitted
---- 22:43-44 -- "And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him. And being in agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground" bracketed
---- 23:17 -- "(For of necessity he must release one unto them at the feast.)" verse bracketed
---- 23:34 -- "Then said Jesus, Father forgive them, for they know not what they do" bracketed
---- 24:12 -- "laid by themselves" omitted
---- 3:15 -- "should not perish, but" omitted
---- 4:42 -- "the Christ" omitted
---- 5:3-4 -- "waiting for the moving of the water. For an angel went down at a certain season into the pool, and troubled the water: whosoever then first after the troubling of the water stepped in was made whole of whatsoever disease he had" bracketed
---- 5:16 -- "and sought to slay him" omitted
---- 6:47 -- "on me" omitted
---- 7:8 -- "yet" questioned with a footnote, thus causing Jesus to tell a lie
---- 7:53 - 8:11 -- These 12 verses bracketed
---- 8:59 -- "going through the midst of them" omitted
---- 16:16 -- "because I go to the Father" omitted
---- 2:30 -- "according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ" omitted
---- 8:37 -- entire verse bracketed
---- 24:6-8 -- "...and would have judged according to our law. But the chief captain Lysias came upon us, and with great violence took him away out of our hands, Commanding his accusers to come unto thee..." bracketed
---- 24:15 -- "of the dead" omitted
---- 28:29 -- "And when he had said these words, the Jews departed, and had great reasoning among themselves." verse bracketed
---- 1:16 -- "of Christ" omitted
---- 1:29 -- "fornication" omitted
---- 8:1 -- "who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit" omitted
---- 9:28 -- "in righteousness: because a short work" omitted
---- 9:32 -- "of the law" omitted
---- 10:15 -- "preach the gospel of peace" omitted
---- 11:6 -- "But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work" omitted
---- 13:9 -- "Thou shalt not bear false witness" omitted
---- 14:6 -- "and he that regardeth not the day, to the Lord he doth not regard it" omitted
---- 14:21 -- "or is offended, or is made weak" omitted
---- 5:7 -- "for us" omitted
---- 6:20 -- "and in your spirit, which are God's" omitted
---- 7:39 -- "by the law" omitted
---- 10:28 -- "for the earth is the Lord's, and the fulness thereof" omitted
---- 11:24 -- "Take, eat ... broken" omitted
---- 11:29 -- "unworthily" omitted
---- 11:29 -- "the Lord" omitted
---- 5:30 -- "of his flesh, and of his bones" omitted
---- 3:16 -- "by the same rule, let us mind the same thing" omitted
---- 1:14 -- "through his blood" omitted
---- 1:3 -- "by himself" omitted
---- 2:7 -- "and didst set him over the works of thy hands" omitted
---- 3:1 -- "Christ" omitted
---- 3:6 -- "firm unto the end" omitted
---- 7:21 -- "after the order of Melchisedec" omitted
---- 8:12 -- "and their iniquities" omitted
---- 10:9 -- "O God" omitted
---- 10:30 -- "saith the Lord" omitted
---- 10:34 -- "in heaven" omitted
---- 5:16 -- "faults" changed to "sins"
---- 1:22 -- "through the Spirit" omitted
---- 4:1 -- "for us" omitted
---- 4:3 -- "of our life" omitted
---- 4:14 -- "on their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified" omitted
---- 2:17 -- "for ever" omitted
---- 3:10 -- "in the night" omitted
---- 1:4 -- "Lord God" changed to "Master and Lord"
---- 1:25 -- "wise" omitted
3. THERE ARE NUMEROUS PLACES WHERE THE DOCTRINE OF CHRIST'S DEITY IS WEAKENED IN THE HOLMAN CHRISTIAN STANDARD BIBLE BECAUSE IT IS BASED UPON THE CORRUPT EGYPTIAN TEXT.
The following are examples:
Matthew 8:2; 9:18; 15:25; 20:20; Mark 5:6 -- In these verses "worship" is changed to "kneel before" in the New International Version, the Holman Christian Standard Version (CSV) and other modern versions. It is not done on the basis of the Greek text but is a decision that was made by the translators. Eleven times in the Greek Received Text and the King James Bible the Gospels tell us that Christ was worshipped (Mt. 2:11; 8:2; 9:18; 14:33; 15:25; 20:20; 28:9,17; Mk. 5:6; Lk. 24:52; Jn. 9:38). It is the same Greek word in every passage -- proskuneo. This is indisputable evidence that Jesus Christ is Almighty God, because only God can be worshipped (Ex. 34:14; Is. 42:8; Mt. 4:10; Acts 14:11-15; Rev. 19:10). The NIV, CSV, and other modern versions remove almost one-half of this unique witness to Christ's deity, changing "worship" to "kneel before" in Mt. 8:2; 9:18; 15:25; 20:20; Mk. 5:6. Why did the translators make this decision? I don't know, but I don't agree with it and it weakens the doctrine of Christ's deity.
Mark 9:24 -- The father's testimony that Jesus is "Lord" is omitted.
Mark 16:9-20 -- This glorious passage is bracketed, signifying that it is not considered apostolic Scripture. This ends the Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Mark with no resurrection and ascension and with the disciples fearful and confused.
Luke 23:42 -- The thief's wonderful testimony that Jesus is "Lord" is omitted.
John 1:14, 18; 3:16, 18 -- "only begotten Son" changed to "one and only"
John 1:27 -- "is preferred before me" is omitted, thus removing this witness to Christ's deity.
John 3:13 -- "which is in heaven" is omitted, thus removing this powerful witness to Christ's omnipresence.
John 6:69 -- "thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God" is changed to "you are the Holy One of God," thus destroying this powerful witness that Jesus is the very Christ, the Son of God, a doctrine that was under fierce assault in the early centuries.
John 8:59 -- "but Jesus hid himself, and went out of the temple, going through the midst of them, and so passed by" is replaced with "But Jesus was hidden and went out of the temple complex," thus destroying the miracle of this scene. Whereas the Received Text and the King James Bible teaches here that Jesus supernaturally went out right through the midst of the angry crowd that was trying to kill Him, the modern versions have Jesus merely hiding Himself.
Acts 8:37 -- The eunuch's glorious testimony that Jesus Christ is the Son of God is bracketed, signifying that it is not apostolic Scripture.
Romans 14:10 -- "Christ" changed to "God"; the "judgment seat of Christ" identifies Jesus Christ directly with Jehovah God (Isaiah 45:23), whereas the "judgment seat of God" does not.
1 Cor. 15:47 -- "the Lord" is omitted
Eph. 3:9 -- "by Jesus Christ" is omitted
1 Tim. 3:16 -- "God" is omitted, thus removing one of clearest references to Jesus Christ as God in the New Testament
1 John 5:7 -- The glorious Trinitarian confession is omitted, even though it has more manuscript and versional evidence than most of the Alexandrian readings preferred by modern textual critics.
Revelation 1:8, 11 -- In the CSV verse 8 omits "the beginning and the ending" and verse 11 omits "I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last." As it stands in the Greek Received Text and in the KJV and other faithful TR translations, the "Almighty" of verse 8 is clearly the Lord Jesus Christ of verse 11, but this connection is destroyed by the omissions in the CSV, following the critical Greek text.
4. NOT ONLY DO THE MODERN VERSIONS SUCH AS THE HOLMAN CHRISTIAN STANDARD BIBLE WEAKEN IMPORTANT DOCTRINES, THEY ALSO CONTAIN GROSS ERROR, THUS UNDERMINING THE BIBLE'S AUTHORITY.
Psalm 12:6 says, "The words of the Lord are PURE words," but the new versions are not pure. Consider the following examples of the errors in modern versions:
KJV: "And knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name JESUS."
CSB: "but did not know her intimately until she gave birth to a son."
By changing "firstborn son" to "a son," following Sinaiticus and Vaticanus, the modern versions make allowance for Rome's heresy that Mary is a "perpetual virgin."
KJV: "But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire."
CSB: "But I tell you, everyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment. And whoever says to his brother, 'Fool!' will be subject to the Sanhedrin. But whoever says, 'You moron!' will be subject to hellfire."
The omission of "without a cause" creates a serious error, because the Lord Jesus Himself was angry at times. Mark 3:5 says, "And when he had looked round about on them WITH ANGER..." To be angry is not necessarily a sin, but to be angry "without a cause" is. The modern version omission in this verse makes Jesus Christ subject to judgment.
KJV: "They gave him vinegar to drink mingled with gall: and when he had tasted thereof, he would not drink."
CSB: "they gave Him wine to drink. But when He tasted it, He would not drink it."
To replace the word "vinegar" with "wine" creates a contradiction with the prophecy in Ps. 69:21, which says Christ was given vinegar to drink. The Greek word translated "vinegar" in the KJV is "oxos," which appears six times in the New Testament, always in the context of Christ's crucifixion, and always translated vinegar. The Greek word for wine is a different word, "oinos." In this case, the critical Greek text, following some corrupt Alexandrian manuscripts, replaces oinos with oxos.
KJV: "As it is written in the prophets, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee. The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight."
CSB: "As it is written in Isaiah the prophet..."
The KJV says Mark is quoting the "prophets" plural, but the modern versions say he is quoting "Isaiah the prophet." This creates an error, because it is plain that Mark was not quoting Isaiah only but was quoting Malachi 1:3 as well as Isaiah 40:3.
5. THE DOCTRINE OF FASTING AS AN ESSENTIAL ELEMENT OF SPIRITUAL WARFARE COMES UNDER ATTACK IN THE HOLMAN CHRISTIAN STANDARD BIBLE.
The word fasting is not removed entirely from the modern versions but its significance as an element of spiritual warfare is weakened or removed entirely.
Matthew 17:21 - entire verse bracketed, signifying it is not apostolic Scripture
Mark 9:29 - "and fasting" bracketed, signifying it is not apostolic Scripture
Acts 10:30 - "fasting" omitted
1 Cor. 7:5 - "fasting" omitted
2 Cor. 6:5 - "fasting" changed to "hunger" (even though it is the Greek word "nesteia," which always means fasting and not the Greek word "limos," which means hunger or lack)
2 Cor. 11:27 - "fasting" changed to "hunger" (even though it is the Greek word "nesteia," which means fasting and not the Greek word "limos," which means hunger or lack)
There is a serious doctrinal issue pertaining to Bible texts and versions, and we must be careful not to accept commonly held myths, first that the differences between the texts and versions are not large nor significant, second that the differences do not affect any doctrine.
While we can thank the Lord that sound doctrine in general can be taught from most Bible texts and versions, this does not mean that one version is as theologically sound as another. We must remember the principal of the sword. The Bible is likened to a sword (Heb. 4:12). This Sword is a part of our spiritual weaponry against the devil (Eph. 6:17). To be effective, a sword must be sharp. While any Bible text or translation, even a Roman Catholic one, contains the doctrine of the Christian faith in a general sense, this does not mean that any one text or version is as effective and sharp as another. Who would think highly of a soldier who does not care if his sword is sharp just so long as he has a sword? I am convinced that the Hebrew Masoretic and the Greek Received Text is the very sharpest Sword. To say that a text that omits more than 200 verses and significant portions of verses and thousands of words in other places just in the New Testament alone is as effective as one that has all of these words is ridiculous.
This is not a light matter. A battle is raging. There are spiritual enemies in high places. Truth is being cast to the ground. It is difficult enough to win the battle when we have the sharpest sword and the most complete armor. Woe unto that Christian whose sword is dull! And yet, I contend that we have come upon an entire generation of Christians who are slashing away at their spiritual enemies with dull swords, and if a bystander tries to warn them of the folly of this, they rail upon him as divisive and mean-spirited!