There has been great anticipation with the release of the HCSB 2nd edition. I personally enjoy and have made a significant investment in various editions of this bible. For a bit more information on the release of HCSB 2nd edition read here. Also ElShaddai Edwards at He is Sufficient has been compiling a list of other that have posted about the HCSB 2nd edition.
There are a few areas that I did not like that I thought could have been better handle either by changing the main text or simply adding a footnote – which they seem to excel over other translations, the only other bible that exceeds it with footnotes is the NET bible which stands on it’s own and is not a fair comparison.
It boggles my mind as to why they have chosen not to add additional footnotes in certain passages in the 2nd edition, other than I think and I have to presume since I have no proof, that the governing translating committee has a prior hermeneutical and theological basis and/or commitment.
The following issues that I have when read in context do not change the meaning at all. So you asked why are my feathers so ruffled up? These are personal gripes and they are not enough for me to abandon the HCSB. I still think that it is a fine translation and do hope that the 2nd edition makes it even better.
My personal gripe is how they have chosen to deal with the term “tongues”. Of the four major recent translations ESV, NLT, TNIV & HCSB, they are the only ones that have chosen to translate the Greek γλῶσσα (glōssa) as “[another] language” (1 Cor 14:2 HCSB) and “different kinds of languages” (1 Cor 12:10 HCSB). Again I want to stress when read in context I don’t believe that the meaning or understanding gets lost. All other three translations ESV, NLT, TNIV have translated it as “tongues” and with the exception of the ESV both provided the following footnotes NLT “Or in unknown languages”; TNIV “Or in another language” ESV had no footnotes which I think they should follow the prior examples.
I may come across as being to petty, or silly in my reasoning, however the HCSB has stated that one of their translations goals are:
to equip serious Bible students with an accurate translation for personal study, private devotions, and memorization
and from their introductory notes regarding footnotes
Footnotes are used to show readers how the original biblical language has been understood in the HCSB
Are the HCSB translators suggesting that “[other] language” is the only accurate way to translate this Greek word? Or as they put it are showing us how the original biblical language is to be understood?
That was my first one, my second gripe is their lack of willingness in translating or adding a footnote on the Greek term ἀδελφός (adelphos) simply as “brothers”. According to the notes in the NET bible for 1 Cor. 1:10 (Now I urge you, brothers HCSB — no footnotes) regarding adelphos they say:
Grk “brothers,” but the Greek word may be used for “brothers and sisters” or “fellow Christians” as here…
Again I make the same charge as above, are they suggesting that this is the only accurate way to translate this term? I understand that they have chosen to follow the “Guidelines for Translation of Gender-Related Language in Scripture”. But if these guidelines are imposing regulations that restrict them from providing better footnotes then I would highly recommend that they abandon their alliance with this group. One may argue that this does make a significant understanding of who is being addressed.
Finally my last personal gripe is with the translation of the word “blessed” to “happy”. NLT uses the word “joy” — “Oh, the joys of those…” which I would almost prefer.
Again I want to stress that none of these are reasons enough for me not to use and appreciate the HCSB. Would I recommend this translation to any of our Pentecostal or Charismatic churches? No I would not be reluctant to, and it would not be my first recommendation. As much as I personally like the HCSB I would rather recommend the TNIV, NLT or for that matter even the ESV over this translation. (I would not recommend the ESV over the HCSB) If they would just add the footnotes then I would be more than happy to highly recommend it and I would be “blessed — happy”.