What is your role at LifeWay?
My role is to serve as a catalyst for the advancement of God’s Word, specifically through the recent English translation called the Holman Christian Standard Bible (or HCSB). I have the privilege of working on the Bible and Reference team at LifeWay for the stewardship of this important translation, and I have the joy also of working with ministry leaders, laity, and consumers in general to understand the HCSB’s distinctives.
Why should people be interested in the HCSB—what are its distinctives?
Let me suggest two reasons, broadly speaking: accuracy and accessibility.
In terms of accuracy, words matter—which is why the HCSB is built upon a word-for-word philosophy that seeks to reflect God’s Word from the original languages in our English language today. A fine example of this comes from John 3:16, where the HCSB reads, “For God loved the world in this way: He gave His One and Only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life.” Since words matter, the point is not the quantity of God’s love for us, but the quality of it—He gave us his Son. The HCSB falls in line with a great tradition of trustworthy and accurate English Bible translations.
As for accessibility, when you read the HCSB you’ll notice that is sounds very much like the way we speak everyday—there’s a naturalness of expression in the cadence and readability. That’s the point. The HCSB is designed to be as easily comprehensible as possible for today’s Bible readers. For this reason, in particular, the HCSB is highly valuable for use in evangelism and missions, since it removes some of the archaic terms that have to be explained when other translations are used.
What are the main options available in the HCSB?
There are a number of useful and important options from which a person may choose. Our flagship Bible is the award-winning HCSB Study Bible, which features study notes and essays from contributors including David Dockery, Paige Patterson, Mary Kassian, Danny Akin, Craig Blomberg, and more.
Another unique and valuable contribution is the Apologetics Study Bible, featuring articles that help defend Christian truth from key thinkers such as Lee Strobel, Ravi Zacharias, William Lane Craig, and J. P. Moreland, just to name a few.
The Mission of God Study Bible is also worth mentioning. The focus on God and His mission in the world in the storyline of the Bible is important for all believers to grasp. God is a sending God, and He has given us a Great Commission, indeed. One of the many things I love about this Bible is the collection of “letters to the church” by faithful servants such as Billy Graham, R.T. Kendall, R.C. Sproul, and others.
In addition to these study Bibles, there is wide variety of what are considered “specialty Bibles,” as the content has been written with a very specific audience and ministry message in view. We have Bibles for every branch of the military, for those in civil service including firefighters and police, and for new brides, sportsmen, and doctors. These are helpful to get a Bible into someone’s hands through a specific vocational or ministry touch point, especially for men.
I understand you are planning some pretty big promotions for the HCSB at the SBC. Such as?
The HCSB is a major sponsor of the B21 panel discussion, and we’ll be giving away a very nice ultrathin Bible to all in attendance. The cost of the lunch is worth coming just to get this Bible! Oh, and being able to hear Danny Akin, David Platt, Matt Carter, Al Mohler and Russell Moore is good too.
This year we’re doing something new, and quite frankly, a little crazy. We’re giving away free pew Bibles as a major HCSB campaign promotion. We know that many churches use these Bibles for worship and/or evangelism ministry, and we want to bless and support them in this way. This giveaway opportunity will be framed as a contest for churches to enter during the week of the SBC meeting. We’ll be tweeting out the details beginning Sunday. Look for information coming from @HCSB on Twitter, or search #sbc13 to find it there. (See the forthcoming webpage for full details, rules, etc.)
In addition, we recognize that everyone loves a freebie. So, on Tuesday and Wednesday of the convention, on the even hours, we will be giving away copies of HCSB Bibles (like the study Bibles mentioned above) to winners selected from convention attendees. Again, stay tuned to @HCSB and #sbc13 for more info, and the chance to win!
Thanks, Micah, for stopping by SBC Voices. We appreciate your time and ministry.
Thank you, Dave, for the opportunity to talk about the HCSB and to mention the giveaways at the SBC. Let me also encourage your readers to swing by the B&H booth in the exhibit hall to say hello. I’d love to meet and talk more about the HCSB!
Dr. Micah Carter is the HCSB Translation Spokesman for LifeWay Christian Resources and B&H Publishing in Nashville, TN. He’s a member of ClearView Baptist Church in Franklin, TN.