HCSB Gets a New Name in the New Year

Dr. Trevin Wax
Dr. Trevin Wax

Today’s blog post is an interview with Trevin Wax, Ph.D. who was the chief architect of LifeWay’s curriculum line The Gospel Project. He has recently transitioned into a new role at LifeWay of great importance to the company and to the church at large. He and his team are about to release a translation of Scripture that will be highly accurate in respect to the original languages, yet highly readable and accessible for people of all ages. You can read much more about this version of Scripture by clicking here – you’ll jump to the CSB landing page.

You can follow Trevin on his blog (trevinwax.com) and on Twitter (@trevinwax).


Q: Trevin, what is your new role at LifeWay?

A: The official title is Bible and Reference Publisher. I assumed this role just a few months ago with the main goal of shepherding the introduction of a new Bible translation.


Q: What is the name of the Bible translation your team has been creating?csb_logo-300x143

A: The new name will be the Christian Standard Bible (CSB). It is a revision of the HCSB (Holman Christian Standard Bible).


Q: Why will the name change from HCSB to CSB?

A: It is unusual for the name of the Bible publisher (in this case, “Holman”) to be the first initial for a Bible translation. The acronym ‘HCSB’ often confused Bible readers. With the most recent revision of the HCSB, the translation committee believed it best to drop the ‘H’ and simplify the name of this version of the Bible.


Q: What was the process for creating the CSB?

A:  A transdenominational team incorporated feedback from pastors, seminaries, and conservative, evangelical denominations. The result is a Bible that faithfully and accurately captures the Bible’s original meaning without compromising clarity, helping you experience God’s truth as never before.


Q: What denominations helped in the creation of the CSB translation?

A:  One hundred scholars from 17 denominations translated the HCSB from the original Hebrew, Greek, and Aramaic manuscripts. Keeping that trans-denominational focus, the revision and oversight committee of the CSB is comprised of top biblical scholars from a variety of conservative, evangelical denominations, including Southern Baptist, Lutheran, Presbyterian, conservative Anglican and non-denominational Bible churches.


Q: When will the CSB become available to the public?

A: It will be available in Spring 2017.


Q: What are the similarities between the HCSB and CSB?

A: The CSB maintains the same translation philosophy (optimal equivalence – the “sweet spot” between a word-for-word and a thought-for-thought rendering). The CSB also maintains the HCSB’s commitment to accuracy and readability.


Q: What are the differences between the HCSB and CSB?

The translation committee of the CSB chose to move away from some of the distinctives of the HCSB and bring the revision in line with the majority of English Bible translations. For example, English Bible translations have generally chosen not to supply vowels in order make the name of God (YHWH) pronounceable; they simply render this name as a title (Lord). The CSB Translation Oversight Committee chose to come into alignment with other English translations, departing from the HCSB practice of utilizing Yahweh in the text.



Q: Why should I choose the CSB over other translations?

A: There are three main reasons. First, The CSB is an original translation: more than 100 scholars from 17 denominations translated directly from the best available Hebrew, Greek and Aramaic source texts into English. Its Greek source text is the standard used by scholars and seminaries today. Second, the CSB is trustworthy: the conservative, evangelical scholars of the CSB affirm the authority of Scripture as the inerrant Word of God and seek the highest level of faithfulness to the original and accuracy in their translation. These scholars and LifeWay, the non-profit ministry that stewards the CSB, also champion the Bible against cultural trends that would compromise its truths. Third, the CSB is clear: it is as literal a translation of the ancient source texts as possible, but, in the many places throughout Scripture where a word-for-word rendering might obscure the meaning for a modern audience, it uses a more dynamic translation. In all cases, the intent is to convey the original meaning of God’s Word as faithfully and as clearly as possible.


Q: Because so many churches choose LifeWay curriculum for their Bible study groups, what is the precedent for updating the Bible text in LifeWay curriculum?

A: LifeWay will incorporate the Christian Standard Bible into curriculum in Spring 2017. That means beginning March 2017, any curriculum that previously used HCSB text will have CSB text placed in it.


Q: Does my church need to do anything in order to make the transition to the CSB in our curriculum?
A:  No. If your church’s curriculum order has opted in the past for the HCSB as its text of choice, you will not need to do anything. If your church’s curriculum order has opted in the past for other translations (ESV, NIV, KJV, etc.), then your translation in Spring 2017 will remain unchanged.



  1. Hello. What about Bible Drill? We use the HCSB translation of the Bible and the green/red/blue cards from Lifeway. Will Bible Drill change to CSB? Will the Bibles change? Thank you.

    • Hi Pamela. I checked with Dr. Wax and he confirmed that Bible Drill Bibles are changing to CSB this summer. That will include the cards as well. I don’t have an exact date, but your local Lifeway store may have a date.

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