I have set up this blog to evaluate Bible translations within a devotional context. I may reference its use for worship and study as well. I serve as pastor of a Lutheran congregation, and I teach seminary classes for The AALC. Bible translations have been a special area of my interest over the past 25 years. While I have been evaluating translations for their use in liturgical worship and Bible study, I have not written much about the devotional character of a translation, not have I seen much written about it. For 2013 I have decided to focus on HCSB for this purpose. At times I may reference other translations, specifically, NAS 95 and GW (God’s Word), for devotional use.
Background on my study
The NIV translation underwent a revision in 2011. Some of the changes were positive, some less so. Another change involved the publishing restrictions of the NIV 1984. On January 1, 2013, NIV 1984 could not be used in any publishing, nor overheads in worship or worship bulletins. Because the congregation I serve had used the NIV 1984 this change by Biblica meant that we would have to make a change in translations. The options were: 1) NIV 2011, 2) ESV, 3) HCSB, and 4) GW. Here is my initial preview of the four translations.
Part of the evaluation involved the accuracy and readability of the translation. Another consideration was its suitability for use within a liturgical service (Bibles in Worship).
I wrote a review of the 2009 updated HCSB in the fall of 2011 (see the review). After using it for a couple months in worship, I posted this: Where HCSB Failed. By posting that I did not, and do not, mean to imply that HCSB cannot be used within a liturgical worship service. Rather in the specific instance of the text for that Sunday, HCSB was confusing and distracting for readers and hearers.
Then last week I noted that in 2013 I will use HCSB as my devotional Bible. This will focus on personal devotional use of this translation. Thus, “accuracy” may be discussed, but more emphasis will be on the adaptability of HCSB for this purpose. I will often use phrases that will reflect an evaluation reaction to the translation of each specific text. (See the About page for more detail on the devotional focus of the blog)
My goal is to post something everyday. But that may be impractical with travel, etc. But I will share my reactions as I go through this year with the HCSB translation.