The Holman Christian Standard Bible

Jan 04, 2012

The Holman Christian Standard Bible

Pastor Gregg announced in late 2011 that he would begin preaching out of the Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB) in 2012. This page will answer some questions about the transition and introduce you to the HCSB, as well as provide helpful resources for your personal Bible study.

Why Make the Transition?

Two qualities to look for in a Bible are accuracy and readability. The New International Version (NIV) met those criteria and has been the primary translation used by Pastor Gregg and other speakers within Houston's First, including Pastor Emeritus Dr. John Bisagno who first made the transition from the New King James Version (NKJV) to the NIV during his tenure as Pastor.

In 2011, the publishers of the NIV (1984) released a revised version of that translation. With the publication of this new edition, the 1984 edition of the NIV will no longer be produced. Upon review of the changes made to the NIV, Pastor Gregg believes that it is no longer as accurate in terms of reflecting the meaning of the original biblical texts. Therefore, he has decided to use the HCSB based on its accuracy and overall readability. Since the HCSB is the translation used in the LifeWay materials used by many of our Life Bible Studies, this provides for a consistent translation.

What Does this Mean for Houston's First?

During his messages, Pastor Gregg will use the HCSB when reading from the Bible. Therefore, that is the translation that will be shown on the video screens during the worship services. Also, the seatback Bibles in the Worship Center, Chapel and Downtown have been replaced with HCSB editions. (The former NIV (1984) seatback Bibles were given to the Faith Center for their use.) Corner Books will carry HCSB and other translations of the Bible.

What Does this Mean for Me?

Members and guests are welcome to use any translation of their choice -- during the worship services, in Life Bible Studies, or for personal study of God's Word. The church does not dictate what translations should -- or should not -- be used by our members or guests. Even our Life Bible Study teachers are welcome to use other translations if they prefer.

What is the HCSB?

Watch the video above to see how the HCSB differs from other Bible translations

More information is available directly from, such as this segment:

100 scholars and English stylists from 17 denominations, prayerfully, translated what is one of the most significant Bible translations available, the Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB). Taking into account the significant advancements in scholarship, translation theory, and contemporary English usage, the HCSB will satisfy both those new to the faith and seasoned scholars. While there are many reasons why the HCSB was produced, here are two extremely significant ones:

1. English is changing rapidly, and Bible translations must keep pace.
More than 1.3 billion people speak or read English as a primary or secondary language, and this widespread usage forces rapid changes. Words and phrases that were commonly used in the recent past are no longer part of contemporary speech, often sounding strange to modern ears.

2. Advances in biblical research provide new data for Bible translators.
Biblical scholars today actually have better information about ancient texts than scholars did years ago. While translations made even in the last 10 or 20 years do not reflect some of these significant advances in research, the HCSB incorporates vast amounts of this information.


Corner Books

A wide variety of HCSBs and related resources can be found in Corner Books at Houston's First.


The HCSB is available to read online for free at,, and many other websites.

You can also take your personal study of God's Word online with This dynamic and interactive tool is available online and on mobile devices (learn more). See what this robust resource has to offer -- whether you're preparing to teach a lesson or simply seeking to better understand God's Word.


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