Until now, my examination of the HCSB has involved selected texts, which I compared to the Hebrew OT and Greek NT. In many ways, the HCSB is better than NIV and ESV. Also, I evaluated HCSB as an oral translation to be used in worship services. While it is adequate there were a few passages that did not read well orally.
Note: I will use a term or terms that refer to an emotional response to reading that may seem out of place in Bible reading. However, I think there is an emotional component of reading the Bible, especially devotional reading. Thus, I use words like “feel,” “comfortable,” etc.
My examination of HCSB takes a different turn beginning January 1, 2013. I will begin using it as my daily devotional reading, reading through the Bible in one year. I have waited a few months since my last review of HCSB because I didn’t want this to be only a comparison with the original language texts. Rather, I wanted to “feel” the translation as I gained a broader understanding of the entirety of the translation.
Over the years I have used other translations this way. Perhaps the longest was NAS, which I used every day from 1978 to 2005. I memorized many passages in NAS in that same time frame. Thus, today, if I refer to a Bible verse, it will most likely come out as NAS.
During that same time, I used NIV from 1986-1999 devotionally as well. Primarily I did that because I was serving congregations that used the NIV. Overall, it served well, but of course, it didn’t feel the same as NAS. <smile>
When the ESV came out in 2001 I tried it devotionally but never for a full year. The awkwardness of the phrasing was at times jarring to my reading sense and caused me to revert to NAS. Some of those initial problems were corrected in the 2007 revision. I have read it for a few months at a time, but never felt “comfortable” as a daily Bible.
The past five months I have been using GW translation as the daily reading Bible. In some ways it was the hardest transition to make. I had served as pastor of three different congregations which were test congregations from 1987-2005 for the predecessor of GW. The dramatic changes from 1992-1995 caused me to rethink whether the congregation at that time would use GW. Basically from 1995-2011 I had occasionally looked at GW, but never considered it as a daily reading Bible. But this time I found that it was better as an oral translation than any other. But even devotionally it has proven to be a good choice.
So begins the journey…
I will be using the one-year reading plan that is included in the GW translation Bibles. Ironic, GW includes a yearly and 100 day overview reading plans. For the Old Testament, that means an average of three chapters/day, for the New Testament it varies from three chapters/day to one chapter/day.
So, HCSB comes on the devotional scene!