Sunday, May 20, 2018

The Study Bible for Women: CSB Version

I was so excited to receive The Study Bible for Women: Christian Standard Bible (CSB) produced by Holman Publishers. I've never had a study Bible and I liked the idea of having one written specifically for women as the last few months I've been seeking to glean truths from studying women in the Bible. This hardcover Bible is well-made. It lays flat when open and has two built-in bookmarks. Without the dust cover, it is a bit plain, so I hope the cover holds up for awhile.

I have heard really good things about the Christian Standard Bible version. The introduction discusses the translation method of “optimal equivalence.” Basically, they stick to a literal translation as much as possible, but if the literal translation would be confusing to a modern day reader, they strive to translate the original thought while staying close to the literal translation.

I won't try to review each part of the introduction because this review would be too long, but to summarize, there are family trees, a marriage contract (ketubah), family milestones, reading guides, information about this translation, and charts of weights and measures.

The CSB Study Bible for Women is comprehensive. There is so much information. I will probably use this Bible most often when I can be alone and sit down for awhile. I estimate it takes at least three times as long as normal to read a chapter, if you read all the word studies, footnotes, commentary, character profiles, hard topics, personal application, maps, charts, etc. It is a lot of information and good if you want to dive deep. But not something I can read when my young children are awake. Sometimes the commentary notes, profiles, etc. are more concentrated near the beginning of books because they are introducing people, families, concepts.

So far, I feel like I have learned a lot. I have not had time to read this entire Bible before writing my review. Overall, I feel the translation itself is solid and I expect to learn a lot. I also expect to disagree with the editor on a few issues (as is probably the case with any study Bible).

Other things to consider when deciding if The CSB Study Bible for Women is for you:

The underlying worldview and editorial commentary (often titled as Biblical Womanhood or Hard Topics) are very “evangelical” Christian. If that isn't for you, you might want to try a CSB Bible without all the study features.

There is anti-feminism bias. I haven't yet seen any definition of what they consider “feminism” but the writer(s) blame it for negative things/situations and expect the reader to accept their perspective.

Regarding the complementarian v. egalitarian debate about marriage roles, the Biblical Womanhood sections seem to fall heavily on the complementarian side.

The managing editor, Dorothy Kelley Patterson, is the wife of Paige Patterson, President of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. Mr. Patterson is accused of perpetuating domestic abuse through his teachings / counseling and there is a huge debate / uproar at the moment about this. His wife may hold similar views and her personal view may filter into the commentary.

Again, I have not had time to read The CSB Study Bible for Women all the way through before writing this review. I think the translation is solid. I have enjoyed reading the Biblical text and many of the features are informative. I disagree with some of the commentary, but I can still learn from this Bible.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this Bible free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

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