Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Changes made to Ephesians in the 2009 HCSB

1. The complete Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB) was copyrighted 2003.

After six years, there was a revision to the text of the HCSB which was copyrighted 2009.

In the judgment of the editors, the 2009 revisions were not significant enough to call it a second edition of the HCSB.

Thus, the 2003 text and its 2009 revision are both known as HCSB.

In distinguishing these two texts of the HCSB, I will call one "2003 HCSB" and the other "2009 HCSB".

2. I am presently doing Bible study on Ephesians.

Ephesians is a book in the New Testament of the Bible.

In studying Ephesians, I am using the HCSB as one of my primary study Bibles.

Since the HCSB has gone through a revision in 2009, I decide to do a comparison between the text of the 2003 and 2009 HCSB on Ephesians.

The result of the comparison is in a pdf file available: here.

3. As a major translation of the Bible, the HCSB was done by a group of nearly 100 scholars under the General Editorship of Dr. Edwin Blum.

The scholarship that has gone into translating the HCSB was quite impressive.

As part of his review, Michael Marlowe has listed the editors, translators, reviewers and English stylists for the 2003 HCSB: here.

Since the scholarship that has gone into translating the 2003 HCSB was impressive, I wonder what changes were needed in the 2009 revision.

Any significant changes made in the 2009 HCSB are a good indicator that a verse deserves further study.

4. Ephesians is divided into six chapters and has a total of 155 verses.

Of these 155 verses, changes were made to 57 verses in the 2009 revision.

That is 37% of the verses.

5. Although the 37% changes in verses sounds striking, not all the changes are significant.

Some changes in the 2009 HCSB are as trivial as a change in punctuation mark.

An example is [Eph 2:10], where a '-' has been changed to a ','.

Some changes in the 2009 HCSB are changes in wording that do not affect the sense at all.

An example is [Eph 2:12], where 'with no' has been changed to 'without'.

Some changes in the 2009 HCSB are changes in wordings to clarify the meaning intended.

An example is [Eph 2:15], where 'He did away with the law of the commandments in regulations' has been changed to 'He made of no effect the law consisting of commands and expressed in regulations'.

Some changes in the 2009 HCSB are done for English styles.

An example is [Eph 5:5], where 'no __ has' has been changed to 'every __ does not have'.

6. It seems the 2009 HCSB is replacing many verses with the word 'in' with other words.

The passages are:
  •    [Eph 1:13].
  •    [Eph 2:6].
  •    [Eph 2:7].
  •    [Eph 2:21].
  •    [Eph 2:22].
  •    [Eph 4:1].
  •    [Eph 4:29].
  •    [Eph 5:19].
  •    [Eph 5:26].
  •    [Eph 6:1].

7. Some changes in the 2009 HCSB seems to affect the sense of the text.

Examples are:
  • [Eph 1:1] 'saints and believers ' has been changed to 'faithful saints'.
  • [Eph 1:11] 'In Him we were also made His inheritance' has been changed to 'We have also received an inheritance in Him'.
  • [Eph 1:18] 'eyes of your heart' has been changed to 'perception of your mind'.
  • [Eph 3:11] 'to the purpose of the ages, which He made in the Messiah' has been changed to 'His eternal purpose accomplished in the Messiah'.
  • [Eph 3:12] 'in whom we have boldness, access, and confidence through faith in Him' has been changed to 'In Him we have boldness and confident access through faith in Him'.
  • [Eph 3:20] 'you' has been changed to 'us'.
  • [Eph 4:31] 'insult' has been changed to 'shouting'; 'wickedness' has been changed to 'malice'.
These verses deserve further study.

8. Finally, the unusual phrase in [Eph 2:2] 'according to the ruler of the atmospheric domain' has been changed to 'according to the ruler who exercises authority over the lower heavens' in the 2009 HCSB.

On the whole, I like the revisions made to Ephesians in the 2009 HCSB.

The revisions make an already good translation even better.