Tuesday, May 24, 2011

On Citing the Holman Christian Standard Bible

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. There are four critical elements in citing a printed book:

  •    Author's name.
  •    Year or date of publication.
  •    Title and edition of the book.
  •    Name and location of the publisher.

Giving these four elements will usually uniquely identify a  printed book.

3. The copyright page of a printed book customarily includes the year of copyright and the year of publication.

These two years are the same most of the time - although  they need not be.

In citing a book, the practice is to give the year of  publication and not the year of copyright.

This is because the main purpose of citation is to uniquely  identify a book so that a reader may look it up.

One reason to look up a citation is to see if an author has  quoted the book correctly.

For this purpose, the useful information is the year of publication and not the year of copyright.

This is because a book may goes through various printings and editions with changes to the text and to the pagination of the book.

The year of publication will usually help a reader identify which printing or edition of a book an author is quoting from.

4. But in citing a work such as a version of the text of the HCSB, the reverse is true.

The useful information here is not the year of publication but the year of copyright.

A reader is interested in the text of the Bible.

There are two different texts of the HCSB.

Each can be uniquely identified by its year of copyright.

Thus, different editions of the HCSB such as the HCSB Study Bible, the HCSB Drill Bible and HCSB The Firefighter's Bible will have the identical text if the year of copyright is the same.

I will call the two texts "2003 HCSB" and "2009 HCSB".

5. Of course, texts within the Bible are located by the book-chapter-verse system.

The Protestant Bible is consisted of 66 books.

Each book of the Bible has been divided into chapters and verses.

So any text within the Bible can be located by:

  •    The name of the book.
  •    The chapter number within that book.
  •    The verse number within that chapter.

Thus, the book of Psalm, chapter 23, verse 1 uniquely identifies the text: "The LORD is my shepherd; there is nothing I lack."

This is usually cited as "(Psalm 23:1 HCSB)".

6. As of today (May 24, 2011), the text of 2003 HCSB is available: here.

The text of the 2009 HCSB is available: here.