Is the CSB your main/top Bible? If so, why do you like it?

Page 1 of 2 (23 items) 1 2 Next >
This post has 22 Replies | 2 Followers

Posts 652
Kiyah | Forum Activity | Posted: Wed, Feb 20 2019 6:18 AM

Does anyone use the CSB as their main/top/preferred bible? Since it's a new translation I'm assuming you switched to it from another translation. What translation did you switch from, and what made you switch? What do you like about the CSB, what are the advantages or features it has over bibles like the NIV, ESV, NASB, and others? I know there are many who are reading through the CSB this year or did so last year. What do you think about it so far, even if it isn't your top bible?

Posts 640
Michael S. | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Feb 20 2019 7:43 AM

Hi Kiyah,

the CSB is my preferred Bible.  It was the ESV before.  The reason I switched is I found the language flowed more smoothly and naturally in the CSB over the ESV.  But I will say that I ALWAYS compare verses between versions- my top 5 are CSB, ESV, NASB 95, NKJV, and NLT.  I feel this group gives me the best all around look at the various translation approaches to the text.  If something jumps out at me, I will dig into the original languages at that point.

It would be interesting to compare the CSB and the NIV.  I think they would be similar on the use of "natural" contemporary English, but I am sure the philosophical differences would show.  NIV is more international in scope, so maybe that plays a part.

Hope this helps.

Posts 479
J. Remington Bowling | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Feb 20 2019 7:53 AM

I mainly use the CSB. I switched over from the ESV.

I find that the CSB is a little clearer than the ESV. Just to give two examples from where I opened up my Bible just now: Acts 5:27 "stand before the Sanhedrin" versus "set them before the council"; vs 34 "a Pharisee named Gamaliel" versus "a Pharisee in the council named Gamaliel". 

The translations are very similar and, for short readings, maybe such differences are negligible, but it's nicer for long readings or for younger readers.

Posts 21
LaRosa Johnson | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Feb 20 2019 8:02 AM

another benefit is the translation of weights & measures to something modern English readers can understand.... so inches, feet, & yards instead of cubits... or pounds instead of a talent

Weekly Bible Study Tips - https://biblestudy.tips 

Posts 22013
Forum MVP
Graham Criddle | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Feb 20 2019 8:13 AM

LaRosa Johnson:
another benefit is the translation of weights & measures to something modern English readers can understand.... so inches, feet, & yards instead of cubits

Although this is country-specific. While many people in the UK still refer to inches and feet the "official" system is metric and most younger people will think in terms of metres!

Posts 652
Kiyah | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Feb 20 2019 8:20 AM

Michael S.:
It would be interesting to compare the CSB and the NIV.  I think they would be similar on the use of "natural" contemporary English, but I am sure the philosophical differences would show.  NIV is more international in scope, whereas the CSB is good ole USA (IMO).

I'm reading through Romans in the CSB (along with its audio bible in YouVersion) right now. It's definitely much smoother than the ESV, but is less "dynamic" than the NIV (it doesn't change the flow/form of the original quite as much). It seems fairly accurate, it least in Romans it seems clearer and less slanted than the ESV. I'll have to read a few other books of the bible that I know well to see how it translates things, but it seems good so far.

Thanks for the feedback. The CSB had just never really stood out for me before since it seemed redundant and it wasn't exactly clear what it offered that was unique from other translations. It seems like it's going for balance and readability. Maybe I'll move it into my top five and use it as one of my comparison texts for a while. Right now my top five are NRSV, ESV, NABRE, NASB, NIV, so one of them will get demoted, at least for a time while I give the CSB a try.

I'd be interested to see how good/thorough the translator/textual footnotes are in the CSB, since having good transparency to what's going on behind the English text is very important to me. Does anybody have any thoughts/observations on the CSB in that specific regard?

Posts 479
J. Remington Bowling | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Feb 20 2019 8:31 AM

This may be useful:

Source

Kiyah:
I'd be interested to see how good/thorough the translator/textual footnotes are in the CSB, since having good transparency to what's going on behind the English text is very important to me. Does anybody have any thoughts/observations on the CSB in that specific regard?

I would use the NET Bible for that.

Posts 652
Kiyah | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Feb 20 2019 8:44 AM

J. Remington Bowling:

This may be useful:

Source

Thanks, and thanks for linking to the source page. Very helpful.

Posts 797
Lew Worthington | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Feb 20 2019 8:52 AM

I really appreciate your posting that chart and the source. It is interesting and helpful, but one COULD flip the Dynamic to Formal equivalence axis around so that the NLT is "Optimal", except the Global Bible Initiative's metric favors an atomistic scoring method, a conclusion that does not necessarily meet with universal approval. In other words, the CSB's conclusion that their translation is best is both unsurprising and is based on criteria that set themselves up as the standard.

I am not saying that they do not have a right to draw this conclusion, but merely that it's not perfectly "objective" in spite of their use of numeric data.

Having said all that, I do admire their work and they've done a good job implementing their translation philosophy.

Posts 652
Kiyah | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Feb 20 2019 8:59 AM

Lew Worthington:
It is interesting and helpful, but one COULD flip the Dynamic to Formal equivalence axis around so that the NLT is "Optimal", except the Global Bible Initiative's metric favors an atomistic scoring method, a conclusion that does not necessarily meet with universal approval. In other words, the CSB's conclusion that their translation is best is both unsurprising and is based on criteria that set themselves up as the standard.

I thought the same thing as soon as I saw the chart, and even more so now that I'm reading the .pdf file with more details about the "quantitative evaluation" of the CSB. As a former financial analysis I can definitely appreciate their use of data charts to help tell the story they want to tell. Wink

But the info is still really interesting and helpful nevertheless.

Posts 640
Michael S. | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Feb 20 2019 9:59 AM

J. Remington Bowling:

This may be useful:

Not sure I agree with putting the ESV as more Formal than the NASB... ever read the two in parallel?  

Posts 797
Lew Worthington | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Feb 20 2019 10:09 AM

Michael S.:

Not sure I agree with putting the ESV as more Formal than the NASB... ever read the two in parallel?  

That's an interesting observation! I think maybe my trust in this computerized process dropped off a bit. Stick out tongue

Posts 479
J. Remington Bowling | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Feb 20 2019 10:10 AM

Feel free to share any charts which use a different or better set of metrics. And I'd be interested to hear any criticisms of the metrics they've chosen. 

Michael S.:
Not sure I agree with putting the ESV as more Formal than the NASB... ever read the two in parallel? 

See here for some explanation as to why: 

https://csbible.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/Quantitative-Translation-Evaluation-by-GBI.pdf

In short, while the NASB ranks higher than ESV in terms of consistency rate of word choices, the ESV scores higher in the transfer rate of syntactic relations. Word sense isn't measured since they don't yet have "a complete database" for that in the original languages.

(Or I guess maybe Crossway slipped the GBI a $20 to put them above NASB... but it clearly wasn't nearly as much as CSB paid them!

Posts 640
Michael S. | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Feb 20 2019 11:50 AM

https://go.gliffy.com/go/publish/5242947 

Sorry, I dont know how to put pictures on here.

Posts 26858
Forum MVP
MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Feb 20 2019 12:30 PM

Lew Worthington:
That's an interesting observation! I think maybe my trust in this computerized process dropped off a bit. Stick out tongue

With our fascination with visual representation, there is always a temptation to use the computer to generate numbers for the immeasurable which are then used to create charts that appear to be precise but are, in fact, at best indicative. Given the vast over-simplification of the literal/formal distinction that is floated for public consumption ....

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

Posts 26858
Forum MVP
MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Feb 20 2019 12:30 PM

Michael S.:
Sorry, I dont know how to put pictures on here.

Use the paper clip icon which follows the break link icon.

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

Posts 479
J. Remington Bowling | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Feb 20 2019 1:12 PM

I completely agree that, just as you can't get a one-to-one correspondence between sentences in two different languages, you won't be able to get a comprehensive and exact measurement on how formal the ESV is in relation to the CSB or NASB etc. For that to be possible it would first need to be possible for there to be a one-to-one correspondance between sentences in two different languages.

But the chart isn't pretending to do that. It's not being deceptive, it's not pretending to be comprehensive. It tells you exactly what sorts of things are being measured (and those sorts of things *can* be measured) and what isn't being measured. 

I'd like to see some *specific* faults in the metrics, otherwise it looks like resorting to platitudes that may or may not apply to the specifics here.

I appreciate the other chart, Michael, but it doesn't give us any of the metrics that were used to make it. The chart says it's mapping translation philosophy, but that doesn't tell us whether that is achieved (such that the NASB is definitively more formal than the ESV and in those metrics that were chosen by the GBI. 

For that matter, the document I linked to by GBI doesn't provide a robust justification for its metrics. It's a starting point, a quick overview.

Posts 26858
Forum MVP
MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Feb 20 2019 1:24 PM

J. Remington Bowling:
I'd like to see some *specific* faults in the metrics, otherwise it looks like resorting to platitudes that may or may not apply to the specifics here.

Specifics:

  1. The use of grammatical relationships for "literalness" is ..... The measure should be something closer to semantic roles. By measuring grammatical relationships as parallel, they are skewing the data towards languages with similar grammar e.g. German with its use of compounds would always score more poorly that English which does not. Grammatical relationships also play a relationship in emphasis ... matching grammar may misrepresent the original text because it changes the emphasis of the unit.
  2. Points for using the same translation for the same word ... well, they did give lip service to it needing to be sense of a word rather than a word. But words take meaning from connotation as well as denotation. Connotation makes the best translation vary by context.
  3. The formal vs. dynamic distinction was "invented" by Nida to distinguish between translations for people familiar with the culture of the author and those for whom the culture is foreign. As the culture is foreign to all of us millennia later, I question it's use as a measure at all  ...

From Wikipedia ... the fount of common but not necessarily reliable knowledge:

Formal equivalence approach tends to emphasize fidelity to the lexical details and grammatical structure of the original language, whereas dynamic equivalence tends to employ a more natural rendering but with less literal accuracy.

According to Eugene Nida, dynamic equivalence, the term as he originally coined, is the "quality of a translation in which the message of the original text has been so transported into the receptor language that the responseof the receptor is essentially like that of the original receptors." The desire is that the reader of both languages would understand the meanings of the text in a similar fashion.

In later years, Nida distanced himself from the term "dynamic equivalence" and preferred the term 'functional equivalence'. What the term "functional equivalence" suggests is not just that the equivalence is between the function of the source text in the source culture and the function of the target text (translation) in the target culture, but that "function" can be thought of as a property of the text. It is possible to associate functional equivalence with how people interact in cultures

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

Posts 652
Kiyah | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Feb 20 2019 1:57 PM

Graham Criddle:

LaRosa Johnson:
another benefit is the translation of weights & measures to something modern English readers can understand.... so inches, feet, & yards instead of cubits

Although this is country-specific. While many people in the UK still refer to inches and feet the "official" system is metric and most younger people will think in terms of metres!

Maybe they'll put out an Anglicized version that has the UK spellings and uses the metric system. I wonder if they have any plans to do that. That would certainly help the CSB give the NIV a run for its money worldwide.

On an unrelated note, I also wish all the (major) translations would put out editions that include the apocrypha, even if they just call them study editions or something. Even if you don't consider the apocrypha canonical you can still benefit from having them in your bible for in depth study. There are many allusions/ideas from the apocrypha in the New Testament, and the apocrypha also give good background on the Second Temple period.

Posts 212
Matt Hamrick | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Feb 20 2019 3:12 PM

I currently have the CSB has my prioritized bible and this year 2019 I am reading it. I have no reason for prioritizing it except I wanted the hover to show the CSB so I am more familiar with it at the end of the year. Since 2006 I have used the ESV as my prioritized bible except the year I read the LEB I made the LEB the prioritized bible that year. If I am reading a certain translation I make it the preferred bible. 

Page 1 of 2 (23 items) 1 2 Next > | RSS