Review of the HCSB Pew Bible

I used to review Bible editions a lot.  I am going to pick up that habit again.

(The ranking applies to the translation and format, not to the Word of God.)

1. The HCSB is not as beautiful as the RSV/ESV, nor as literal as the NASB. Still, in communicating to those who do not know “church-ese” but not abandoning the text, it is very good. It is infinitely superior to the NIV in this regard.

2. The New Testament format does a nice job in setting apart and bold-facing Old Testament quotations. Oddly enough, they do not cite the references.

3. It’s surprisingly well-bound. I am not particularly gentle with mine and it is holding up very well. Many of the older pew bibles–the Gift Award Bibles–are simply trash in terms of paper and binding. This pew bible is much superior.


1. The print is smaller than I would like. It’s readable, but at 4 AM in the morning not enjoyable. I realize this is a pew bible and its quantity over quality, but caveat emptor.

2. The margins are small, but some minor notes can be written them.

Lifeway stores had a dump sale and I picked this up for pennies on the dollar. I would not have paid more than $5 for it, but it serves me well enough.