Why I Love The New Christian Standard Bible Study Bible

A couple of weeks ago I received a copy of the new Christian Standard Bible Study Bible. It didn’t take long for me to realize that this new resource would quickly become one of my favorites. Below I outline all the reasons why I love it and how it could benefit your in your own personal study of the Scriptures.

Christian Standard Bible

Why Use A Study Bible?

Most people who read the Bible regularly already own a study Bible. But not all. Maybe you don’t see the value in it. Maybe you don’t want to spend the extra cash to purchase one of your own. Or maybe no one has explained to you how a study Bible can benefit your personal devotional life.

That’s what I intend to do here.

Study Bibles are designed to assist you in understanding and applying the Scriptures to your own life. They contain various notes and comments on the text to aid in comprehension. They typically provide introductions to each book, outline the text, introduce the author, the message and the purpose of the writing. Often times they contain maps as well, helping you visualize the biblical place and time.

All of these tools serve to enhance your experience with the biblical text.

Why Choose The New CSB Translation

The Christian Standard Bible translation is an update to the previous Holman Christian Standard Bible. If you own a Holman and are wondering what updates were made to the text, read this interview with Dr. Tom Schriener, co-chair of the CSB Translation Oversight Committee, to find out more.

Bible translations come in various forms, spanning the more literal “word for word” translations to the more paraphrased “thought for thought” translations. For an explanation of the various types of Bible translations, read my post How To Choose A Bible Translation That’s Right For You.

Essentially, the CSB strikes the perfect balance between linguistic precision and readability. This approach to translating the Scriptures is called “Optimal Equivalence”–faithfulness to the text and ease of readability. Read more about the translation philosophy here.

To visualize this concept, the publishers have provided this chart.

CSB Translation Chart

(photo credit: csbible.com)

As you can see, the Christian Standard Bible translation falls to the right amongst the more literal translations such as the ESV, NASB and the KJV. Yet it still scores high in terms of readability, sitting alongside other translations like the NIV and the NET.

This optimal blend of literal and readable produces a translation of Scripture that you can both trust and understand with ease. That’s exactly what you want when selecting any Bible translation.

CSB Study Bible Features

Now on to the specific features that make the new Christian Standard Bible Study Bible so great.

Translation Notes

The CSB Study Bible features two different types of translation notes. Alternate Translations point out other valid ways the text could be translated. And Literal Translations allow you to see a more literal rendering of the text in order to compare it to the CSB translation.

Cross References

Found in between the two columns of text, these references list other passages of Scripture that relate to the text you are reading.

csb cross references

Study Notes

These notes provide additional information and insight into the text to assist you in understanding any given passage. The CSB Study Bible contains more than 15,000 study notes, and expands the content offered in the previous award-winning HCSB Study Bible.

Bold New Testament Text

Reading through the New Testament you will notice some of the words are printed in a bold font. This points out quotes from the Old Testament used by authors of the New Testament.


The maps in the CSB Study Bible are full color and beautiful. The purpose of maps in any study Bible is to help you visualize the world of the Bible. The CSB Study Bible contains more than 50 different maps, detailing the world of the Bible from the “Table of Nations” found in Genesis 10 all the way to the “Siege of Jerusalem” in AD 70.

Word Studies

Ever wondered what a particular biblical word is in the original language? How it’s translated and why? How many times that particular word is used in the Bible and what it means exactly? The CSB Study Bible has you covered with more than 300 biblical word studies across both the Old and New Testament!

csb word studies


Each book of the Bible is preceded by an in depth introduction unpacking the date, authorship, message, purpose, structure and outline of the biblical text.


This valuable resource enables you to put the book of the Bible in its appropriate historical place. Ever wonder what else was going on in the world during the time of the Exodus? Or when the various prophets were ministering during the reign of the kings? The CSB Study Bible shines light on other significant historical information relevant to each book of the Bible.

csb timelines


One of my favorite features of the CSB Study Bible are the essays that provide in-depth coverage on a variety of biblical and theological issues. More than 30 essays unpack a variety of topics including How to Read and Study the BibleDifferences in the Gospels, Church Discipline, Christ in the Old Testament, Is Jesus the Only Way?, The Bible and Women and much, much more!

Buy Your Copy Today!

All of these features and more are available in the new Christian Standard Bible Study Bible. I saw its value almost immediately. And I’m sure you will too.

You can purchase your own copy of the CSB Study Bible at your local LifeWay Christian Store. Or you can purchase it from Amazon. You can also read the CSB in the YouVersion Bible App. Or by downloading the free CSB App from the iTunes or Google Play store.


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