HCSB 2nd Edition Released by WORDsearch (with Strong’s coding!)

WORDsearch yesterday released a revised version of the Holman Christian Standard Bible for use on their Bible Study platforms. This is a free update for existing HCSB license holders, and replaces the previous version on their download server.

This is a hugely improved study resource, as the text is now tagged with Strong’s numbers, providing easy access to the meanings of underlying Greek or Hebrew words using the Strong’s Dictionary, or other compatible lexicons. The HCSB joins the KJV and NASB (and an interlinear) as Strong’s-tagged English translations available on WORDsearch’s CROSS platform. It is, to the best of my knowledge, the only Strong’s-tagged edition of the HCSB on the market. I’m not crazy about the HCSB, but I’m delighted to have another tagged Bible to work with – this is a big step in the right direction.

Another pleasant surprise is the large number of cross references that have been included with this text – far  more than had been available previously. Currently, these are only accessible by expanding footnotes within the Biblical text in a standard Bible window, but hopefully they will also be made available in a stand-alone xref window, as was the case with the previous edition of the HCSB in CROSS.

Finally, this is not just an apparatus upgrade. This release also appears to include a significant revision of the translation, which has been said to be in the works for some time, planned for a 2009 release. This was a very quiet revision release, as I can find no references to it on any Holman/Lifeway web site. It’s entirely possible that WORDsearch got an advance copy of the updated text to work with, and that a widely available updated text will soon be announced by the copyright holder. There is no indication from the WORDsearch side that the “update” actually includes a significant revision of the Biblical text, but it surely does.

At the risk of throwing cold water on this, it should be pointed out that since this updated HCSB will replace (overwrite) the original version, it may make for some confusion for WORDsearch and/or Bible Explorer users who preach from the HCSB, since their electronic study text will differ significantly from their hard copies. It might have been nice to be able to keep both editions available (like the NASB versions), at least until people can replace their hard copies.

Below, I’ve provided a table comparing changes in Ephesians from the original edition (left column) to this 2008 update just published in CROSS (right column). Looking just at Ephesians, I found that 46 out of the 155 verses in the book have changes in this revision – some of them non-trivial. That’s not counting an additional handful of verses with only punctuation changes or a conjunction added/dropped.


2003 HCSB

2008 HCSB

Ephesians 1:1 (HCSB)
1 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by God’s will: To the saints and believers in Christ Jesus at Ephesus.

Ephesians 1:1 (HCSB)
1 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by God’s will: To the faithful •saints in Christ Jesus at Ephesus.,

Ephesians 1:7 (HCSB)
7 In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace

Ephesians 1:7 (HCSB)
7 We have •redemption in Him through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace

Ephesians 1:11 (HCSB)
11 In Him we were also made His inheritance, predestined according to the purpose of the One who works out everything in agreement with the decision of His will,

Ephesians 1:11 (HCSB)
11 We have also received an inheritance in Him, predestined according to the purpose of the One who works out everything in agreement with the decision of His will,

Ephesians 1:13 (HCSB)
13 In Him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation—in Him when you believed—were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit.

Ephesians 1:13 (HCSB)
13 When you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and when you believed in Him, you were also sealed with the promised Holy Spirit.

Ephesians 1:18 (HCSB)
18 [I pray] that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened so you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the glorious riches of His inheritance among the saints,

Ephesians 1:18 (HCSB)
18 ?I pray? that the perception of your mind may be enlightened so you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the glorious riches of His inheritance among the saints,

Ephesians 2:2 (HCSB)
2 in which you previously walked according to this worldly age, according to the ruler of the atmospheric domain, the spirit now working in the disobedient.

Ephesians 2:2 (HCSB)
2 in which you previously •walked according to the ways of this world, according to the ruler who exercises authority over the lower heavens,, the spirit now working in the disobedient.

Ephesians 2:4 (HCSB)
4 But God, who is abundant in mercy, because of His great love that He had for us,

Ephesians 2:4 (HCSB)
4 But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love that He had for us,

Ephesians 2:5 (HCSB)
5 made us alive with the Messiah even though we were dead in trespasses. By grace you are saved!

Ephesians 2:5 (HCSB)
5 made us alive with the •Messiah even though we were dead in trespasses. You are saved by grace!

Ephesians 2:6 (HCSB)
6 He also raised us up with Him and seated us with Him in the heavens, in Christ Jesus,

Ephesians 2:6 (HCSB)

6 Together with Christ Jesus He also raised us up and seated us in the heavens,

Ephesians 2:7 (HCSB)
7 so that in the coming ages He might display the immeasurable riches of His grace in [His] kindness to us in Christ Jesus.

Ephesians 2:7 (HCSB)
7 so that in the coming ages He might display the immeasurable riches of His grace through ?His? kindness to us in Christ Jesus.

Ephesians 2:8 (HCSB)
8 For by grace you are saved through faith, and this is not from yourselves; it is God’s gift—

Ephesians 2:8 (HCSB)
8 For you are saved by grace through faith, and this is not from yourselves; it is God’s gift—

Ephesians 2:11 (HCSB)
11 So then, remember that at one time you were Gentiles in the flesh—called “the uncircumcised” by those called “the circumcised,” done by hand in the flesh.

Ephesians 2:11 (HCSB)
11 So then, remember that at one time you were Gentiles in the flesh—called “the uncircumcised” by those called “the circumcised,” ?which is done? in the flesh by human hands.

Ephesians 2:12 (HCSB)
12 At that time you were without the Messiah, excluded from the citizenship of Israel, and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, with no hope and without God in the world.

Ephesians 2:12 (HCSB)
12 At that time you were without the Messiah, excluded from the citizenship of Israel, and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world.

Ephesians 2:15 (HCSB)
15 He did away with the law of the commandments in regulations, so that He might create in Himself one new man from the two, resulting in peace.

Ephesians 2:15 (HCSB)
15 He made of no effect the law consisting of commands and expressed in regulations, so that He might create in Himself one new man from the two, resulting in peace.

Ephesians 2:17 (HCSB)
17 When [Christ] came, He proclaimed the good news of peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near.

Ephesians 2:17 (HCSB)
17 When ?the Messiah? came, He proclaimed the good news of peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near.

Ephesians 2:21 (HCSB)
21 The whole building is being fitted together in Him and is growing into a holy sanctuary in the Lord,

Ephesians 2:21 (HCSB)
21 The whole building, being put together by Him, grows into a holy sanctuary in the Lord.

Ephesians 2:22 (HCSB)
22 in whom you also are being built together for God’s dwelling in the Spirit.

Ephesians 2:22 (HCSB)
22 You also are being built together for God’s dwelling in the Spirit.

Ephesians 3:10 (HCSB)
10 This is so that God’s multi-faceted wisdom may now be made known through the church to the rulers and authorities in the heavens.

Ephesians 3:10 (HCSB)
10 This is so God’s multi-faceted wisdom may now be made known through the church to the rulers and authorities in the heavens.

Ephesians 3:11 (HCSB)
11 This is according to the purpose of the ages, which He made in the Messiah, Jesus our Lord,

Ephesians 3:11 (HCSB)
11 This is according to His eternal purpose accomplished in the Messiah, Jesus our Lord.

Ephesians 3:12 (HCSB)
12 in whom we have boldness, access, and confidence through faith in Him.

Ephesians 3:12 (HCSB)
12 In Him we have boldness and confident access through faith in Him.

Ephesians 3:14 (HCSB)
14 For this reason I bow my knees before the Father

Ephesians 3:14 (HCSB)
14 For this reason I kneel before the Father

Ephesians 3:16 (HCSB)
16 [I pray] that He may grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man,

Ephesians 3:16 (HCSB)
16 ?I pray? that He may grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power in the inner man through His Spirit,

Ephesians 3:18 (HCSB)
18 may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the length and width, height and depth [of God’s love],

Ephesians 3:18 (HCSB)
18 may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the length and width, height and depth ?of God’s love?,

Ephesians 3:20 (HCSB)
20 Now to Him who is able to do above and beyond all that we ask or think—according to the power that works in you—

Ephesians 3:20 (HCSB)
20 Now to Him who is able to do above and beyond all that we ask or think according to the power that works in us—

Ephesians 4:10 (HCSB)
10 The One who descended is the same as the One who ascended far above all the heavens, that He might fill all things.

Ephesians 4:10 (HCSB)
10 The One who descended is also the One who ascended far above all the heavens, that He might fill all things.

Ephesians 4:21 (HCSB)
21 assuming you heard Him and were taught by Him, because the truth is in Jesus:

Ephesians 4:21 (HCSB)
21 assuming you heard about Him and were taught by Him, because the truth is in Jesus.

Ephesians 4:22 (HCSB)
22 you took off your former way of life, the old man that is corrupted by deceitful desires;

Ephesians 4:22 (HCSB)
22 You took off, your former way of life, the old self, that is corrupted by deceitful desires;

Ephesians 4:24 (HCSB)
24 you put on the new man, the one created according to God’s [likeness] in righteousness and purity of the truth.

Ephesians 4:24 (HCSB)
24 you put on, the new self, the one created according to God’s ?likeness? in righteousness and purity of the truth.

Ephesians 4:29 (HCSB)
29 No rotten talk should come from your mouth, but only what is good for the building up of someone in need, in order to give grace to those who hear.

Ephesians 4:29 (HCSB)
29 No foul language is to come from your mouth, but only what is good for building up someone in need, so that it gives grace to those who hear.

Ephesians 4:30 (HCSB)
30 And don’t grieve God’s Holy Spirit, who sealed you for the day of redemption.

Ephesians 4:30 (HCSB)
30 And don’t grieve God’s Holy Spirit. You were sealed by Him for the day of •redemption.

Ephesians 4:31 (HCSB)
31 All bitterness, anger and wrath, insult and slander must be removed from you, along with all wickedness.

Ephesians 4:31 (HCSB)
31 All bitterness, anger and wrath, shouting and slander must be removed from you, along with all malice.

Ephesians 5:5 (HCSB)
5 For know and recognize this: no sexually immoral or impure or greedy person, who is an idolater, has an inheritance in the kingdom of the Messiah and of God.

Ephesians 5:5 (HCSB)
5 For know and recognize this: Every sexually immoral or impure or greedy person, who is an idolater, does not have an inheritance in the kingdom of the Messiah and of God.

Ephesians 5:6 (HCSB)
6 Let no one deceive you with empty arguments, for because of these things God’s wrath is coming on the disobedient.

Ephesians 5:6 (HCSB)
6 Let no one deceive you with empty arguments, for God’s wrath is coming on the disobedient because of these things.

Ephesians 5:18 (HCSB)
18 And don’t get drunk with wine, which [leads to] reckless actions, but be filled with the Spirit:

Ephesians 5:18 (HCSB)
18 And don’t get drunk with wine, which ?leads to? reckless actions, but be filled by the Spirit:

Ephesians 5:19 (HCSB)
19 speaking to one another in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, singing and making music to the Lord in your heart,

Ephesians 5:19 (HCSB)
19 speaking to one another in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, singing and making music from your heart to the Lord,

Ephesians 5:23 (HCSB)
23 for the husband is head of the wife as also Christ is head of the church. He is the Savior of the body.

Ephesians 5:23 (HCSB)
23 for the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church. He is the Savior of the body.

Ephesians 5:24 (HCSB)
24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so wives should [submit] to their husbands in everything.

Ephesians 5:24 (HCSB)
24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so wives are to ?submit? to their husbands in everything.

Ephesians 5:25 (HCSB)
25 Husbands, love your wives, just as also Christ loved the church and gave Himself for her,

Ephesians 5:25 (HCSB)
25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave Himself for her

Ephesians 5:26 (HCSB)
26 to make her holy, cleansing her in the washing of water by the word.

Ephesians 5:26 (HCSB)
26 to make her holy, cleansing her with the washing of water by the word.

Ephesians 5:27 (HCSB)
27 He did this to present the church to Himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but holy and blameless.

Ephesians 5:27 (HCSB)
27 He did this to present the church to Himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or anything like that, but holy and blameless.

Ephesians 5:28 (HCSB)
28 In the same way, husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself.

Ephesians 5:28 (HCSB)
28 In the same way, husbands are to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself.

Ephesians 6:7 (HCSB)
7 Render service with a good attitude, as to the Lord and not to men,

Ephesians 6:7 (HCSB)
7 Serve with a good attitude, as to the Lord and not to men,

Ephesians 6:9 (HCSB)
9 And masters, treat them the same way, without threatening them, because you know that both their and your Master is in heaven, and there is no favoritism with Him.

Ephesians 6:9 (HCSB)
9 And masters, treat your slaves the same way, without threatening them, because you know that both their Master and yours is in heaven, and there is no favoritism with Him.

Ephesians 6:16 (HCSB)
16 In every situation take the shield of faith, and with it you will be able to extinguish the flaming arrows of the evil one.

Ephesians 6:16 (HCSB)
16 In every situation take the shield of faith, and with it you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.

Ephesians 6:18 (HCSB)
18 With every prayer and request, pray at all times in the Spirit, and stay alert in this, with all perseverance and intercession for all the saints.

Ephesians 6:18 (HCSB)
18 Pray at all times in the Spirit with every prayer and request, and stay alert in this with all perseverance and intercession for all the •saints.

Ephesians 6:21 (HCSB)
21 Tychicus, our dearly loved brother and faithful servant in the Lord, will tell you everything so that you also may know how I am and what I’m doing.

Ephesians 6:21 (HCSB)
21 Tychicus, our dearly loved brother and faithful servant in the Lord, will tell you all the news about me so that you may be informed.


  • Joe

    I hope this edition gets onto the bible study sites ASAP. They should be shouting it from the rooftops, instead no one seems to know anything…

  • John W Gillis

    Hi Joe, the quietness around this seems to be intentional on the part of B&H. Hard to guess if they want to wait until they have a hardcopy version ready to ship, or if they just plan to keep the update quiet regardless, so as to not roil people who suddenly find their Bibles “out of date.” After all, if you claim to publish a “standard,” it probably shouldn’t be a moving target…

    My guess is that they start making noise about it early in 2009, and publish it in an edition that will be compelling for a lot of people to pick up (e.g. a Study edition).

  • Joe

    I have seen others mention a October 2009 release. That would be sad. I guess you could always just get the Bible Explorer program from Wordsearch and buy the add-on for $20 if places like biblegateway, esword don’t offer it soon.

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