Christian Standard Bible vs. KJV; What’s the Difference?


This is part of Lord’s Library’s Bible Comparison Series. Our editors explore the Christian Standard Bible vs. KJV (King James Version) so you can understand the major differences between each translation.

Bible Comparison Series BadgeWhen looking for a new Bible for yourself or as a gift, comparing the different Bible versions is an ideal first step. It’s also important that one considers the various Christian Church denominations when Bible shopping so the reader can be comfortable with their translation’s version of English. Some churches mandate a precise edition as well, while others may be curious about which version of the manuscript their favorite Bible translation comes from.

.If you’ve ever asked the question “What’s the difference between the Christian Standard Bible vs. KJV?” you’ve come to the right place. It’s in that spirit that our editors compiled this short resource by first offering a simple description of each Bible version, and then a comparison that highlights key contrasts. For each of the two Bible versions compared, Lord’s Library editors included links to our directories of the best editions, as well as the most popular products.

The Gospel

Christian Standard Bible vs. KJV (King James Version)

What is the Christian Standard Bible (CSB)?

The Christian Standard Bible was created with the goal of drawing readers into a deeper, more meaningful relationship with God. It started as a revision of the 2009 edition of the Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB). It strived to do so by presenting a Bible with the clearest possible modern English. This translation was worked on by 100 scholars from 17 different

denominations. They worked with the intent to capture the Bible’s original meeting without compromising readability. The translation was completed in June of 2016. The first full edition was published in March of 2017. There was an update to the Christian Standard Bible released in February of 2020.

What is the KJV (King James Version)?

The King James Version has stood the test of time and proven itself by becoming the best-selling English Bible translation of all time. This is because it boasts incredible accuracy to the manuscripts from which it was translated and a rich, vibrant language. The complete King James Bible was originally published in 1611 after being commissioned by King James VI.

The historical significance of this Bible translation is astounding, so much so that it has been credited with shaping much of the culture of the English-speaking world. Today, the King James Version still proves to be an effective and reliable translation, with its only caveat being that the language it’s written in is not friendly to the average reader.

Christian Standard Bible vs. KJV; What’s the Difference?

When comparing the Christian Standard Bible vs. KJV, it’s important to understand the differences in translation philosophy. While the King James conforms to a strict word-for-word approach, the CSB was created using Optimal Equivalence, a philosophy blending both word-for-word and thought-for-thought approaches.

In the many places throughout Scripture where a word-for-word rendering is clearly understandable, a literal translation is used. When a word-for-word rendering might obscure the meaning for a modern audience, a more dynamic translation is used. This process assures that both the words and thoughts contained in the original text are conveyed as accurately as possible for today’s readers.

The King James Bible focused solely on representing the original words of the manuscripts it was produced from while preserving the Old English language. Some find the King James Version to be difficult to read in language and style. The Christian Standard Bible used Biblica Hebraica Stuttgartensia as its basis for the Old Testament and Novum Testamentum Graece as its basis for the New Testament. The King James Bible used the Masoretic Text, Septuagint, and the Vulgate for its Old Testament and the Textus Receptus for its New Testament.

Both the CSB and KJV will appeal to readers looking for an accurately translated Bible as close to the original manuscripts as possible. When making your choice between these two Bibles, it will all come down to how you feel about the manuscripts from which each were produced, as well as the optimal equivalence method from which the CSB was birthed.

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Timothy Andrew

Timothy Andrew

Tim is the Founder of Lord's Library. He believes the Bible commands us to minister "as of the ability which God giveth" (1 Peter 4:11). Tim aspires to be as The Lord's mouth by "taking forth the precious from the vile" (Jeremiah 15:19) and witnessing The Gospel of Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 15: 1-4) to the whole world.

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