HCSB Study Bible online

go here to see more; seems to me the notes are more devotional in nature than academic or theological.  Here is a sample from Genesis 1:

Genesis 1:1-5

1:1 This opening verse of the Bible, seven words in the Hebrew, establishes seven key truths upon which the rest of the Bible is based.

First, God exists. The essential first step in pleasing God is recognizing His existence (Heb 11:6). Second, God existed before there was a universe and will exist after the universe perishes (Heb 1:10-12). Third, God is the main character in the Bible. He is the subject of the first verb in the Bible (in fact, He is the subject of more verbs than any other character) and performs a wider variety of activities than any other being in the Bible. Fourth, as Creator God has done what no human being could ever do; in its active form the Hebrew verb bara’, meaning “to create,” never has a human subject. Thus bara’ signifies a work that is uniquely God’s. Fifth, God is mysterious; though the Hebrew word for God is plural, the verb form of which “God” is the subject is singular. This is perhaps a subtle allusion to God’s Trinitarian nature: He is three divine persons in one divine essence. Sixth, God is the Creator of heaven and earth. He doesn’t just modify pre-existing matter but calls matter into being out of nothing (Ps 33:6,9; Heb 11:3). Seventh, God is not dependent on the universe, but the universe is totally dependent on God (Heb 1:3).

1:2 Bible translations since the time of the Septuagint, the translation of the OT into Greek (ca 175 b.c.), have rendered the first Hebrew verb in this verse as was. However, in an effort to explain the origins of evil and/or find biblical evidence for an old earth, some Bible scholars have suggested that this verb should be translated as “became.” Citing evidence in Isa 14:12-21 and Ezek 28:12-19, they believe a time gap, possibly a vast one, exists between the first two verses of the Bible, during which Satan led a rebellion in heaven against God. This allows interpreters to suggest that the early earth was formless and empty because Satan’s rebellion marred God’s good creation. However, the construction of this sentence in the original Hebrew favors the traditional translation (“was” rather than “became”).

The sense of verse 2 is that God created the earth “formless and empty” as an unfinished and unfilled state. Working through an orderly process over a period of six days, God formed (days 1-3) and filled (days 4-6) His created handiwork. The “forming” was accomplished by means of three acts of separating or sorting various elements of creation from one another. The “filling” was carried out through five acts of populating the newly created domains. Watery depths, a single word in Hebrew, suggests an original state of creation that was shapeless as liquid water. The Hebrew verb translated was hovering, used also in Dt 32:11, suggests that the Spirit of God was watching over His creation just as a bird watches over its young.

1:3 A foundational teaching of the Bible is that God speaks and does so with universe-changing authority. The command in this verse is just two words in Hebrew.

1:4 Another basic truth of the Bible is that God saw; this means He is fully aware of His creation. Later writers directly declared that God is aware of events occurring throughout the earth (2Ch 16:9; Zech 4:10). The term good, used here for the first of seven times in this chapter to evaluate God’s creative work, can be used to express both high quality and moral excellence. The physical universe is a good place because God made it. God found satisfaction in His labor. This first instance where God separated created the twin realms of light and darkness, day and night. God’s activity in the material world parallels the role He also performs in the moral universe, that of the righteous Judge distinguishing between those who live in moral light and those who do not (1Th 5:5).

1:5 In ancient Israel, the act of naming an object, place, or person indicated that you held control over it (35:10; 41:45; Num 32:42; Dt 3:14; Jos 19:47; 2Ki 23:34; 24:17). When God named the light and the darkness, He asserted His lordship and control over all of time. Evening came. In ancient Israelite and modern Jewish tradition, sundown is the transition point from one day to the next.

I haven’t surveyed enough to see if the notes are all more devotional in tone or if there is mix and match of devo, academic, theological etc.

Check it out!

HT: Jeff Oien’s FB page.  He blogs at Scripture Zealot.


5 responses to “HCSB Study Bible online

  1. Brian,

    I have the/my new copy of the HCSB Study Bible, and I am loving it! The Bible Book Intro’s are lovely, and have colored paper. Your Kostenberger does John and Colossians..nice! Also nice to see Murry J. Harris again, he did the notes for Philemon (he took his Ph.D. from my old haunt, University of Manchester).

    • Yes, I knew Bruce.. we used to chat in the library, after his retirement. (He loved that precious library!) We used to talk about the PB’s (Plymouth Brethren), since we both had life and contact there. He was a great Man of God!

      • Brian,

        If you can get a copy, and a chance to read it? See his: The Spreading Flame, The Rise and Progress of Christianity from John the Baprist to the Conversion of the English (actually three former books in One). This is still a good history!

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