For several years now I have seen many of my female friends share posts on Instagram, Twitter, and/or Facebook about a Bible reading plan and online community called She Reads Truth. It always seemed like these friends were encouraged by participating in this community and I was always glad to see people excited to get into God’s word.
More recently, I have been excited by all the new Bibles Holman Bible Publishers have been putting out. I previously reviewed the CSB Reader’s Bible and loved it, so when I saw that there was an opportunity to check out a new Holman Bible Publishers release and that the Bible was a collaboration with She Reads Truth, I knew that I had to take the opportunity.
So what is the verdict on the She Reads Truth Bible? What makes it unique and is it worth investigating for yourself? Let’s take a look together at this recent release from Holman.
The first item of note is that the She Reads Truth Bible uses the CSB translation. The CSB is the Christian Standard Bible, the newest edition of what was formerly known as the Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB). The CSB aims not for formal equivalency (e.g. NASB) or dynamic equivalency (e.g. NIV), but “optimal equivalency.” That is, it goes with a word-for-word translation as often as possible, but will translate thought-for-thought when translating literally would make things too unclear for the modern reader.
I share this because this makes it an equally good choice for a Bible you’d use for devotional reading and for Bible study. All too often, translations utilizing formal equivalency can come off sounding wooden and not flowing very well. This can make it hard to understand without a bit of digging through footnotes, commentaries, or referring to other translations. But the danger of a dynamic translation is that it can stray from the original language in of the text. While you may grasp what the translation is saying immediately, you might not realize how it differs from the original text or the interpretive choices it makes with ambiguities in the original text. With the CSB, you know that it’s sticking close to the original meaning but that you’ll not have a difficult time slogging through odd phrases.
Now to the actual design of the She Reads Truth Bible. First of all, it’s a finely crafted book and it’s beautifully designed. It is colorful without being garish and filled with features without being overstuffed.
Each book begins with a key verse that is illustrated, a short introduction, and reading plans for the book in question. The edge of the page with the introductions is color-coded according to the genre of the book in question.
Within the books there are devotionals that are written to give a perspective on some of the topics raised by the surrounding context. There are no study notes, but there are cross-references and alternate interpretations as footnotes. the pages have plenty of room in the margins for those who like to take notes or journal in their Bibles.
There are plenty of “special features” too. The maps are some of the most visually appealing ones that I have ever seen in a Bible. There is a full-page print out of the Apostles’ Creed, a “Bible In A Year” reading plan, and a Topical Index in the appendices.
The She Reads Truth Bible is a wonderfully designed and produced book that would be an excellent choice for a Bible to use during daily devotions or a gift to someone who would appreciate its workmanship.