It may feel like there are an overwhelming amount of translations to choose from. Here we discuss two of the most down to earth, readable translations on the market: the NIV and the CSB.
Origin of NIV and CSB
NIV – the New International Version was originally introduced in 1973.
CSB – in 2004, the Holan Christian Standard Version was first pubished
Readability of the NIV and Bible translations
NIV – At the time of it’s creation, many scholars felt like the KJV translation didn’t fully resonate with the speaker of modern English, so they compiled together to create the first modern English translation.
CSB – The CSB is considered by a great many to be highly readable
Bible translation differences of the NIV and CSB
NIV – The NIV tries to balance out between thought for thought and word for word. Their goal was to have the “soul as well as the structure” of the original texts. The NIV is an original translation, meaning the scholars started from scratch with the original Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek texts.
CSB – The CSB is considered a blending of both word for word as well as thought for thought. The primary goal of the translators was to create a balance between the two.
Bible verse comparison
Genesis 1:21 So God created the great creatures of the sea and every living thing with which the water teems and that moves about in it, according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.
Romans 8:38-39 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Proverbs 19:28 “The prospect of the righteous is joy, but the hopes of the wicked come to nothing.”
Psalm 144:15 “Blessed is the people of whom this is true; blessed is the people whose God is the LORD.”
Deuteronomy 10:17 “For the LORD your God is the God of gods and Lord of lords. He is the great God, the mighty and awesome God, who shows no partiality and cannot be bribed.
Deuteronomy 23:5 “However, the LORD your God would not listen to Balaam but turned the curse into a blessing for you, because the LORD your God loves you.”
Matthew 27:43 “He trusts in God. Let God rescue him now if he wants him, for he said, ‘I am the Son of God.”
Genesis 1:21 So God created the large sea-creatures and every living creature that moves and swarms in the water, according to their kinds. He also created every winged creature according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.
Romans 8:38-39 For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Proverbs 19:28 “The hope of the righteous is joy, but the expectation of the wicked comes to nothing.”
Psalm 144:15 “Happy are the people with such blessings. Happy are the people whose God is the LORD.”
Deuteronomy 10:17 “For the LORD your God is the God of gods and Lord of lords, the great, mighty, and awe-inspiring God, showing no partiality and taking no bribe.”
Deuteronomy 23:5 “Yet the LORD your God would not listen to Balaam, but he turned the curse into a blessing for you because the LORD your God loves you.”
Matthew 27:43 “He trusts in God; let God rescue him now—if he takes pleasure in him! For he said, ‘I am the Son of God.”
NIV – There have been numerous revisions and editions of the New International Version. Even some as controversial as Today’s New International Version.
CSB – In 2017, the translation was revised and the name Holman was dropped.
NIV – The New International Version was written for the general populace of modern English speakers.
CSB – The Christian Standard Bible is advertised as being geared for all ages. It is perfectly suitable for both children as well as adults
NIV – Is one of the most popular of the easy to read Bible translations in the world.
CSB – It is growing in popularity, though it is not as popular as the NIV
Pros and cons of both
NIV – NIV is an easy to understand version that still renders true to the original text. It may not be as accurate as some of the other translations but it is trustworthy nonetheless.
CSB – While highly readable, it is not a true word for word translation.
Pastors who use each translations
NIV – Max Lucado, David Platt
CSB – J.D. Greear
Study Bibles to choose from
The NIV Archaeology Study Bible
The NIV Life Application Bible
The CSB Study Bible
The CSB Ancient Faith Study Bible
Other Bible translations
It is often very helpful to read other Bible translations when studying. It can help bring clarity to difficult passages as well as encourage us to understand context better.
Which Bible translation should I use between the NIV and CSB?
Please pray about which translations you need to be using. A word for word translation is always the most accurate.