Is This the Most Appealing Bible?

$100,000 research project yields the Word of God, created by words of the public

 When B&H Publishing Group set out to create a study Bible utilizing the Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB), they knew there would be big expectations. Since it first launched in 2004, their cornerstone HCSB translation has sold more than 6 million copies.

Now, roughly six years, 35 scholars and tens of thousands of hours later, the HCSB Study Bible (October 2010) is hitting the market. To create it, B&H brought on the research team that works with America's household names--Starbucks, McDonaldâ's and Bridgestone Firestone--and now the best-selling book in history, the Bible.

To help identify the most important elements for the study Bible layout, Prince Market Research approached an equal number of "study Bible users" and "non-study Bible users" via online surveys, focus groups in four key Bible markets, and individual survey mailings. Their findings steered the design process, which included a more manageable size, a two-column format, fewer photos, color references placed in between the two columns, and a more readable nine-point font.

Touting the consumer input they invested in the project, B&H is currently promoting the HCSB Study Bible with the tagline: "You asked for it, we listened. The Bible people want is the Bible we built."

How does the HCSB Study Bible stack up to other study Bibles? It is more compact in size at 2,100 pages because focus groups stressed quality, not quantity. The scholars, contributors and editors focused on what users said mattered most: practical word studies; charts, maps, illustrations and timelines that contribute to the understanding of a passage, rather than interfering with the text or reading itself.

Digital versions of the HCSB Study Bible are available five ways: a digital study Bible; a digital reference Bible; digital text-only; HSCB Study Bible app for iPhone and iPad; and for four months, a free HSCB translation app at YouVersion.com for smart phones. In addition, at the beta website mystudyBible.com, readers have access to the complete commentary notes as well as the text of the HCSB Study Bible.

"The HCSB Study Bible is the first product in the history of our company that will be releasing with a full- scale launch on all print and digital fronts, and it is very fitting that it would be for our flagship HCSB Study Bible," says Digital Executive Editor Paul Mikos.

ABOUT THE HCSB TRANSLATION

The HCSB (Holman Christian Standard Bible) is the result of a 20-year project to develop a faithful, all new translation from the original texts. The HCSB is translated directly from the original Greek, Hebrew and Aramaic. Many popular versions are actually revisions of earlier translations, while the HCSB is one of the few entirely original translations in recent years. Every word choice is based on the disciplined, up-to-date scholarship of a team of cross-denominational men and women who had at their disposal a wealth of current research and new information technologies. Everything from style to format to word choice were considered to create what B&H Publishing Group believes is a translation that contributes to a better understanding of God and His word. B&H is America's oldest Bible publisher.

To receive a review copy or to set up an interview, contact Stephanie Ridge: Stephanie@prbythebook.com or 512-501-4399 x703.

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