Evaluating the New American Standard Bible Version (NASB)


The New American Standard Version

Copyrights by The Lockman Foundation

Translated in1971

Last Updated in 1995

Published by several publishing houses

The NASB has been generally recognized across the spectrum as the most literal translation available.  The committee created this translation as an answer to the Revised Standard which was considered too liberal.  It updates the American Standard Version.

Since its completion in 1971, the New American Standard Bible has been widely embraced as “the most literally accurate English translation” from the original languages. Millions of people, students, scholars, pastors, missionaries, and laypersons alike, trust the NASB, learning from it and applying it to the challenges of their daily lives. Discover what the original text says, word for word. – The Lockman Foundation Web

Key #1: Concept of the Translation

The Fourfold Aim That Guides All of Our Translation Work

1.These publications shall be true to the original Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek.
2. They shall be grammatically correct.
3. They shall be understandable.
4. They shall give the Lord Jesus Christ His proper place, the place which the Word gives Him; therefore, no work will ever be personalized.

– from http://www.lockman.org/nasb/nasbprin.php

Plain English:  This translation strives to be a word for word translation of scripture.  The NASB takes its place a the most literal.  In fact the guiding principal was known as formal equivalence.  The goal remains getting as close to the original languages with only a minimal amount of changes (those would mostly be to idioms).

Key #2: Readability

The New American Standard Bible is translated on a 11th grade reading level.  Any reader needs to prepare for this level of vocabulary.

Key #3: Understandability

Due to the nature of the sentence structures, the reader must be ready to process information from Scripture in a word for word format.  The process takes time and effort to understand.  This version will not allow you to speed read through the verses.

Key#4: Reliability

 The translators come from Presbyterian, Methodist, American Baptist, Disciples, Southern Baptist, Nazarene, General Association of Regular Baptist, Congregational, Independent Baptist, Free Methodist, and still other denominations. Some have international reputations. All support the philosophy of literal translation and the doctrinal statement of The Lockman Foundation, including the inerrancy of the Scriptures. –  The Lockman Foundation Web

Key #5: Relateability

This version rates low for two reasons.  First, this version reads in a word for word format.  Second, the version will be unfamiliar unless you have read the American Standard.  This version is uncommon.  The relateability factor will not be high for most people.

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