Overview of Bible Study



Bible Store


New American Standard Bible

The New American Standard Bible was published by the Lockman Foundation, a nonprofit Christian corporation established to promote Christian education, evangelism, and Bible translation in several languages. Besides the NASB, it has also published the Amplified New Testament.

The NASB translation began with the Gospel of John in 1960, all four Gospels in 1962, the NT in 1963, and the entire Bible in 1971.

The objectives of the translators was to adhere to the original languages of the Bible as closely as possible without sacrificing a fluent and readable contemporary style. One of its chief criticisms is that its goal of using contemporary English sometimes required a departure from the word-for-word literal translation seen in the ASV and other modern English translations.

There is only one column of text per page. As with the KJV, each verse is printed as a separate unit rather than arranging the text in sense paragraphs, as does the ASV. This may make it more difficult for the unfamiliar reader to comprehend the context of a passage, in that each verse appears to be a unit unto itself. In recognition of this potential problem, the New American Standard Bible denotes the beginning of each paragraph by boldface verse numbers.

Except in the context of language addressed to Deity, the New American Standard Bible avoids the use of such archaic terms as "thou," "thee," and "thy." Personal pronouns referring to God the Father, Jesus Christ, or the Holy Spirit begin with a capital letter. In reference to Jesus Christ, this is true regardless of the speaker's attitude toward Jesus.

A prominent feature of the New American Standard Bible is its study aids, mostly maring notes and cross references, placed in a column more than an inch wide on the outer edge of each page. Superscript numbers in the text refer to the marginalia, which are arranged by verses. In the NASB, margin notes are generally helpful in nature rather than argumentative.

All in all, the NASB is a conservative and reasonably literal approach to the translation of the Scriptures. It represents an honest attempt to be faithful to the original languages of the Bible. As compared to other translations, such as the New International Version, its language is sometimes stilted. The strength of the New American Standard Bible lies in its usefulness as a study Bible.

Although I own several translations, I generally use the NASB for study purposes, preferring the NIV for general reading, and the KJV for its poetic language.

    In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. -- Genesis 1:1

    The earth was formless and void, and darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the waters. -- Genesis 1:2

    For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. -- John 3:16


Overview of Bible Study