New American Standard Bible

The New American Standard Bible (NASB) is an English translation of the Bible by the Lockman Foundation.[2] The New Testament was first published in 1963, and the complete Bible in 1971.[3] The most recent edition of the NASB text was published in 2020.

New American Standard Bible
New American Standard Bible cover.jpg
Full nameNew American Standard Bible
AbbreviationNASB; uncommonly abbreviated as NAS
OT published1971
NT published1963
Derived fromAmerican Standard Version
Textual basis
Translation typeFormal Equivalence
Reading level10.0
Version revision1995, 2020
PublisherThe Lockman Foundation
Copyright1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995, 2020 by The Lockman Foundation
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. 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. Then God said, "Let there be light"; and there was light.
"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.

The NASB was published in the following stages:

  • Gospel of John (1960)
  • The Gospels (1962)
  • New Testament (1963)
  • Psalms (1968)
  • Complete bible, Old and New Testaments (1971)
  • Modified editions (1972, 1973, 1975, 1977)
  • Updated editions (1995, 2020)

In parallel with the Bible itself, the NAS Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible was published in August 1997.[4] For convenience, this concordance uses the same word numbering system as Strong's Concordance.

Translation philosophyEdit

The New American Standard Bible is considered by some sources as the most literally translated of major 20th-century English Bible translations.[5] According to the NASB's preface, the translators had a "Fourfold Aim" in this 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.[6]

The NASB is an original translation from the Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek texts, based on the same principles of translation, and wording, as the American Standard Version (ASV) of 1901. It offers an alternative to the Revised Standard Version (1946–1952/1971), which is considered by some to be theologically liberal,[7] and also to the 1929 revision of the ASV.[8]

The Hebrew text used for this translation was the third edition of Rudolf Kittel's Biblia Hebraica as well as the Dead Sea Scrolls. The Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia was consulted for the 1995 revision. For Greek, Eberhard Nestle's Novum Testamentum Graece was used; the 23rd edition in the 1971 original,[9] and the 26th in the 1995 revision.[8]

The Open Bible edition of the New American Standard Bible in the Church of Saint Mary, an Episcopal Church in Sagada, Mountain Province, the Philippines.

Seeing the need for a literal, modern translation of the English Bible, the translators sought to produce a contemporary English Bible while maintaining a word-for-word translation style. In cases where word-for-word literalness was determined to be unacceptable for modern readers, changes were made in the direction of more current idioms. In some such instances, the more literal renderings were indicated in footnotes.

The greatest strength of the NASB is its reliability and fidelity to the original languages. Additionally, the NASB includes printing of verses as individual units (although more recent editions are available in paragraph format.)

Updated NASB (1995)Edit

In 1992, the Lockman Foundation commissioned a limited revision of the NASB. In 1995, the Lockman Foundation reissued the NASB text as the NASB Updated Edition (more commonly, the Updated NASB or NASB95). Since then, it has become widely known as simply the "NASB", supplanting the 1977 text in current printings, save for a few (Thompson Chain Reference Bibles, Open Bibles, Key Word Study Bibles, et al.).

In the updated NASB, consideration was given to the latest available manuscripts with an emphasis on determining the best Greek text. Primarily, the 26th edition of Nestle-Aland's Novum Testamentum Graece is closely followed. The Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia is also employed together with the most recent light from lexicography, cognate languages, and the Dead Sea Scrolls.[10]

The updated NASB represents recommended revisions and refinements, and incorporates thorough research based on current English usage.[11] Vocabulary, grammar, and sentence structure were meticulously revised for greater understanding and smoother reading, hence increasing clarity and readability.[11] Terms found in Elizabethan English such as "thy" and "thou" have been modernized, while verses with difficult word ordering are restructured. Punctuation and paragraphing have been formatted for modernization, and verbs with multiple meanings have been updated to better account for their contextual usage.[11]

NASB 2020Edit

Starting in 2018, the Lockman Foundation posted some passages from "NASB 2020", an update of the 1995 revision.[12][non-primary source needed]


YHWH (rendered as "Jehovah" in the original A.S.V.) is rendered LORD or GOD in capital letters in the NASB.[9] The committee stated the reason as: "This name has not been pronounced by the Jews because of reverence for the great sacredness of the divine name. Therefore it has been consistently translated LORD. The only exception is when it occurs in immediate proximity to the word Lord, that is, Adonai. In that case it is regularly translated GOD in order to avoid confusion. It is known that for many years YHWH has been transliterated as Yahweh, however no complete certainty attaches to this pronunciation."[13] This is in direct contrast to the preface of ASV of 70 years earlier, where the committee explained that "the American Revisers...were brought to the unanimous conviction that a Jewish superstition, which regarded the Divine Name as too sacred to be uttered, ought no longer to dominate in the English or any other version of the Old Testament."[14]


The translation work was done by a group sponsored by the Lockman Foundation.[15] According to the Lockman Foundation, the committee consisted of people from Christian institutions of higher learning and from evangelical Protestant, predominantly conservative, denominations (Presbyterian, Methodist, Southern Baptist, Church of Christ, Nazarene, American Baptist, Fundamentalist, Conservative Baptist, Free Methodist, Congregational, Disciples of Christ, Evangelical Free, Independent Baptist, Independent Mennonite, Assembly of God, North American Baptist, and "other religious groups").[16][17]

The foundation's Web site indicates that among the translators and consultants who contributed are Bible scholars with doctorates in biblical languages, theology, "or other advanced degrees", and come from a variety of denominational backgrounds. More than 20 individuals worked on modernizing the NASB in accord with the most recent research.[17]


  1. ^ a b "The Lockman Foundation - NASB, Amplified Bible, LBLA, and NBLA Bibles". The Lockman Foundation. Archived from the original on August 7, 2020. Retrieved August 7, 2020.
  2. ^ "The New American Standard Bible". The Most Literal is Now More Readable. The Lockman Foundation. Retrieved December 14, 2007.
  3. ^ NAS Exhaustive Concordance. August 1997. ISBN 978-1885217783.
  4. ^ Pope, Christopher. "Comparing Bible Translations: Conclusions" (PDF). Retrieved May 21, 2013.
  5. ^ "The Lockman Foundation - NASB, Amplified, LBLA, and NBLH Bibles". Retrieved February 16, 2012.
  6. ^ Harris, R. Laird (1969). "Inspiration and Canonicity of the Bible: An Historical and Exegetical Study". Contemporary Evangelical Perspectives (2nd ed.). Grand Rapids: Zondervan. p. 58.
  7. ^ a b "NASB Translation Principles". Retrieved December 2, 2015.
  8. ^ a b "Preface". Retrieved August 9, 2010.
  9. ^ "Why the NASB?". The Lockman Foundation. Retrieved June 16, 2009.
  10. ^ a b c "New American Standard Bible". The Lockman Foundation. Retrieved June 16, 2009.
  11. ^ "The Lockman Foundation (NASB, Amplified, LBLA, NBLH)". Retrieved June 27, 2019.
  12. ^ Holy Bible: New American Standard Bible (NASB 1977 ed.). April 21, 2011. ISBN 9781581351521. Retrieved February 16, 2012.
  13. ^ "Preface to the American edition". Retrieved August 9, 2010.
  14. ^ Metzger, Bruce (2003). The New Testament: Its Background, Growth, and Content (3rd ed.). Nashville: Abingdon Press. p. 336.
  15. ^ BeDuhn, Jason David (2003). Truth in Translation -- Accuracy and Bias in English Translations of the New Testament. University Press of America. p. 35,39. ISBN 978-0761825562.
  16. ^ a b "The Lockman Foundation - NASB, Amplified Bible, LBLA, and NBLH Bibles". The Lockman Foundation.

Further readingEdit

External linksEdit