New American Standard Bible 2020 Update – Review

The New American Standard Bible has been my primary Bible translation since early 1978. I still have my first copy, as well as the classic NASB Open Bible that I purchased in 1979. A major update to the popular 1977 edition was made in 1995, greatly improving it’s readability without sacrificing literal accuracy. One of the most noticeable changes in what came to be known as the New American Standard Update was the elimination of archaic Old English pronouns in reference to Deity, opting instead for normal modern English.

In August of this year (2020) The Lockman Foundation, publishers of the New American Standard Bible, released another update to the text that has been in the works since 2018. It has been 25 years since the previous update, and whether or not older guys like me want to acknowledge it, the English language has changed in that time period. So while there may be a few uncomfortable revisions (most of the updates are either “good” or “neutral”), to the younger reader there is no question this update is more readable.

In other Bible reviews I have offered on The Messianic Light, I have read the translation in its entirety. I make it a practice to read the complete Bible through every year using a different translation than in the immediately preceding years. Last year I read the Complete Jewish Bible for at least a second time. I’ve read two different editions of the Tree of Life Version, a translation that I highly recommend for Messianic believers (and mainstream Christians as well). I even read translations that I do not like and don’t recommend, like both the 1998 and 2009 versions of the ISR Scriptures. The exception to this practice is the Eth Cepher – I started reading this, but found it so awful that I just set it aside.

I’ve read both the 1977 and 1995 editions of the New American Standard Bible several times. The NASB 2020 was just recently published, and I received my copy on October 13, 2020. I have not read it all; in fact, I have only scratched the surface. This is the translation I will be using for my annual “through the Bible” reading this next year. With that said, this review will highlight some of the things I have noticed so far, drawing also on notes about the changes that The Lockman Foundation has published and what a few other readers have observed.

Included at the end of this post is the unedited text of the “Principles of Translation” as detailed in the Foreword to the New American Standard Bible 2020 I obtained directly from The Lockman Foundation. It is posted in full with their permission so that you can read what they say guides them without comments by someone who might agree or disagree with their position. First, however, I will point out a few of my own observations, which may reference some of what they have stated.

Textual Variations

There are Bible passages that are of questionable origin. If that statement offends you, particularly if you are of the King James Only persuasion, then you probably don’t want to read the rest of this post. The fact is, there are textual differences among the source texts for our English Bibles, especially the Greek texts for the New Testament. None of these texts are original – those are long gone – and the copies we have contain variants. You can read more about this in my post Complete Jewish Bible.

In the 1995 update (NASB95), most of the passages not found in the oldest Greek manuscripts were still included in the text but shown in brackets with a footnote at the bottom of the page. For example, consider Matthew chapter 18:

10 See that you do not despise one of these little ones, for I say to you that their angels in heaven continually see the face of My Father who is in heaven.
11 [2For the Son of Man has come to save that which was lost.]
— — — — — — —
2. Early mss do not contain this v

The 2020 update (NASB2020) appropriately moves verse 11 to the footnotes.

10 See that you do not look down on one of these little ones; for I say to you that their angels in heaven continually see the face of My Father who is in heavena.
— — — — — — —
18:10 a Late mss add (traditionally v 11): For the Son of Man has come to save that which was lost

It should be noted that the text of the traditional verse 11 does appear in Luke 19:10. At some point in time a scribe either copied or noted this in a handwritten Greek manuscript, and it eventually became part of the Matthew text. Matthew didn’t write it, and it doesn’t belong here. While the NASB95 included it, bracketed, with the rest of the text, the NASB2020 handles it more properly by placing the extra verse in the footnotes.

I did find a couple of exceptions to this practice. The story of the adulterous woman in John 8 is a likely addition not found in the earliest manuscripts and probably not written by John. Like the NASB95, the NASB2020 puts this passage in the main text but bracketed, with a footnote stating, “Later mss add the story of the adulterous woman, numbering it as John 7:58-8:11.” The NASB2020 puts the entire passage in [[double brackets]].

Likewise, the long ending to Mark, verses 16:9-20, as well as the short ending usually found only in footnotes is in with the main text, both also in double brackets. The Gospel of Mark actually ends at verse 8. The footnote for Mark 16:9 reads, “Later mss add vv 9-20.” Another footnote on the shorter ending reads, “A few late mss and ancient versions contain this paragraph, usually after v 8; a few have it at the end of the ch.”

One other thing I noticed was that the footnote regarding the “Johannine Comma,” the spurious trinitarian formula inserted into 1 John 5:7 in some translations like the King James Version, is gone completely.

7 For there are three that testify:
8 the Spirit and the water and the blood; and the three are in agreement.

No footnotes. No mention of the addition that never should have been there in the first place. It’s about time.

Moving these other things to the footnotes and out of the Biblical text is a great improvement.

Translation Word Choices

There still appears to be some bias in translation choices (always unavoidable), particularly in Paul’s letters. Romans 10:4 still says, “Christ is the end of the Law,” which we know is a poor choice for translating the Greek word telos (#G5056) in this context. “Goal” rather than “end” is more appropriate. The NASB2020 now capitalizes “Law,” indicating it is referencing the Torah. While this is more accurate, it makes the error of choosing the word “end” even more egregious.

Colossians 2:16-17 in the NASB95 says that the sacred things of the Torah “are a mere shadow of what is to come.” NASB2020 now reads “are only a shadow of what is to come.” While both diminish the commands of Torah, at least the new reading seems to suggest it is in comparison to Messiah himself. In both editions of the NASB, these words (“mere” and “only”) are shown in italics, indicating they are not in the Greek text but are supplied by the translators for clarity. In reality, they are supplied by the translators for bias. Neither word is warranted. It should be noted that the English Standard Version, another highly respected translation, more accurately and literally reads, “are a shadow of the things to come.”

Similar to most other English translations of the Tanach (Old Testament), I noticed that there is no distinction made between the ram’s horn (shophar, #H7782) and the metal trumpet (chatsotserah, #H2686). They are used at different times for different purposes, and It would be nice to at least know which one is being referenced when the word “trumpet” is used.

I’ll mention a few other points before I get to “the big one.”

The genealogy in Matthew uses an active verb – “fathered” – rather than the inactive “was the father of.” Remember the old King James with the archaic “begats?” This is a better choice.

The young virgin Mary is “betrothed” (NASB2020) rather than “engaged” (NASB95) to Joseph (Luke 1:27). That’s a better representation of the practice of the time, and not as archaic as “espoused” (KJV).

A passage in 1 Corinthians 6 provides clarity first by updating the description of certain sins to terms better understood in today’s language, and then by combining the meaning of some Greek words and offering an explanation in the footnotes.

Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor 2effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God.
— — — — — — —
2. effeminate by perversion
(1 Corinthians 6:9-10 NASB95)

Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor ahomosexuals, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor those habitually drunk, nor verbal abusers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God.
— — — — — — —
6:9 a Two Gr words in the text, prob. submissive and dominant male homosexuals
(1 Corinthians 6:9-10 NASB2020)

In keeping with modern English usage – and this might seem subtle or insignificant to some – here are a few of the better word choices using the creation story in Genesis as an example:

Instead of “was formless and void” (NASB95), it now reads “a formless and desolate emptiness” (NASB2020).

Instead of “was moving” (NASB95), it now reads that the Spirit of God “was hovering” (NASB2020).

Instead of “cattle and creeping things and beasts of the earth” (NASB95), it now reads “livestock and crawling things and animals of the earth” (NASB2020).

The NASB2020 does a better job of translating adam (#H0120), a Hebrew word often used with the definite article attached, ha-adam. Hebrew language resources (BDB, TWOT, others) indicate this could be a singular or a collective noun. I could mean “man” (singular), “mankind” (collective) or “Adam,” a proper name. Strong’s uses a different number (#H0121) for some occurrences of the proper name, though the spelling is exactly the same. In Parashat B’reshit (Genesis 1:1-6:8), only twice is adam #H0120 translated as the proper name “Adam” in the NASB2020. These were determined by context. In eight other instances where the NASB95 used the proper name, NASB2020 simply says “the man,” properly representing the Hebrew ha-adam.

When context clearly requires it, NASB2020 translates this as a collective noun, “mankind.” Consider Genesis 1:26:

Then God said, “Let Us make mankind…”

Which brings us to the big one.

Gender Accuracy

Most of the negative comments about this translation update will no doubt be regarding this topic. It must be understood that “Gender Accuracy” does NOT mean “Gender Neutral.” According to The Lockman Foundation website, “The NASB 2020 is not gender-neutral because when the original context calls for a specific masculine or feminine term, it does not use a gender-neutral term instead.”

The best way to explain gender accuracy is just to show some examples.

“Or what man is there among you who, when his son asks for a loaf, will give him a stone?
(Matthew 7:9 NASB95)

“Or what person is there among you who, when his son asks for a loaf of bread, will give him a stone?
(Matthew 7:9 NASB2020)

Note that “man” (Greek anthropos #G0444) is changed to “person,” agreeing with Thayer’s definition, “a human being, whether male or female.” The pronouns that follow remain as “his” and “him,” common usage in English. Also note that “loaf” (Greek artos #G0740) is changed to a “loaf of bread,” defined by Thayer’s as “food composed of flour mixed with water and baked” or “food of any kind.”

“But you will be betrayed even by parents and brothers and relatives and friends, and they will put some of you to death, and you will be hated by all because of My name.
(Luke 21:16-17 NASB95)

“But you will be betrayed even by parents, brothers and sisters, other relatives and friends, and they will put some of you to death, and you will be hated by all because of My name.
(Luke 21:16-17 NASB2020)

Do not be surprised, brethren, if the world hates you. We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brethren. He who does not love abides in death. Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer; and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him. We know love by this, that He laid down His life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. But whoever has the world’s goods, and sees his brother in need and closes his heart against him, how does the love of God abide in him?
(1 John 3:13-17 NASB95)

Do not be surprised, brothers and sisters, if the world hates you. We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brothers and sisters. The one who does not love remains in death. Everyone who hates his brother or sister is a murderer; and you know that no murderer has eternal life remaining in him. We know love by this, that He laid down His life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers and sisters. But whoever has worldly goods and sees his brother or sister in need, and closes his heart against him, how does the love of God abide in him?
(1 John 3:13-17 NASB2020)

In these instances, “brother/brethren” (Greek adelphos #G0080) is changed to “brothers and sisters.” Though this is a word referring generally to males, the context is clear that it applies to all; it is not acceptable for females to hate each other. But since the words “and sisters” are added to the strictly literal text, they are shown in italics.

How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked,
Nor stand in the path of sinners,
Nor sit in the seat of scoffers!
But his delight is in the law of the LORD,
And in His law he meditates day and night.
He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water,
Which yields its fruit in its season
And its leaf does not wither;
And in whatever he does, he prospers.
(Psalms 1:1-3 NASB95)

How blessed is the person who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked,
Nor stand in the path of sinners,
Nor sit in the seat of scoffers!
But his delight is in the law of the LORD,
And in His law he meditates day and night.
He will be like a tree planted by streams of water,
Which yields its fruit in its season,
And its leaf does not wither;
And in whatever he does, he prospers.
(Psalms 1:1-3 NASB2020)

Notice the word “man” (Hebrew ish #H0376) is changed in context to “person” and the following pronouns are left in masculine form. Poetic form would be completely lost if it said “his or her” and “he or she.” Also, the added word in NASB95, “firmly,” has been removed.

He has told you, O man, what is good;
And what does the LORD require of you
But to do justice, to love kindness,
And to walk humbly with your God?
(Micah 6:8-9 NASB95)

He has told you, mortal one, what is good;
And what does the LORD require of you
But to do justice, to love kindness,
And to walk humbly with your God?
(Micah 6:8-9 NASB2020)

“Man” (Hebrew adam #H0120) is changed to “mortal one.” No problem. Even sounds poetic.

And He said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.”
(Matthew 4:19 NASB95)

And He said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of people.”
(Matthew 4:19 NASB2020)

OK, that’s a little awkward. But it may just be because I’ve heard it the old way all my life.

Interestingly, the common phrase b’nei Yisrael is still translated “sons of Israel” rather than “children of Israel.” Go figure.

I have checked several passages, and found nothing at all questionable about the gender-accurate word changes. If any of them seem awkward, it is only because I have learned them with other words.


I would like to be able to recommend the New American Standard Bible 2020, but it is still new to me and I need to do a little more reading. I will say, though, that I like what I have seen so far. Even if you don’t adopt it as your primary translation (yet), this is definitely something to consider for your library. Right now about all you are going to find are the Large Print or Giant Print editions, but more will be forthcoming.

New American Standard Bible 2020

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Printed below, by permission of The Lockman Foundation, is the full text of the Principles of Translation as found in my Giant Print edition received October 13, 2020.

Principles of Translation

MODERN ENGLISH USAGE: The goal is to render the grammar and terminology in contemporary English. When it was felt the word-for-word literalness was unacceptable to the modern reader, a change was made in the direction of a more current English idiom. In editions that include the full set of translator’s notes, in the instances where this has been done, a more literal rendering is indicated by “Lit” notes when necessary. These notes provide the “literal” meaning of the word or phrase in question, or as more technically known, the formal equivalent in the immediate context. Almost all words have a range of meanings, and a “Lit” note supplies the literal or formal meaning for that particular context. There are a few exceptions to this procedure. Punctuation is a relatively modern invention, and ancient writers often linked most of their sentences with “and” or other connectives, which are sometimes omitted at the beginning of sentences for better English. Also, the Hebrew idiom, “answered and said” is sometimes reduced to “answered” or “said” as demanded by the context. For current English, the idiom “it came about that” has not been translated in the New Testament except when a major transition is needed.

GENDER ACCURACY: In past editions it was common practice to translate the Greek word anthropol as “men” and the Hebrew adam when used as a plural as “men,” as well as all pluralistic uses of ish and similar words. The same was true for singulars, as masculine. This was never intended to be gender-exclusive when the context indicated that women were included; it was assumed at that time that readers inferred the inclusion of women. Gender accuracy is important, however, so in this edition Greek and Hebrew words that are not actually exclusive in gender as they are used in a given context are rendered by inclusive terms, such as “people.” Just as important, when the words in the original languages are in fact referring only to males or females, the distinction is maintained in English.

THE WORD BRETHREN: This word was used in past editions of the NASB as the plural of the Greek “brothers” (adelphoi) because it can still be used in a formal setting to address members of a profession, society, or church regardless of gender. However, most people today would seldom use “brethren” informally and not often in most churches. This created the challenge of choosing a replacement that would have the same meaning that led to the original usage of “brethren,” and only “brothers” was deemed adequate. To be gender-accurate, when it is clear that the author or speaker is referring to women as well as men, “and sisters” is added in italic for accuracy and clarity. The italic is necessary to indicate that the addition is implied in the meaning of adelphoi for the context, and the addition is not in the Greek text itself.

LET’S FOR ACTION: In most places the phrase “let us” has been replaced with “let’s” when a proposal is being made by one or more persons within a group to engage in an action. Such a proposal is common not only in English, but also in the ancient languages of the Bible; however, it is expressed in the ancient languages grammatically rather than by using an auxiliary, “helping” verb such as “let.” It is common today for readers to understand “let us” to mean “allow us,” so in effect, “let us” has become intentionally misleading to most readers. Therefore, the simple contraction “let’s” has emerged as the clearest expression because this form reflects the nuance of meaning in the original languages – that is, a proposal to do something. However, in some situations “Let us” is retained for intimate discourse within the Godhead, as in Gen 1:26. “Let us” is also kept when there is a request for permission, and in some other select cases.

ALTERNATIVE READINGS: In addition to the more literal renderings explained under MODERN ENGLISH USAGE, notations have been made to include alternate translations, readings of variant manuscripts, and explanatory equivalents of the text. Only such notations have been used as have been felt justified in assisting the reader’s comprehension of the terms used by the original author.

HEBREW TEXT: In the present translation BIBLIA HEBRAICA STUTTGARTENSIA and, where available, BIBLIA HEBRAICA QUINTA have been employed, together with the LXX, Dead Sea Scrolls, ancient versions, and the most recent scholarship from lexicography.

HEBREW TENSES: The timing of the tenses in Hebrew can be a challenging element of translation and careful attention has been given to the requirements of accurate translation, the sequence of tenses, and the immediate and broad contexts.

THE PROPER NAME OF GOD IN THE OLD TESTAMENT: In the Scriptures, the name of God is most significant. It is inconceivable to think of spiritual matters without a proper designation for the Supreme Deity. The most common name for the Deity is “God,” a translation of the original Elohim. One of the titles for God is “Lord,” a translation of Adonai. There is another name which is understood as God’s special or proper name, that is, the four Hebrew letters equivalent to the English letters YHWH (Exodus 3:14 and Isaiah 42:8). This name has not been pronounced by Jewish people because of reverence for the great sacredness of the divine name. This edition consistently translates this name as “LORD.” The only exception to this translation of “YHWH” is when it occurs in the immediate proximity to the word “Lord,” that is, Adonai. In that case it is regularly translated “GOD” in order to avoid confusion.

For many years YHWH has been transliterated as Yahweh, however, there is no complete certainty about this pronunciation. While “Yah” can be verified separately, the rest of the name cannot.

NAMES IN THE NEW TESTAMENT: The Greek versions of Hebrew names found in the New Testament, such as “Zacharias,” are usually given in their original Hebrew forms, as in “Zechariah” for “Zacharias.” Exceptions occur when the person is very commonly known by another name in English versions of the Bible. One of the most notable of such is “James.” An accurate translation would render this name “Jacob.” Unfortunately, many would find it confusing to suddenly change the name “James” to “Jacob.” There are other special cases where we do not follow the pattern outlined above, and these are often noted. The name “Jesus” itself is a special case, based on the Greek, from and abbreviated form of “Joshua.” In fact, in two cases in the New Testament

GREEK TEXT: Consideration was given to the latest available manuscripts with a view to determining the best Greek text. In most instances the 28th edition of the Nestle-Aland NOVUM TESTAMENTUM GRAECE was followed. For Acts and the General Epistles, the Editio Critica Maior (ECM) was followed in most instances. However, the apparatuses provided by both editions are intended to enable scholars to make informed decisions about readings, and sometimes alternate readings with better support to those chosen by the editors were preferred.

GREEK TENSES: A careful distinction has been made in the treatment of the Greek aorist tense (usually translated as the English past, “He did”) and the Greek imperfect tense (normally rendered either as English past progressive, “He was doing”; or, if inceptive, as “He began to do” or “He started to do”: or else customary past, as “He used to do”). “Began” is italicized if it is added to translate an imperfect tense, in order to distinguish it from the Greek verb for “begin.” In some contexts the difference between the Greek imperfect and the English past is conveyed better by the choice of vocabulary or by other words in the context, and in such cases the Greek imperfect may be rendered as a simple past tense (e.g. “had an illness for many years” would be preferable to “was having an illness for many years” and the first option would be in common English.

Not all aorist tenses have been rendered as English pasts (“He did”), because some of them are clearly to be rendered as English perfects (“He has done”), or even as past perfects (“He had done”), judging from the context in which they occur. Such aorists have been rendered as perfects or past perfects in this translation.

As for the distinction between aorist and present imperatives, these have usually been rendered as imperatives in the customary way, rather than attempting any fine distinction such as “Begin to do!” (for the aorist imperative), or, “Continually do!” (for the present imperative).

As for the sequence of tenses, care was taken to follow English rules rather than Greek in translating Greek presents, imperfects and aorists. For example, where English says, “we knew that he was doing,” Greek puts it, “We knew that he does”; similarly, “We knew that he had done” is the English for “We knew that he did.” Likewise, the English, “When he had come, they met him” is represented in Greek by “When he came, the met him.” In all cases a consistent translation has been made from the Greek tense in the subordinate clause to the appropriate tense in English.

In the rendering of negative questions introduced by the Greek particle me- (which always expects the answer “No”) the wording has been altered from a mere, “Will he not do this?” to a more accurate, “He will not do this, will he?”

10 thoughts on “New American Standard Bible 2020 Update – Review”

  1. The NASB 2020 has wandered slightly away from the strictly literal path and produced a bible which is claimed to be ‘gender-accurate’ but in fact, ventures into the gender-neutral camp i.e., Psalm 1; “Blessed is the person” (Hebrew; “Blessed is the man”). The NSAB being the darling of conservative evangelicals has created a reaction with the Legacy Standard Bible as a direct update of the NASB 1995 with the agreement of the Lockman Foundation (see;
    There are two other Bibles created in reaction but are no more than sideshows; The Refreshed American Standard Version 2021 (Hardback but glued spine and is an ASV including the hybrid name for God ‘Jehovah’, but modernised English) and the Updated American Standard Version (UASV) which at present is online but lacks a printed version.
    As soon as the $40 Legacy Standard Bible is back in print (sold out) I will get a copy. I can then compare it with my NASB 2020.
    However, for both Evangelicals and Catholics I suspect the ESV is the best choice. Since 2018 there has been a Catholic Edition available (ESV-CE). Published first in India. I obtained a leather-bound version and paid by PayPal – £25 ($34) which included the air shipping (2/3rd of the cost). I suspect shipping to the US will cost a little more, but far cheaper than the leather-bound versions in the USA or UK. It is the official version for the Catholic Liturgy in India and in the UK. New Zealand, Australia, Ireland and England are also considering adopting the ESV-CE.
    The other choice is an updated RSV (and not the NRSV). This is published by the Ignatius Press in the USA and is known as the Revised Standard Version Second Catholic Edition [RSV-SCE]. The leather-bound copy is excellent. For Protestants, if they ignore the additional books in the OT, they can have an updated RSV but without the gender-neutral spin!
    The ESV is a tad more accurate and has updated more text than the RSV-SCE, and is truly gender-accurate without slipping into the gender-neutral camp. At points where the RSV uses ‘man’ or ‘mankind,’ when there is no actual male meaning in the Hebrew or the Greek, the ESV changes that. For example, in Luke 6:45, in the RSV, you read ‘a good man,’ in the ESV it is ‘a good person.’ However, when the Hebrew or the Greek has a male meaning component underlying that translation, the ESV will always render that with a male meaning in English.
    The helpful thing is that the RSV, ESV and RSV-SCE can all be read alongside each other.

    • Thank you for your comments. I agree with your analysis of Psalm 1, where the NASB2020 has translated the Hebrew “ish” as “person” (a gender-neutral usage). I find it interesting that the pronouns used in the first part of this Psalm are all masculine (gender-accurate). Gender-accurate is faithful to the intent of the original languages; gender-neutral is not.

      I am still primarily using the NASB95, along with the ESV. I use the ESV because it is available with the Apocrypha, and though the ESV-CE is good, the ESV Diadem Reference Bible with Apocrypha is more complete. But I, too, await the Legacy Standard Bible (I wish it included the Apocrypha).

      • Yes, the ESV Diadem Reference Bible with Apocrypha is excellent, and the only pity is that it is not available with a leather cover. I am at present seeking to find a bookbinder to craft a leather cover for me, and within budget (living on a pension).
        Long long ago my first Bible as a young adult was a leather-bound KJB with Apocrypha and central reference notes – second-hand, thus it had everything I required. However, it was already worn and eventually fell apart. For my studies at Oxford, the Revised Version was required, plus a Greek NT and Church Services almost everywhere used the New English Bible which lacked a reference edition. My wife bought me a brand new leather KJB with Apocrypha and central reference notes, but as I had moved away from the KJB long past it has seldom left its case. So, ESV Diadem Reference Bible with Apocrypha is an excellent modern equivalent – it awaits its leather covers!
        BTW. It is the atc publishers india which print the leatherbound ESV-CE, and it took just two weeks to arrive on the day they informed me it would.

    • Hello Fernando,
      I’ve read the NRSV all the way through, and frankly didn’t find it to be up to the standard of the original RSV. If you like that translation, I highly recommend the English Standard Version (ESV) which is now available with the full Apocrypha or with just the Deuterocanonical books included. The ESV is a much better modern update to the RSV than the NRSV.

  2. These two comments are very helpful in helping me decide to buy the NASB 2020. I come from a Roman Catholic background, I wonder if you have any comments regarding the New American Bible Revised Edition (NABRE). Thanks

  3. I agree with your thoughts here completely. I’ve been using the NASB20 now for almost a year for preaching, Bible study, and personal devotions. So far I have found the upgrades quite acceptable ~ mostly just smoothing out the English sentence structure and removing some terms that have taken on a negative meaning or are just not used anymore. I had drifted away from the original NASB (required translation of my undergrad school) due to it’s somewhat “wooden” construction. But the more I use the NASB20 the more appealing I’m finding it to be a very good blending of fidelity to the original text plus readability. I do find myself agreeing with most of the word changes (so far), and I’m in total agreement with how they handled the spurious NT passages. I will be relying on and using this updated NASB20 version for the foreseeable future. I am waiting for publication of the NASB20 Preacher’s Bible ~ which for me checks all the boxes. Thanks for your review.

    • Thank you for your comment. I did complete my annual Bible reading using the NASB2020 (my annual reading is from approximately October to October, following the Torah reading schedule). I did this in a unique way – reading the NASB2020 while listening to the NASB95 so that I could discern the differences. The wording of the NASB2020 is definitely much smoother without losing the literalness. I hope that a variety of bindings and editions soon are more readily available, including the Preacher’s Bible.

  4. Thank you for this great article on the NASB 2020 with the inclusion of Principles of Translation from the Lockman Foundation. It is both informative and encouraging. I believe translation must be tied to transmission. I believe translation from the root text in context is King, but comprehension is Queen. So many people study and memorize scripture and yet struggle with its meaning. I believe (perhaps in ignorance) that God purposely did not reveal one perfect original text so that translation and other transmission methodologies would be devised to so enable linguist to formulate a translation for transmission to the many different languages (since the Tower of Babel; Genesis 11). God bless and your continued work.


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