Why Read the NASB?

Ultimately, what separates the New American Standard Bible from the various available versions is that the NASB is a literal word-for-word translation from the original languages. In contrast, the others stress either a loose, personalized paraphrase, or a free-style, thought-for-thought translation known as a dynamic equivalent. Both of these place the highest priority on ease of reading and a lower priority on word-for-word preciseness. While such versions may produce smooth English, the literalness of the Word of God is sacrificed. This has never been an option for the New American Standard Bible.

In the history of English Bible translations, the King James version is the most prestigious. This time-honored version of 1611 was translated in 17th century Elizabethan language that is beautiful, yet strange and unfamiliar to many people today.

In the centuries since the KJV was translated, hundreds of English words in it have either changed in meaning or become obsolete, and many new sources of information concerning the Old and New Testament Scriptures have been discovered.For example, today there are about 5,000 New Testament Greek manuscripts available compared to approximately 25 manuscripts that were known in the 17th century.

The New American Standard Bible translation team took full advantage of these new discoveries. The discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls in 1947, for instance, proved instrumental in verifying the early manuscripts. In addition, the NASB translators benefited from Rudolf Kittel’s Biblia Hebraica, the 26rd edition of Eberhard Nestle’s Novum Testamentum Graece, the best lexicons, concordances, and commentaries available on the Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek Scriptures.

With the updated NASB, consideration was given to modern English ussage and updates where made to improve redability and smoothness while maintaining word-for-word accuracy.

How does the NASB compare to other English versions?

  Proverbs 1:17
NASB Indeed, it is useless to spread the baited net in the sight of any bird;
ESV For in vain is a net spread in the sight of any bird,
NIV How useless to spread a net in full view of all the birds!
HCSB It is foolish to spread a net where any bird can see it,
NLT If a bird sees a trap being set, it knows to stay away.
M Nobody robs a bank with everyone watching,
AMP For in vain is the net spread in the sight of any bird!
KJV Surely in vaine the net is spread in the sight of any bird.
NKJV Surely, in vain the net is spread In the sight of any bird;

  Proverbs 26:7
NASB Like the legs which are useless to the lame, so is a proverb in the mouth of fools.
ESV Like a lame man’s legs, which hang useless, is a proverb in the mouth of fools.
NIV Like a lame man’s legs that hang limp is a proverb in the mouth of a fool.
HCSB A proverb in the mouth of a fool is like lame legs that hang limp.
NLT A proverb in the mouth of a fool is as useless as a paralyzed leg.
M A proverb quoted by fools is limp as a wet noodle.
AMP Like the legs of a lame man which hang loose, so is a parable in the mouth of a fool.
KJV The legs of the lame are not equal: so is a parable in the mouth of fools.
NKJV Like the legs of the lame that hang limp Is a proverb in the mouth of fools.

  Isaiah 33:3
NASB At the sound of the tumult peoples flee; at the lifting up of Yourself nations disperse.
ESV At the tumultuous noise peoples flee; when you lift yourself up, nations are scattered,
NIV At the thunder of your voice, the peoples flee; when you rise up, the nations scatter.
HCSB The peoples flee at the thunderous noise; the nations scatter when You rise in Your majesty.
NLT The enemy runs at the sound of your voice. When you stand up, the nations flee!
M You spoke in thunder and everyone ran. You showed up and nations scattered.
AMP At the noise of the tumult [caused by Your voice at which the enemy is overthrown], the peoples flee; at the lifting up of Yourself, nations are scattered.
KJV At the noise of the tumult the people fled; at the lifting up of thyself the nations were scattered.
NKJV At the noise of the tumult the people shall flee; When You lift Yourself up, the nations shall be scattered;

  Isaiah 41:3
NASB He pursues them, passing on in safety, by a way he had not been traversing with his feet.
ESV He pursues them and passes on safely, by paths his feet have not trod.
NIV He pursues them and moves on unscathed, by a path his feet have not traveled before.
HCSB He pursues them, going on safely, hardly touching the path with his feet.
NLT He chases them away and goes on safely, though he is walking over unfamiliar ground.
M He chases them and comes through unscathed, his feet scarcely touching the path.
AMP He [Cyrus] pursues them and passes safely and unhindered, even by a way his feet had not trod and so swiftly that his feet do not touch the ground.
KJV He pursued them, and passed safely; even by the way that he had not gone with his feet.
NKJV Who pursued them, and passed safely By the way that he had not gone with his feet?

  Isaiah 56:9
NASB All you beasts of the field, all you beasts in the forest, come to eat.
ESV All you beasts of the field, come to devour—all you beasts in the forest.
NIV Come, all you beasts of the field, come and devour, all you beasts of the forest!
HCSB All you animals of the field and forest, come and eat!
NLT Come, wild animals of the field! Come, wild animals of the forest! Come and devour my people!
M A call to the savage beasts: Come on the run. Come, devour, beast barbarians!
AMP All you beasts of the field, come to devour, all you beasts (hostile nations) in the forest.
KJV All ye beasts of the field, come to devour, yea, all ye beasts in the forest.
NKJV All you beasts of the field, come to devour, All you beasts in the forest.

  Matthew 3:5
NASB Then Jerusalem was going out to him, and all Judea and all the district around the Jordan;
ESV Then Jerusalem and all Judea and all the region about the Jordan were going out to him,
NIV People went out to him from Jerusalem and all Judea and the whole region of the Jordan.
HCSB Then |people from| Jerusalem, all Judea, and all the vicinity of the Jordan were flocking to him,
NLT People from Jerusalem and from all of Judea and all over the Jordan Valley went out to see and hear John.
M People poured out of Jerusalem, Judea, and the Jordanian countryside to hear and see him in action.
AMP Then Jerusalem and all Judea and all the country round about the Jordan went out to him;
KJV Then went out to him Jerusalem, and all Judaea, and all the region round about Jordan,
NKJV Then Jerusalem, all Judea, and all the region around the Jordan went out to him

  Matthew 4:19
NASB And He *said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.”
ESV And he said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.”
NIV “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will make you fishers of men.”
HCSB “Follow Me,” He told them, “and I will make you fish for people!”
NLT Jesus called out to them, “Come, follow me, and I will show you how to fish for people!”
M Jesus said to them, "Come with me. I'll make a new kind of fisherman out of you. I'll show you how to catch men and women instead of perch and bass."
AMP And He said to them, Come after Me [as disciples--letting Me be your Guide], follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men!
KJV And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.
NKJV Then He said to them, "Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men."

  Matthew 5:36
NASB Nor shall you make an oath by your head, for you cannot make one hair white or black.
ESV And do not take an oath by your head, for you cannot make one hair white or black.
NIV And do not swear by your head, for you cannot make even one hair white or black.
HCSB Neither should you swear by your head, because you cannot make a single hair white or black.
NLT Do not even say, ‘By my head!’ for you can’t turn one hair white or black.
M You don't make your words true by embellishing them with religious lace. In making your speech sound more religious, it becomes less true.
AMP And do not swear by your head, for you are not able to make a single hair white or black.
KJV Neither shalt thou swear by thy head, because thou canst not make one hair white or black.
NKJV Nor shall you swear by your head, because you cannot make one hair white or black.

  Matthew 16:19
NASB I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and whatever you bind on earth shall have been bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall have been loosed in heaven."
ESV I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven."
NIV I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven."
HCSB I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth is already bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth is already loosed in heaven."
NLT And I will give you the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven. Whatever you lock on earth will be locked in heaven, and whatever you open on earth will be opened in heaven."
M "And that's not all. You will have complete and free access to God's kingdom, keys to open any and every door: no more barriers between heaven and earth, earth and heaven. A yes on earth is yes in heaven. A no on earth is no in heaven."
AMP I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and whatever you bind (declare to be improper and unlawful) on earth must be what is already bound in heaven; and whatever you loose (declare lawful) on earth must be what is already loosed in heaven.
KJV And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.
NKJV And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven."

  Matthew 28:4
NASB The guards shook for fear of him and became like dead men.
ESV And for fear of him the guards trembled and became like dead men.
NIV The guards were so afraid of him that they shook and became like dead men.
HCSB The guards were so shaken from fear of him that they became like dead men.
NLT The guards shook with fear when they saw him, and they fell into a dead faint.
M The guards at the tomb were scared to death. They were so frightened, they couldn't move.
AMP And those keeping guard were so frightened at the sight of him that they were agitated and they trembled and became like dead men.
KJV And for fear of him the keepers did shake, and became as dead men.
NKJV And the guards shook for fear of him, and became like dead men.

How does the Updated NASB compare with the original NASB?

Updated NASB = red underline text
NASB Original = blue cross-through text

Ex. 15:7 "And in the greatness of ThineYour excellenceThou dost You overthrow those who rise up against Thee You; Thou dost You send forth Thy Your burning anger, and it consumes them as chaff.
Is. 35:6 Then the lame will leap like a deer, And the tongue of the dumb mute will shout for joy.
Matt. 1:19 And Joseph her husband, being a righteous man, and not wanting to disgrace her, desired to put planned to sendher away secretly.
1 Cor. 9:27 but I buffet discipline my body and make it my slave, lest possibly so that, after I have preached to others, I myself should will not be disqualified.
Rev. 1:13 and in the middle of the lampstands I saw one like a son of man, clothed in a robe reaching to the feet, and girded across His breast chest with a golden girdle sash.
Rev. 16:5 And I heard the angel of the waters saying, "Righteous art Thou are You, who art are and who wast were, O Holy One, because Thou didst judge You judged these things;


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