NASB Cover
Publisher: The Lockman Foundation
Background & History

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.

In 1995 the NASB was updated, increasing clarity and readability. Vocabulary, grammar, and sentence structure were carefully reviewed for greater understanding and smoother reading. Trust, discover and enjoy the NASB for yourself today.

Answering the Demands of Today

The NASB translators believe that to make the best translation of the Scriptures even better, change should not be made just for the sake of change. This means keeping the updated NASB exactly what it has always been and will forever be literally accurate. In order to be deemed acceptable by translators, updated material had to maintain the highest standards of literal translation. Thus the smoother reading updated NASB refines the differences in style between the ancient languages and current English.In the process, Old English "thees," "thys," and "thous," archaic vocabulary, and sentences beginning with "And" have been updated for better English, while verses with difficult word order were restructured.

In addition, parallel passages have been compared and reviewed and verbs that have a wide range of meaning have been updated to better account for their use in the context. Proper names or titles have been used in place of pronouns only when the context made it clear who the person was. Punctuation and paragraphing have been formatted to fit today’s standards. Notes about ancient manuscripts, which have appeared in most editions of the NASB, have been reviewed and, in many cases, feature new and more specific interesting facts.

Preserving the Integrity, Beauty, and Power of the New American Standard Bible

The New American Standard Bible has been produced with the conviction that the words of Scripture, as originally penned in the Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek, were inspired by God. Since they are the eternal Word of God, the Holy Scriptures speak with fresh power to each generation, to give wisdom that leads to salvation so that men and women may serve Christ for the glory of God.

The updated NASB represents revisions and refinements recommended over the last several years and incorporates thorough research based on current English usage. And rest assured, the translators and consultants who contributed to the updated NASB are, as always, conservative Bible scholars who have doctorates in biblical languages, theology, or other advanced degrees. Representing a variety of denominational backgrounds, the translators of the updated NASB meticulously followed all the same tried-and-true safeguards as set forth in the original NASB, which took the NASB translators nearly 10 years to complete.

In preparation, numerous linguistic tools and literature of biblical scholarship were consulted. Decisions about English renderings were made by consensus of a team composed of educators and pastors who were directed by their faith that the original words of Scripture were inspired by God. Therefore, their work was treated reverently and carefully, as changes were kept to a minimum. Completed sections of work were passed to critical consultants for a thorough review of the translation. The work passed between committees on numerous occasions before final review and revision in plenary sessions.

In perfecting the updated NASB, more than 20 translators spent nearly three years scrutinizing the NASB in order to modernize and maintain it in accordance with the most recent research on the oldest and best manuscripts. Thus, some passages have been updated for even greater fidelity to the original manuscripts.

At NO point did the translators attempt to interpret Scripture through translation. Instead, the NASB translation team adhered to the principles of literal translation. This is the most exacting and demanding method of translation, requiring a word-for-word translation that is both accurate and readable. This method follows the word and sentence patterns of the original authors in order to enable the reader to study Scripture in its most literal format and to experience the individual personalities of those who penned the original manuscripts. For example, one can directly compare and contrast the simple eloquent style of John with the deep complexity of Paul.

Instead of telling the reader what to think, the updated NASB provides the most precise translation with which to conduct a personal journey through the Word of God.