About the New American Standard Bible (NASB)


The New American Standard Bible (NASB) is an English translation of the Bible. The New Testament of the NASB was first published in 1963. The complete Bible was published in 1971. The most recent edition of the NASB text was published in 1995. Copyright and trademark to the NASB text are owned by the Lockman Foundation.


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 Edition (1995)


Translation philosophy

The New American Standard Bible is widely regarded as one of the most literally translated English Bible translation of 20th-century. According to the NASB's preface, the translators had a "Fourfold Aim" in this work:


- These publications shall be true to the original Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek.

- They shall be grammatically correct.

- They shall be understandable.

- They shall give the Lord Jesus Christ His proper place, the place which the Word gives Him; therefore, no work will ever be personalized.


As its name implies, the NASB is a revision of the American Standard Version of 1901. This translation was begun as an alternative to the Revised Standard Version (1946-1952/1971), itself a revision of the ASV, but considered by many to be theologically liberal. Using the ASV as its English base, the NASB's translators went back to established Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek texts and revised the ASV as literally as possible.


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, and the 26th in the 1995 revision.


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 such instances, the more literal renderings were indicated in footnotes.


The greatest perceived strength of the NASB is its reliability and fidelity to the original languages, which, along with other literal translations, also allows for ambiguities in the text's meaning. Its corresponding weakness is that its readability and literary style sometimes prove confusing to the average reader. In addition, its printing of verses as individual units instead of paragraphs makes the text appear fragmented (though more recent editions are available in paragraph format).


Updated NASB (1995)


In 1995, the Lockman Foundation reissued the NASB text as the NASB Updated Edition (or more often, the Updated NASB or NASB95). Since then, it has become known simply as the "NASB" and has supplanted the 1971 text in most current printings (although the Thompson Chain Reference Bibles, the Open Bibles, and the Key Word Study Bibles still use the 1977 text for their NASB editions).


In removing or replacing literal renderings of antiquated phrases and words, and many conjunctions, the current edition is slightly less literal than the original. It has introduced inclusive language in about 85 places. The NASB remains, however, the most literal version of the English Bible commonly used in churches today.




The revised NASB (1995) involved over 20 translators from a variety of denominational backgrounds who are conservative Bible scholars with doctorates in biblical languages, theology, or other advanced degrees.