"The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God stands forever."
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, that
men may serve Christ to the glory of God.
The purpose of the Editorial Board in making this translation was to adhere as
closely as possible to the original languages of the Holy Scriptures, and to make
the translation in a fluent and readable style according to current English usage.
THE FOURFOLD AIM OF THE LOCKMAN FOUNDATION
| 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.
PREFACE TO 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, itself a revision of the Bishops'
Bible of 1568, became the basis for the English Revised Version appearing in 1881
(New Testament) and 1885 (Old Testament). The American counterpart of this last
work was published in 1901 as the American Standard Version. The ASV, a product
of both British and American scholarship, has been highly regarded for its scholarship
and accuracy. Recognizing the values of the American Standard Version, The Lockman
Foundation felt an urgency to preserve these and other lasting values of the ASV
by incorporating recent discoveries of Hebrew and Greek textual sources and by
rendering it into more current English. Therefore, in 1959 a new translation project
was launched, based on the time-honored principles of translation of the ASV and
KJV. The result is the New American Standard Bible.
Translation work for the NASB was begun in 1959. In the preparation of this work
numerous other translations have been consulted along with the linguistic tools
and literature of biblical scholarship. Decisions about English renderings were
made by consensus of a team composed of educators and pastors. Subsequently, review
and evaluation by other Hebrew and Greek scholars outside the Editorial Board
were sought and carefully considered.
The Editorial Board has continued to function since publication of the complete
Bible in 1971. This edition of the NASB represents revisions and refinements recommended
over the last several years as well as thorough research based on modern English
PRINCIPLES OF TRANSLATION
MODERN ENGLISH USAGE:
The attempt has been made to render
the grammar and terminology in contemporary English. When it was felt that 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 the instances where
this has been done, the more literal rendering has been indicated in the notes.
There are a few exceptions to this procedure. In particular, frequently "And"
is not translated at the beginning of sentences because of differences in style
between ancient and modern writing. Punctuation is a relatively modern invention,
and ancient writers often linked most of their sentences with "and" or other connectives.
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
In addition to the more literal renderings, notations have
been made to include alternate translations, reading 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.
In the present translation the latest edition of Rudolf Kittel's
BIBLIA HEBRAICA has been employed together with the most recent light from lexicography,
cognate languages, and the Dead Sea Scrolls.
Consecution of tenses in Hebrew remains a puzzling factor in translation.
The translators have been guided by the requirements of a literal 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 and understandably so.
It is inconceivable to think of spiritual matters without a proper designation
for the Supreme Deity. Thus 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 yet another name which is particularly assigned to
God as His special or proper name, that is, the four letters YHWH (Exodus
3:14 and Isaiah
42:8). 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 to this translation
of YHWH 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
It is known that for many years YHWH has been transliterated as Yahweh, however
no complete certainty attaches to this pronunciation.
Consideration was given to the latest available manuscripts with a
view to determining the best Greek text. In most instances the 26th edition of
Eberhard Nestle's NOVUM TESTAMENTUM GRAECE was followed.
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 if
customary past, as "He used to do"). "Began" is italicized if it renders 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 would be understood in the same way).
On the other hand, not all aorists have been rendered as English pasts ("He did"),
for 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, the translators
have usually rendered these imperatives in the customary manner, rather than attempting
any such fine distinction as "Begin to do!" (for the aorist imperative), or, "Continually
do!" (for the present imperative).
As for sequence of tenses, the translators took care to follow English rules rather
than Greek in translating Greek presents, imperfects and aorists. Thus, 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 Greek, "We knew that he did." Likewise,
the English, "When he had come, they met him," is represented in Greek by, "When
he came, they met him." In all cases a consistent transfer 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 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?"