Wednesday, February 28, 2018

NASB Now Being Revised

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More translation news today. On their Facebook page, the Lockman Foundation announces a revision of the New American Standard Bible which is underway. I’m guessing they are feeling the heat from updates to the ESV, NIV, and CSB.
Update on the NASB revision:

The whole text is being reviewed with more emphasis in the Old Testament.

The primary goal is to maintain accuracy and modernize English.

As our base texts are the Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia (BHS) and Biblia Hebraica Quinta (BHQ) for the books available and the NA28 for the NT. We don’t always agree with the editors of those texts and choose alternate or variant readings when we feel they are more accurate.

Our current publication goal is to have a first release in early 2019.
The NASB was last updated in 1995 and has often been promoted for its literalness and accuracy. I tried adopting it at one point but the English was just too stilted. For example: “...and she [Eve] said, ‘I have gotten a manchild (!) with the help of the Lord’” (Gen 4.1). Hopefully they can improve some of that.

This is yet another English translation that will be working from the NA28. Note, however, that they explicitly say they do not always agree with the editors’ decisions. This is important because, in conversations about the CBGM and the NA28, some people assume that English translators simply adopt the NA/UBS text ipso facto. But I don’t know of English translations that do this. Rather, they (rightly) diverge from that text when they feel it appropriate.

19 comments :

  1. Not really news. This particular update was posted on Facebook over two years ago (January 28, 2016). Still cool!

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  2. NASB was the translation of choice by my Moody professors. I never felt comfortable with reading it. It will be interesting to see just how much they do try to modernize the English, as well as what is updated in the OT.

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  3. I have been using the NASB since 1977 because of the wide margins and the excellent cross references. In my studies I supplement the NT translation with the Byzantine Textform.

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  4. And there is something wrong with "manchild" when speaking of Cain
    (ןתאמר קניתי איש את־יהוה)?

    PG: They (rightly) diverge from that text when they feel it appropriate

    And percentage-wise in relation to the NASV, how often is that? .1%?

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  5. Who wants to chart their course by stars that move?

    And, is it really better if Eve refers to her newborn baby as a "man," the way she does in the KJV, NKJV, and ESV?? We are talking about a newborn, contextually, right? In modern English, we might not say "manchild," but we don't say, "It's a man!" either.

    And, as MAR asked: does the NASB New Testament deviate from the Nestle-Aland base-text more than one-tenth of one percent?

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    1. I would suggest that the percentage of changes–if that can even accurately be evaluated–is irrelevant. The question in every case is whether the change is good and valid. E.g. in the recent ECM changes to Acts, we now have the clear deletion of αυτων in 13:33, leaving only the reading with the dative personal plural pronoun that does not occur in any Greek ms. Indeed, the CBGM shows no chart at all for the a variant in "Coherence in Attestations." This of course is the conjectured version of the MT/Byz, eliminating conflation. So in this case the lectio difficilior (b) reading was simply too difficult, as I assume, overruling issues of coherence. At present the NASB is true to the (b) B reading but notes the MT reading as a late alternative–which in this case also happens to be the NA28 reading. One good thing about this latest ECM choice: it is further evidence that the CBGM really is a meta-tool. One need not feel bound by its results. I would like to see discussion in the blog about this textual decision; the location in the ECM is Acts 13:33/16 (phase 4).

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  6. The King James Version is pure. All modern translations are corrupt works of the devil/ecunemical movement. Please rencant your errors.

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    1. So, Anon. Which KJV is "pure". There are several variants to choose from, and I'm having difficulty figuring out which KJV you are referring to. And what criteria did you use to make this decision?

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    2. Oh, my! Anonymous, you need to give evidence that the King James version is pure. Your claim smacks of the Catholic church that burned John Hus and strangled John Wycliff before him! Recant? I would read nothing other than the KJV if you could prove that it is the most accurate translation, based on the most correct manuscripts. The kicker, here, is that as we study the Bible in English, we must be able to examine the original text to truly understand the depth of meaning with which God communicated. When a person reaches that depth of study, this or that translation is really moot. I wish I was sad to burst your bubble, but your statement really is ignorant. The King James version has serious errors in it (Easter, for an obvious one), and your upholding of it as the ultimate, gold-standard of translations is misinformed! I'll ask you to "recant" your binding where God did not bind.

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    3. (Hey guys, don't feed the trolls--the another Anon was being ironicish.)

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  7. I wish more modern translations deviated from the MT far more than anything in the NT. I honestly don't as big of a deal with the latter, yet that's where I see most attention goes. Practically every jumped on board with the newer critical editions of the NT. Not so much questioning of the OT however.

    "Every fact is to be confirmed by the testimony of two or three witnesses." 2 Cor 13:1 (NASB ;)

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  8. No doubt they will keep the same mistranslations all do in the text purely for Tradition sakes.

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    1. Tradition is important. One of the big "checks" I have on if I will use a translation is if Psalm 23 or the Lord's Prayer follow the traditional verses.

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    2. Tradition is not important, accuracy of the Original, inspired is all that matters.

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  9. Curious if they will follow suit with the NIV and ESV by changing Gods stance on divorce i Malachi 2:16?

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  10. John MacArthur has a series of videos on You Tube in which we states his thoughts on all of this mad, obsessive RUSH to keep changing and re-doing current Bible Translations ad nauseam. He stated that the Culture should not dictate how the Bible is to be translated or revised but that the Bible should dictate to the Culture on what the standard should be. SHOULD we constantly be engaged in an endless rush to be trendy and hip and slavishly pander to every voice demanding change and revision? Are we not just chasing our tail in a fruitless desire to keep up some sort of murky, undefined standard of "relevancy". I think the tail is beginning to wag the dog here. Really, just how often can the English language evolved and change in a few years?

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  11. The KJV we read today is not the version that was first printed in 1611. There were many revisios, updates and corrections up until 1769. It took them almost 160 years to get it right.

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