Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Example Passages from the NASB Update

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Over at the Opened Heart blog, Rob Oberto has helpfully culled a list of verses that the Lockman Foundation has been sharing on their Facebook page of the forthcoming update to the NASB translation (mentioned here). They have been posted as “NASB 2020.” Whether that date will hold as the actual publication date isn’t clear yet. In any case, here are some samples of the work in progress:

1 Thessalonians 5:14:
We urge you, brethren, admonish the unruly, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with everyone. NASB 1995
We urge you, brothers and sisters, admonish the unruly, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with everyone. NASB 2020
Micah 6.8:
He has told you, O man, what is good… NASB 1995
He has told you, a human, what is good... NASB 2020
Joshua 1.9
Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.” NASB 1995
Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not be terrified nor  dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.” NASB 2020
Luke 1.38
And Mary said, “Behold, the Lord’s bondslave; may it be done to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her. NASB 1995
And Mary said, “Behold, the Lord’s slave; may it be done to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her. NASB 2020
John 1.18
No one has seen God at any time; the only begotten God who is in the bosom of the Father, He has explained Him. NASB 1995
No one has seen God at any time; God the only Son, who is in the arms of the Father, He has explained Him. NASB 2020
Some of these are more noteworthy than others, of course. Some are quite odd, like Micah 6.8. 

12 comments

  1. Micah 6.8 is an odd choice. I'm personally glad to see the shift in translating adelphoi, but that seems like a departure from the sort of gender-specific translation model I thought the NASB aimed for?
    Also glad for the shift away from more antiquated English, like in Luke 1:38. I hope they also move away from using "alien" for "foreigner," that always got a giggle or a confused look when I would teach from the NASB a few years ago. I look forward to seeing the finished project.

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  2. It's notable that they're moving *away* from "begotten" language in John 1:18, when there's a shift elsewhere to move back towards generative language about the Son.

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  3. Curious to see what happens in a few more years, whether some versions will go from "brothers" to "brothers and sisters" to "brothers and sisters, and whatever you do or do not identify yourselves as".

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    1. Agreed. Sounds like the NASB is shifting with cultural trends rather than aiming for accuracy. Sad.

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    2. The shift from “brothers” to “brothers and sisters” is a shift from a more traditionally formal translation model to a more traditionally dynamic model, but if Paul intended adelphoi to address a mixed group, is there a loss in accuracy?

      To the NASB95’s credit though, I think “brethren” does still maintain a more gender neutral sense in modern English (especially southern US English) than the other formal translation option of “brothers” (a la the ESV).

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  4. Kaspars Ozolins3/26/2019 11:46 pm

    “Slave” just doesn’t cut it for δούλη. The English equivalent is too stereotyped to accommodate the various nuances of the Greek word.

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    1. My thoughts exactly...It may be a political move. Doulos = "slave" is a hot topic in conservative circles ever since John MacArthur's book.

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    2. Or it could just be that the translators decided, even with the associated baggage, that slave is the most accurate translation.

      Tim

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  5. Very disturbing in my opinion. Departure from a word-for-word translation invites liberty to translate one's convoluted understanding of what the translator believes should have been written, even if it means adding words. I won't be buying a 2020 corrupted NASB.

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    1. What's a word-for-word translation?

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  6. I used the NASB for about 20 years and switched to a different translation several years ago. Some of these updates are definitely not my preference. They are not incorrect; they just aren't my preferred renderings.

    For having a reputation as being the most literal translation, I am surprised at some of these changes. If these changes are representative of the entire update, it may lose it's position as the most literal translation . . . at leas the most literal translation in common use.

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  7. O (hu)man, how interesting!

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