Why I Use the New American Standard Bible (NASB)
A Note from Pastor Adam
One of the interesting things about living in a society like ours is that we’re always bombarded with options. If you go down the chip or drink aisle at a supermarket, you will have to sort through twenty or thirty different brands, flavors, and prices. Likewise, here in 2019 we are blessed to have at our hands more Bible resources and studies about God than any society in the history of the world! What a blessing! Because of such an interest in marketing focused towards Christianity, we have also been given a ton of different options when it comes to Bible translations. This can, however, be a hindrance because there is no one established translation and as teachers/preachers lead others in study it can be confusing if people are reading several different translations. Several of you have asked me what Bible translation I primarily use so I wanted to write a quick note to answer that question in case others are wondering and encourage our church to consider a few issues related to that important question.
Before I explain why I use the New American Standard Bible (NASB), I do want to state that I do not do so because I think all other translations are bad or that the NASB is far superior. I’ve frequently used the ESV for preaching and study and appreciate its publisher’s productions that offer so many varieties of Bibles as a trustworthy English translation. I love the NLT because of its readability and more modern terminology geared for longer reading sessions. I love the KJV because of its timeless poetic flare and rich Christian history. You will hear me reference various translations as I preach; that’s because when I prepare a message I look at just about every major English translation to get a better grasp on the text being preached.
So, why do I primarily use the NASB? The reasons vary, but it comes down to a few main things: First, the NASB is the Bible I read when I became a Christian and did the majority of my memory verses in. I realize that many people share this conviction with me about why they have their favorite Bible. The NASB just ‘feels like home’ to me and I can’t get past my love for the translation.
Secondly, and more importantly, the NASB is widely considered to be the most accurate and reliable word-for-word English translation from the original languages that the Bible was written in (Greek, Hebrew, and some Aramaic). Every Bible translation we have access to is just that – a translation. We are not reading the original Greek or Hebrew in which the Bible was written in. For that reason, there is no perfect translation.
Bible translations break into two main categories: word-for-word or thought-for-thought. It’s important to primarily utilize word-for-word translations when doing serious Bible study and preaching because you want to get as close to what God said as possible. Jesus said that not one jot or stroke of the pen would pass away from God’s word (Matt.5:18); therefore, every word, syllable, and mark does matter. You will soon find that I am a verse-by-verse and even a word-for-word preacher; and because of that I must preach from a Bible that faithfully says what God originally said to us in a language we speak. The NASB does a great job of putting the original languages into a word-for-word translation in modern vernacular that we all can understand. Reputable, trustworthy scholars and pastors around the world have confidence in it as the most literal translation for good reason. In addition to these reasons, through various electronic platforms and several options from the publisher in bookstores, it seems to be everywhere and widely trusted by faithful students of the Bible. The publishers of the NASB will release an update in 2020 that will make it even more readable!
I understand that most of our people have a Bible they love and would struggle to think of changing to another translation and I completely understand that. I’m happy to have great translations like the NASB, ESV, CSB, NKJV, KJV, NLT, NIV, and others in our pews as we study the word together. Regardless of what translation you have, just make sure you put it to use!
But I would encourage you to prayerfully consider transitioning to using the NASB as your main Bible. It will aid you in following along during worship services and assist our church to bring further harmony as we share the Word with one another for years to come. As we worship together, you will find me to constantly encourage you to keep your Bible open, pen in hand, and follow along closely as I preach. I want you engaging with your Bible as we study and learn together.
That said, I commend you to the NASB Bible. You can find them in just about any format (font size, layout, cover, etc.) you want next time you stop in a book store and more-so if you shop online (christianbook.com, Amazon, etc.).
As a Bible connoisseur and collector, if you have any questions please do not hesitate to ask me as I love talking about bibles! If you want to buy a premium NASB Bible that will last you a lifetime, look no further than the North American leader of premium Bibles (which happens to be right up the street) – evangelicalbible.com. There you will find quality handcrafted Bibles well worth their price. You can also download the NASB to any of the major Bible apps for your phone or tablet.
Here at North Run Baptist we believe that the Word of God is divinely inspired, authoritative, and all-sufficient for what we must know about God to be saved and to live in light of our salvation (2 Timothy 3:16, Psalm 119). As your pastor, I take seriously the call to rightly handle the Word of God as I preach and desire to lead you to love and cherish God’s Word more and more each passing day. Join me as we grow together!