Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Why the NASB?

As my congregation knows I preach from the New American Standard Version ('97 update). I've found it to be the closest to the original languages since it is a "no frills" word for word translation (formal equivalence as opposed to dynamic equivalence). I prefer to do the work of studying, interpreting, and preaching the text rather than letting a translation do it for me (like paraphrastic versions do- ex. The Message). Where the NASB is strong in its faithfulness to the original languages, it is weak in literary quality. The sentence structures are often clunky. It doesn't flow as well which makes it more challenging to read.

The English Standard Version... an ancestor of the King James Version and Revised Standard Version is much more readable and still a word for word translation. The ESV is my favorite translation to read for personal study and devotion. Why then do I preach from the NASB? For one, I'm a creature of habit. Two, many of my congregation have purchased an NASB to follow along with the sermon better (which is awesome!) so I don't want to force everyone to run out an buy another Bible. Three, a few generous souls replaced all the old NIV pew Bibles with NASB large print pew Bibles. I recommend folks have both on their shelf if possible for study and devotional purposes. Two of my favorite study Bibles are the ESV Study Bible and the MacArthur Study Bible. I'd recommend purchasing these as well (the link for the MacArthur SB is for the large print 37% off on Amazon.com). The main thing is that whatever version you have-- read it!

3 comments:

AJ said...

I beg to differ pastor. The ESV leans more to a paraphrased version rather than word-for-word. It is not worthy to be called the ancestor of the KJV except in terms of literary excellence. There are no versions that can touch the KJV, and now, secondarily, the ESV, in literary excellence. Similarly, none can match the accuracy to the original language as the KJV and the NASB.

My preference - get the best of both worlds in the version that is also the standard for memorization and the most widely recognized, the good ole' KJV. More than likely, most already have one!

Jeremy Bradshaw said...

ESV as a paraphrase? I think that is a misrepresentation. No question that the KJV is superior in literary excellence- I made that point in the original post. Though I do not think KJV is in the same class as the NASB as accuracy to the orignal languages go. Curious, do you read the KJV in its original 1611 language?

Here are a few articles to chew on and to stir the pot, haha-

http://www.esv.org/translation/philosophy

http://www.esv.org/about/other.translations

http://bible.org/article/why-i-do-not-think-king-james-bible-best-translation-available-today

http://www.desiringgod.org/ResourceLibrary/Articles/ByDate/2004/1534_Good_English_With_Minimal_Translation_Why_Bethlehem_Uses_the_ESV/

AJ said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
There was an error in this gadget