WGOD Radio: All Truth, All the Time.
WGOD Radio, with Bible teacher and translator Dr. Paul W. Esposito. We teach the New Testament verse by verse through a daily, 30 minute radio broadcast and podcast. The sermons originate from Island Community Church, in Merritt Island, Florida (www.islandcommunitychurch.net)

Ask my wife.

I have tried, time after time, both to like the NASB, and to use it for my primary Bible for in depth studies, because of its reputation as “the most accurate Bible translation in English.”

Well, I’m not too sure about that assessment.

As a bible translator myself, and one who reads and speaks fluent Koine Greek, I have made the study of New Testament Greek my life, and it is certainly my passion.

During the course of my studies, I have run into what I consider to be serious errors with the New American Standard Bible.

May I add that the issues that I have are NOT issues of standard textual criticism, that is, the manuscripts behind the translations, but my issues are directly related to choices that the translators have made, which I believe are in serious error.

Also, I find it eye opening that all of these issues I am going to share with you all relate to the Person of Jesus Christ.


I want to share with you 4 Scripture points of reference:


1. 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.”


The NASB is a revision of 2 works: The Revised Version (RV) of 1881, and The American Standard Version (ASV) of 1901. Both of these translations read “The only begotten Son.”

This is quite a statement to make, to introduce a change like this into the text. I have a hard time visualizing a translation committee contemplating changing this text from only begotten Son, to only begotten God, since God is certainly not “begotten.”

Being a Bible translator myself, if I was on that committee, I would not vote to change this verse. And lucky for them, they could have hid behind the principle that the NASB is a “revision.” But instead, there was some kind of “meeting of the minds,” and these Christians decided to stray from their objective of revising, and instead bring about changing. And the change is downright heretical, to say the least.

Not a change I would have made, being a Christian, and being on that committee!


2. Revelation 1:13

“…and in the middle of the lampstands I saw one like a son of man, clothed in a robe reaching to the feet, and girded across His chest with a golden sash.”


What’s the problem here?


The New King James Version, a translation which also capitalizes pronouns relating to Deity, says, “I saw One like the Son of Man.”


The NASB adds a footnote here, saying, “or, The Son of Man.”

So, which one is it? You can’t have your cake and eat it too! If you don’t think this is Jesus Christ, then don’t capitalize the pronouns that describe this “Person”!

There is no logical reason for this. Since the translators believe that this is Christ, then “the Son of Man” should have been in the text, and the footnote should read, “or, a son of man.”

I mean, why do Christ harm?

If you, assuming you were a Christian, were on this board of translators, what would you do, if you had the choice?


Next up:


Phil 2:6


“Who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped…”


The NASB is regarded at the most accurate Bible translation in English. The translators have gone to great lengths to translate verbs precisely, even at the cost of readability.

So what happened here?

This word existed is the Greek word Huparchon, which is a Present Active Participle. (And present participles must have an “ing” on the end of it (i.e., eating, drinking, walking, sleeping, etc).

Here, the word should be “existing.” (NKJV has “being”).

The whole sense of what Paul is saying is muddled here! The text does not say that Jesus “existed” in the form of God—it says that Jesus is EXISTING (still!) in the form of God.

He never ceased existing in the form of God.


(6)  “who, existing in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, (7)  but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming to be in the likeness of men.” (EMTV)


The point is this: Jesus Christ, as a flesh and blood Man, was still existing as God! He just took the form of a bondservant (metaschematizo, Greek—to change appearance)

It’s beyond me how this team of translators, who were so adamant, and most specifically concerning this very thing (accuracy concerning verb tenses), would treat the doctrine of Christ in this matter!


Last point: Psalm 22:8


 (7)  All who see me sneer at me; They separate with the lip, they wag the head, saying,

(8)  "Commit yourself to the LORD; let Him deliver him; Let Him rescue him, because He delights in him." (NASB)


Most other translations read here in 22:8, “He trusted in the Lord; let Him deliver Him.”

The NASB adds a footnote here, saying, “or, He committed (trusted) himself…”


Let me explain the havoc which has been done to this verse:

This verse (notice it’s in quotation marks), in my opinion, is the greatest prophetic verse EVER recorded in the Bible. This was recorded by King David approximately 970 years before it was spoken, verbatim, at the cross; and it was spoken (I suspect) matter of factly. It is recorded in Matthew 27:43 (Here again, the NASB)


"HE TRUSTS IN GOD; LET GOD RESCUE Him now, IF HE DELIGHTS IN HIM; for He said, 'I am the Son of God.'"


Notice how the NASB gets it right in the New Testament, but wrong in the Old Testament.

They are admitting, in Matthew 27:43, that this is how the text should read!

And not only have they got it wrong in the Old Testament, they had to add a word (yourself) to their text (in italics), to make the sentence even halfway readable!  Look at the absolute unreadability of this verse: “Commit yourself to the Lord, Let Him deliver Him.”

But the translators have added in the footnote, that the other reading might be right!


In my opinion, these examples reveal a serious integrity problem with the New American Standard Bible, and I do not recommend it for in depth study.




Category:general -- posted at: 11:51am EDT