Thinking about getting a NASB

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Contra Marcion

Puritan Board Freshman
You can cherry-pick renderings with which you disagree in ANY Bible translation. For those of us who prefer a more literal Bible for study purposes, there are a number of good options (NAS, ESV, HCSB, NKJV, or KJV), ANY of which are doctrinally sound, personally edifying, and spiritually beneficial. They are ALL the Word of God in English.

And, as much as my elitist gnat-straining tendencies lead me to turn up my nose at the NIV and NLT, they are also competent translations and will lead you into reliable doctrine.

If you want a real world test of the doctrinal implications of translations upon your theology, consider this . . .

KJV - snake handling hyper-Pentecostals, mainline PCUSA Grymir, and confessionally Reformed denominations.
NIV - emergent mega churches, Arminian Free Methodists, LCMS Lutherans, AND conservative Calvinist Presbyterians
NAS - angry separatist dispensationalists AND some of our finest gnat strainers on the PB
ESV - Scruffy Mark Driscoll AND sophisticated R.C. Sproul Sr.

Asking what is the best Bible translation is like asking what is the best food.

We are SOOOOO spoiled in the U.S. Most Bible translations done on the mission field are completed by unknown ordinary people trained in a bit of linguistics. Most of our English translations are the product of armies of scholars checking the work of scholars, stylists, etc. who are pressed into service to doublecheck the work of scholar translators.

What is the best translation? Pretty much any of them.

[remember: I'm a gnat straining fuddy duddy who likes a literal translation. That does not mean that I should look down my scholarly nose at those using a NIV or NLT. My problems with the TNIV, however, touch upon doctrinal matters, not mere questions of translational philosophy.]

Not to quibble, Dennis, but the LCMS has crossed over to the dark side and embraced the ESV as well:

https://www.lcms.org/pages/print.asp?print=1&NavID=5126&path=/pages/internal.asp
 

bookslover

Puritan Board Doctor
As for the two instances of ellipsis in 1 Samuel 13:1, the ESV has the following notes: (1) for "Saul was...years old", the marginal note reads: "The number is lacking in Hebrew and Septuagint"; and (2) for "and he reigned...and two years over Israel," the note reads: "Two may not be the entire number; something may have dropped out."

In other words, the ESV is just being upfront about the textual problem in this verse. Since the precise numbers for each place are uncertain, the translators err on the side of caution and leave them out.
What does this say about how the ESV translators believe in the doctrine of preservation?

The edition of the KJV I have (from Nelson) has "one year" and "two years" respectively, with the following marginal note: "The Hebrews is difficult (compare 2 Samuel 5:4; 2 Kings 14:2; see also 2 Samuel 2:10; Acts 13:21).
The KJV then does translate the verse as it is in the Hebrew. It may not be readily understandable, but translating it thusly shows something quite different regarding what the KJV translators believed about preservation.

Consider these passages in regards to the ESV belief on preservation in the original languages (OT Hebrew and NT Greek)...

Gen 47:21 - As for the people, he made servants of them from one end of Egypt to the other

Hebrew is: "he removed them to the cities" but the ESV uses the Septuagint to translate here.

This happens in other passages as well, where the ESV favors the Greek Septuagint rather than the preserved Hebrew of the Confession...

Ex 1:22; Ex 3:19; Ex 8:23; Ex 13:19; Ex 14:25; Ex 20:18.

And that's just from the book of Exodus.[/QUOTE]

Well, the KJV admits that the Hebrew is difficult at 1 Samuel 13:1, which makes me wonder why they feel confident inserting those numbers in those two places. If the original numbers have fallen out of the copied manuscripts over the centuries (which accounts for the textual difficulty here) then what's their justification for doing so? It seems to me that the ESV translators are more honest, in that they not only admit the problem, but replicate the difficulty in their translation.

The doctrine of preservation does not guarantee that there will be no problems with manuscripts as they are copied down through the ages.
 

DMcFadden

Puritanboard Commissioner
Not to quibble, Dennis, but the LCMS has crossed over to the dark side and embraced the ESV as well:

https://www.lcms.org/pages/print.asp?print=1&NavID=5126&path=/pages/internal.asp

Thanks for the information. I'm sure that is true. I wasn't speaking for it as a denomination, merely that a friend of mine is a LCMS minister who uses the NIV. My point was to show the wide diversity among proponents for various translations.

Here is what the editor of the Journal of the Grace Evangelical Society wrote about the issue:
The NASB is the most wooden by far, in that it advances as much as possible a word-for-word translation even when it makes for awkward English. This is called formal equivalence.

Many people really like this, for the reader knows that he is getting a word-for-word translation. However, others feel the translator should seek to make the English as smooth as—or smoother than (see the comments earlier by the NET translators regarding ambiguity in the original language)—the Hebrew or Greek which it translates, which means at times supplying words, changing word order, changing passive voice into active, and the like.

The KJV and the NKJV are the most flowing. Some find them easier to memorize and feel they have a certain cadence to them not found in the others.

The Grace Evangelical Society, Journal of the Grace Evangelical Society Volume 17 (The Grace Evangelical Society, 2004; 2005), vnp.17.32.5.

That has certainly been my experience with the NKJV. It reads well in oral recitation and has a certain flowing cadence to it, surprising for such a literal translation. But, the "optimally equivalent"* literal HCSB (a critical text translation), is even easier to read due to sentence length, word choice, use of contractions, etc.

* "Optimal equivalence” is the model of translation used in the HCSB. That is, they began with a word-for-word translation and then style the language to communicate clearly to modern English readers.
 

Turtle

Puritan Board Freshman
Here is a proponent of the NAS explaining how critics come to their conclusions about it being a "wooden" translation. Thomas is a NT prof from MacArthur's Master's Seminary. Incidentally, do a Google search on NAS and "wooden" is one of the most prevalent terms used by reviewers!

Wooden... would the reviewers describe the cross in the same manner?

Perhaps we have misunderstood the reviewers meaning.:lol:

bryan
tampa, fl
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A.Hudson

Puritan Board Freshman
As for the two instances of ellipsis in 1 Samuel 13:1, the ESV has the following notes: (1) for "Saul was...years old", the marginal note reads: "The number is lacking in Hebrew and Septuagint"; and (2) for "and he reigned...and two years over Israel," the note reads: "Two may not be the entire number; something may have dropped out."

In other words, the ESV is just being upfront about the textual problem in this verse. Since the precise numbers for each place are uncertain, the translators err on the side of caution and leave them out.
What does this say about how the ESV translators believe in the doctrine of preservation?

The edition of the KJV I have (from Nelson) has "one year" and "two years" respectively, with the following marginal note: "The Hebrews is difficult (compare 2 Samuel 5:4; 2 Kings 14:2; see also 2 Samuel 2:10; Acts 13:21).
The KJV then does translate the verse as it is in the Hebrew. It may not be readily understandable, but translating it thusly shows something quite different regarding what the KJV translators believed about preservation.

Consider these passages in regards to the ESV belief on preservation in the original languages (OT Hebrew and NT Greek)...

Gen 47:21 - As for the people, he made servants of them from one end of Egypt to the other

Hebrew is: "he removed them to the cities" but the ESV uses the Septuagint to translate here.

This happens in other passages as well, where the ESV favors the Greek Septuagint rather than the preserved Hebrew of the Confession...

Ex 1:22; Ex 3:19; Ex 8:23; Ex 13:19; Ex 14:25; Ex 20:18.

And that's just from the book of Exodus.

Well, the KJV admits that the Hebrew is difficult at 1 Samuel 13:1, which makes me wonder why they feel confident inserting those numbers in those two places. If the original numbers have fallen out of the copied manuscripts over the centuries (which accounts for the textual difficulty here) then what's their justification for doing so? It seems to me that the ESV translators are more honest, in that they not only admit the problem, but replicate the difficulty in their translation.

The doctrine of preservation does not guarantee that there will be no problems with manuscripts as they are copied down through the ages.[/QUOTE]

:think:
 

Clay7926

Puritan Board Sophomore
As for the two instances of ellipsis in 1 Samuel 13:1, the ESV has the following notes: (1) for "Saul was...years old", the marginal note reads: "The number is lacking in Hebrew and Septuagint"; and (2) for "and he reigned...and two years over Israel," the note reads: "Two may not be the entire number; something may have dropped out."

In other words, the ESV is just being upfront about the textual problem in this verse. Since the precise numbers for each place are uncertain, the translators err on the side of caution and leave them out.
What does this say about how the ESV translators believe in the doctrine of preservation?

The edition of the KJV I have (from Nelson) has "one year" and "two years" respectively, with the following marginal note: "The Hebrews is difficult (compare 2 Samuel 5:4; 2 Kings 14:2; see also 2 Samuel 2:10; Acts 13:21).
The KJV then does translate the verse as it is in the Hebrew. It may not be readily understandable, but translating it thusly shows something quite different regarding what the KJV translators believed about preservation.

Consider these passages in regards to the ESV belief on preservation in the original languages (OT Hebrew and NT Greek)...

Gen 47:21 - As for the people, he made servants of them from one end of Egypt to the other

Hebrew is: "he removed them to the cities" but the ESV uses the Septuagint to translate here.

This happens in other passages as well, where the ESV favors the Greek Septuagint rather than the preserved Hebrew of the Confession...

Ex 1:22; Ex 3:19; Ex 8:23; Ex 13:19; Ex 14:25; Ex 20:18.

And that's just from the book of Exodus.

Well, the KJV admits that the Hebrew is difficult at 1 Samuel 13:1, which makes me wonder why they feel confident inserting those numbers in those two places. If the original numbers have fallen out of the copied manuscripts over the centuries (which accounts for the textual difficulty here) then what's their justification for doing so? It seems to me that the ESV translators are more honest, in that they not only admit the problem, but replicate the difficulty in their translation.

The doctrine of preservation does not guarantee that there will be no problems with manuscripts as they are copied down through the ages.

I think that the notes in the MacArthur Study Bible handle the translation issue in I Sam 13:1 very well:

The original numbers have not been preserved in this text. It lit. reads, "Saul was one year old when he became king and ruled two years over Israel." Acts 13:21 states that Saul ruled 40 years. His age at his accession is recorded nowhere in Scripture. Probable the best reconstruction of vv. 1,2 is "Saul was one and (perhaps) thirty years when he began to reign, and when he had reigned two years over Israel, the Saul chose for himself three thousand men of Israel..."

As for the NASB in general, I use it as my primary church and study bible, and recommend it without reservation. I started using NASB back in 2005 (after coming from KJV and NIV), went to ESV in 2008, and came back to NASB earlier this year.

For what it's worth, a Parallel Bible would probably serve you well also. Speaking of which, I need to fire off an e-mail to Crossway to encourage them to release a NASB/ESV parallel. Excuse me for a sec...
 

KSon

Puritan Board Junior
Since we would be dealing with two different publishers, Crossway and Lockman, the type of financial haggling that would ensue, which would seemingly ignore the edification potential to the saints in favor of profit, is what I have a hard time finding peace with in this mass-production Bible version market.
 
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