Pastor John Samson
Here at King’s Church we recommend the New American Standard Bible (NASB) and it is the one most frequently used in our services. I say this for two main reasons; the first being that it can be very confusing if we have the different words in front of us in our Bibles as the sermon is being preached. This can be very alarming for new Christians who are not aware of the issues and see a text in front of them that is sometimes quite different from what the preacher is using.
Decades ago, there was only one real Bible version of choice, the King James Version. History tells us that it was actually the Geneva Bible, with its Reformation based explanatory study notes, that was the very first Bible to come over to the shores of America on the Mayflower. However, the growing popularity of the KJV eventually made seeing the Geneva Bible a rare event in church services and homes.
The King James Version is certainly an excellent translation which has served the church for many generations. However, the meaning of words have changed a great deal in the centuries since the first printing of the KJV in 1611. Many preachers (me included) found that when using it, much time was required in a sermon to update and explain the archaic language used. A newer translation removes the need for this.
In addition to the archaic language of the KJV, what we know of the original text and languages has improved significantly in the last 400 years or so. The Church in our day has needed a Bible translation which reflects this great advancement in scholarship.
In some church services, there can be as many as 10 to 15 different versions in use. Of course, people can use any translation they like. They are definitely free to do so! Yet I think it is very helpful for pastors and elders to recommend one main translation to eliminate any potential confusion for a congregation.
With this as a foundation, the next question we need to ask is “which is the best Bible to use?”
This leads me to talk about the second reason for choosing the NASB. It stems from the desire to have an essentially literal translation (a “word for word” translation) in use rather than a dynamic equivalent, or “thought for thought” one. The primary advantage in choosing a “word for word” translation is that it gives us confidence that what we read in our Bibles are the equivalent English words for what the authors actually wrote. There is no need to wonder at every point where translation ends and subjective, personal commentary begins or if important material might be omitted from the original.
Certainly, there are other excellent translations out there. For years I have used the English Standard Version (ESV) which is a wonderful translation. However, a choice needed to be made and it is the NASB that is our Bible of choice here at King’s Church.
ENDORSEMENTS OF THE NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE
“The New American Standard Bible has set the standard for faithful Bible translations for a generation. It is the favorite of so many who love the Bible and look for accuracy and clarity in translation. The New American Standard Bible should be close at hand for any serious student of the Bible. I thank God for this faithful translation.” – Dr. R. Albert Mohler, Jr., President, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
“The NASB is an excellent translation that seeks the closest possible verbal equivalency.” – Dr. R. C. Sproul
“Better than any other English translation, the Updated NASB represents the writings of the original Hebrew and Greek authors. For private study and public readings, it’s unsurpassed!” – Bruce A. Ware. Ph.D., Associate Dean, School of Theology, Professor of Christian Theology, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville, KY
“The NASB is ‘my’ Bible, the finest and clearest of translations for inductive study. You can be sure this is the translation I recommend above all others.” – Kay Arthur, Co-Founder, Precept Ministries International
“Among the wide variety of English Bibles available to readers in our generation, the NASB offers the most literal translation of the text of the originals. It blends accurate scholarship with devotion and the end product is one that both informs the mind at the same time as causing the Christian to rejoice. It certainly is worthy of a place on the bookshelf of every Christian.” – Dr. Robert M. Norris, Senior Pastor, Fourth Presbyterian Church, Bethesda, Maryland
“In a time when there are so many translations to choose from, it is a joy to know that there is one that you know is accurate and readable. As I prepare for messages, I find without fail that the NASB has accurately and clearly translated the word or the text. It is the translation I recommend to all who ask.” – Pastor Randall Morton, First Evangelical Church of Greenville, South Carolina
“As a preacher, it is my desire to present the Word of God as accurately as possible to my people. The New American Standard’s word-for-word translation helps me greatly in achieving that task. With the NASB, I can proclaim, ‘The Bible says…’ with confidence.” – Rev. Bob Hurd. Pastor, Beacon Baptist Church, New Orleans, LA