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NASB 2020 Update News and Review

After more than two years of anticipation, The Lockman Foundation has published the New American Standard Bible 2020 version. Numerous print editions were released on August 28, 2020, a Kindle edition on October 14 and a free download edition from bible.com also became available. Currently, the best site to discover the available editions and purchase sources is The Lockman Foundation’s site for NASB 2020.

At the present time, Zondervan anticipates their first wave of Zondervan NASB 2020 editions to appear in the spring of 2021. However, The Lockman Foundation will continue to allow the publication of the NASB 95 update alongside the NASB 2020 version, which will please the NASB 95’s many fans.

Also, in parallel with the above efforts, John MacArthur and The Master’s Seminary, with The Lockman Foundation’s permission and under its 2021 copyright, are creating the Legacy Standard Bible, a classic edition of the NASB. Abner Chou is heading the project. The LSB New Testament with Psalms and Proverbs is now available for preorder from 316 Publishing, delivery should be in March of 2021. If you want a sample of it right now, you can download a free pdf of the LSB’s Gospel of Mark and one of Philippians and hear John MacArthur and Abner Chou discuss the goals of the project at lsbible.org. One of their decisions is to translate all instances of LORD to Yahweh in the Old Testament. Another is to bring the modern reader back to the culture of the biblical writer. In general, they want to refine the work of the NASB95, not create a new version of it. The “LSB” and “Legacy Standard Bible” are trademarks of The Lockman Foundation.

My Review

This post has been a work-in-process since September 12th, 2018 when Lockman started posting NASB 2020 passages on its Facebook page. The following sample of passages is generally the order in which they were released by Lockman. The NASB 2020 has updated many passages, included below are examples of the types of changes they are making, so the reader can get an idea of what to expect:

Bible on table with Candle

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It had me at Meow.

This post is a diversion from my normal blogging topic, but I wanted to share it with you anyway.

I‘ve never liked cats. There was a time when I tried to befriend them, but I gave up after getting scrapes up my arms from sudden paw strikes. How can they go from a delightful purr to a vengeful, snarling, instantaneous, all claws-out swipe?? I gave up. Dogs were better. Most want to be your friend. Cats…who knows what they want.

Photo by Ruca Souza from Pexels.

But yesterday, I met the most delightful black cat. I was working outside when he wandered up to our house. I first heard his meowing; he meowed frequently. I had only seen him, at least I think it was him, on our security video. He would trigger it in the early morning hours by walking across our front yard. This was the first time I saw him in real-time.

He hung around me. He liked to be patted. He crawled up on my lap and genuinely seemed to like me. He became interested in what I was doing, chased blowing leaves, and played with the small branches of my tree trimming efforts. If I stooped down, he’d come right over for a pat and a snuggle, and he followed me around. He was everything I wanted in a dog. This went on for more than an hour. But he kept meowing as though he was looking for something or calling out to someone.

I checked his license and called the county to find out if the cat was lost. In his mind, I think he was lost, but in reality, he lived just two streets over. When I went back outside, he was across the street meowing and walking the fence line between us and the road to his house. There is solid fencing on all the yards in the direction of his home. It was then that I realized he couldn’t find an opening through the fence, and that he doesn’t jump.

So, I thought maybe, for the first time in my life, I’d get a cat to go on a walk. Cats don’t go on walks with people. They only look at you like you’re an ignorant human who serves them food. Yet, I thought I’d try. Sure enough, he followed me. Oh, he chased a few leaves and my shadow on the way, but he kept up with me as I led him around all the fences . Once we rounded the corner of the next street over, he recognized where he was and ran toward his home.

I’ve never liked cats. My daughters do. One has two of them. However, I was kinda’ hoping this guy was lost, and his owner couldn’t be located, so he could stay here with us and I’d name him Pal. I’m glad he found his way home, but I miss him.

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Rob Oberto, D.Min., is the award-winning author of “Intimacy With God” available from Amazon. ©2019 Rob Oberto, All Rights Reserved.

The #1 Read Bible vs The Bestselling Bible

When it comes to Bible translations, I’m apparently out-of-sync with the majority according to The Barna Group and the ECPA (below). My #1 preferred Bible translation is the Holman Christian Standard Bible. I expected to change to the updated version of it, see my review of the Christian Standard Bible, when it came out in 2017, but I didn’t. The gender neutrality language was a big factor, but, more importantly, my two daughters gave me the Holman Christian Standard Study Bible as a Christmas present in 2012. So, it tugs at my heartstrings and it has my name nicely engraved in gold on the front leather cover. The HCSB has some shortcomings, but, by-and-large, I find it to be the most accurate and readable.

My morning devotions at Cape Cod, MA

The New American Standard 2020 update is in the works. The previous link will take you to my ongoing review of it. I had great expectations for this update. So far, however, I’m not thrilled by the 2020’s passages that the Lockman Foundation has been releasing. It’s a plus/minus kind of the thing. They’ve improved the translation of some passages, but they’ve also downgraded the translation of others by making them annoyingly wordy. To date, the negatives slightly outnumber the positives.

But this post is about the #1 Read Bible translation by all Bible readers, not just me. I was totally surprised to find — drum roll please — that the most often READ translation, according to The Barna Group in 2018, is the King James Version with the New International Version a distant second. Statista reports the following:

However, the King James Version is not the Bestselling Bible. I find this very interesting. According to the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association’s Bible Bestseller List, the New International Version is actually the BESTSELLING Bible, with the KJV in second place, and the English Standard Version ranking third in both lists.

Yes, I see that my favored HCSV is not on either list, and I see that the Christian Standard Bible is in fifth place. That’s okay. The question, though, is how can the King James Version be the most read while the New International Version is the Bestselling? For me, and everyone I know, the KJV is the least readable. From a readability standpoint, I would expect the New King James version to be preferred over the King James Version, but, oddly, it’s not.

So, how can it be the most read??? I believe there are two reasons. First, the KJV has been around for the longest time. It’s tradition. Also, a good many churches believe it is the only English version authorized by God. Trevin Wax, via The Gospel Coalition, wrote an excellent article summarizing the King James Only Controversy.

The second, is that the KJV is in public domain. Which means anyone can publish it for free, plus publishing costs of course. It also means, that anyone can quote it, at length, free of copyright infringement considerations. This makes it more available in print and online, and less expensive than all other options.

I don’t know which translation you favor, but, in addition to the Greek and Hebrew originals, I regularly consult several when studying, researching, or teaching. However, for my personal devotions, I’m sticking with the Bible my daughters lovingly gave me for Christmas in 2012. I gave my wife an NIV Study Bible a few years ago, and our daughters read the ESV, I believe. That makes them more in line with the majority of readers. Most importantly, they are fully devoted to Christ in every area of their lives. This is the goal of every translation. So, go for it King James readers! What’s most important is that we are reading it! 

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Dr. Rob Oberto is the award-winning author of “Intimacy With God” available from Amazon. ©2019. All Rights Reserved.

The Courageous Faith of Joseph and Mary

I‘m reposting this from last year because, once again I find myself impressed by the courage and faith of Joseph and Mary. A lot of things could have happened to them in their time and culture. Per the Law of Moses, for example, intimate relations between a legally betrothed [engaged] couple could carry the death sentence. Any case lodged against them would have been very difficult to defend against because she would bring into court the irrefutable evidence of her bulging tummy.

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Is Christmas a Pagan Holiday?

During the Christmas season you will hear some Grinch say: “Christmas is just a pagan holiday.” That statement casts doubt on the validity of Christmas in the hearts of all who hear it. But is it true? In a post last year, I researched this question and discovered the reason for the statement and why we can confidently know that Christmas is not a pagan holiday.  Go to post.

Husbands Love Our Wives as Jesus Commands — Pastor Unlikely

I’m sharing this recent post of my blogger friend Pastor Unlikely. His message is a good reminder of the example of love that Jesus modeled for us. Enjoy!

Jesus Gave Everything for His Bride We are often derailed from the marriage that Jesus wants for us by our innate desire to protect ourselves. Too often we apply the world’s wisdom to our relationships and not God’s. 1,356 more words

via Husbands Love Our Wives as Jesus Commands — Pastor Unlikely

Does Pastoral Abuse Invalidate Christianity?

A just released, 887-page grand jury report states that 301 Catholic priests have abused 1,000 children over a 70-year period in Pennsylvania. The report also documents the church leadership’s massive cover up of these unconscionable acts. The problem was systemic. The church hierarchy not only failed to protect the most vulnerable under their care; they hid it. The report’s findings are tragic and contemptible. Real lives were, and still are, devastated. God takes such heinous sin seriously: Continue reading “Does Pastoral Abuse Invalidate Christianity?”

The Unforgivable Sin: Blasphemy against the Holy Spirit

HAVE YOU EVER SQUIRMED OUT OF CONCERN that you may have committed the unforgivable sin? I did, when I first read about it in Matthew 12:31. What is “blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, and why is this sin unforgivable?” Let’s look at the larger context of Mt 12:22–32 to better understand what Jesus meant.

Holy Spirit_MergedLayers2

The passage begins with Jesus healing a demon-possessed man who was both blind and mute. The crowds were amazed at this miracle and asked if He was the Son of David, the promised Messiah. When the Pharisees heard what the people were asking, they declared in 12:24, “It is only by Beelzebul, the prince of demons, that this fellow drives out demons.”

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Gray-haired Heroes of Faith

SINCE LAST SEPTEMBER, I’ve been a discussion leader in the Alpha evangelism program on Thursday nights at our church. It’s an international program that’s been around since 1990. You probably know about it.

Each night participants streamed into the auditorium and made their way to their tables. Well, not all of them streamed-in. There were two people who struggled to swing their legs out of their car and then they’d wrestle with their walkers to get them out of the back seat. Once mobilized, they proceeded to, and I can’t think of a better term, ‘snail’ their way toward the front double doors where they’d noisily wrestle with each of those too. Others would usually come to their aid.

Eagle in flight above the clouds

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