February 4, 2022, 7:00 PM

I am posting here what we covered the evening of January 16th.


"If I can read it, that's all that matters." Many people put no more thought than that into a translation. If they received a Bible as a gift, some will stick with that Bible as long as they can read it fairly easily. If they go shopping for a Bible, many put readability over other considerations. We all must understand, though, that not all translations are created equal, therefore, readability is not the most important consideration. There is a scale of good translations, going from a word-for-word approach (formal equivalence) to a thought-for-thought approach (dynamic equivalence). Beyond the thought-for-thought approach, is paraphrasing, and any paraphrase should not be considered a true translation nor used for in-depth study. The Legacy Standard Bible (LSB) is a word-for-word translation and very reliable for in-depth study.

"Why do we need a new translation?" Many wonder that because we have so many English translations already. The LSB, however, is not a new translation but an update of the New American Standard Bible (NASB). Having loved the NASB, the LSB translators want to preserve and improve upon the great translation work in the NASB, not following the trajectory of the Lockman Foundation in updating from the NASB '95 to the NASB '20. Loving the NASB '95 myself, I appreciate what the LSB translation committee has set out to do. You can listen to them talk about their work here, particularly under the FAQ "Why was the LSB created?"


My mom raised me as a Jehovah's Witness. The only version of the Bible I read was the New World Translation, which is cultishly heretical—not a Christian Bible. When the Lord saved me, my Uncle Bill (pastor of El Reno Indian Baptist Church at that time) loaned me his New International Version (NIV) until someone gave me the NIV Study Bible as a gift. I wore that Bible out. It will always be special to me as the Bible that grounded me in essential doctrine. Somewhere along the way, though, after surrendering to the ministry, I was exposed to the NASB by listening to John MacArthur and Adam Lamle, my pastor after my uncle. In going from the thought-for-thought translation of the NIV to the word-for-word translation of the NASB, a world of nuances was opened up to me in studying to preach and teach.

Now, I went back to the NIV for a little while (even trying the NIV '11), thinking that I could take a word-for-word approach to preaching with the NIV,  but it just didn't work for me. Additionally, I spent quite a bit of time with the English Standard Version, basically another word-for-word translation (an optimal-equivalence translation according to its translators, working in some thought-for-thought translation). But I still loved the NASB and have been back to it for the last few years. The primary reasons I am now considering the LSB are these: 1) the aforementioned work of the translators to preserve the great work and legacy of the NASB; 2) the improvements upon the NASB, which I will cover in coming posts (along with a thing or two that I don't care for).


I want to make sure everyone understands why I'm leading this look at the LSB.

First, as far as I know, I will be switching to the LSB in preaching and teaching. A few have expressed their desire to get a copy of and follow along with the translation I am using. I want that to be an educated decision.

Second, I believe every church should have a primary translation for gift and pew Bibles, along with Scripture quotations on printed and digital materials.

Having said that, I will put no pressure on anyone to make the LSB their primary personal Bible. That is between you and the Lord. I just hope that everyone will at least add it to their options for comparison in personal reading and study.

-Grace & Truth-