In the last few weeks I have become aware that the NASB has come out with a new revision. I think it is called the NAS 2020. Since I am happy with the 1977 version and have all my notes and study tools geared to it, I have not had any interest in the new editions. It came up in a recent conversation and I began to wonder how far the Lockman Foundation was willing to compromise in order to pacify the woke community. One flashpoint is in how they translate the numerous words in the Hebrew and Greek that accurately render male pronouns as male pronouns and translate gender specific nouns as they were written.
At issue are not places where sons, the plural of son, is translated as “children”. Even the KJV did that because it conveys the understanding of the ancient readers. The issue is changing the wording to please people who are having issues with the authority of God in the first place and who get excited about words like “patriarchy” and “white privilege”.
So I did a search for differences and at one place it linked to the Lockman page that was titled “Gender-Accurate language in the NASB 2020". I knew I was in trouble when the article started out,
“The NASB 2020 is gender-accurate, meaning the reader will no longer have to try to intuit which genders the biblical authors have in mind. Now the text will clearly communicate gender in modern English, while still remaining true to the context and original languages of the ancient manuscripts.”This is the kind of thinking that makes me reject such “translations” as the NIV, Message and NLT. These are paraphrases at best. A paraphrase, like the original Living Bible, is up front about the intention of paraphrasing. Paraphrasing is by it’s nature not focusing on accuracy but making a point. An honest person who is quoting someone but doesn’t have the exact phrase in front of them will say, “I am paraphrasing” so the listener can make a valid judgement.
The kind of change that this recent edition is making may make sense in the world of “I shall be as a god” academics but it puts the translator in an awkward position in front of the real God. Their logic is that using the male pronoun “he” as a generic pronoun is an error of embracing the traditional male dominance of the patriarchy. We would not want to bend to that cultural pressure. The problem is that the original inspired scripture followed that pattern. That is the reason that our culture has done the same thing.
There was a time when the church took seriously Paul’s words in Romans 12:2,
(Rom 12:2 KJV) And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.The church set a standard based on an understanding of God’s word and expected the world to come into agreement. Music moved forward in sophistication. The first book printed by Gutenberg was a Bible. Science was to investigate the wonders of God’s creation. Church architecture advanced novel concepts to be used in cathedrals. It was a glorious time of moving forward.
Now we worry about being seeker friendly. Our goal is to be a combination of McDonald’s and Cheers. We have become like most restaurants that draw people in to experience the exotic cuisine only to have them never return because it was empty calories. Now authors face a play book requiring them to include the correct number of the different ethnic groups and genders. Science is openly fraudulent with fake peer reviews becoming a major scandal. Churches are boxy gymnasiums with fancy lights and fog machines. We have not only stopped but we are going backwards.
I have said that a person could come to know Jesus even using the New World Translation because it is ultimately a journey of a seeker and the Holy Spirit. I would not advise it as the best method to communicate truth.
homo unius libri