DAVID'S REVIEW OF THE 1995 NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE|
The NASB is an excellent Bible for serious study as it is word for word literal translation, sometimes too literal and stilted for public reading.
Many times idioms are translated to their English meaning. All languages have idioms (figures of speech). For example, one may say that one is "hitting the sack". But to someone in China, they may not understand that you mean you are going to bed. Same goes for Hebrew and Greek. At least twice in the Old Testament, it is said that one "covered his feet." That's a case where a clearer rendering is better than a strictly literal one. We may think that he is warming his feet with a blanket. The covering of his feet is a Hebrew idiom, an euphemism meaning "dropping his garments to his feet in order to relieve himself." Translating that idiom as "relieving himself" into the text is preferred, and placing the Hebrew idiom in the footnotes. The NASB places literal translations of idioms in the footnotes several hundred times when it would be confusing to English readers if placed in the text itself, and places the English meaning in the text and the NASB still retains the properties of a literal translation. This is done in the NASB more often than the English Standard Version, and makes the NASB slightly easier to understand than the ESV.
My only disagreement with the NASB is the verses on the exception of a divorce in Matthew 5:32 ("unchasity") and Matthew 19:9 ("immorality") The same Greek word, porneia, is used in both passages, and means a sexual sin. Immorality can mean all kinds of sinful behavior. The NASB dropped the ball here.
Sadly the NASB ia being updated and will become much less literal and even use gender inclusive language. There needs to be an translation on the market that is very literal, and the new NASB will not be it. I will now use the English Standard Version and the New King James Version as my favotite literal translations. The NASB will become just another Bible translation and that is a shame. The new NASB, will be called the NASB 2020, and thankfully the 1995 version will still be in print.
I would highly recommend the 1995 NASB for very serious study, as long as they are aware of the mistakes in Matthew 5:32 and 19:9.