DAVID'S REVIEW OF THE 2020 NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE|
Compare the NASB 2020 to the NASB 1995
Considering that the NASB 2020 is a new update, this review will be revised many times.
My first impression was that it is much easier to read and less wooden or stilted than the NASB 1995. The reading is more smooth. I did not enjoy reading the NASB 1995 as much as other Bible translations, while the NASB 2020 is a joy to read. The NASB 2020 makes far more changes from the NASB 1995 than the NASB 1995 did from the NASB 1977. The NASB 2020 is definitely less literal than its 1995 counterpart. It is important to have a Bible in your library that is the most literal, and the NASB 2020 is not it. For a very literal translation, use the NASB 1995 or the English Standard Version. If you want a Bible that is easy to read, but is fairly literal and very accurate, then try the NASB 2020.
Thankfully the NASB 1995 will still be in print, but remember when Biblica said that the 1984 NIV will continue to be in print when a New NIV would be released? The sales of the 2005 Today's New International Version never took off because consumers were loyal to the 1984 NIV and buying that instead of the TNIV. That is why the 1984 NIV was taken off the shelves when the 2011 NIV was released, to keep the sales of the 2011 NIV alive. So while the NASB 1995 will still be published for now, it will eventually join the 1984 NIV (and the NASB 1977) in the dust bin, especially if sales of the NASB 2020 are lagging.
Most of the changes in the NASB 2020 is replacing words with synonyms that eases reading comprehension, bring out the true meaning or simply to make the verse more beautiful. This is done thousands of times with the NASB 2020.
John 3:16 has been heavily revised. But I believe that "God so loved the world" should be "This is how God loved the world:" and that "His only Son" should be "His unique Son." I know, not as beautiful, but let's strive for accuracy first, as my changes are more true to the original Greek. I am pleased to see that the errors the NASB 1995 made in Matthew 5:32 and Matthew 19:9 have been corrected in the NASB 2020. 1 Corinthians 13 also has changes. Almost every chapter in the NASB 2020 contain changes to make the text more readable.
The NASB 2020 uses some gender-accurate language, but "and sisters" in "brothers and sisters" is in italics to note that it is not in the original text. The "singular they" is not used, unlike the NIV 2011. Instead the NASB 2020 uses the "singular him," which is taught in most schools for decades. Singular pronouns are not made into plural ones. One knows from the NASB 2020 when an individual or a group is being addressed. I like how the NASB 2020 handles gender accuracy.
Like the NASB 1995, the NASB 2020 capitalizes nouns that refer to the Deity. The original text does not do that, but it is useful to the reader. It also puts supplied words in italics, again very useful. Old Testament quotes in the New Testament are put in all caps.
I find the NASB 2020 to be much like my favorite translation, the Christian Standard Bible. Both are fairly literal with hard to understand literalisms footnoted. While fairly literal, both use modern English, and are easy to understand. And both the CSB and NASB 2020 deal with gender-accuracy the same way with the "singular him."
So far I have not found a passage in the NASB 2020 that is not true to the original. Like I said, if you want a strict literal translation, then get a NASB 1995 or the ESV. If you want to read a Bible that balances readability and accuracy, then get the NASB 2020 or the CSB.
I will continue to read the NASB 2020 and update this review.