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FAQ

What is the Legacy Standard Bible?

What is the LSB?

The Legacy Standard Bible (LSB) is a translation that—at its core—seeks to be a window into the original Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek. By translating individual words as consistently as possible within their various nuances, it allows the reader to discern what God originally wrote and know the author’s intent. In this way, the LSB seeks to be an improvement upon the NASB, while simultaneously preserving its faithful legacy.

Is the LSB a new translation?

The Legacy Standard Bible is a direct update of the NASB 1995 edition and fundamentally endeavors to uphold it. The translators went back to the original Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek of every verse in order to double check its accuracy. Any changes made strictly revolved around providing greater consistency in word usage, accuracy in grammatical structure, and tightening phrasing.

Sometimes these changes will incorporate what was found in the earlier NASB ’77 edition. However, if no update was needed, then the text was left as originally translated by the NASB ’95. Thus, as opposed to a brand new translation, the LSB is truly designed to be a legacy edition. It is a version that honors and upholds the NASB tradition, and endeavors to more fully implement its translation philosophy.

How is the LSB different from the NASB ‘95?

While the Legacy Standard Bible sought to uphold the NASB 95, it has several key distinctions:

  • The recovery of God’s name, Yahweh in the OT, and slave for the Greek term doulos in the NT.
  • The change of certain words and phrases in order to ensure that English words consistently matched their original language counterparts, and that the phrasing matched the grammar of the original language.
  • The usage of weights, measurements, and currency as they’re found in the original writing. Because this translation is designed to bring the reader to what was originally written, the LSB maintains the unit of measurement that the Scripture uses. For clarity, conversions into both American and metric units are provided in the notes for measurements. This allows for the LSB to serve the entire English-speaking world by not choosing one country’s unit of measurement or currency over another. It also preserves any exegetical significance of the way the measurements were originally expressed.
Why was the LSB created?

From decades of preaching and teaching, the NASB became the translation of choice for John MacArthur and many others who were trained by him. The LSB project was undertaken to preserve the legacy of the NASB for all coming generations, as the gold standard of literal, formal-equivalent translations.

Who is behind the LSB?

The LSB is a joint-venture product of the Lockman Foundation and the John MacArthur Trust. The translation committee consists of a group of biblically qualified, faithful men from the Master’s University and Seminary, all of whom are scholars and preachers. The translation also went through an extensive review process from a team that consists of scholars and pastors from all around the world.

Translation Philosophy

What is the translation philosophy of the LSB?

As an update of the NASB, the LSB is a literal word-for-word translation. Particularly, it aims to be a window into the original text by having precision in two ways. First, it seeks to ensure that each word and phrase in English corresponds to each word and phrase in the original languages relative to meaning and grammar. Second, it also seeks to ensure that the same words and phrases correspond to each other within the translation as much as possible. This provides the reader confidence that the word or phrase they see in one place is indeed the same they see elsewhere. Because Bible translation and interpretation belongs in the context of the local church, the LSB does not shy away from being as literal as possible, trusting that the community of believers will be able to teach and explain the passages to one another (Acts 8:30-31).

What Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek editions of the Bible were used to translate the LSB?

For the Old Testament, the LSB utilizes the Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia of R. Kittel, A. Alt., O. Eissfeldt, and P. Kahle, together with the most recent light from lexicography, cognate languages, and the Dead Sea Scrolls. For the New Testament, the 27th edition of Eberhard Nestle’s Novum Testamentum Graece, supplemented by the 28th edition in the General Epistles, serve as the base text. On every variant reading the Society of Biblical Literature GNT as well as the Tyndale House GNT were also consulted.

Why does the LSB use Yahweh instead of LORD?

Traditionally, the translation “God” renders the Hebrew word Elohim. Likewise, the word “Lord” is a translation of Adonai. In the LSB, God’s covenant name is rendered as Yahweh, as opposed to LORD. The meaning and implication of this name is God’s self-deriving, ongoing, and never-ending existence. Exodus 3:14–15 shows that God Himself considered it important for His people to know His name. The effect of revealing God’s name is His distinction from other gods and His expression of intimacy with the nation of Israel. Such a dynamic is a prevalent characteristic of the Scriptures as Yahweh appears in the OT over 6,800 times.

In addition to Yahweh, the full name of God, the OT also includes references to God by a shorter version of His name, Yah. By itself, God’s name “Yah” may not be as familiar, but the appearance of it is recognizable in Hebrew names and words (e.g. Zechar-iah, meaning Yah remembers, and Hallelu-jah, meaning praise Yah!). God’s shortened name “Yah” is predomi- nantly found in poetry and praise.

Why does the LSB translate doulos as “slave?”

The NT has a variety of terms that refer to the individuals who serve under the authority of another. Doulos denotes a very specific form of servitude: slavery. The NT uses doulos to describe an individual who is totally subordinate to a master (cf. Matt 8:9; 24:46; 2 Pet 2:19) and even owned by that master (Philem 16-19), in contrast to one who is freed (Gal 3:28). For this reason, the NASB already translated the vast majority of this term as slave. The LSB made this consistent, which brings out how believers are to relate to Christ. He is our Lord and master (2 Cor 4:5), and we are His slaves (Rom 1:1; Phil 1:1). This underscores His great redemption in buying believers from slavery to sin (Rom 6:16). This also underscores the believer’s absolute surrender to the Lord Jesus Christ (Rom 6:16-17). A consistent translation of doulos, in effect, sharpens the very nature of the Christian life.

Is the LSB difficult to read?

The LSB maintains the readability of the NASB. Accuracy and consistency do not hinder readability. Rather, it often can bring clarity of expression. For example, consistency at times simplifies vocabulary by using standard wording for a specific term. The sharpening of grammar allows for greater clarity of the structure of a sentence. Even more, using certain literal phrases brings out the vivid metaphors of Scripture, makes the progression of thought easier to trace, and highlights distinct parallelism. These features within the LSB help the careful reader find and follow the original author’s flow of thought. To sample the LSB, click here to download a free copy of the Gospel of Mark. 

Why does the LSB capitalize pronouns referring to deity?

In the LSB, pronouns pertaining to deity are capitalized. This is a feature that is not unique to the LSB, but is present in other Bible translations as well. Most notably, it is found in the NASB, of which the LSB has sought to honor and preserve. Hence, it has maintained this practice. Capitalization aids in two main ways. First, it is a way to show honor to God who is greater than man. Second, it helps the reader track with the author, making clear exactly to whom the pronoun refers. The practice of the NASB was that when the grammar indicated that a pronoun  referred to God, they capitalized. If there was any doubt, they either left it lowercase or put a footnote to indicate this. The LSB translators went through every instance, to double check the original work of the NASB translation team.

Why does the LSB capitalize Old Testament quotations in the New Testament?

Like any translation, the LSB is a tool for Bible study. It specifically desires to be a window into the original language and provide in English what a scholar or pastor would see reading a Hebrew or Greek Bible. For this reason, and as most of the editions of the Greek New Testament today indicate Old Testament quotations, so the LSB follows the tradition of the NASB in doing likewise. When a NT author clearly quotes an OT verse, it is formatted in all caps. Fundamentally, this helps the reader immediately see that part of the OT is being quoted or incorporated into the NT. This shows the unity of Scripture and is a helpful study tool so that one is alerted to important cross references, some that an English reader may overlook. It secondarily serves as a helpful way to find references quickly as the change of typography can help us locate where a certain passage is quoted with greater ease. The LSB double checked and expanded the references of the NASB in honor of this practice.

When will the LSB be available?

When will the LSB be available in print?

The LSB New Testament, Psalms, and Proverbs will be released in print March 2021 at the Shepherds’ Conference. A complete Bible is expected to be released by the end of the same year. 

Will the LSB be available on Bible apps and digital forms?

The LSB New Testament with Psalms and Proverbs will be available to read through this website for free beginning in March of this year. iOS and Android apps will become available the same month. Bible software platforms and additional third party apps will begin releasing before the end of 2021, when the entire Bible is released.  


Want to learn more?

Click here to watch a round-table discussion between the translation team and John MacArthur, where they discuss why they undertook this project, how it was completed, and more!

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