I have begun to actually use my new 1977 NASB. I decided this time a good place to begin, especially since we are nearing the season of Advent, is the Gospel of Luke. And I am finding I am becoming very comfortable with it already, probably in large part because I was already very familiar with, and very comfortable with, the 1995 update NASB. Many of the features I liked about that one are here in this one, you might say.
And I’m already comfortable with the way they treated the connective words in the 77 NASB. And I understand it’s the way the ancients wrote, and so, in a Bible of this type, that is, one that’s supposed to be the most literally accurate of any modern English Bible outside of an actual interlinear, it’s only natural that it should be like this. And I know we don’t talk like this today, but it’s kind of fun to see it.
And there is one thing about the 77 NASB that I find a bit jarring, and that is the use of the old English words like “Thy”, “Thine”, “Thou”, “dost”, “hast”. The preface says these words are only used when praying to the Deity, and in all honesty that’s the only time I see them. It’s not like the old KJV that used the old English consistently. I think limiting their use just to those particular times makes it more jarring, and in that way the 95 update is superior to the 77, I think. I would like to delve more deeply into the subject of why use old English when addressing the Deity. It’s a curious subject. Most of us don’t even address God that way in our own prayers today.
I carried my new ’77 NASB to church this past Sunday, and I showed my pastor. Being a Wesleyan Methodist, he seemed surprised that I was carrying such an unusual Bible, and he didn’t really seem to understand what it was, though he recognized the initials NASB. He didn’t have any knowledge of how the 77 and 95 differ, I don’t think. But then, he’s a theologian, not a translation junkie, like I am.