The New American Standard Bible (NASB or NAS), completed in 1971, is widely regarded as one of the most literally translated of 20th-century English Bible translations. According to the NASB’s preface, the translators had a “Fourfold Aim” in this work:
These publications shall be true to the original Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek.
They shall be grammatically correct.
They shall be understandable.
They shall give the Lord Jesus Christ His proper place, the place which the Word gives Him; therefore, no work will ever be personalized.
Seeing the need for a literal, modern translation of the English Bible, the translators sought to produce a contemporary English Bible while maintaining a word-for-word translation style. In cases where word-for-word literalness was determined to be unacceptable for modern readers, changes were made in the direction of more current idioms. In such instances, the more literal renderings were indicated in footnotes.
In 1995, the Lockman Foundation reissued the NASB text as the NASB Updated Edition. The removing or replacing literal renderings of antiquated phrases and words, and many conjunctions, the current edition is slightly less literal than the original. It has introduced inclusive language in about 85 places. The NASB remains, however, the most literal version of the English Bible commonly used in churches today. It is commonly used in many Christian colleges and seminaries for in-depth study, because of its strict adherence to the original languages.
Asterisk *: Other notes added at that time have been scrutinized and confirmation from Mr. Darby’s writings sought. Any notes which were judged to be of sufficient value to retain, but which could not be positively identified as being Mr. Darby’s (apart from those which are capable of easy verification by reference to a concordance) have been marked by an asterisk.
Italics Example: The transliteration of Hebrew and Greek letters in the notes has been retained as being more convenient to the English reader. Such words are printed in italics. The use of italics in the text indicates emphasis.
LXX: LXX in the footnotes refers to the Septuagint, the Greek version of the Old Testament.
Keri (קרי): Keri signifies the marginal note of the Massorites, indicating their idea of how the text should be read.
Chetiv: Chetiv is the Hebrew text as it is written. Cf. stands for ‘compare’; Lit. for ‘Literally’.
Square brackets [ ] in the text indicate
(a) words added to complete the sense in English similar to those shown in italics in the Authorised Version; or
(b), words as to which there are variations in the original manuscripts.