About The Lockman Foundation

 After undergoing what he called, "a miraculous conversion" at a tent meeting sponsored by the First Baptist Church of Garden Grove in 1927, citrus farmer F. Dewey Lockman first became a Christian. Then, in 1931, Lockman had, what he called, "his second conversion in the matter of stewardship." This occurred as he read Malachi 3:10:

 "Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, so that there may be food in My house, and test Me now in this," says the Lord of hosts, "if I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you a blessing until there is no more need."

Thus Dewey, along with his wife Minna (who as a child claimed Christ as her personal Savior), became tithers and obeyed God’s commandment and promise. At first, the Lockmans tithed the traditional 10 percent of their annual income. But as their citrus ranch began to prosper, the Lockmans paid the Lord back -- with interest -- and they increased their tithing to 15 percent, then 20 percent, until they were able to give 40 percent of their income to the Lord’s work; Even as times got lean on the citrus ranch and money was available solely for food and clothing, Dewey kept a written account of how much he owed the Lord.

The success of the citrus ranch allowed them to purchase more and more land. This led the Lockmans to turn over 75 percent (and an additional 15 percent two years later), of sizeable, prime citrus and range acres in La Habra Valley, California, on Dec. 3, 1942, to form the Lockman Foundation, a non-profit corporation, with the established purpose to promote Christian evangelism, education, and benevolence. The Lockmans and the original Board of Directors set forth a doctrinal statement which the Foundation strictly follows to this day.

The goal of reaching people throughout the world with the Word of God began in the Lockman’s own backyard: Orange County, California. The first project of The Lockman Foundation was the development of a Bible study program for servicemen during World War II stationed at nearby El Toro Marine Base. Through this ministry they reached individuals who needed the gospel and encouragement from God’s Word. Providing free soft drinks, tracts, and Bibles for inspired military men, the Christian Service Organization operated for 35 months, with over half a million accepting the Lockman’s hospitality.

The Lockmans also were concerned about the needs of the children in the community. This led to creation of a summer Bible school program. From 1944-46, women students from Biola, under the direction of several Biola faculty and staff members, traveled throughout sections of California, holding summer Bible schools at various churches that requested them. Out of this program grew a desire on the part of the Foundation to financially sponsor Released Time Education in the secular system. And so the Lockman Foundation conceptualized Christian Time Released Education, which originated in Anaheim and eventually expanded to other nearby Orange County cities. This program allowed grade school children to be released from the classroom for one period each week for religious instruction and study. In one year alone, 2432 from Grade 1 through High School, studied the Word of God in classes sponsored by the Foundation. As a result, many school children affectionately called the Lockmans "Grandma and Grandpa." In sum total, the program brought God’s ministry to more than 20,000 children.

In 1945, with a deepening desire to begin printing portions of Scripture that could be readily understood, the Lockmans purchased Foundation Press. This move afforded them easier access in the printing of tracts, gospels, and Christian literature.

  For The Lockman Foundation, the 1950s began with an emphasis on Christian literature and ended with numerous completed Bible projects and a restless outlook towards taking on and accomplishing much more. Many tracts, including such titles as, "4 Reasons for Tithing," "How to have a Happy Home," and "Principles of Stewardship," were produced and distributed by the Lockman Foundation. This emphasis on Christian literature, in turn, led to an interest in Bible translation. The initial work on the Amplified New Testament began in 1954 with the printed Amplified Gospel of John and culminated in 1958 with the Amplified New Testament. From these grew Amplified translations in Japanese, Spanish, Italian, and in Braille. This is a translation that, by using synonyms and definitions, both explains and expands the meaning of words in the text by placing amplification in parentheses and brackets after key words or phrases. This unique system of translation allows the reader to more completely grasp the meaning of the words as they were understood in the original languages.

On August 31, 1957, The Lockman Foundation’s first publisher, Foundation Press, which housed much of the Lockman Foundation’s literature and printing equipment (including all of the printing plates used for the Amplified New Testament), was spared the ravages of a blazing fire which reached heights upwards of 30 feet and destroyed the adjoining building. Dewey Lockman called it, "a modern day miracle" and recounted the experience in a published pamphlet entitled, "The Flames Did Not Consume."

In 1959, Mr. Lockman sensed the need for a translation of the Bible that would be clearly readable in the current English language but, more importantly, would not sacrifice ANY accuracy in the translation from Hebrew, Greek, and Aramaic. A group of scholars and pastors were organized with this vision in mind. This project, the New American Standard Bible, as it would come to be called, would incorporate new information taken from the Dead Sea Scrolls which had not been discovered until around the turn of the century. In addition, it would be a literal, English translation of the Bible taken from the original languages, and modeled after the scholarship and accuracy of the American Standard Version published in 1901.

  Having already tithed 90 percent of his holdings, Mr. Lockman gave, in 1960, the final 10 percent of his family’s holdings to the Foundation for the spreading of the Gospel.

Many projects came to fruition during this period. The two-volume Amplified Old Testament was published in ‘62 and ‘64 and culminated with the one-volume Amplified Bible in 1965. The initial seeds of translation work sown in 1960 were harvested with the publishing of the New American Standard New Testament in 1963.

  The complete New American Standard Bible, over ten years in the making, was, for the first time, made available. And on August 28 of 1971, the NASB was dedicated to God at a public service held at Mr. Lockman’s home church, First Baptist Church of Anaheim, California. It was a touching moment in the life of this man of God, because God had given him the vision of something he was to do for Jesus Christ, and how it was to be done. Through some very difficult times while the project was in progress and in the face of, at times, overwhelming adversity, Mr. Lockman never doubted God’s leading and the eventual success of this translation work. God honored this faith.

On Feb. 28, 1971, Dewey’s beloved wife, Minna, went to be with the Lord forever, and Dewey joined her on January 11, 1974. As testament to their tireless work, a 1977 Christian Booksellers' Association listing of best-selling religious works recorded the New American Standard Bible as the number one selling Bible in the nation.

Following Dewey Lockman's passing, Dr. Samuel H. Sutherland, President Emeritus of Biola University, became President of The Lockman Foundation, and the Foundation continued its far-reaching work in foreign language translations. Based on the same principles of literal translation, work was begun on the Korean Standard Bible, the New Chinese Bible (Mandarin/Cantonese), the New Chinese Bible (mainland simplified script), the New Hindi Bible (India), and La Biblia de las Américas (Spanish).

Other innovative projects followed. A special publication, the Gospel of John, with a brief explanation of the plan of salvation, entitled, The Plan of Life (also available in Spanish as Plan De La Vida), was prepared and made available for use as an evangelism tool. The New Standard for Living Radio program, with Dr. Charles R. Swindoll, and later Dr. Charles L. Feinberg, serving as host and Bible teacher, began in the late 70s. The radio series encouraged listeners to read through the New American Standard Bible in one year by reading Bible passages for approximately 15 minutes a day. Listeners of the program who were on the mailing list received copies of teaching notes before the program aired, allowing them to follow along with the host. Over the relatively short intervening months, the ministry quadrupled with stations in more than 25 states that carried the Monday through Friday half-hour program.

After leading the Foundation through several successful projects, Dr. Sutherland retired in the spring of 1979, and Robert G. Lambeth began his current tenure as President.

  Another monumental project -- this time 11 years in the making and eventually requiring a computer for cross-referencing -- was finished in 1981. The New American Standard Exhaustive Concordance is a useful study aid and is to the NASB what Strong’s Concordance is to the King James Version. In fact, the numbers used in the Hebrew and Greek dictionaries of the NASEC correspond to those used in Strong’s Concordance.

Also with the age of computers came BibleMaster and the NAS Computer Bible. Building upon a basic search program, other modules, including La Biblia de las Américas (completed in 1983), were subsequently introduced as well as several other translations.

By the late 80s, the accuracy, readability, and clarity of the New American Standard Bible had made it the basis for more study Bibles than any other text. Some of these releases included: the Ryrie Study Bible, the Open Bible, the Cambridge Study Bible, the Holman Study Bible, the Master Study Bible, the Topical Chain Study Bible, and the NAS Reference Bible.

The New American Standard Bible text also became available in a variety of formats such as pew Bibles, children’s Bibles, text edition Bibles, compact Bibles, large print Bibles, loose-leaf study editions, and gift and award Bibles.

  and Beyond: The completion of theNew American Standard Bible Update and its availability in a wide assortment of editions, LBLA Study Bible, Nueva Biblia de los Hispanos, and the continuing development of new products to serve the Lord.

The Lockman Foundation Past Presidents

F. Dewey Lockman
President & Founder (1942-1974)


Born on a farm near St. Jacob, Illinois on May 7, 1898, F. Dewey Lockman was the grandson of an itinerant Christian preacher and the child of farmers. This interesting occupational lineage would ultimately shape his adult Christian life.

In 1916 Dewey’s family moved to California where he would eventually meet his wife, Minna. After a courtship of a year and a half, they wed. Together they settled in Garden Grove where young Dewey worked hard in the oil fields and toiled for various orchard owners, while tending his own produce.

However, on Nov. 27, 1927, his life would be changed forever. Lockman was converted to Christianity during a tent meeting in Garden Grove. "It was a miraculous conversion and I cried for three days," he recalled years later. "God was good."

Along with Minna, who as a child claimed Jesus Christ as her personal Savior, Dewey became an active attendee and participant in church services. He also became an active tither. Faithfully keeping strict records during good and bad times of what he owed the Lord, Lockman repaid the Lord -- with interest. As his own citrus farm prospered, so did Dewey, and he continued to acquire land. In 1942 he turned over 75 percent (two years later, he gave an additional 15 percent) of the vast land holdings of his La Habra Valley ranch to an enterprise which he created for the Lord. The Lockman Foundation was formed to foster and promote Christian, charitable, and educational enterprises and soon would be responsible for translation, publishing, and distribution of Bibles throughout the world.

A man of vision, Lockman saw the need for a Bible that would explain and expand the meaning of words in the text through the use of synonyms and definitions and would allow the reader to more completely grasp the meaning of the words as they were understood in the original languages. To this end, he brought together a group of dedicated scholars who would produce the Amplified Bible. Then, he saw a need for a Bible that would be clearly readable in the current English language but, more importantly, would not sacrifice ANY accuracy in the translation from the original languages, and he persevered with the time-honored New American Standard Bible.

The impact of his ideas were as far-reaching as translating the Bible into several foreign languages as well as into Braille. He was also responsible for such innovations as Time Released Education and Summer Bible Schools which brought Christ to over 20,000 children. In 1960, he fulfilled his covenant with the Lord by deeding the last 10 percent of his land to the Foundation so that God’s Word would be further spread. Ultimately, over a million dollars in translation work for God was furnished in Lockman’s lifetime.

But dollars cannot measure what Dewey Lockman meant. He was a well-known local leader, and a philanthropist. He was active in the Gideon Society for 31 years, and a member of the Masonic Order. Before his passing, he was recognized as outstanding citizen of the month by the La Habra chamber of commerce. Ever humble, he never sought publicity in his lifetime and was insistent that all works produced by the Foundation "give the Lord Jesus Christ his proper place, the place which the Word gives Him; therefore no work will ever be personalized."

A little more than three years before he left us to be with Lord on January 11, 1974, Lockman lived to see the ultimate completion of his dream: the dedication of the NASB to God at a public service held at his home church, First Baptist Church of Anaheim, California. It was a touching and fitting moment in the life of this man of God, because God had given him the vision of something he was to do for Jesus Christ, and how it was to be done. Through some very difficult times while the project was in progress and in the face of, at times, overwhelming adversity, F. Dewey Lockman never doubted God’s leading and the eventual success of this translation work. God honored this faith.

Dr. Samuel H. Sutherland
President (1974-1979)


In 1926, after graduating from Princeton, Dr. Samuel H. Sutherland moved directly into the pastorate where he served for five years at the Grace Presbyterian Church of Los Angeles. In 1931, he acquired a great interest in interdenominational work and became very active in it. In 1936 he became involved at the well-known Bible Institute of Los Angeles as Director of the Extension Department. He later served as Christian Service Director and in 1942 was appointed Dean of the College. In 1952, Dr. Sutherland became the fifth President of Biola University, La Mirada, CA (formerly Biola College).

Dr. Sutherland had many visions for Biola. In 1943 he proposed that, in conjunction with Biola, a Theological Seminary be established which is known today as Talbot Theological Seminary. He was also responsible for achieving the accreditation of Biola and for the relocation of the campus to suburban La Mirada. Through his great enthusiasm and his many visions, the campus developed with great strides. In 1970 Dr. Sutherland retired as President of Biola.

Dr. Sutherland was for many years a personal friend and advisor to Mr. and Mrs. Lockman and became officially involved with The Lockman Foundation in 1968 when he was asked to serve on the Editorial Board and in an advisory capacity to the Board of Directors. In 1971 he was elected a member of the Board of Directors and served as Vice President. Following the death of founder F. Dewey Lockman in 1974, Dr. Sutherland became President of the Lockman Foundation. In the succeeding years, his dynamic leadership enabled the work of The Lockman Foundation to have a great impact on the religious community and on the important work of providing accurate, readable contemporary Bible translations in many languages.

Dr. Sutherland retired as President in 1979 and went home to be with the Lord on January 21, 1994.

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The Lockman Foundation is a nonprofit, interdenominational ministry dedicated to the translation, publication, and distribution of the New American Standard Bible (NASB), Amplified Bible (AMP), La Biblia de las Américas (LBLA), Nueva Biblia Latinoamericana de Hoy (NBLH), and other Biblical resources.

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