The NASB 2020 maintains faithful accuracy to the original texts and modernizes the English so that it is properly understood by readers most familiar with modern English language standards.
The NASB 2020 is designed to be a translation that is accurately understood by the average reader, in keeping with the third principle of our longstanding Fourfold Aim. The first two principles call for a translation that is also accurate. So it is the goal of the NASB 2020 to be as clear as possible in the area of gender-accuracy. One of the most noticeable ways we accomplished this goal is with the addition of “or sisters” in italics. In the NASB, italics are used to communicate to the reader words that are not found in the original language, but are implied in the original language or are needed for a complete thought in English. While some may argue that simply saying “brothers” inherently implies a mixed-gender group, modern English has changed and exclusively masculine terms are not universal today.
An important guiding principle was to only expand the phrasing to specifically include women if it was indisputable that the original audience would have understood the text to mean women were, in fact, included. Because the goal of this update is to make sure the verses are accurately understood in English, it is interesting to note that not every change results in the broadening of the language to include women. There are some contexts in which, because of changes made to be more gender-accurate, it will now be clear that only men are being addressed, whereas before that distinction would not have been as clear. For instance, in Acts there are several places where previously the term “brothers” was used, but in the Greek it was clear that only men were being addressed (reading: “men brothers”). In such instances there was no way for a reader to distinguish whether the term “brothers” was referring to men only or to a mixed-gender group. By making changes where appropriate, the reader will now know with certainty whether the reference was to a mixed-gender group or to men alone.
USE OF “LET’S” FOR ACTION
In most places the phrase “let us” has been replaced with “let’s” when a proposal is being made by one or more persons within a group to engage in an action. Such a proposal is common not only in English but also in the ancient languages of the Bible; however, it is expressed in the ancient languages grammatically rather than by using an auxiliary, “helping” verb such as “let”. It is common today for readers to understand “let us” to mean “allow us,” so in effect, “let us” has become unintentionally misleading to most readers. Therefore, the simple contraction “let’s” has emerged as the clearest expression because this form reflects the nuance of meaning in the original languages–that is, a proposal to do something. However, in some situations “Let Us” is retained for intimate discourse within the Godhead, as in Gen 1:26. “Let us” is also kept when there is a request for permission, and in some other select cases.
NASB 2020 TEXTUAL BASIS
For the Old Testament: Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia (BHS) and Biblia Hebraica Quinta (BHQ) for the books available. Also the LXX, DSS, the Targums, and other ancient versions when pertinent.
For the New Testament: NA28 supplemented by the new textual criticism system that uses all the available Gr mss. known as the ECM2.
Even greater accuracy and clarity in translation has been achieved for many words in the original languages through the use of new resources that were not available during our previous translation work. These include a new and more comprehensive Hebrew and Aramaic lexicon (known as HALOT), a major revision to the standard Greek lexicon (BDAG), and the use of UC Irvine’s Thesaurus Linguae Graecae to research especially difficult Greek words and constructions.
In the NASB 2020 New Testament, most of the bracketed verses have been moved to footnotes. All of these verses are represented by dashes in the Greek NA28 because they are not found in any early manuscripts. There is no reasonable doubt that they were added to the text by later copyists. Sometimes the additions were probably deliberate, intended to provide transitions where the change of topic was felt to be too abrupt or for other reasons, such as to harmonize Gospel accounts. In such cases verses were sometimes copied from parallel passages. In other cases brief explanations, i.e. “glosses,”, written in margins were probably added to the text by mistake.
In past editions these verses were retained in the text for the traditional versification and their familiarity to readers of the King James Version, but since the manuscript evidence has clearly established that they are not part of the original scripture, the NASB 2020 does not continue to retain them in the text because it would be misleading to the reader.
There are, however, a few exceptions for some bracketed verses and parts of verses whose weak support is somewhat mitigated by other factors, including contextual arguments or possible explanations for omission by early manuscripts. Those instances are part of Judges 16:13; Matthew 12:47; Mark 11:26; Luke 17:36; Luke 22:43; Luke 23:17; part of Luke 23:34.