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What is the Legacy Standard Bible (LSB)?

Legacy Standard Bible, LSB
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The Legacy Standard Bible (LSB) is a newly released (late 2021) translation of the Bible. A reference edition, including footnotes and Strong’s numbers, is scheduled for publication in the first part of 2022. The LSB New Testament, with the Psalms and Proverbs, was released in February 2021.

The Legacy Standard Bible is not a completely original translation; rather, it is a direct update of the New American Standard Bible (NASB) of 1995. As such, it shares the NASB’s roots in the American Standard Version (ASV) of 1901 and the Revised Version (RV) of 1885.

The Legacy Standard Bible was produced jointly by the Lockman Foundation, Three Sixteen Publishing, and the John MacArthur Charitable Trust. Translation work was done by the faculty of the Master’s University and Seminary and reviewed by an international team of scholars and pastors (https://lsbible.org/faqs, accessed 12/14/21).

Using the NASB as a guide, the translators of the Legacy Standard Bible went back to the original languages and double-checked the accuracy of the wording in the NASB. Sometimes, the English wording was changed to match the 1977 edition of the NASB; other verses required no change from the 1995 edition, and still other verses were changed in accordance with the translating guidelines followed by the LSB committee. According to the translators, “Any changes made strictly revolved around providing greater consistency in word usage, accuracy in grammatical structure, and tightening phrasing” (ibid.). The result was intended to be an accurate, consistent translation of the Bible that improves upon the NASB while honoring the NASB’s legacy of readability and literalness—saying what the original manuscripts actually say, without coloring the text with the translators’ preconceptions.

New American Standard Bible - Translation Method
The Legacy Standard Bible holds to formal equivalence in its translation. The goal of the LSB is to be as literal as possible. According to the LSB’s official website, the translation “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. . . . It also seeks to ensure that the same words and phrases correspond to each other within the translation as much as possible” (ibid.).

Examples of the precision of the LSB include the use of Yahweh for God’s name in the Old Testament, and the translation of doulos as “slave” (rather than “servant”) in the New Testament.

New American Standard Bible - Pros and Cons
Probably the greatest strength of the Legacy Standard Bible is its precision in regards to wording and grammar. The LSB seeks to take what was originally said in Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek and say the same thing in English. The LSB might share the NASB’s weakness in not being as smooth and free-flowing as some of the less literal translations. Overall, though, the Legacy Standard Bible is an excellent and trustworthy Bible translation.

New American Standard Bible - Sample Verses
John 1:1, 14 — “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. . . . And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.”

John 3:16 — “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.”

John 8:58 — “Jesus said to them, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am.’”

Ephesians 2:8–9 — “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not of works, so that no one may boast.”

Titus 2:13 — “looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ,”

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What is the Legacy Standard Bible (LSB)?
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This page last updated: January 4, 2022