Jehovah s Witnesses and others: Which translators are correct? The ASV or NASB?

American Standard Version:

In the foreword of that translation state: “the American Revisers, after a careful consideration, were brought to the unanimous conviction that a Jewish superstition, which regarded the Divine Name as too sacred to be uttered, ought no longer to dominate in the English or any other version of the Old Testament, as it fortunately does not in the numerous versions made by modern missionaries. This Memorial Name, explained in Ex. iii. 14, 15, and emphasized as such over and over in the original text of the Old Testament, designates God as the personal God, as the covenant God, the God of revelation, the Deliverer, the Friend of his people;—not merely the abstractly ‘Eternal One’ of many French translations, but the ever living Helper of those who are in trouble. This personal name [Jehovah], with its wealth of sacred associations, is now restored to the place in the sacred text to which it has an unquestionable claim.”


NASB foreword states:

"There is yet another name which is particularly assigned to God as His special or proper name, this the four letters YHWH [Ex3:14 & Isa 42:8] This name has not been pronounced by the Jews because of reverence for the great sacredness of the divine nae. Therefore, it has been consistently translated LORD"

4 Answers

  • ?
    Lv 7
    7 months ago

    Well...there's more to the "story" in both cases.

    The ASV was correct in wanting to transliterate the tetragrammaton

    (that definitely is the superior option)


    even though those translators did choose a superior option

    they chose a relatively poor transliteration. (They should have used "Yahweh" as had some previous English translations, but they wanted to cater to U.S. KJV readers, who as a group were MUCH more familiar and comfortable with "Jehovah".)

    Why transliterating the tetragrammaton is the superior option:

    The NASB

    it seems to me

    gives a trite excuse

    for what was a FINANCIAL decision.

    I believe

    that the real reason the NASB officials used the traditional "the LORD"

    is because ***that made the translation more marketable***.

    -- (Really, the same reason that the ASV used "Jehovah" rather than "Yahweh")

    If it were out of respect for Jewish tradition or doctrine, why does the translation trample all over Jewish tradition or doctrine in so many passages, taking the conservative Protestant stance instead? It's because the translation intentionally targeted the conservative Protestant market, as can clearly be seen in MANY translation choices made...including that one.

    That doesn't make it WRONG. They produced a Bible that was much more accurate and word-for-word literal than most previous offerings, and that was their primary goal. BUT...they were catering to the conservative Protestant market, and that influenced their translation choices, often to the detriment of the accuracy and precision of the translation.

    To say that another way: the translation COULD have been better than it is IF they had not concerned themselves with appealing to consumers, IF they had concerned themselves only with producing the most accurate and precise translation possible (and hang it if no one bought it). But extremely few Bible translations are produced WITHOUT attempt to cater to some particular target audience, and indeed, we would have a far less varied selection of translations if Bible producers did not consider the financial (or other mundane) rewards of engaging in such an expensive enterprise.

    Bottom line:

    in this one respect

    (rendering the tetragrammaton as "Jehovah" vs. "the LORD")

    the ASV is superior to the NASB.

  • 7 months ago

    The only name under heaven is God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. 

    "What's in a name? A rose by any other name would smell as sweet."  --William Shakespeare

  • Anonymous
    7 months ago

    As a Christian I am warned about "striving over words". While I have not done a word count I am pretty sure that the Bible stresses the office or title more then the actual name. "Lord", "Lord of Lords" and similar expressions are more prevalent then the actual name. Even the word "God" is a title and not a name.

    Jesus came along and stated there were several relationships we might have:

    1. Enemy

    2. Servant

    3. Friend

    4. Son (family)

    Just as it is socially impolite to call my Dad "Bill" in public and he would get upset if I used it in private, the use of the word "Father" takes precedence over any "proper name" for God. I do not know of any one who can be considered equal to my Father in Heaven that would qualify to actually use his familiar name. I know several who qualify as his enemy and they are very open about it. Such should never refer to the Father as Father. Because they are alienated from him, I don't think it matters to them what they call my Father in Heaven.

    As for which translation is best- when in question use Youngs Literal Translation, a good dictionary and realize Greek Syntax is not English Syntax.

  • ?
    Lv 7
    7 months ago


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