The Word of God

About 40 different human authors contributed to the Bible which was written over a period of about 1,500 years. The authors were kings, fishermen, priests, officials, farmers, shepherds, and doctors. From all this diversity comes an incredible unity with common themes woven throughout. The Bible’s unity is due to the fact that; ultimately, it has one Author, God. The Bible is 'God-breathed' (2 Timothy 3:16). The human authors wrote exactly what God wanted them to write, and the result was the perfect and holy Word of God (Psalm 12:6; 2 Peter 1:21).

The Bible is divided into two main parts: the Old Testament and the New Testament. In short, the Old Testament is the story of a nation, and the New Testament is the story of a Man. The nation was God’s way of bringing the Man, Jesus Christ, into the world. The Old Testament describes the founding and preservation of the nation of Israel. God promised to use Israel to bless the whole world (Genesis 12:2-3).

Once Israel was established as a nation, God raised up a family within that nation through whom the blessing would come: the family of David (Psalm 89:3-4). Then, from the family of David was promised one Man who would bring the promised blessing (Isaiah 11:1-10). The New Testament details the coming of that promised Man. His name was Jesus, and He fulfilled the prophecies of the Old Testament as He lived a perfect life, died to become the Savior, and rose from the dead.

Jesus is the central character in the Bible, the whole book is really about Him. The Old Testament predicts His coming and sets the stage for His entrance into the world. The New Testament describes His coming and His work to bring salvation to our sinful world. Jesus is more than a historical figure; in fact, He is more than a man. He is God in the flesh, and His coming was the most important event in the history of the world.

God Himself became a man in order to give us a clear, understandable picture of who He is. What is God like? He is like Jesus; Jesus is God in human form (John 1:14, 14:9). God created man and placed him in a perfect environment; however, man rebelled against God and fell from what God intended him to be. God placed the world under a curse because of sin but immediately set in motion a plan to restore humanity and all creation to its original glory.

As part of His plan of redemption, God called Abraham out of Babylonia into Canaan, about 2000 BC. God promised Abraham, his son Isaac, and his grandson Jacob, also called Israel, that He would bless the world through a descendant of theirs. Israel’s family emigrated from Canaan to Egypt, where they grew to be a nation. About 1400 BC, God led Israel’s descendants out of Egypt under the direction of Moses and gave them the Promised Land, Canaan, as their own.

Through Moses, God gave the people of Israel the Law and made a covenant (testament) with them. If they would remain faithful to God and not follow the idolatry of the surrounding nations, then they would prosper. If they forsook God and followed idols, then God would destroy their nation. About 400 years later, during the reigns of David and his son Solomon, Israel was solidified into a great and powerful kingdom. God promised David and Solomon that a descendant of theirs would rule as an everlasting king.

After Solomon’s reign, the nation of Israel was divided. The ten tribes to the north were called 'Israel' and they lasted about 200 years before God judged them for their idolatry. Assyria took Israel captive about 721 BC. The two tribes in the south were called 'Judah' and they lasted a little longer, but eventually they, too, turned from God. Babylon took them captive about 600 BC.

About 70 years later, God graciously brought a remnant of the captives back into their own land. Jerusalem, the capital, was rebuilt about 444 BC and Israel once again established a national identity.

Thus, the Old Testament closes. The New Testament opens about 400 years later with the birth of Jesus Christ in Bethlehem. Jesus was the descendant promised to Abraham and David, the One to fulfill God’s plan to redeem mankind and restore creation. Jesus faithfully completed His work.

He died for sin and rose from the dead. The death of Christ is the basis for a new covenant, testament, with the world. All who have faith in Jesus will be saved from sin and live eternally. After His resurrection, Jesus sent His disciples to spread the news everywhere of His life and His power to save. Jesus’ disciples went in every direction spreading the good news of Jesus and salvation. They traveled through Asia Minor, Greece, and all the Roman Empire. The New Testament closes with a prediction of Jesus’ return to judge the unbelieving world and free creation from the curse.

Verse to Verse posts text from the New American Standard Bible (NASB) published by The Lockman Foundation. Since its completion in 1971, the NASB has been widely embraced as the most literally accurate English translation from the original languages. Millions of people, students, scholars, pastors, missionaries, and laypersons alike, trust the NASB, learning from it and applying it to the challenges of their daily lives. Discover what the original text says, word for word.

In 1995 the NASB was updated, increasing clarity and readability. Vocabulary, grammar, and sentence structure were carefully reviewed for greater understanding and smoother reading. Trust, discover and enjoy the NASB for yourself today.

NASB translators believe that to make the best translation of the Scriptures even better, change should not be made just for the sake of change. This means keeping the updated NASB exactly what it has always been and will forever be literally accurate. In order to be deemed acceptable by translators, updated material had to maintain the highest standards of literal translation.

Thus the smoother reading updated NASB refines the differences in style between the ancient languages and current English. Old English 'thees, thys, thous' archaic vocabulary and sentences beginning with 'And' have been updated for better English while verses with difficult word order were restructured.

In addition, parallel passages have been compared and reviewed and verbs that have a wide range of meaning have been updated to better account for their use in the context. Proper names or titles have been used in place of pronouns only when the context made it clear who the person was. Punctuation and paragraphing have been formatted to fit today’s standards. Notes about ancient manuscripts, which have appeared in most editions of the NASB, have been reviewed and, in many cases, feature new and more specific interesting facts.

NASB has been produced with the conviction that the words of Scripture, as originally penned in the Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek, were inspired by God. Since they are the eternal Word of God, the Holy Scriptures speak with fresh power to each generation, to give wisdom that leads to salvation so that men and women may serve Christ for the glory of God.

The updated NASB represents revisions and refinements recommended over the last several years and incorporates thorough research based on current English usage. And rest assured, the translators and consultants who contributed to the updated NASB are, as always, conservative Bible scholars who have doctorates in biblical languages, theology, or other advanced degrees.

Representing a variety of denominational backgrounds, the translators of the updated NASB meticulously followed all the same tried-and-true safeguards as set forth in the original NASB, which took the NASB translators nearly 10 years to complete.

In preparation, numerous linguistic tools and literature of biblical scholarship were consulted. Decisions about English renderings were made by consensus of a team composed of educators and pastors who were directed by their faith that the original words of Scripture were inspired by God. Therefore, their work was treated reverently and carefully, as changes were kept to a minimum.

Completed sections of work were passed to critical consultants for a thorough review of the translation. The work passed between committees on numerous occasions before final review and revision in plenary sessions.

In perfecting the updated NASB, more than 20 translators spent nearly three years scrutinizing the NASB in order to modernize and maintain it in accordance with the most recent research on the oldest and best manuscripts. Thus, some passages have been updated for even greater fidelity to the original manuscripts.

The translators do not attempt to interpret Scripture through translation. Instead, the NASB translation team adhered to the principles of literal translation. This is the most exacting and demanding method of translation, requiring a word-for-word translation that is both accurate and readable.

This method follows the word and sentence patterns of the original authors in order to enable the reader to study Scripture in its most literal format and to experience the individual personalities of those who penned the original manuscripts. For example, one can directly compare and contrast the simple eloquent style of John with the deep complexity of Paul.

Instead of the translators telling the reader what to think, the updated NASB provides the most precise English translation with which to conduct a personal journey through the Word of God.

Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.


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