Legacy Standard Bible - some thoughts

Stephen L Smith

Administrator
Staff member
The work seems to have been somewhat hastily done.
This has concerned me too. Perhaps one reason for this is the theological consistency of the translators. They do not have to spend time debating the theological implications of translating the verse a particular way. They hold to the same statement of faith. Of course this has its downsides too.
 

iainduguid

Puritan Board Sophomore
This has concerned me too. Perhaps one reason for this is the theological consistency of the translators. They do not have to spend time debating the theological implications of translating the verse a particular way. They hold to the same statement of faith. Of course this has its downsides too.
Having been a translator and a reviser, I don't think this saves you much time. We spent no time discussing theological differences for the CSB: we were all focused simply on what the best rendering into English would be. A so-called "literal" translation might be a bit quicker to be sure, since you probably wouldn't spend as much time wordsmithing the English as we did. But the largest amount of time was simply spent looking at each verse carefully, first as individuals and then as a committee, even if we ended up leaving the verse unchanged. There's really no way to shorten that process while maintaining quality and consistency. We also had one member from the publisher, whose full time work was hunting down and eliminating internal inconsistencies wherever possible. From my perspective as an outsider with no visibility into the process is that the LSB has appeared remarkably quickly. Most likely that means having left a lot of the original NASB untouched (which may not necessarily be a bad thing), while mainly addressing MacArthur's pet peeves.
 

Stephen L Smith

Administrator
Staff member
But the largest amount of time was simply spent looking at each verse carefully, first as individuals and then as a committee, even if we ended up leaving the verse unchanged. There's really no way to shorten that process while maintaining quality and consistency. We also had one member from the publisher, whose full time work was hunting down and eliminating internal inconsistencies wherever possible.
Thank you Iain. That was insightful.
From my perspective as an outsider with no visibility into the process is that the LSB has appeared remarkably quickly. Most likely that means having left a lot of the original NASB untouched (which may not necessarily be a bad thing),

The whole thing has only been in the works for one year, which is outrageously short, even for a revision project. The ESV took three or four years, I think.
Iain, you mentioned a lot of the original NASB may have been left untouched (although I have noted a good number of changes), but as Taylor has pointed out, the ESV (a revision of the RSV) took three or four years to complete.

I did wonder if MacArthur relieved the core translators from their normal pastoral and teaching duties so they could spend more time on the LSB revision project.
 

Stephen L Smith

Administrator
Staff member
John MacArthur on why you should use the Legacy Standard Bible.
mainly addressing MacArthur's pet peeves.
I smiled when I saw this. MacArthur clearly states in this video that all his 'pet peeves' have been thoroughly addressed. :)

I have made some enquiries regarding the LSB having center column references (i.e., a good reference Bible). I get the impression they are not interested. If so that is tragic.
 

Stephen L Smith

Administrator
Staff member
Surprised they didn't call it "The MacArthur Legacy Standard Bible" ;)
Well actually it is more relevant for us Kiwi's - by changing American [NASB] to Legacy makes it more relevant internationally.

By the way I see you live in WA. My brother pastors an Arminian church in Gardiner, WA.
 

Taylor

Puritan Board Graduate
To be honest, I was incredibly enthusiastic about the LSB, but given the typos and errors I and others have already found, and given the fact that the website has a contact form they do not answer, I have entirely lost interest and virtually all enthusiasm. My opinion has sadly changed. I fear the LSB was hastily done, and it doesn’t seem to be what it purports to be, at least not consistently.
 

TheInquirer

Puritan Board Freshman
Well actually it is more relevant for us Kiwi's - by changing American [NASB] to Legacy makes it more relevant internationally.

Interesting - somehow it didn't occur to me how the geocentric naming would affect the rest of the world. Makes sense.

By the way I see you live in WA. My brother pastors an Arminian church in Gardiner, WA.

Had to look up where Gardiner was - other side of the state. Nice area to visit in the summer months.

My opinion has sadly changed. I fear the LSB was hastily done, and it doesn’t seem to be what it purports to be, at least not consistently.

You wonder if they rushed it to get MacArthur's approval before he retires.

Frankly, I've had it with the hubris of MacArthur and his cronies and I'm tired of pulling my punches in talking about them. Some of the comments from the video:

  • "This is the best translation the English language has every seen" and then goes on to promote the Master's Seminary guys who worked on it as if they have a corner on the foremost linguists and translators in the world.
  • "As close as the English language has ever gotten to [the original autographs]."
  • Believes God's Spirit superintended the translation.
  • Says it's the cap off of his lifelong ministry (yep, MacArthur Legacy Edition)
  • "The perfect tool for Bible expositors and serious Bible students."
That video is MacArthur with his marketing hat to sell copies to his network - "As soon as you can, you need to order your copy of the Legacy Standard Bible." Disgusting.
 
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Spurgeonite

Puritan Board Freshman
They’ve made it quite clear that the speed of it was only made possible because of how much time they were able to dedicate to it because of covid.
 

Stephen L Smith

Administrator
Staff member
To be honest, I was incredibly enthusiastic about the LSB, but given the typos and errors I and others have already found, and given the fact that the website has a contact form they do not answer, I have entirely lost interest and virtually all enthusiasm. My opinion has sadly changed. I fear the LSB was hastily done, and it doesn’t seem to be what it purports to be, at least not consistently.
Yes I have lost some enthusiasm too. My sincere hope was that the LSB would be a modern NASB 77. I felt that the NASB 95, slightly less literal, had no real advantage over the ESV. In other words I would use my ESV with the more literal LSB, and perhaps the CSB too. I am inclined to think a potential downfall of the LSB is the short timeframe in which it has appeared, as you noted. That is, insufficient time cross checking for accuracy.

I have decided to wait another year and see if the LSB comes out with center column references, and the typos etc are corrected. Otherwise I might purchase a NASB 77.
 

Stephen L Smith

Administrator
Staff member
Frankly, I've had it with the hubris of MacArthur and his cronies and I'm tired of pulling my punches in talking about them. Some of the comments from the video:

  • "This is the best translation the English language has every seen" and then goes on to promote the Master's Seminary guys who worked on it as if they have a corner on the foremost linguists and translators in the world.
  • "As close as the English language has ever gotten to [the original autographs]."
  • Believes God's Spirit superintended the translation.
  • Says it's the cap off of his lifelong ministry (yep, MacArthur Legacy Edition)
  • "The perfect tool for Bible expositors and serious Bible students."
That video is MacArthur with his marketing hat to sell copies to his network - "As soon as you can, you need to order your copy of the Legacy Standard Bible." Disgusting.
Yes I was troubled by this too. I find MacArthur an oddity. I appreciate his expository preaching and his Calvinistic view of the gospel. But his dispensationalism often undermines the good aspects of his ministry.
 

Pergamum

Ordinary Guy (TM)
I trust MacArthur less because of this.

Again, my father told me never to trust a rich preacher and this applies despite them being "reformed". Too much of this appears to be highly commercialized. Thousands of languages need their FIRST translation of the bible and here we are making "pet peeve bibles" by celebrity pastors.
 

Taylor

Puritan Board Graduate
Thousands of languages need their FIRST translation of the bible and here we are making "pet peeve bibles" by celebrity pastors.
To my shame, I used to scoff a little when people said this. The longer this English Bible translation enterprise continues, the more annoyed I become with it. We English speakers have enough.
 

iainduguid

Puritan Board Sophomore
To my shame, I used to scoff a little when people said this. The longer this English Bible translation enterprise continues, the more annoyed I become with it. We English speakers have enough.
I hear what you are saying but it's a bit of a straw man argument, like the parent who tries to get his daughter to eat her veggies by saying, "Think about all the starving children in Africa!" It is true that there are many hungry people around the world, and we should seek to alleviate their needs as we are able, but the child leaving or eating their food does not directly impact the fate of the hungry.

So too a new English translation, however good or bad, does not directly affect the fate of those who need first translations in their own language. The funding for a new translation will largely come from people choosing to spend their money on this translation rather than another (I doubt MacArthur is planning this as an entirely charitable venture; if that were the case, then a viable argument could be made that donors should send their money to international Bible Translation work instead of funding the new translation). Nor are the scholarly resources being devoted to this easily relocatable to the work of Wycliffe; the challenge as I understand it as rather to find people able to work with the target language and teams of national translators rather than needing more experts in the original languages.

None of this should downplay the need for more people and resources for the work of Bible Translation into languages that do not yet have God's Word in their own tongue. Perhaps seminaries should dedicate more resources to courses in Bible Translation, Linguistics etc and guide more students in that direction as a career choice (WTS has sent some graduates in that direction, but we could probably do more). If I'm mistaken, and my services would help advance the cause of translation into a new or underserved language please feel free to DM me and ask for help. But I don't think there is a direct correlation between more English translations and fewer translations in other languages. Perhaps, just as as the child's abundance should ideally awaken gratitude in her heart and a desire to grow up to alleviate the needs of a hungry world, so too our abundance of English Bible resources (not only Bibles but other excellent books) should move us to gratitude and a desire to do what we can to feed the spiritual hunger of the wider world.
 

Taylor

Puritan Board Graduate
I hear what you are saying but it's a bit of a straw man argument, like the parent who tries to get his daughter to eat her veggies by saying, "Think about all the starving children in Africa!" It is true that there are many hungry people around the world, and we should seek to alleviate their needs as we are able, but the child leaving or eating their food does not directly impact the fate of the hungry.

So too a new English translation, however good or bad, does not directly affect the fate of those who need first translations in their own language. The funding for a new translation will largely come from people choosing to spend their money on this translation rather than another (I doubt MacArthur is planning this as an entirely charitable venture; if that were the case, then a viable argument could be made that donors should send their money to international Bible Translation work instead of funding the new translation). Nor are the scholarly resources being devoted to this easily relocatable to the work of Wycliffe; the challenge as I understand it as rather to find people able to work with the target language and teams of national translators rather than needing more experts in the original languages.

None of this should downplay the need for more people and resources for the work of Bible Translation into languages that do not yet have God's Word in their own tongue. Perhaps seminaries should dedicate more resources to courses in Bible Translation, Linguistics etc and guide more students in that direction as a career choice (WTS has sent some graduates in that direction, but we could probably do more). If I'm mistaken, and my services would help advance the cause of translation into a new or underserved language please feel free to DM me and ask for help. But I don't think there is a direct correlation between more English translations and fewer translations in other languages. Perhaps, just as as the child's abundance should ideally awaken gratitude in her heart and a desire to grow up to alleviate the needs of a hungry world, so too our abundance of English Bible resources (not only Bibles but other excellent books) should move us to gratitude and a desire to do what we can to feed the spiritual hunger of the wider world.
The argument (at least from me) is not: “More English translations mean fewer in other languages.” Rather, it is simply: “We have enough English translations already.” There is a difference. We just don’t need anymore.
 

reformed grit

Puritan Board Freshman
Our generation has certainly been blessed, sometimes to the extent of confusion. As a 'tent-maker' I sold Bibles for over 30 years. When I was young there weren't that many popular choices - the KJV, the RSV, the Douay-Rheims. The Geneva and other early English Bibles had become popularly invisible. We've had an explosion of English translations (and other things) ever since. There's still mostly under 10 that are popularly saturated in English culture, but hundreds of others from which to slake one's thirst. Too many of those to whom I sold Bibles were genuinely confused by the choices, and too many remain so; but I confess to my own pet peeves and longings for an 'ideal' English Bible that addresses them.

One thing about the Latin Vulgate's Church endorsement for so long, and that of the KJV following, was the air of trustworthy reliability in the masses, regardless of particular parts of those that could've, should've been better. Still, as mentioned earlier, with textual variants both now and going way back, I always tried to guide folk to an English translation I thought best for their particular situation, even if not my favourite. And, trying not to seem as one saying, "Yep, you need to buy them all", I'd recommend comparing popular English versions. This became sooo much easier when computers entered Bible helpfulness. Surely it won't be that long before we can program our own personal android to sort through all the original-language and English variants to give each of us exactly what we seek?
 

Spurgeonite

Puritan Board Freshman
The argument (at least from me) is not: “More English translations mean fewer in other languages.” Rather, it is simply: “We have enough English translations already.” There is a difference. We just don’t need anymore.
I for one can thank God for His providence in this and the blessing it has been to me.
 

Stephen L Smith

Administrator
Staff member
"Dr. William Varner, a translator with the Legacy Standard Bible, answers questions about translation, the process of translating through the Bible, as well as a variety of textual notes in the Legacy Standard Bible."
 
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