June 2, 2015

NASB Study Bible

When the Bible Reviewer blog started, I initially reviewed Bibles I’d bought over the years. Then Bible publishers kindly began to send review copies of new translations, study editions, children’s Bibles, and storybooks for Catholic, Protestant, Evangelical, Liturgical, Charismatic, and other Christian readers of all ages.

Occasionally, though, I welcomed a review copy with such enthusiasm that I would order the same edition, covered in leather to stand up to heavy use. Or, my husband would buy me a new Bible, such as the exceptionally helpful NIV Study Bible, which I previously reviewed.

Sadly that compact edition eventually proved too difficult to read after eye surgery. So, instead of getting a large-print version, I opted for the NASB Study Bible, which Zondervan publishes with the footnotes adapted to fit the New American Standard Bible (NASB) text.

As you probably know, The Lockman Foundation brought us the NASB in 1960 with periodic updates as the English language changes and new archeological discoveries are made. With the last copyright date shown as 1995, the text continues to be one of the most accurate translations into English.

The lay-flat edition I ordered in top grain leather and standard type includes a hefty concordance, 23 pages of color maps, and articles on such biblical categories as wisdom books, prophets, Gospels, letters, and the era between the two testaments. In the front matter, timeline charts present the chronological sequence of important events, helping us to get grounded in each biblical setting relevant to the text.

What I most welcome, however, is access to 20,000 footnotes! Not only are those notes intuitive in their responses to the text they accompany, they have a way of bringing together the information and insights I might have to search through a half-dozen or more other study Bibles to find.

©2015, Mary Harwell Sayler, poet, writer, and reviewer, is a lifelong lover of Christ, the Bible, and the church in all its parts.

NASB Study Bible, leather


  1. The NASB is my go-to version for in-depth Bible study!

  2. That and the NABRE are mine too. The footnotes on this NASB edition are balanced and thorough, so it's the one I take to my Bible study group.

  3. I have one of these, too. The charts, illustrations, cross-references, and footnotes are all very helpful. However, I struggle with the tissue-thin paper. Mine is the indexed edition, and the tabs tear the paper to which they are attached. Also, the margins are very narrow, so it isn't a good edition for anyone who likes to write notes in his bible.

  4. I like to pencil in conversations with my Bibles too :) but I doubt there's an edition with study notes and also wide margins as that would be hefty and huge! The thin paper keeps down the size and weight, but then, as you mentioned, Chris, tearing can be a problem. All of these factors help to say why I enjoy having many editions. Each is unique.