Double Jeopardy: The New American Standard Bible Update

By Laurence M. Vance

Pensacola, FL

Vance Publications. 1998. 308 pp., $9.95. ISBN 0-9628898-5-7

This book surely constitutes the most comprehensive critique of both the New American Standard Bible and the New American Standard Bible Update (hereafter NASB & NASBU) published. Herein is found a complete word-for-word comparison and examination of both versions. The author declares this book “aims to prove the blatant hypocrisy of those who maintain we should reject the King James Version because it has undergone ‘updates’ since the original edition of 1611.” He sees the folly of scholarship in promoting the NASB for years as the most accurate translation true to the ‘originals’ when the Update changes it in thousands of places. The title derives from the inconsistency the author sees in accepting the NASBU as the word of God.

The first section of the book contains a history of the NASB and its various editions while the second contains sixty-six chapters offering a critical analysis of the text. Wherever Vance finds it to be true he candidly says, “There are no major departures of the NASB and the NASBU from the KJV.”

Not only does this author believe that the NASBU updates the NASB and its various editions, he also holds that “it introduces new corruptions…by changing many passages to a gender inclusive translation.” He further declares that not only does the NASBU differ substantially from the original NASB, it has retained all that was wrong with it.

The first appendix of 124 pages in small type cites all the differences between the two versions. The second appendix lists all of the translators of the NASB and the NASBU. The third and last appendix offers a complete listing of every change introduced by the NASBU to the earlier text that involves the substitution of gender inclusive language. This appendix is only two pages in length. The book also contains a preface, epilogue, footnotes, and bibliography.