What do you think of the Legacy Standard Bible?



I have a question.

I frequently use your website as a reference for Bible lessons. I appreciate all the great lessons and resources on your website.

I was curious about a new topic being discussed among churches of Christ.

The new LSB version of the Bible has been introduced to us (at our congregation) and I find the translation of Lord to Yahweh confusing. Is this appropriate and or even accurate?  I’m concerned this is a new trend that may not be wise to agree with. Please share if you have any thoughts or further advice on where I can study this topic. I value your time and do sincerely appreciate any advice on this topic.


I had not heard of the Legacy Standard Bible until your question came in today.

The LSB is basically the New American Standard Bible (1995 Edition) that has been altered to make it more consistent in its translation of the biblical text. It actually follows the goals of the NASB better than the NASB 2020. It is a very literal translation of the original text.

It needs to be noted that the translators are all from a seminary school called the Master's Seminary, which is closely associated with John MacArthur. This is important because when translators all have a similar religious background, there is a natural tendency to be biased in thought. While in this case, I haven't noticed any subtle alterations, it needs to be kept in mind that the group responsible for the Legacy Standard Bible is associated with the Baptists and is Calvinistic in its beliefs.

This version does choose to transliterate the Hebrew word YHWH as "Yahweh" instead of translating it to the word "LORD." It properly does not extend this to the New Testament, as some translations did, since the Greek text does use the word "Lord" when quoting the Old Testament passages. There is nothing wrong with this choice and it does avoid the problem where the Hebrew text says, adoni yahweh (Lord Yahweh), such as in Genesis 15:2. Many translations had been using "Lord GOD" for the phrase (including the NASB, though the correct meaning is mentioned in the footnotes).

The LSB does not follow the modern fad of gender neutrality. It sticks with the original terms, so where the NASB 2020 says, "But as for you, do not be called Rabbi; for only One is your Teacher, and you are all brothers and sisters." the LSB says, "But do not be called Rabbi; for One is your Teacher, and you are all brothers." in Matthew 23:8. Notice that many of the extra words added by translators have been removed.

In translating measurements, it gives you the actual term used and not a modern equivalent measurement. This means you will need a table of terms to find out how much was actually used if you are not familiar with the term.

An example of bias is found in John 3:16, "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life." While this version says "shall" the word apoletai is in the subjunctive form -- that is, it is something that ought to happen but is not a certainty. It really should say "may not perish" or "should not perish" but that doesn't sit well with Calvinism. To be clear, many translations have this same fault.

Overall, I find this to be an impressively accurate translation.

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