The New American Standard Bible in E-Prime


The New American Standard Bible in E-Prime

by Dr. David F. Maas

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About E-Prime

--The Original Formulator of E-Prime-- D. David Bourland, Jr.

“E-Prime” refers to a version of English that lacks any conjugation of the infinitive “to be.” Developed by D. David Bourland, Jr., E-Prime aims to address many problematic forms of English expression that lead to confusion of orders of abstracting, brought to light by the founder of general semantics Alfred Korzybski.

E-Prime primarily corrects instances of “the is of identity” and “the is of predication.” The is of identity usually equates a very specific member with a very general class (e.g., “Man is an animal”). The is of predication usually erroneously constructs an image that a property exists in its respective object, rather than more accurately exists as a construction in an observer’s “mind,” independent of the object (e.g., “The ball is red”).

By eradicating be-verbs from English and formulating sentences in different ways outside of their use, Bourland believed E-Prime could reduce confusion of orders of abstracting and improve overall sanity for writers, speakers, and their audiences. E-Prime received much attention after its introduction and many writers and speakers have practiced it. The subject of E-Prime received critical attention in three volumes of essays published by the International Society for General Semantics (now the Institute of General Semantics): To Be or Not: An E-Prime Anthology (currently out of print), More E-Prime: To Be or Not II, and E-Prime III!: A Third Anthology.

About the NASB Bible in E-Prime

Dr. David F. Maas began composing the New American Standard Bible in E-Prime in February 2009 and published the version below on the Institute of General Semantics website in July 2010.

As for the motivations behind an E-Priming of the NASB, Dr. Maas wrote “Concerning an E-Prime Translation of the Bible,” published in ETC: A Review of General Semantics, Winter 1995-1996 (52:4).

The New American Standard Bible in E-Prime

Translated by Dr. David F. Maas

Click on each part to read the New American Standard Bible in E-Prime.

Revised August 5-6, 2010

Revised September, 2011

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