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discover the nlt

Read FAQs, your favorite verses, preview the NLT bibles, and learn about the scholars.

discover the nlt

Do you have questions about the NLT? Have a look at the list of FAQs that
addresses some of the most common questions.

 What method did the translators use in making the NLT?
 Can you give some examples of the interplay between formal equivalence
 and dynamic equivalence?
 What are the major improvements in the second edition of the NLT?
 Who are the translators of the NLT?
 What texts did the NLT translators use in their translation work?
 How does the NLT compare to the NIV?
 Why do many scholars say that the NLT and most modern translations are
 more accurate than the King James Version?
 What are some of the differences between the KJV and most modern
 Is the NLT considered a good translation for serious study?
 What is included in the footnotes of the NLT?
 Will NLT commentaries and other study tools be available to Bible students
 choosing to study the NLT?
 How does the NLT deal with gender language?
 What Bible software programs feature the NLT?
 Can I read the NLT on the Internet?
 Will Tyndale publish a children's version of the NLT like Zondervan did when
 they published the children's version of the NIV called the NIrV?
 What makes the New Living Translation good for use from the pulpit?
 How do the sales of NLT Bibles benefit Bible translation and distribution work
 in languages other than English?
 How does the NLT compare to other modern English translations?
 Why are some verses that appear in the King James Version missing from the text of the New Living Translation and other modern translations?
 My NLT has copyright dates of 1996, 2004, and 2015. What are the differences between these editions?

The New Living Translation was first published in 1996. Shortly after its initial publication, the Bible Translation Committee began a process of further review and translation refinement. The purpose of this revision was to increase the level of precision without sacrificing the text's easy-to-understand quality. This revision is notable in several ways:

Various portions of the Old Testament (especially the Prophets) previously set in prose format have now been set in poetic format to reflect the poetic nature of the Hebrew text.

Various passages throughout the text were fine-tuned with regard to precision of translation.

Many marginal notes were added to help the reader study manuscript differences and to show the relationship between a literal translation and the rendering in the NLT. For example, the phrase "they beat their breasts" (Luke 23:48) in ancient times meant that people were expressing deep sorrow. Thus, the NLT translates the expression dynamically: "They went home in deep sorrow." A footnote shows a literal rendering of the Greek as follows: "Greek went home beating their breasts."

The translation of difficult terms is made more concise. In the NLT, difficult terms are often made easier to understand by expanding them into longer phrases. The second edition often shortens these expansions--without sacrificing clarity.

Literary character is preserved. The original Bible text often repeats words or phrases for literary effect. Where these repetitions don't add additional meaning, the original NLT often condensed them. The NLT second edition restores many of the repetitions to show the English reader the literary flavor of the original text.

Wording is more consistent. In the NLT second edition, a particular Hebrew or Greek word is more consistently translated with the same English word where the word has the same meaning--making the entire translation more consistent for serious study.

The NLT second edition represents a new benchmark in dynamic equivalence. Since it is not possible to translate literally every Hebrew, Greek, or Aramaic word into English, the vast majority of Bible scholars embrace the principle of dynamic equivalence--rendering the actual meaning of an ancient phrase or passage in its closest English equivalent. The NLT second edition carefully takes into account both literal and dynamic renderings. This balance of living language and precise scholarship sets a new standard for Bible translations.


I would say without question, that the accuracy of the New Living Translation and the scholarship that has gone into it has been impressive, and I can trust it.

Walt Kallestad
Community Church of Joy
Glendale, Arizona

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