New Living Translation

The New Living Translation was first published by Tyndale House in 1996, underwent a 2nd edition in 2004, sometimes noted as NLTse, and was most recently revised in 2007 with minor textual and footnote changes. It's most recent offering is the NLT Study Bible in 2008. While originally intended as a revision to the Living Bible, the NLT essentially evolved into a new English translation. Like most modern translations of the Bible, the NLT textual basis is the Masoretic Hebrew Text of the OT (Biblia Hebraica) and the critical Greek NT Text (NA-27 and UBS4).

The NLT translation philosophy may be generally viewed as one of "dynamic equivalence," similar to the NIV, rathe than a more literal word-for-word translation. The result is self-described as midway between the most literal translations (such as the NASB) and a paraphrase (such as The Message).^[1]^ The NLT admits to being less literal than the NIV, which in turn is less literal than the ESV, which in turn is less literal than the NASB.


Craig Blomberg of Denver Seminary, who was the principal translator for the NLT's Gospel according to Matthew, has explicitly stated that this version is not suitable as a regular Bible for adults. Responding to criticism of the NLT, Blomberg explained that the version is for "kids or very poor adult readers," and he suggested that readers of the NLT should move on to a more accurate version when they are able:^ [2]^

"I relished the chance to work on the NLT (New Living Translation) team to convert the LBP into a truly dynamic-equivalent translation, but I never recommend it to anyone except to supplement the reading of a more literal translation to generate freshness and new insights, unless they are kids or very poor adult readers. My sixteen- and twelve-year old daughters have been weaned on the NLT and have loved it, but both already on their own are now frequently turning to the NIV."^[3]^

See also


  1. NLT website translation comparison
  2. The New Living Translation, by Michael Marlowe.
  3. Craig Blomberg, review of The Word of God in English by Leland Ryken, Denver Journal: An Online Review of Current Biblical and Theological Studies, volume 6 (July 2003).