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discover the nlt

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

discover the nlt
FAQs

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
 translations?
 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?

English Bible translations tend to be governed by one of two general translation theories. The first theory has been called "formal-equivalence," "literal," or "word-for-word" translation. According to this theory, the translator attempts to render each word of the original language into English and seeks to preserve the original syntax and sentence structure as much as possible in translation. The second theory has been called "dynamic-equivalence," "functional-equivalence," or "thought-for-thought" translation. The goal of this translation theory is to produce in English the closest natural equivalent of the message expressed by the original- language text, both in meaning and in style.

Both of these translation theories have their strengths. A formal-equivalence translation preserves aspects of the original text--including ancient idioms, term consistency, and original-language syntax--that are valuable for scholars and professional study. It allows a reader to trace formal elements of the original-language text through the English translation. A dynamic-equivalence translation, on the other hand, focuses on translating the message of the original-language text. It ensures that the meaning of the text is readily apparent to the contemporary reader. This allows the message to come through with immediacy, without requiring the reader to struggle with foreign idioms and awkward syntax. It also facilitates serious study of the text's message and clarity in both devotional and public reading.

The pure application of either of these translation philosophies would create translations at opposite ends of the translation spectrum. But in reality, all translations contain a mixture of these two philosophies. A purely formal-equivalence translation would be unintelligible in English, and a purely dynamic-equivalence translation would risk being unfaithful to the original. That is why translations shaped by dynamic-equivalence theory are usually quite literal when the original text is relatively clear, and the translations shaped by formal- equivalence theory are sometimes quite dynamic when the original text is obscure.

The translators of the New Living Translation set out to render the message of the original texts of Scripture into clear, contemporary English. As they did so, they kept the concerns of both formal-equivalence and dynamic-equivalence in mind. On the one hand, they translated as simply and literally as possible when that approach yielded an accurate, clear, and natural English text. Many words and phrases were rendered literally and consistently into English, preserving essential literary and rhetorical devices, ancient metaphors, and word choices that give structure to the text and provide echoes of meaning from one passage to the next.

On the other hand, the NLT translators rendered the message more dynamically when the literal rendering was hard to understand, was misleading, or yielded archaic or foreign wording. They clarified difficult metaphors and terms to aid in the reader's understanding. The translators first struggled with the meaning of the words and phrases in the ancient context; then they rendered the message into clear, natural English. Their goal was to be both faithful to the ancient texts and eminently readable. The result is a translation that is both exegetically accurate and idiomatically powerful.

More than 90 Bible scholars, along with a group of accomplished English stylists, worked toward that goal. In the end, the NLT is the result of precise scholarship conveyed in living language.

endorsements

“Studying and teaching from the New Living Translation second edition provides refreshing insights from a translation with high credibility.I recommend it to both Christ followers taking their first steps of faith and seasoned veterans on their spiritual journey.”

Gene Appel
Eastside Christian Fellowship
Fullerton, California

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