What Rodney gets wrong about me and the NLT

A photo of the first edition of the NLT
Image via Wikipedia

I wonder if I could make that into a song ‘Me and the NLT’ – maybe sung to the tune of ‘Me and Bobby McGee’

Rodney has been wrong a lot lately, but I suspect that it has more to do with having the blinders of dissent on (which I plan on getting to later), than actual facts. He, and I am sure this is just an attempt at trying to be funny, insists that the NLT reader is,

Indicates that you have been a part of the Bible Wars for years and you are looking for a way to escape the King James Version only crowd. It means you still hold on to your embedded conservative theology but are desiring to engage other Christians outside of the KJVO faith.

What Your Bible Translation Tells Me about You | Political Jesus.

Several things are wrong with that statement, as it is usually is with what Rodney writes. First, I haven’t been a part of the ‘bible wars’ for years, and really, from what I can see from other NLT users, they haven’t either. I left the bible wars years ago when I first picked up the NKJV then the RSV then the, well, you get the picture. I really have no need to engage in bible wars, except to defend the right of the reader to choose a bible which suits them.

I have no ’embedded conservative theology.’ I classify myself as theological conservative because I believe that all things pertaining to the life of a Christian, especially in the matters of theology and Christian growth, must be based on Scripture. There is simply no ‘well, it was a different time then’ with me. I believe that we take Scripture and find the right interpretative measures for it, such as what the original audience might have heard, the etymology of the passages, and as always, the original languages.

I might get to that last bit in a later post, since people have a difficult time constructing what makes one a liberal or a conservative, either politically or theologically, because they insist on being subjective. Subjectivity leads only to incomplete decisions and irrational statements. But, alas, I digress…

Do I use other translations? Sure. I use the RSV and will use the NRSV if I must. I prefer the NASB for more academic study if I cannot use the original Greek, and the NETS for reading/studying/citing the Septuagint. I like the NLT for reading, studying, devotionals, and conversational preaching. By far and away, the NLT is my bible of choice. It is also my family’s. Not because I have chosen it because others didn’t (think Rodney and the NRSV or his aversion to anything which seems liked), or that it is conservative (just ask the ESV-Only crowd), or that is a fashion statement (think Message, then forget about the Message and get yourself a real bible, like the NLT). I chose the NLT because it saved my bible reading, and I was able to share with others, in their language-speak, what the Gospel means.

Enhanced by Zemanta
Joel L. Watts
Joel L. Watts holds a Masters of Arts from United Theological Seminary with a focus in literary and rhetorical criticism of the New Testament. He is currently a Ph.D. student at the University of the Free State, analyzing Paul’s model of atonement in Galatians. He is the author of Mimetic Criticism of the Gospel of Mark: Introduction and Commentary (Wipf and Stock, 2013), a co-editor and contributor to From Fear to Faith: Stories of Hitting Spiritual Walls (Energion, 2013), and Praying in God's Theater, Meditations on the Book of Revelation (Wipf and Stock, 2014).

6 thoughts on “What Rodney gets wrong about me and the NLT

  1. [blockquote]Subjectivity leads only to incomplete decisions and irrational statements.[/blockquote]

    I’m so proud of you, I could just explode into glitter. I’m a huge fan of objective decision-making and the need for quantitative data on which to base said decisions. I should probably go into a business doing this kind of thing full time… *wink & nod* (but not in the gay way)

Leave a Reply, Please!