NLT Mosaic Blog Tour 9/23 – Participatory Bible Study Blog

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First, Henry’s review:

With that, enter The Mosaic Bible. I must admit to starting with a bit of bias. I have a strong appreciation for the NLT, and that is the chosen Biblical text. That text is particularly appropriate to a Bible that aims primarily at devotional or liturgical study and reading. The clarity of the translation text is too often neglected in liturgical use. Yes, we want accuracy. Yes, we want a decent literary sound for the scripture reading. But in addition, clarity is particularly important in public reading. The NLT is quite good in that area.

But from that good foundation, it is possible still to construct a Bible edition that detracts from the excellent text. That is not the case here.

Then, his interview with Keith Williams, the General Editor.

Q:  In my experience the NLT is much more commonly used for personal reading than for public reading or exegetical study.  Is that an accurate characterization of normal use?  Do you see the NLT text as well suited for public reading and preaching?

A:  There are definitely churches that use the NLT as their primary Bible for preaching and reading, but there are also believers and pastors who encourage using the NLT for personal reading while using a more formal translation in worship and study. I think the NLT can be used in both contexts with profit; it is a serious translation, done by qualified scholars who are passionate about communicating the Word of God as clearly and accurately as possible in modern English. Of course, the preacher will sometimes have to explain why the sermon deviates from the NLT, but doesn’t that happen with every translation in an exegetical sermon? The honest answer is yes. The nature of translation is that decisions are made that will capture major aspects of the original text, but it is not possible to represent all of the nuance of the original in translation. It is a myth that formal translations are better at preserving more of the aspects of the original language than dynamic ones. Both strategies have their strengths, and anyone doing in-depth Bible study in English should definitely consult more than one translation in their studies. But the NLT is definitely an excellent choice as a primary translation for exegetical study, public reading and preaching. Often the clarity of the NLT will shine a bright light on the central point of the text that might be obscured by the familiarity or traditional language of a more formal translation.

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12 Replies to “NLT Mosaic Blog Tour 9/23 – Participatory Bible Study Blog”

  1. This is a personal preference, as you admit, so I am going to share mine. I would choose the NLT Study Bible. I am speaking of the NLT. For myself however, I prefer the ESV translation, and indeed like very much it’s new ESV Study Bible! As we have shared, I prefer the idea of the “cognitive equivalence” in the literal translation approach. Yet this is not an either or, but again the choice of preference.
    Fr. R.

  2. Joel,
    I was not being negative to the new Mosaic. I too have gotten to see it, it is fine. Just not this man’s preference. I personally like Study Bibles…gee lets see which one I don’t have? lol I have just about every Study Bible known to man! I even have a Dakes KJV, simply a dispensational, pentecostal, study bible…arminian, etc. I only use it for reference. I wonder what the Oneness people use as a Study Bible? The Thompson Chain-Reference, KJV of course?
    Fr. R.

  3. Fr. Robert, I didn’t perceive any negativity whatsoever.

    And I had to laugh – as a matter of fact all the oneness preachers that I know use the Thompson Chain-Reference, KJV. How did you guess?

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