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.