Scripture Zealot on the NLT Study Bible

163x251_mosaic Sometime ago, when the world was still dark, and I was rooted 16th century England, Jeff and a multitude of others had already had the light of the NLT Study Bible.

One of my favorite features at first perusal are the Theme Notes. I call them little surprises. They pop up here and there and they’re like a box of chocolates—you never know what you’re going to get. For example, in the middle of Ezekiel you’ll find God’s Sovereignty and Human Responsibility. These are usually a few paragraphs at the most and include Scripture references to the left of the text. This can be seen on page 5 of the NLT Study Bible Features Guide (PDF file) in the lower left.

For a list of reviews please see the NLT Study Bible Reviews Roundup page.

I believe that Jeff has noted in his own words how I feel about the NLT:

I’ve been a Christian for over 20 years and have been much more serious about studying the Bible for over 2 1/2 years and still the NLT sheds new light on many passages that were somewhat befuddling while for the most part still not sounding overly idiomatic or paraphrastic. I don’t think it’s because I can only read at a 4th grade reading level or because I haven’t gone to church. I will admit that I am not as well educated in the Bible as most of my blogging friends but I would bet that many of them will have a better understanding of some passages when reading them in the NLT and in fact this is one reason why many of them read it.

I’ll still use more formal translations for reference and some aspects of study but I think the NLT gets a bad wrap and the people posting on the NLT blog are trying to rectify some of these assertions.

It might be interesting to know what directives the translators were given as far as target audience, reading level, etc.

I’m not trying to sound like a rabid fan of the NLT, just posting some thoughts I’ve had recently after becoming more interested in the translation.

Psalm 119:18 NLT
Open my eyes to see
the wonderful truths in your instructions.

The Intended Audience of the NLT – NLT Blog (noted in a comment)

Related post:
Translations, Target “Reading Level” and Their Differing Uses

For more from Jeff, click here.

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11 Replies to “Scripture Zealot on the NLT Study Bible”

  1. I find that in using the NLT I learn the same thing that I find in the commentaries. The NLT Study Bible is a treasure which I use most of the time. It may read simply but it’s got a lot of scholarship behind it and the notes help us so we don’t go wrong in our interpreting. I recommend it to my friends. It’s very useful.

  2. Thanks, Polycarp. Let’s just make sure we get a grip on what God has said/written and we understand it. Get the big picture then worry about details. The NLT helps me to read large swathes of Scripture to ge the Big Story, God’s story. There is always time for details. I am happily reading Isaiah 40–55 in the NLT and it’s wonderful.The New creation !

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