The criticisms leveled against the NLT are many, but the main one is the loss of ‘literalism’ – however, in Luke 9.31, the NLT is the most literal of them all.
NKJ who appeared in glory and spoke of His decease which He was about to accomplish at Jerusalem.
NRS They appeared in glory and were speaking of his departure, which he was about to accomplish at Jerusalem.
ESV who appeared in glory and spoke of his departure, which he was about to accomplish at Jerusalem.
BGT οἳ ὀφθέντες ἐν δόξῃ ἔλεγον τὴν ἔξοδον αὐτοῦ, ἣν ἤμελλεν πληροῦν ἐν Ἰερουσαλήμ.
The NLT reads,
Luke 9:31 They were glorious to see. And they were speaking about his exodus from this world, which was about to be fulfilled in Jerusalem.
We can read in Luke (which connects on the whole with the Book of Wisdom) an almost spiritualized account of the Exodus (See the second half of Wisdom), and comparing that with the Epistle to the Hebrews, we find that the theme of Exodus is connected to the story of Christ and primitive Christianity. (See here for the genesis of this thought. The blogger has also posted something here and here.)
The NLT is more literal here than other ‘literal’ bible translation, and admittedly, this verse fits into my view of the theological framework found in Luke-Acts and Hebrews which I see based on a New Israel.