The New Living Translation

With all the energy that Keith Williams and others are putting into revitalizing the NLT Blog, I thought I ought to get on the stick and make some announcements of my own. Ever since finishing my work on the NLT Study Bible in 2008 and participating in the ensuing world promotional tour, I’ve gone back to quietly working in the background on new and interesting things. Most of my energy over the past couple of years has been pouring into the area of digital Bibles.

Today we are announcing the launch of, a new site that provides what I believe to be a superior and richly rewarding experience with the New Living Translation online. Why do I say that? Here are some interesting aspects of the site:

  • Reference lookup: Type a Bible reference. The only requirement is that you include a book name and at least one chapter number. Example:
  • Short URLs: Once you type a reference or search term, you will notice that the URL for the result page includes the search term or reference. We did this so that you can easily share URLs to the NLT on Facebook, Twitter, your website, or your blog.
  • Facebook “Share” and Twitter “Tweet” buttons on each page make sharing to those services very easy, or you can copy and paste the URL from the address bar in your web browser.
  • Beautiful NLT text display. The NLT text display has been designed to look just as beatiful as a print Bible. We’ve even made the text look like it appears on white paper (with a nice drop-shadow in recent browsers like Firefox and Chrome). Example:
  • The NLT text notes are fully incorporated — click an asterisk (*) in the NLT text and you’ll see the text note in a right-aligned pop-up. Click the asterisk again to hide it. Example:
  • Keyword search with word stemming: Type keywords to lookup, and it will find them and related word forms. (Note: We’re still refining the word stemming dictionary that’s being used.) Examples:,
  • Exact text search: put “quote marks” around your search term and you can get an exact text search. Example:”run”,”run+for+your+lives”
  • Regular expression search: The exact text search actually recognizes regular expression patterns, so power users can go hog wild (there’s my Iowa background coming out) doing power searches on the NLT text. (The full syntax of our regular expression flavor is documented here.) Example:”(^|\s)r[ua]n”
  • Search includes the NLT textual notes. Many Bible software tools omit the textual notes from the search function, but we view the NLT text notes as an integral part of the text, so we have included them in the search function. The text notes appear in the search results immediately below each result verse. Example:”hebrew+reads”
  • The homepage of features a beautiful wordle of the entire NLT text (cached; JPG). Okay, that’s a pretty minor feature of the site.

We have plans for many more features and improvements in the coming days, but that’s about it for now. The new site runs off the same codebase that powers, and we will have some exciting announcements about that site in the days to come. Keith told me today that is the best way he knows of to get into the Greek text of the New Testament quickly and painlessly.

I hope that’s enough to whet your appetite; take a minute to head over to and give it a go, and let us know what you think.
8 Responses to “Announcing”
9th November, 2010 at 9:38 am

I’m most excited about the hidden link to the currently inactive API page!

9th November, 2010 at 9:39 am

Yes, that’s something we’re actively discussing.

9th November, 2010 at 9:44 am

This is awesome! Thank you for all the work you do and already have done! I just went to and put some keywords in and it works great! Thank you!


11th November, 2010 at 2:32 pm

First, let me say that since I have discovered the NLT, it has become my favorite translation. I have used it exclusively for a few years now. It is the one from which I read and study. I used to be more of a ‘literal translation’ person, but once I read the letter of James in the NLT, well, it changed me (in a lot of different ways).

Secondly, I too use the Gentium font! It’s my favorite. It is refreshing to see it on a web page. And it is this that leads to my question: Is Gentium going to be used for the text on this site? I see that it is in the searches but when I look up a text, it’s the standard serif font. Are there plans of making Gentium the standard font on the site? (Plus, it would be VERY COOL to see it used as the typeset in the next bound version of the NLT!)

Peace to you,

Jack+, LC

11th November, 2010 at 2:37 pm

@Jack, Thanks for your reply. We are actually using Georgia as the serif font on the site – it’s widely installed and easy-to-read on screen. We’re exploring making wider use of Gentium via the @font-face tag, especially on and wherever we are presenting Greek text.

11th November, 2010 at 10:01 pm

This is also pretty mobile friendly which is great because that means it’s fast and unencumbered with glitz and glam for everyone.

Regarding the share options, it would be nice if it displayed the verse or beginning of a passage instead of just the link to it.

Very nice.

12th November, 2010 at 8:34 am

@Jeff, Thanks for the input. I’m glad you find the layout to be mobile friendly! I agree, the first verse would be good to include.

3rd June, 2011 at 9:30 am

I am just finding this blog post and . I thought this was new, but this dates to November of 2010. Make sure that the search engines are picking this stuff up so the word is getting out.

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