The New Living Translation
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Adding to the Text, or Interpreting the Text?

Translating the biblical texts into English (or any other language) is not as simple as it may sound. For starters, the translator has to determine which philosophy of translation to follow. The two basic options are formal equivalence (also called word-for-word, literal, or essentially literal) and dynamic equivalence (also called thought-for-thought). And there is also […]

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How much was the widow’s mite?

We find the story of the widow’s mite in Mark 12:41-44 and Luke 21:1-4. In both passages (which are nearly identical), Jesus makes the point that the widow’s gift to the Temple treasury was very costly to her, because it represented everything she had. But the challenge for the translator is to determine how best […]

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Textual Variants

Most serious readers of the New Testament know that there are thousands of minor textual variants among the hundreds of ancient manuscripts available to us. And most recognize that there are no make-or-break theological issues that hang solely on a variant reading. My colleague Philip Comfort has written a scholarly (yet very readable) compendium of […]

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Psalm 146:2

On a separate thread, Danielo asks whether the NLT is perhaps too dramatic in the way it translates the last phrase of this verse: “I will praise the LORD as long as I live;I will sing praises to my God even with my dying breath.” He points out that some other translations translate the last […]

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No Room at the Inn?

We’ve all heard the Christmas story from Luke 2 many times, and we’ll hear it again this Christmas. And you’ll probably hear that “there was no room in the inn.” But was it an inn (that is, a public place of accommodations) where Joseph and Mary found no room? The NLT (2nd ed.) renders this […]

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Differences between Translations (Part 3)

My pastor is working his way through Galatians, and this morning’s sermon was on Gal 3:23-29. I found fertile ground for thinking about differences between translations. Here are some examples: Sentence structure: The UBS Greek text has 4 sentences in this paragraph. The RSV, ESV, and NIV use 6 sentences; KJV, NKJV, ASV, and NASB […]

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Differences between Translations (Part 2)

Sentence Structure (part 2) Before moving on to other topics, I thought I’d take another look at the issue of sentence structure–and even paragraph structure. One would think that all translations would use more or less the same paragraph structure as is found in the original texts. The problem is that the original texts do […]

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Differences between Translations (Part 1)

I’m beginning here an occasional series of posts in which I’ll explore some of the differences between the NLT and other translations. Specifically, I’ll look at underlying differences between dynamic equivalence (DE) translations and formal equivalence (FE) translations, which are also called “word-for-word” or “essentially literal” translations. In these posts I’ll typically use the KJV, […]

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Old Testament Quotations in the New Testament

The NT writers frequently quote from the OT. When we begin to study NT quotations of the OT, we are instantly drawn into the complex issue of how the Hebrew text is translated–first into Greek and then into English. Let’s look at James 4:6b as an example. The NLT translates this passage as follows: As […]

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Pray for Westmont College–Huge Fire

We’ve received word that Westmont College has been affected by wildfires rushing through Santa Barbara. A number of secondary buildings have been destroyed. Thankfully, there are no reports of human injury or death on the campus. Here’s a link to information posted on CTI’s site: http://blog.christianitytoday.com/ctliveblog/archives/2008/11/fire_destroys_p.html Our co-blogger Tremper Longman teaches at Westmont. I tried […]

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