Another Update for the New Living Translation in 2015

The New Living Translation is at it again.  Another update. On my post Minor Changes to the New Living Translation in 2013, one Joshua H. has left the following comment:

Tyndale has released a 2015 update to the NLT! They have posted a list of changes here: From looking at the NT changes, it seems they are being less colloquial. One change I can see is in Luke 2:5. Previous NLTs and the Living Bible have “obviously pregnant”; the NLT 2015 changes this to “expecting a child”. Personally I like this as I like the Word to be readable, but not too chatty. The only 2015 NLT I know of is the Kindle edition, which is were I saw the updated date a few months ago.

Perhaps “less colloguial,” except in the Pastoral Letters, where “an/a elder/s” is/are changed to “church leader/s.”

The New Living Translation (NLT) has never been my primary Bible translation for either preaching or studying.  But for those whom the NLT is their primary Bible translation, good luck in trying to keep up with all these changes.

Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2007, 200132015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

To the updating of the NLT, there seems to be no end in sight.  2016 and 2017 are just around the corner.

At any rate, the NLT remains a top seller among Bible translations.

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10 Responses to Another Update for the New Living Translation in 2015

  1. Claudio Duckardt says:

    I don’t know…maybe the KJV only group has a point.

  2. Tom says:

    The KJV went through many updates in it’s beginnings and to tell the truth it needs a whole new makeover, the NKJV almost got it right. I do like the NLT, it does make the Word clear but I do feel they go overboard on the gender neutral issue, such as changing man to humans, I think mankind is a better way to be neutral.

  3. ec says:

    I agree, Tom. “Humans” is certainly not the best alternative to “man.”
    I like the NKJV, ESV, NASB, KJV, and NIV84, but I’ve become curious about the 2015 NLT. All in all, do you see the 2015 update as an improvement over the previous version? It seems to me that perhaps it is, but I’ve only read through a few of the changes.

    • Claudio Duckardt says:

      I haven’t doubted God’s word since I took this stance and haven’t looked back.

      • ec says:

        I grew up on the KJV and I still love it; I also love the NKJV, NASB, and ESV. The NIV84 was good, too, but I don’t care for the newer updates–especially changing the singular (such as he) to the plural (such as they). It takes away the sense of the one-on-one relationship to God. I’d rather know what the manuscripts in the original languages actually SAID (translated to understandable English, of course, as I can’t read the original languages). And I think I can figure out when “man” means only a male, and when it means “mankind” using the context, without the translators’ substituting words with other meanings. After looking into the NLT a little more, I simply prefer a more literal translation such as the first four I named.

  4. Anon says:

    The HCSB And NASB are also being updated. They need to stop Tampering with Gods word

  5. ec says:

    Just want to point out that legitimate updates to a translation are not “tampering with God’s word.” The original manuscripts were not written in English. English translations hopefully do not seek to tamper with the original meaning of the Bible, but of course the translation team must change the words and sentences into understandable English. But I doubt that’s what you meant by “tampering.”

    If the translation team has good reasons for changing their current translation work, the changes would actually be “doing a better job of translating from the original languages” or “making the translation work more accurate.” Translating anything from one language to another is not an easy task, for many reasons. ALL English-language Bibles are translations, and even the KJV was updated from its original edition from the 1600’s (otherwise it would be extremely difficult to understand today.). In a perfect world, we’d all be able to read the Bible in Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek–the languages in which it was originally written. Since most of us can’t do that, we need teams of experts to do their best to accurately translate from the original languages into English. If they can do a better, more accurate job of the translation work, it is worth an update.

    That said, it can be frustrating if updates are done too often and for seemingly minor reasons.

    Also, there have undoubtedly been a few translations that did deliberately do a bit of tampering–the NWT for one. Fortunately, it is an exception and not the rule.

    Some translations go more for meaning for meaning as opposed to, as much as possible, word for word. The NIV is one of those that aim for meaning-for-meaning. The HCSB has elements of both methods. Others are paraphrases, which means the meaning is intended to be the same, but put into someone else’s words (The Message, The Living Bible). This is not necessarily a bad thing as long as you understand that what you are reading is a paraphrase and not a direct translation. The NLT is said to have been revised from a paraphrase (the LB) to a meaning for meaning translation now. Personally, I prefer a translation, and one toward the literal end of the spectrum such as the NKJV, KJV, NASB, and ESV. I also liked the NIV84; the new one, not as much.

    I apologize if I’ve sounded like I’m on a rant; that was not my intention. (The words “tamper with God’s word” are serious words!!) I think there are a lot of misconceptions regarding translations. I just wanted to say that there is such a thing as doing a better job than was done before. Hopefully that is the sole intent of the HCSB and NASB updates. The ESV also has a recent update that affects only a few verses, and Crossway says any further updates to it will be rare.

    We are very blessed to have several good English translations of God’s word.

  6. Claudio Duckardt says:

    I use and trust the KJV only…..and I am free!

  7. Greg Lovern says:

    I don’t see the problem with frequent updates. There will never be a perfect translation. Making tiny improvements as tiny problems are discovered seems better to me than leaving the tiny problems in place.

    Different translations and translation types are better for different readers and different purposes, but for an adult, fluent English speaker reading casually, I like that the NLT conveys the main original meaning in an easy and direct manner, while making an effort to preserve something of the tone of the original. Word-for-word, literalist translations can be useful for close study but when read casually they can obscure the meaning or worse, convey an unintended, incorrect meaning. And preservation of tone is difficult when you’re not using natural English sentence structure.

    As a teenager in the ’80s I became interested in translations and bought all I could find. I had a shelf of them. I eventually settled on the TEV for casual reading for it’s very easy and direct conveyance of the main meaning. But its downside was that it was meant for younger readers and readers for whom English was a 2nd language. When the 2004 update of the NLT came out, it was the translation I’d always wanted. It’s relationship to that old freewheeling paraphrase for young children, the LT, is in name only and of course publisher.

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