The New Living Translation of the Bible and its Many Updates

As far as I can tell, I’ve never seen a Bible get as many updates as the New Living Translation.

At any rate, the publisher provides reasons for all these necessary updates the New Living Translation of the Bible:

New_living_translation_logoSince the second edition of the NLT was published in 2004, the NLT Bible Translation Committee has approved three rounds of changes to the NLT text. The 2007 and 2013 changes were mostly minor textual or footnote changes resulting from queries that came from our own editors as they worked on new NLT commentaries and Bible notes, closely comparing the NLT to the original language texts. Some of the 2015 changes attempt to clarify the text for an international readership by removing language that is specific to an American context, while others seek to improve clarity and precision in other ways. Some of the changes were made as a result of helpful feedback from church leaders from across the English-speaking world who value the clarity that the NLT provides for their ministries. Additionally, the word “leper(s)” has consistently been replaced with an appropriate phrase like “man with leprosy” in order to emphasize personhood over the disability. The 2015 changes affect a total of eighty-six verses and four NLT subheads. The review process that generated these changes demonstrates the Bible Translation Committee’s continued commitment to both scholarly precision and clear communication in modern English. emphasis added, source

Whenever the NLT Bible Translation Committee deems it appropriate to tweak the New Living Translation Bible for the sake of scholarly precision and clear communication in modern English, we will surely be seeing other updates.

Since its second edition in 2004, we had updates in 2007, 2013, and now 2015 (details to the 2015 updates can be found at this link).

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8 Responses to The New Living Translation of the Bible and its Many Updates

  1. Jon Hughes says:

    I hate this. It’s making consumers out of us. The beauty of my KJV is that it hasn’t been updated since 1769. Oh, the relief…

  2. nwroadrat says:

    I’ve enjoyed occasionally using the New Living Translation. This is good in some ways in that they are allowed the freedom to do this. However if the New International updated this often, we wouldn’t get much of a break in between evangelical conspiracies that are so prone to follow the NIV.

    • Jon Hughes says:

      My biggest problem with it is that it engenders the feeling that you have an inferior product if you don’t have the latest ‘update’. Imagine being caught in a house-group Bible study with the 2013 version… or even worse, the 2007 version… or perish the thought, the 2004 version.

      I reckon the 2018 update will really nail it. That’s what I’m holding out for. Until the 2020 version is launched, that is. Except for the inevitable feelings of dissatisfaction in 2024, of course, when you know what. My son’s 2035 version will no doubt be the one we’ve all been waiting for. Except that his son’s 2067 update will be the finished article. Honest.

    • TC Robinson says:

      The NLT tends to get a way with a lot of stuff.

      Updates ad infinitum. I hope money has nothing to do with it. That would be awful. But these endless updates beg the question.

  3. Jon Hughes says:


    I admire your strength of character. Unfortunately, I’m an all-too-willing victim of the marketers. What annoys me is that I purchased the 2013 edition on Kindle only a few weeks ago, smugly assuming I was up to date, only to have TC burst the bubble with this absolutely infuriating post of his!

    • TC Robinson says:

      I’m sorry, bro. I too want to purchase a copy, you know, as a reference, “Unfortunately, I’m an all-too-willing victim of the marketers” – I have to have the latest!

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