A few evenings ago I happened to tune into the Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN) as I was channel-surfing, and discovered they were once again showing the movie “The Gospel of John”. They never announce when they’re going to show it; it just happens to pop up on that channel now and then. At any rate, I had become aware sometime last year that the translation used in that movie was the NLTse, and I am very impressed with how clear and easy it is to understand in the movie.

I own, personally, three NASBs, three NIVs, a couple NKJVs, a KJV, a couple NRSVs, an ESV, and a Phillips NT. Maybe a couple others that I can’t think of right now. We also have a NLT1 in the house, and an old, old paperback GNT. My wife says, “What do you need another Bible for?!” Well, do you notice anything about my list? They’re mostly older, literal, scholarly, conservative translations. There’s no TNIV; there’s no NLTse; and I feel once again like I have a Bible-shaped hole in me that needs to be filled.

I have been shopping around town the last several weeks, looking to see just what is available locally along the lines of TNIV and NLTse. WalMart and Sam’s Club carry NIV, NKJV, and KJV almost exclusively. I went over to the local Christian book and gift store, only to be told in no uncertain terms that they do not carry the TNIV. But they have lots of NIVs, KJVs, NKJVs, and even NASBs and ESVs…..and they carry the NLTse! I checked them out pretty well, and they do have the nice large print personal size one I’m interested in…but they like to charge full retail price.

This evening my wife and I were out for a while, and stopped in at the brand new Barnes & Noble bookstore that had recently moved into our big mall, and I took the opportunity to look over what they had. NIVs, NIVs, everywhere NIVs! But here and there among the NIVs I found a few, a very few, TNIVs! Now at this point I’m not expecting to find any TNIVs that really match my wants and needs. I’m waiting for the new TNIV Reference Bible this fall for that.

But next to the NIVs and TNIVs were a couple shelves of NLTs, including the NLTse. Actually, most of them are the second edition now, but there are a few of the first one still left on the shelves. I spent some time looking at various versions of them, but they were all thinline and very few large print. But even the regular-size print was quite clear, and I almost…almost… well, you know. And the B&N prices were generally less than full retail, especially for those that were on sale.

I know I can get the Bibles I want from Amazon or Christian Book, at low prices, but when you add in the shipping I only save a couple dollars in many cases, so if I can find what I want locally it’s usually worth paying a little more to have it in my hands that very day.

I have really been enjoying reading the NLTse online, and at this point I am leaning very hard towards going to the local Christian bookstore and picking up that personal-size large-print in black bonded leather for $35. I don’t really like stealth Bibles anyway. I’d rather have a Bible that looks like one.

I’ll worry about getting a TNIV this September. For now I’ve got a NLTse-shaped hole to fill!