This is a study Bible I am becoming very comfortable with, including the NLTse translation. I have lost a lot of my, um, caution concerning it. The fact is, it really does make the Word of God clear, or at least much clearer. It no longer seems so strange to me.
The NLT is a smooth read through the Gospels and the other narratives, both NT and OT. The last couple days I’ve been reading through Hebrews, and have found it very clear sailing. There are no problems understanding it, but also it doesn’t seem “dumbed down” at all.
So far the only area I have such problems is in the Pauline epistles, and then usually just at the beginning of the epistle. As we all know, Paul was a very complex man, and tended to write his complex theology in long, complex sentences. It seems to me that when the NLT translators try to chop up those long, complex sentences for normal readers, they sometimes end up with short, choppy sentences that seem over-simplified, and even a bit disjointed at times. My own thoughts on this are that most adult readers who are actually reading Paul’s writings may be better served by longer, more complex sentences that convey the larger theological thought rather than short, choppy, easily understood sentences which are disjointed. I’d like to see Tyndale’s translators work on this area for future updates of the NLT.
I picked up both the NASB and the NKJV this morning to compare their renderings of Hebrews 9 with the NLT’s, and when I was done I said, “Why would I want that muddled, confusing reading when I have the Word made clear in the NLT?” I know the others may be more literally accurate, but what good is that if it’s not understandable? I’m thinking more and more that the NLT’s time has come. We could do much worse!