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discover the nlt

Read FAQs, your favorite verses, preview the NLT bibles, and learn about the scholars.

discover the nlt

Do you have questions about the NLT? Have a look at the list of FAQs that
addresses some of the most common questions.

 What method did the translators use in making the NLT?
 Can you give some examples of the interplay between formal equivalence
 and dynamic equivalence?
 What are the major improvements in the second edition of the NLT?
 Who are the translators of the NLT?
 What texts did the NLT translators use in their translation work?
 How does the NLT compare to the NIV?
 Why do many scholars say that the NLT and most modern translations are
 more accurate than the King James Version?
 What are some of the differences between the KJV and most modern
 Is the NLT considered a good translation for serious study?
 What is included in the footnotes of the NLT?
 Will NLT commentaries and other study tools be available to Bible students
 choosing to study the NLT?
 How does the NLT deal with gender language?
 What Bible software programs feature the NLT?
 Can I read the NLT on the Internet?
 Will Tyndale publish a children's version of the NLT like Zondervan did when
 they published the children's version of the NIV called the NIrV?
 What makes the New Living Translation good for use from the pulpit?
 How do the sales of NLT Bibles benefit Bible translation and distribution work
 in languages other than English?
 How does the NLT compare to other modern English translations?
 Why are some verses that appear in the King James Version missing from the text of the New Living Translation and other modern translations?
 My NLT has copyright dates of 1996, 2004, and 2015. What are the differences between these editions?

The NLT, like most modern versions, is more accurate than the KJV in several ways. First, knowledge of Hebrew was not very advanced when the KJV was translated. The Hebrew text they used (i.e., the Masoretic Text) was adequate, but their understanding of the Hebrew vocabulary was insufficient. Second, the Greek text underlying the New Testament of the KJV is an inferior text. The KJV translators used a Greek text known as the Textus Receptus (commonly abbreviated as TR), which came from the work of Erasmus, who compiled the first Greek text to be produced on a printing press. When Erasmus compiled this text, he used five or six very late Greek manuscripts dating from the tenth to the thirteenth centuries. These manuscripts were inferior to earlier manuscripts that were unknown to Erasmus.

After the KJV was published (in 1611), numerous earlier New Testament manuscripts were discovered--manuscripts that began to show deficiencies in the TR. Around 1630, Codex Alexandrinus (dated c. 400) was brought to England. In 1859 a German scholar named Constantin von Tischendorf discovered Codex Sinaiticus in St. Catherine's Monastery located near Mount Sinai. The manuscript, dated c. 350, is one of the two oldest vellum manuscripts of the Greek New Testament. The earliest vellum manuscript, Codex Vaticanus, had been in the Vatican's library since at least 1481, but it was not made available to scholars until the middle of the nineteenth century. Codex Vaticanus, dated slightly earlier (c. 325) than Codex Sinaiticus, is one of the most accurate manuscripts of the New Testament in existence.

At the end of the nineteenth century, two British scholars, Brooke Westcott and Fenton Hort, produced a volume titled The New Testament in the Original Greek (1881). Along with this publication, they stated their position that Codex Vaticanus and Codex Sinaiticus, along with a few other early manuscripts, represent a text that most closely replicates the original writings. In the twentieth century, many second- and third-century papyrus manuscripts of the New Testament have been discovered. Most of these papyrus manuscripts have a text that is very similar to Codex Vaticanus and to Codex Sinaiticus.

One of the most noteworthy papyrus manuscripts is P75, a copy of Luke and John dated c.175-200. It is universally recognized as a very accurate manuscript and one that bears extremely close resemblance to Codex Vaticanus. This shows that a pure line of textual transmission was preserved from the middle of the second-century to the fourth century. The papyrus P75 and several other papyrus manuscripts have helped twentieth-century scholars produce a Greek text that is even closer to the original text than that of Westcott and Hort. This most recent edition is commonly known as the Nestle-Aland Greek New Testament.

The upshot of the nineteenth-century and twentieth-century discoveries and publications of better Greek texts is that we now have a Greek text that is far more accurate than the Textus Receptus. Subsequently, English versions (like the NLT) that are based on the better Greek manuscripts are superior to the KJV, which is based on the Textus Receptus.


“Studying and teaching from the New Living Translation second edition provides refreshing insights from a translation with high credibility.I recommend it to both Christ followers taking their first steps of faith and seasoned veterans on their spiritual journey.”

Gene Appel
Eastside Christian Fellowship
Fullerton, California

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