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A New Benchmark In Dynamic Equivalence - A New Standard In Bible Translation

Since it is not possible to literally translate every Hebrew, Greek or Aramaic word into English, the vast majority of Bible scholars embrace the principle of dynamic equivalence—rendering the true meaning of an ancient phrase or passage in its closest contemporary English language equivalent. The NLT second edition represents a new benchmark in dynamic equivalence, carefully taking into account both the literal and dynamic renderings and where both are equally clear, accepting the more word-for-word direction. This balance of living language and precise scholarship sets the standard for Bible translations.

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 Proverbs 5:15-17   2 Corinthians 8:6-7   Isaiah 7:7-9 

These verses give us a Hebrew wisdom saying that is rich in imagery. Commentators agree that these verses are about faithfulness to one’s wife, but that meaning is lost if the words are translated literally. Most translations, however, simply translate the words, yielding a rendering that most readers will not understand. The NLT retains some of the imagery of each verse, but then drives home the meaning of the passage in very clear language. The NLT renders a literal translation in footnotes to assist readers who are comparing the NLT with other translations.

KJV
15 Drink waters out of thine own cistern, and running waters out of thine own well.
16 Let thy fountains be dispersed abroad, and rivers of waters in the streets.

NKJV
15 Drink water from your own cistern, And running water from your own well.
16 Should your fountains be dispersed abroad, Streams of water in the streets?

NASB
15 Drink water from your own cistern, And fresh water from your own well.
16 Should your springs be dispersed abroad, Streams of water in the streets?

NIV
15 Drink water from your own cistern, running water from your own well.
16 Should your springs overflow in the streets, your streams of water in the public squares?

NLT
15 Drink water from your own well—share your love only with your wife.*
16 Why spill the water of your springs in the streets, having sex with just anyone?*

5:15 Hebrew Drink water from yourown cistern, / flowing water from your own well.
5:16 Hebrew Why spill your springs in the streets, / your streams in the city squares?

endorsements

“I’m thrilled with the NLT second edition. . . .The attention to accuracy while being understandable makes the NLT the perfect choice for all churches called to grow people in Christ and reach people far from God.”

Brad Mitchell
Trinity Church
Lansing, Michigan

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