The Sufficiency of the New Living Translation

An odd title for a TCOAE post, I know. Truth is, it’s not actually a TCOAE post. “Polycarp” from The Church of Jesus Christ blog invited me to guest blog for his 24-hour New Living Translation (NLT) blog-a-thon. Despite the fact that I’m 6 weeks away from taking the Defense Language Proficiency Test, I found a precious hour to comment a bit on the sufficiency of “dynamic” Bible translations, specifically the New Living Translation (NLT), to faithfully transmit theological truth; I also used my journey into ANE cosmology to prove a point about unreasonable approaches toward Bible translation and unwavering commitment to using only “essentially literal” translations of Scripture.

If anything, you might gain some insight into the inner workings of my mind on this topic and understand how my acceptance of modern scientific findings regarding evolution has had an effect on my views regarding the sufficiency of various translation and transmission methods of the Bible through the millennia.

Feel free to comment at the original post or, if you are so inclined, swing back over here to speak your mind.


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2 Responses to The Sufficiency of the New Living Translation

  1. Mike,

    A well written post. Thank you.

    You have followed what I think is a natural progression of thought … and one the mirrors my own. I have for years now read from the NIV, and I continue to do so. I still sometimes use my smattering of Greek and Hebrew training, and the original language resources on my shelves (and on-line) to get, perhaps, closer to the author's intent. But my former penchant for precision has mostly dissipated. Recognition of the fallibility of biblical writers, and the various discrepancies in the Scriptures have diminished my "need" to know the exact implications. And the more dynamic translations and paraphrases bother me less.

    The present day inerrantist using a literalist approach will, of course, still want a more literal translation, carefully parsing each word of the Scripture. And he will typically hold to a YEC view. Makes me think of what Jesus said about gnats and camels in Matthew 23:34.

  2. Cliff:

    Just for the record, I'm enjoying the New Living Translation so far. It's a pretty smooth read and quite refreshing.

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