NLT Revision. Who knew?

Holy Bible Text Edition NLT (Bible Nlt)Until just yesterday, I did not know that the New Living Translation (NLT) has been revised. I was under the impression that the NLT was a free translation that was closer to its roots in the Living Bible paraphrase than to a formal equivalence or even a dynamic equivalence. Well, it turns out that on closer inspection, the NLT has been revised, and the revised version can be placed in the dynamic/functional equivalence category.

The NLT was originally published in 1996 by Tyndale House Publishers. After the publication, an eight year review process of the translation was begun, which ended with the publication of the revision in 2004. The new version is still called the NLT and not the RNLT. Thus, you wouldn't know there was a revision unless you read the prefaces to NLT 2004 edition or for some odd reason ended up comparing the NLT 1996 with the NLT 2004 (as I did yesterday).

The move from a free translation to a dynamic or functional equivalence translation can be seen in 1 John 5:3.

NLT 1996: "Loving God means keeping his commandments, and really, that isn't difficult."

NLT 2004: "Loving God means keeping his commandments, and his commandments are not burdensome."

The interesting thing is that the revised verse is now essentially the same as almost any other mainline translation. This highlights first of all that this is essentially what the Greek says, but it also raises the question: "Why do we have (or need) so many translations?"

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