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Problems with the NLT

By Gary F. Zeolla


The material formerly posted on this page has been revised and incorporated as a chapter in the book Differences Between Bible Versions. This book should be available by the summer of this year from the publisher AuthorHouse and from conventional and online bookstores.

This chapter details the many problems to be seen in the New Living Translation. It shows that the NLT is still very much a re-writing of the Scriptures like its predecessor The Living Bible was. And by re-writing the Bible, the NLT inserts many elements foreign tot he Bible into its "translation."

Book Description

The subject of Bible versions can get very controversial among Christians, with sometimes rather heated feelings on all sides. There are those who say the King James Version is the only reliable version and that all other versions are "perversions." Then there are others who say it doesn't matter which Bible versions one uses, that they are all reliable in their own right.

This book takes a middle approach. It disagrees with the KJV-only advocates in recognizing there are some modern Bible versions that are just as, if not more reliable than the KJV. But this book also recognizes that there are significant differences between Bible versions and that not all versions are reliable.

Specifically, this book has three main standards when it comes to Bible versions:
1. The Hebrew and Greek texts should be translated as word for word as possible.
2. The translation should be as readable as possible, but without sacrificing accuracy.
3. The NT should be translated from the Textus Receptus or Majority Greek Text, rather than the more popular Critical Text.

Detailed explanations of why these standards are used are given in the book. In addition, over thirty different Bible versions are evaluated as to how they fit these standards. This book also contains an extended section critiquing “KJV only” arguments.

The material in this book is written as simply as possible so that the average layperson can understand the arguments. But appeal is made to the Hebrew and Greek texts as needed. And most of all, the heated rhetoric often seen in this debate is absent from this book. The material is presented in as straightforward and balanced manner as possible.

So if you find yourself caught in the middle of the Bible versions controversy, not sure which Bible version to use or why, or you simply want to understand the reasons for the differences between Bible versions, then this book is for you!


Bible Versions List

Translation Principles

1. My Bible Versions Experiences
2. Classification of Bible Versions – Part One
3. Classification of Bible Versions – Part Two
4. Five Different Translation Principles
5 Three Popular Bible Versions (KJV, NKJV, NIV)

Greek Text-types

6. Introduction to Textual Criticism
7. The Majority Text vs. the Critical Text – Part One
8. The Majority Text vs. the Critical Text – Part Two
9. Significant Textual Variants – MT vs. CT
10. Significant Textual Variants – TR vs. MT
11. Meaning of "Majority Text"

KJV Only-ism

12. Critique of KJV-only Arguments
13. Difficult Terms in the KJV
14. KJV-only Arguments Against the NKJV
15. Verse Evaluations: KJV vs. NKJV – Part One
16. Verse Evaluations: KJV vs. NKJV – Part Two

Various Versions

17. Review of the NAS95
18. Two NCC Bible Versions (RSV, NRSV)
19. Review of the New Living Translation
20. Review of the NET Bible – Part One
21. Review of the NET Bible– Part Two
22. Recommended Versions: Sample Passages


1. Summary Outlines on Bible Versions
2. Additional Books by the Author
3. About Darkness to Light
4. Contacting the Author

Differences Between Bible Versions should be available by the summer of this year from the publisher AuthorHouse and from conventional and online bookstores.

Bible Versions Controversy: Various Versions
Bible Versions Controversy

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