Understanding the Bible Changes Everything

That’s not a tagline. It’s a promise. When you not only read the Bible, but also understand and obey it, you will be transformed.  And not just your life. When you understand the Bible, it changes your family, community, and nation – it changes everything!

John begins his gospel, “In the beginning the Word already existed. The Word was with God, and the Word was God.” It is this Word that brings light and life to everything. What an awe-inspiring realization it is that is written to us, for us, and that it can reside within us. It is this same Word that the writer of Hebrews says is “alive and powerful,” moving in hearts and bursting through obstacles to bring God’s transformational truth to a world that desperately needs it.

The New Living Translation was born out of a courageous passion for God’s Word. It was conceived and created so that all of us can understand God’s words of life and love. Grounded in the foundation laid by Dr. Ken Taylor, the New Living Translation has continued his legacy of making the Bible accessible to all for 25 years. Building on that tradition we are redoubling our efforts to make the New Living Translation known. The text has not changed, but we are publishing more Bibles than ever in the NLT, and seeking to propel this beloved translation into a new day.

Hear the heart of the New Living Translation.

The origins of the New Living Translation demonstrate the brand’s care for people at all places along their journey with God. And just as we prioritize creating access to Scripture for anyone and everyone, the NLT also offers a stable, trustworthy, and scholarly translation of the original texts, which readers can rely on throughout their lives. Readers never need to “graduate from” the NLT. There is  thoughtfulness and competence in biblical scholarship that undergirds the New Living Translation, which makes it trustworthy.

Here are seven principles that are the pillars of our dedication to you as we shepherd the New Living Translation into the future.

Precision

Some of us have been made to believe that trustworthy English Bible translations must always match the words and sentence structures of the original languages. But actually, a translation that truly did that would be largely unintelligible in English.

The New Living Translation conveys the precise meaning of the original languages. It will help you understand what the Bible says in today’s English with the same clarity as those who once read it in the original languages.

Be sure you read a translation that you can understand. It will connect you to God and change your life.

Connection

Reading the Bible is one of the most important things you will do this year—or any year.

Reading God’s Word can be inspiring, instructive, and encouraging. Most of all, it is a means to connecting with God and his power to change your life.

But frankly, if you can’t understand what you’re reading, your Bible reading time isn’t worth much to you without spending even more time seeking additional instruction and explanation. The New Living Translation will help you easily understand God’s message and connect with Him even when you don’t have a pastor or commentary in front of you. That’s the pathway to a new life, a new purpose, and a new hope.

Understanding

In fact, the central benefit of the NLT is how uniquely easy it is to understand. People who read it, get it.

The New Living Translation is built for understanding.

This understanding is not because the text of the New Living Translation is simplistic or elementary. Rather, the NLT is well-written— and just like any other well-written book, this makes it is easier for you to follow its logic, engage with its action, and step into its story. In the NLT, a dynamic writing style is combined with contemporary biblical scholarship, resulting in the clear and powerful communication of God’s Word to all who hear and read it.

Transformation

Transformation and life change are meaningful results of reading the New Living Translation. Bible translation is not solely an exercise in literary proficiency. It’s about helping readers become powerfully and personally connected to God’s message and his grand plan to transform their hearts and impact their lives.

When you truly understand what the Bible is saying, it profoundly changes you and your impact on the world around you.

Courage

The New Living Translation has roots in a bold drive for biblical accessibility and a commitment to helping everyday people connect with God and his Word.

Since Tyndale House Publishers was founded, our approach to Bible publishing has bucked publishing trends and conventions. Fifty years ago, Kenneth N. Taylor, founder and translator, understood the importance of making the Bible accessible to everyday people, and we carry on his passion and commitment today.

Our willingness to be radical when it’s necessary to help people understand God’s Word has never diminished, and it continues through the distribution and reading of the New Living Translation.

Life

We know that the Word of God is alive and powerful (Hebrews 4:12). The Bible is not just an ancient artifact to be protected. If that’s all it was, it’d be enough to just visit it in a museum and see the old manuscripts in Hebrew and Greek. But Scripture is alive, and it has the power to transform lives and change our world.

That’s why it’s vital for every generation to have Bible translations available in the language people currently read and speak (often referred to as their “heart language”) rather than in the language of previous generations.

The New Living Translation assures access to the Bible’s truth and power for people of our generation.

Style

The Bible includes many types of literature, from storytelling to poetry to serious teaching. Some content lifts you up, and some makes you sad. Its writers are warm and contemplative, tough and abrasive, full of praise and steeped in sorrow. There is a lot to deal with and much to consider in the eternal messages of the Bible.

The last thing you need is to struggle with archaic language and awkward sentence structures.

The New Living Translation has a flowing, effortless writing style that makes for comfortable and meaningful reading, whether silently or aloud. It doesn’t make you try to figure out what’s being said, so you can get right at what it means and what it means for you. You spend more time understanding the Bible and less time trying to understand the Bible.

That’s the kind of style you need as you seek a relationship with the living God and drink in the Good News of his plan for your life.

52 thoughts on “Understanding the Bible Changes Everything

  1. I don’t understand. The email blast subject line was, “What’s changing for the NLT”. After wading through the email, website text and video – nothing addresses anything changing except the logo. Is that what all this was about? If so, I’m glad because I feared an NLT gender-washed or politically-corrected update. Please don’t bend the knee to current loudly-blasted but shallow-rooted trends.

    However if all this merely trumpets a logo refresh, as a marketing company owner myself, I find this oddly much ado about nothing.

    1. More than a logo it’s a brand refresh. The text isn’t changing, but we are focusing on the strengths of the NLT and what we can do to help more people engage with and understand the Bible. Thanks for your questions. We are excited about this!

      1. Hi Evie,

        Hope you’re doing well and staying safe.

        I’ve loved the NLT when it was still the Living Bible. It’s not only easy to read, but the Psalms are beautifully poetic.

        When will the new version be released for sale, and will it be uploaded to biblegateway.com as well as YouVersion?

        Thanks. 😊

          1. Hi Evie,

            Thanks for answering my question. What is a brand refresh? I’ve never heard of that before. Could you explain please? Thanks.

    2. I usually don’t comment on things, but after reading this comment from LP I couldn’t help but completely agree! Just felt the urge to second what you said about not understanding what all the hype is about. I love the NLT that’s why I even bothered clicking the link to investigate more about this “change”. At first I was a bit scared, the old phraze “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it” flashed in my mind. Don’t get me wrong I am all for changes, but I hate change for the sake of change and in my opinion sometimes all the extra things can take away from the Word of God. Please don’t clutter things up with a bunch of unnecessary extras.

      Btw I truly appreciate all the work that is put into the Bibles that we have today, especially the scholarly side, but also the marketing side. The work that you guys do in preserving the written Word of God can sadly be taken for granite. So thank you and keep up the good work!

  2. I often pray for the NLT contributors and will continue to do so in these new efforts. I have been blessed by both the NLT and NTV (Spanish version); will your upcoming efforts include other languages? I have heard that some languages don’t even have a translation of the Bible.

    1. Thank you!! We are working with Bible translators in many areas of the world. We will be sharing more information on that soon. Thanks for your prayers!!!

  3. I hope more editions with clear clean fonts of no less than 9.5 with paper that can hold up to marking will be available. The majority of print Bible readers and faithful studiers have aging eyes…don’t forget about us please. Also, make sure your bindings are sewn, not just glued, and consider putting some spine hubs on your faux leather options for a classic look. Thanks for your great Bibles, and those to come.

    1. Thank you for these great suggestions! We are moving to most of our Bibles being Smyth-sewn and trying to offer a variety of font sizes. We love all NLT readers!! Thanks again!!

  4. The NLT is a great work that makes the Word of God simpler for me and my family to study and teach to others. God bless this your work.

  5. God bless you for the clean fresh look of this wonderful translation. Prayers for God’s favor to continue to be upon your team and the Bible as it goes forth, complete with the stunningly contemporary diamond-like logo.

  6. After reading all the headings, I perused quickly through to the end and became thankful you were not actually changing/updating the original NLT. Many pastors have been using the NLT ever since it was newly issued – multiple years ago – and church attendees have been blessed with greater understanding. It’s the most readable – so glad you are not actually changing anything other than the cover and bindings.
    G. Haupt

  7. I AM A UNITED METHODIST PASTOR NOW RETIRED BUT STILL SERVING A SMALL CHURCH IN TALLAHASSEE FL,I ALSO, WHEN I SAW THE SUBJECT LINE IN THE EMAIL BLAST ,I WAS CONCERNED THAT YOU WERE GOING POLITICAL CORRECT THANK GOD YOU ARE NOT, AS LONG A WE HAVE A ENGLISH LANGUAGE THE NLT IS NEEDED, I PREACH & TEACH FORM THE TOUCH POINT NLT BIBLE FOR 26 YEARS, WE ALSO ORDERED THE CHILDREN S BIBLE BUT HAVE NOT YET RECEIVED IT YET LOOKING FORWARD TO READING IT, THANKS FOR YOUR MINISTRY, I AM NOT SHOUTING, I AM NOT A GOOD TYPIST SO I DO CAPS,
    BLESSINGS,
    PASTOR RALPH WRIGHTSTONE

  8. Great translation, but so far not well served by audio. How about an audio Bible worthy of the translation? An Old Testament edition of the Breathe Bible would be a nice place to start.

    1. Thank you! Yes! We are working on some audio projects and hope to be releasing them soon. Thanks!

  9. NLT is so beautiful. God used it to help me understand his heart more clearly. I saw deeper meanings more than reading a story. God bless the team.

    1. We released a 3rd edition of the Life Application Study Bible in fall 2019. So look for the 3rd edition for the most recent one. You can find them at lifeapplication.com

  10. Absolutely true testimonies about NLT. I use it every day after reading the KJV. Understanding what we read from the scriptures is vital and I personally reason with NLT.

  11. I really enjoy my Immerse scriptures. I’m going through the Bible this year in Immerse NLT. Do you have an update planned for the translation? I’m not suggesting improvements as much as asking about what so many publishers and translations do on a fairly regular basis.

    1. There are no plans for an update to the translation right now, but our Bible Translation Committee is always studying, collecting information, and discussing. Thanks for your comment!

  12. The NLT has been my preferred Bible for personal study since I first held this amazing translation in my hands 20+ years ago. I often preach from it and use it for my group bible study. I purchased a Filament Bible several months ago and love it; that is the Bible my church gave to our graduating seniors in June. It is so amazing to have a full study Bible at my fingertips without having to carry around a large bible. Thank you for making the Bible so understandable.

  13. To be honest, I am grateful that the NLT text will NOT be updated. In my opinion, it is the best thought for thought English translation, and any more updates to the text simply increases the risk of error. I have both the 1st edition [1996] and the 2nd edition [2004, 2015 New Testament].
    I have learned the Word of God so well in the years since I first got the NLT, and hopefully with this new effort by Tyndale, more people will be blessed. Thank you all.

  14. The day I discovered the NLT was a highlight in my life. Thank you all so much for this truly wonderful translation. I so agree with LP I think it was above about not bowing to gender-washed and politically correct movements. GOD is GOD the only I AM and He is not swayed by deceptive ways. Please continue with HIS Word which is truth and health to all our flesh. God bless you all. Love the diamond logo.

  15. The NLT is one of my go-to bibles. I hope there are plans to have it bound in better covers like calf and goatskin leathers (besides, of course, being smyth sewn).

  16. I’ve been using the NLT consistently for personal study and ministry to people of all ages. It brings the Word to life in a fresh way. I have especially seen the impact it has made on my preaching. It is so clear and easy to understand. I don’t have to spend time explaining what the basic words in the text mean. I can unpack the meaning of the text more efficiently and effectively.

    I have also seen the impact in my own personal life. Thank you for continuing to get the word out about the NLT.

  17. As a mom of three Gen Zs. I can tell toy that branding will never reach them and they were raised in the church and home schooled. I’m Gen X and it looks like you were reaching above me to the Boomers. Might want to rethink it. If I didn’t know anything about the NLT and I was looking for a Bible in a bookstore, I probably wouldn’t pick it up based on those covers and it has been my favorite translation since it came out. I’m positive my kids would never pick it up. The artwork would be too “old” looking for them to even give it a second glance. Too “girly” for me. You talk of a modern translation for a modern generation, but that is not what your artwork conveys at all. It conveys religious stereotypes the world is telling them to stay away from.

    1. Thanks for your comment. We did a lot of research and learned from people from all walks of life. Always appreciate hearing from our readers.

  18. I love the NLT its my main translation but my thing is that Tyndale needs focus less on different editions and give us better quality when it comes to the type of paper, having the spines of the Bible’s sewn and line matching the text. My favorite bible that the NLT has is the Illustrated study bible, that is the best they have in my opinion, BUT the spine is glued which i thought was absurd because its such a big bible. Ive gone through 3 of them because the paper keeps falling off, i love it but its a shame it should have been glued. The new LASB 3rd edition that just came out, amazing update i truly love but the paper is HORRIBLE!!! There’s so much see through (ghosting) if i write a note on the paper theres bad bleed through even when i write with microns 005 which are the best for note taking on bible paper. So please give us better quality, we have great editions FOCUS ON THE QUALITY
    *Better quality paper (32-36 gsm paper)
    *Line Match the text
    *sewn spine

    1. Thanks for your comments! Our production team is aware of these issues and working on addressing them. Smyth-Sewn binding has been a priority for us and you will notice it in many of our newer products. Older products it take awhile until reprints are needed to have those issues fixed. Thanks again!

  19. I too saw the title of the email blast “What’s changing for the NLT”. My first thought was that it might be changing in favor for a less gender-neutral version. I was disappointed to discover that it was only a change in marketing strategy, and not a change to the NLT itself. A bit misleading if I’m honest.
    I have a love-hate relationship with this version. I absolutely love the thought-for-thought layout, but I’m not in love with the replacement of specific genders with more generalized versions. Will there ever be a more gender-specific version of the NLT, more in-line with the NKJV?

  20. I own the following NLT items….

    Handbook of Bible Charts & Maps
    Bible Dictionary
    Concise Bible Commentary
    Life Application NT Commentary – 1 volume
    Life Application Bible Commentary – 17 volumes
    NLT Desktop Concordance
    NLT Study Bible
    NLT Parallel Study Bible
    LASB Red Letter
    NLT Full Verse Cross Reference Bible
    Illumina Gold & Teachers & Parents Software

    I write this NOT to brag, but to show I am invested in the NLT V2 text and love it. There are a few things I would like to see…

    BRING BACK THE FULL VERSE CROSS Reference BIBLE! That Bible alone makes my studies way more productive, it is like a paper computer program since I do not have to interrupt my train of thought to go looking for cross references that are listed….large print would be nice also.

    Both the NLT Study Bible and NLT Parallel Study Bible need large print versions.

    With the Large Print pleads out of the way, another Bible I use (I use various for studies) is the Holman Christian Standard Bible. The small personal carry around is NOT Large Print, but I can still read it without eyestrain because they use a font / style called Comfort Font or Style. Even these old eyes can read it for a few hours without my eyes feeling strained.

    I am Old School, I like holding a Book, not an e-reader. It is important that I can read it without resorting to my desktop to finish a daily study. Thank You for the NLT, and here is to Larger Print for Older Eyes™ !

    1. Thanks for your comment! We are producing a lot of our Bibles in Large and Giant Print. Thanks again!

  21. I am ‘that guy’… that guy who has struggled with numerous different versions of the bible – which exactly as you say were hard to read and harder to understand. Then, somehow, someway I stumbled across the NLT, I checked out the numerous options at my local bookstore and special ordered a giant print version (these older eyes need easier fonts) now I can’t put my bible down, if I’ve 5 minutes or an hour, I pick up God’s word and feed my heart …. all this to say THANK YOU all for the NLT – I am only sorry it took so long for me to get here.

    1. Thank you so much for sharing this!! Love to hear how God is speaking to hearts through the New Living Translation. His Word is life!

  22. Yes understanding the Bible is opendoor to Salvation that earns wisdom(the crown) when you humbly walk in your understanding.

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