The Tyndale Blog Network recently sent me a NLT to review. It’s a regular Bible except for the fact that the cover is a nice black/blue and it is marketed as a “Guys Slimline” Bible. The font is readable (though probably small for some eyes), the binding is solid, and it seems like a good Bible to have. One of my boys really liked it and even asked if he could take it to school for Bible class. The only flaw I noticed is that if bent, the cover will show the bend marks.
It’s also worth mentioning here that the NLT is a good Bible to own and use (as I’ve noted before). We sometimes use it around the dinner table for family devotions, since the kids can understand it pretty well. As I mentioned before, I’ve also used the NLT in situations where people aren’t always familiar with biblical language (e.g. jails, nursing homes, and funerals).
As I was recently preaching through Galatians and Luke, there were a few times I was frustrated with the ESV. Sometimes it was a bit wooden and the English was rough (e.g. Gal. 2:2, 3:15, 4:8, 4:29; or the use of the word “thus”), sometimes the translation wasn’t so great (e.g. Luke 13:25), and sometimes it was hard to explain the ESV translation when it was a bit cumbersome (e.g. the word “impudence” in Luke 11:8; who uses that word?). I use the ESV from the pulpit and in the study, and I very much recommend it as a solid translation, but I won’t ever be an “ESV-only” person.
All this to say that even if the ESV is the popular evangelical Bible endorsed by popular evangelicals, we should also often utilize other translations in our Bible reading and studies. I like the NASB, the HCSB, and the NIV. I also use the NKJV and the NET Bible from time to time and I even look at the Message, a paraphrase of the Bible. I believe that when I use several translations, it benefits my studies, sermons, Scripture knowledge, and of course my spiritual life. Feel free to comment on your uses of various translations!
As I mentioned above, I was given The Guys Slimline Bible NLT by the Tyndale Blog network in exchange for an honest review.