This comment was left on my post “Translation vs. Paraphrase”
Hannah, you may want to check your information.The Living Bible was indeed a paraphrase. NLT is not a paraphrase. It is a translation in the thought-for-thought discipline. If you are looking for a word-for-word approach, NASB and KJV are the most staunch in their approach to a word-for-word translation. NRSV is word-for-word but less staunch in a literal word-for-word where it hinders understanding. NIV is a thought-for-thought translation as is NLT, and The Living Bible and The Message are paraphrases. I appreciate your concern about making sure you're using an accurate translation (and I have some issues with NIV andNLT in this arena because a thought-for-thought inherently involves interpretation), but NLT is NOTin the same category as The Message or The Living Bible.
G-Man, you are right. The NLT is NOT categorized as a paraphrased Bible, but the question is… should it be ??? A translation is translated from it’s original language. A paraphrase is a thought for thought translation, or a restatement of the author’s thoughts, such as the Living Bible was…..BUT my experience, is the experience with others who have commented on this post, ( and seemingly, your experience as well?) is that the NLT reads more like its original predecessor.
Check this out from Bible Researcher…
“The New Living Translation is an extensive revision of Ken Taylor's Living Bible (published by Tyndale House in 1971). It was designed to improve the accuracy of Taylor's paraphrase. The origin of the version is described in a press release from Hannibal-LaGrange College, where one of the version's "reviewers," Robert Bergen, serves on the faculty:
In 1989, ninety evangelical scholars from various theological backgrounds and denominations were commissioned to revise the Living Bible. According to Bergen, the project began with the purpose of merely correcting parts of the Living Bible. However, as the 100 scholars began to work, the decision was made to complete an entirely new translation. Taylor, the original author of the Living Bible, approved this decision, and plans were made for Tyndale Publishing House to print the New Living Translation. The purpose of the New Living Translation (NLT) was to make a translation that is accurate with the original languages, yet lively and dynamic. Bergen and the other translators worked independently to correct the Living Bible or produce new translations, then worked together to produce a joint translation. Every book of the New Living Translation was reviewed by three or four people, then rated in the areas of accuracy and clarity. The scholars would debate their opinions, informally vote on the best wording, and the editorial board would decide the final translation. Each work of translation went through the channels of critique by the individual, a book committee, a general reviewer committee, and back to the individual. In 1994, the translators gathered again to make the revisions determined by the reviewers. Because of the extensive efforts of world-class Bible scholars, theNew Living Translation is the most expensive translation project in the history of Bible translation.
Another of the reviewers, Craig Blomberg, has described the procedure very differently:
With the New Living Translation, the Bible was divided into sixths, with a scholar appointed general editor over each large chunk. Then individuals books of the Bible (or small collections of books) were parceled out to three experts (I worked on Matthew), who compiled long lists of suggestions for revising Ken Taylor’s original Living Bible Paraphrased. We ranked these in terms of priority, sent them to the general editor over our part of the Bible, who synthesized a selection of them, interacted with a Tyndale House stylist, and sent a draft back to us for us to repeat the process. Eventually the full translation emerged. (1)
This leaves us with the impression that the "reviewers" did not meet to discuss the revision and vote on changes, as the press release quoted above says, but merely sent suggestions to the editors. The press release also says that the NLT is an "entirely new translation," but an examination of the version shows that it inherits many renderings of the Living Bible which would probably not have been used by the NLT reviewers if they started from scratch. This can be seen plainly enough in any given chapter. For example, we randomly choose the first chapter of Job, and find that in verses 8-11 about two thirds of it (printed in red here) is inherited from the Living Bible:
8 And Jehovah said to Satan, "Have you considered my servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, who fears God and turns away from evil?"
9 Then Satan answered Jehovah and said, "Does Job fear God for no reason? 10 Have you not put a hedge around him and his house and all that he has, on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land. 11 But stretch out your hand and touch all that he has, and he will curse you to your face."
8 Then the Lord asked Satan, "Have you noticed my servant Job? He is the finest man in all the earth—a good man who fears God and will have nothing to do with evil."
9 "Why shouldn't he, when you pay him so well?" Satan scoffed. 10 "You have always protected him and his home and his property from all harm. You have prospered everything he does—look how rich he is! No wonder he 'worships' you! 11 But just take away his wealth, and you'll see him curse you to your face."
New Living Translation
8 Then the LORD asked Satan, "Have you noticed my servant Job? He is the finest man in all the earth—a man of complete integrity. He fears God and will have nothing to do with evil."
9 Satan replied to the LORD, "Yes, Job fears God, but not without good reason! 10 You have always protected him and his home and his property from harm. You have made him prosperous in everything he does. Look how rich he is! 11 But take away everything he has, and he will surely curse you to your face!"
Obviously this is not a new translation, but a revision of the Living Bible. But why should it be denied? In a "Brief History of the New Living Translation," Mark Taylor (president of Tyndale House) explains that one of the problems he encountered as publisher of the Living Bible is that "despite its popularity ... it never received wide acclaim by pastors and scholars. Too often it was dismissed as being 'just a paraphrase.'" (2) So apparently the claim that the New Living Translation is a "new translation" is designed to prevent the version from being viewed as a "revised paraphrase." The revision has instead been presented to the public as a new "dynamic equivalence" version. “
I appreciate the correction, but it is evident to me and those who found it’s contents questionable that is is indeed a revised version of the Living Bible. We live in times where truth has been distorted. We live in times where people easily swallow regurgitated knowledge simply because of its label. If we consider ourselves children by His standard we know inherently all men should be treated as liars until proven otherwise, for we understand that such is the “nature of the beast” to manipulate and deceive. We all have a personal responsibility given to us by the Heavenly Father, by the courtesy of His Son to carefully, prayerfully consider ALL information claimed by the mouths of men. We have a personal responsibility to learn at the feet of the FATHER, by the blood of Christ, empowered by the SPIRIT of holiness.