New Living Translation
Tyndale House Publishers
Published in 2008
Review by Ryan Ho
Fresh off the printers at Tyndale House Publishers comes the new NLT Study Bible. The New Living Translation was initially developed “to create a text that would communicate as clearly and powerfully to today’s readers as the original texts did to the readers and listeners in the ancient biblical world.” Because of this focus on clear and easy-to-understand communication, the NLT has become one of the most popular thought-for-thought Bible translations on the market today. The newly released NLT Study Bible continues the tradition begun by those same translators, again seeking to make God’s Word clear to today’s readers.
The NLT Study Bible is the result of over seven years work by 48 scholars and editors, many of whom did the original translation work on the NLT. Each book of the Bible is prefaced by a book introduction discussing the book’s setting, giving a summary of its literary structure, discussing historical issues such as authorship and date of writing, and explaining the meaning and message of the book for today’s readers. These introductions demonstrate a great deal of scholarly work, but communicate those truths in a simple and clear manner that anyone could understand.
The Bible text itself also includes plenty of study material. Scattered throughout the Bible are tens of thousands of visual aids including charts, maps, illustrations, timelines, and diagrams. Parallels with passages in other books are indicated, showing, for example, passages in Matthew that parallel in Mark, Luke, and John. The Bible also contains a running outline showing how sections of that book fit together, theme notes developing the main themes and topics of each book, personal profiles that describe the Biblical individuals, and study notes that focus on the meaning and message of Scriptures. Finally, the Bible includes a detailed cross-reference system that focuses on the meaning of the whole verse or passage, not simply individual words. Overall, the Bible contains plenty of useful study tools.
Although the NLT Study Bible probably won’t be the end-all resource for any Bible scholar, it’s a great starting point for someone who wants to learn more about the history, background, and meaning of the Bible without having to trudge through overly-complex or unnecessarily confusing terminology. Whether you’re new to the Bible or a veteran who’s looking for something fresh, this study Bible’s a great option.