In 2016, the Conference of Catholic Bishops of India (CCBI) and Asian Trading Corporation (ATC) released the New Living Translation – Catholic Edition (NLT-CE). ATC Publishers produced a few editions of the Bible in India, and last year, Tyndale House Publishers released a hardcover edition in the US. I recently purchased a copy, and I’ll be spending some quality time with it over the next several days, reading through the Gospel of Matthew and 1 Corinthians. I have very little experience with the NLT prior to this, so I’m looking forward to getting familiar with it. If you would like me to take a look at a particular passage, feel free to ask!

For anyone unfamiliar with the NLT, here’s a brief summary of its history: The NLT serves as a scholarly update to the Living Bible. Kenneth Taylor published the original Living Bible in 1971, in which he paraphrased the text of the American Standard Version (the precursor to the Revised Standard Version). A Catholic Edition of the Living Bible was released, complete with the imprimatur, and I have occasionally run into copies of it over the years.

In the late 1980s, Tyndale House Publishers invited a team of scholars to revise the text of the Living Bible. The revision was released in 1996 under the name “New Living Translation.” Tyndale House published a Catholic Reference edition of the NLT in 2002, but that edition was never granted an imprimatur.

The text of the NLT was revised in 2004, with additional minor revisions in later years. The bible text used in the NLT-CE is copyrighted in 2015.

A committee of scholars from the Conference of Catholic Bishops of India reviewed the NLT. In the process, they suggested changes to the text, which were accepted by Tyndale House. There is currently no list of those changes available. ATC Publishers plans to release more information on the changes at a future date.

5 thoughts on “A Few Days with the New Living Translation – Catholic Edition: Part 1”

  1. I am not a fan of the Living Bible, or of other translations that are written at that reading level.

    But before I make any specific complaints, I would like to hear what others have to say about it,

    1. I have been reading the Catholic One Year Bible (which is Catholic Living Bible translation) for over a year now and I have seen many things in the translation that make me wonder how the Catholic Church gave the Living Translation an Imprimatur. When I contrast it with its successor, the NLT, I’m not much more impressed, though it is a little better, admittedly, but still causes me to scratch my head in how it got an Imprimatur.

      I was once a very active Evangelical Protestant so I can tell when things seem a little…off. And the Living Translation takes many many liberties “translating” Holy Scripture with a VERY loaded Protestant view. The NLT is not much better

      For example, look at Galatians 5:11. Living Bible: “Some people even say that I myself am preaching that circumcision and Jewish laws are necessary to the plan of salvation. Well, if I preached that, I would be persecuted no more—for that message doesn’t offend anyone. I am still preaching salvation through faith in the cross of Christ alone”. (Holy Sola Fide Batman!)

      NLT now: “Dear brothers and sisters, if I were still preaching that you must be circumcised—as some say I do—why am I still being persecuted? If I were no longer preaching salvation through the cross of Christ, no one would be offended.” (Glad they dropped the blatant “alone”, but still pushes Sola Fide pretty hard, seriously, looks at a literal translation below)

      For arguments sake, here is the same verse in the prominent Protestant translation “New King James Version: “And I, brethren, if I still preach circumcision, why do I still suffer persecution? Then the offense of the cross has ceased” (No Sola Fide here). Offense of the cross has ceased. Very very different than “salvation through the cross or salvation through the cross alone”.

      Even old school King James that fundamentalists claim is the only inspired translation uses the phrase “then is the offense of the cross ceased”.

      This is only one example of the liberties taken in the “Living Translations”. Remember, they are “thought for thought paraphrased” translations. Well, whose “thought” are you getting?

      Reading the Living Translation or NLT is better than not reading at all. NLT is much better than the first Living Translation and May be a good tool to instruct young ones. But make sure you are sound on your Catholic foundation because these translations are written with a very clear evangelical bias.

  2. I absolutely love the NLTCE translation. I teach theology at a Catholic high school and find that it works best with that population. I would place it in between the Good News Bible and the NABRE. My own preference is the RSV2CE but that translation is at times too literal for high school students.

  3. I’m a cradle catholic adult and I found reading the Bible confusing and contradictory, thus I just didn’t do it. However this past Easter I decided to try again to read the Bible cover to cover (I’m actually reading the Gospels a chapter at a time and at the same time going back and reading the Old Testament. My grandmother gave me a copy of The Living Bible (c. 1971) as a wedding present and so it is the Bible I’m reading now and I LOVE it because it takes the guess work out of what I’m reading. My only concern is that when human hands touch God’s word are we sure that we are making an correct translation. In the end it is more important for me to understand what I’m reading and maybe not be 100% exact then to read and be left confused. Now that it has been over a year I’m wondering What your opinion of the New Lliving Bible, Catholic Addition, is and how it compares

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.