New Living Translation Review: Insights & Evaluation for Readers

new living translation review

The New Living Translation (NLT) is a popular Bible translation that has gained widespread adoption in recent years. It has been lauded for its modern language and ease of comprehension, making it accessible to readers of all ages and backgrounds.

In this review, we will provide an overview of the NLT and evaluate its key features, readability, accuracy, and overall quality. Whether you’re a seasoned reader of the Bible or new to the faith, this review will offer valuable insights to help you make an informed decision about the NLT.

Key Features of New Living Translation

The New Living Translation (NLT) is a dynamic-equivalence translation of the Bible that aims to make the text easy to understand and accessible to contemporary readers. Here are some key features of the NLT:

Translation Philosophy

The NLT is a thought-for-thought translation, which means it seeks to convey the meaning of the original text instead of a word-for-word translation. It is based on the scholarly work of translators who studied the original languages of the Bible.


The NLT is known for its readability and clarity, making it an ideal choice for new or young Christians. It uses modern language and avoids archaic terms that may be difficult to understand. The NLT also employs a consistent translation style, making it easier to follow the flow of thought throughout the text.


The NLT is designed to be accessible to a wide range of readers. Its simple language and sentence structure make it easy to understand, even for those with limited English proficiency. It is also suitable for children and young adults who may struggle with more complex language.

Unique Features

The NLT includes a number of unique features that set it apart from other translations. For example, it often uses contemporary idioms and expressions to convey Biblical concepts. It also avoids using technical terms that may be unfamiliar to modern readers. Additionally, the NLT emphasizes the human side of Biblical characters and events, making them more relatable to readers.

Overall, the NLT is a highly readable and accessible translation that is ideal for new or young Christians, as well as those looking for a fresh approach to the Bible. In the next section, we will explore the readability and accessibility of the NLT in more detail.

Readability and Accessibility of New Living Translation

The New Living Translation (NLT) is known for its ease of readability and accessibility. The translation philosophy of the NLT is to maintain accuracy while using clear and modern language that engages contemporary readers.

The NLT employs a dynamic equivalence approach to translation, which emphasizes readability and accessibility over strict adherence to the original language. This approach has been praised for making the NLT more approachable and user-friendly than other translations.

The NLT is particularly suitable for younger readers, as well as those who may be new to the Bible or reading in general. Its clarity of expression and use of modern language allow for a smooth and enjoyable reading experience.

The NLT is also well-suited for those who are reading the Bible as part of a study group or for personal growth. Its accessibility and readability make it easy to understand and engage with the text, while its accuracy ensures that readers are receiving a faithful rendering of the scriptures.

Overall, the NLT’s readability and accessibility make it a great choice for a wide range of readers, from those who are new to the Bible to those who are looking for a fresh perspective on the scriptures.

Accuracy and Faithfulness of New Living Translation:

The New Living Translation (NLT) is a dynamic-equivalence translation that seeks to accurately convey the meaning of the original biblical texts in modern language. Despite some criticism from scholars who prefer more literal translations, the NLT has been praised for its clarity and readability, making it a popular choice among general readers and for devotional use.

Regarding its accuracy and faithfulness, the NLT has been vetted by a team of scholars and translators who are committed to preserving the integrity of the original texts while making them accessible to contemporary audiences. The translation process involves a rigorous review of both the source texts and the resulting translation, ensuring that the final product is as faithful and accurate as possible.

Of course, no translation is perfect, and some readers may take issue with certain choices made by the NLT translators. For example, some have criticized the use of gender-neutral language in certain passages, while others have questioned the accuracy of certain translations of specific words or phrases.

Accurate representation of original textsPotential for biases or inaccuracies in translation choices
Readability and accessibility for contemporary readersSacrifice of word-for-word literalness for readability and clarity
Clear and concise expression of meaningUse of gender-neutral language in some passages may not appeal to all readers

Despite these potential weaknesses, the NLT is widely regarded as a trustworthy and reliable translation, particularly for general readers and for those seeking a more approachable Bible reading experience. It is also a popular choice for use in Bible study and devotional settings, with a variety of study Bibles and other resources available based on the NLT.

New Living Translation Study Bibles and Additional Resources

The popularity of the New Living Translation has given rise to a plethora of study Bibles and additional resources designed to help readers make the most of their experience with this translation. Here are some of the top options:

NLT Life Application Study BibleThis study Bible includes over 10,000 application notes, as well as maps, charts, and introductions to each book of the Bible to help readers understand and apply the biblical text to their daily lives.
NLT Illustrated Study BibleThis visually stunning study Bible features over 1,000 full-color illustrations, photographs, and maps to bring the biblical world to life. It also includes in-depth study notes, charts, and diagrams to aid in understanding.
NLT Chronological Life Application Study BibleThis study Bible arranges the biblical text in chronological order and includes over 10,000 application notes, as well as timelines, maps, and charts to help readers understand the context and significance of each event.

In addition to study Bibles, there are also a variety of commentaries, devotionals, and other resources that use the New Living Translation. Some popular options include:

  • The One Year Bible – a daily reading plan that covers the entire Bible in one year, using the NLT as its text
  • The Divine Mentor – a devotional guide that helps readers establish a daily habit of reading the Bible, using the NLT as its text
  • NIV/NLT Parallel Study Bible – a side-by-side comparison of the NLT and the New International Version (NIV), highlighting the similarities and differences between the translations

No matter your preference or study needs, the abundance of resources based on the New Living Translation ensures that readers can find the perfect fit for their individual study and reading purposes.


The New Living Translation is a well-regarded Bible translation that offers a modern and accessible approach to Scripture. Its commitment to clear communication and accuracy make it a popular choice for both personal reading and group study.

Through our review, we have highlighted the strengths of the NLT, including its emphasis on clarity and ease of understanding. We have also noted its suitability for a wide range of readers, from new believers to seasoned scholars, and its availability in a variety of formats, including study Bibles and other resources.

Considerations for Readers

However, readers should be aware of some potential drawbacks to the New Living Translation. While its modern language may make it more accessible, it could also be seen as less respectful of the original texts. Some readers may also question certain translation choices, such as the use of gender-inclusive language.

Additionally, while the NLT is a highly readable translation, some readers may prefer a more literal, word-for-word approach. In these cases, another translation may be a better fit for their needs.

Final Thoughts

Overall, the New Living Translation offers a valuable contribution to the world of Bible translations. Its emphasis on modern language and ease of understanding make it a popular choice for many readers, while its commitment to accuracy and faithfulness ensure that it remains a respected translation among scholars and pastors.

If you are considering the NLT for your personal or group study needs, we encourage you to carefully consider its strengths and weaknesses in light of your own preferences and goals. May your study of God’s Word be fruitful and enriching, whatever translation you choose.