Showing posts with label contemporary translation. Show all posts
Showing posts with label contemporary translation. Show all posts

October 19, 2015

Exquisite! Tyndale Select NLT

For all of my adult life and then some, I’ve been reading the major translations, study editions, and various versions of the Bible, but the new Tyndale Select NLT (New Living Translation) in goatskin is surely one of the best reader editions I’ve ever had the joy of owning, thanks to Tyndale House Publishers, who kindly sent me a free copy for my always-honest review. And, on a scale of 1 to 5, I'd honestly give this exquisite treatment of God’s Word a 10!

First of all, the NLT has continued to be my favorite contemporary version, not only for its intelligent thought-for-thought translation aka dynamic equivalence rendering but for its respectful, poetic tone in easy-to-grasp language.

Even so, in “A Note To Readers,” we learn that the Bible Translation Committee decided “an additional investment in scholarly review and text refinement could make it even better. So shortly after its initial publication, the committee began an eight-year process with the purpose of increasing the level of the NLT’s precision without sacrificing its easy-to-understand quality. This second-generation text was completed in 2004, with minor changes subsequently introduced in 2007, 2013, and 2015.”

The Introduction then goes on to say that “the Bible Translation Committee recruited teams of scholars that represented a broad spectrum of denominations, theological perspectives, and backgrounds within the worldwide evangelical community,” which basically means the diverse committee did not translate the apocryphal aka deuterocanonical books.

Although the Tyndale Select NLT is a reader’s edition with no footnotes except those needed to explain a particular choice of words, the single-column pages allow for cross referencing in the outer margins of the text and a full “Dictionary/Concordance” followed by colored maps in the back matter.

Besides the newly updated text, this gorgeous edition includes: a well-inked, roundish font that’s easy on the eyes; silken Smyth-sewn pages; and the finest quality of covers in a sturdy, soft, huggable goatskin.

I love it!

© 2015, Mary Harwell Sayler, Bible reviewer, is a poet-writer of numerous books in all genres for Christian and educational publishers. She also blogs on poetry, writing, Bible prayers, and Praise Poems.

Tyndale Select NLT, black or brown goatskin

August 7, 2015

The NET Bible

Unless you use the KJV (King James Version) of the Bible in the public domain, you can only quote X number of scriptures on your blog or in your book without gaining permission from the publisher. This can become problematic for sites who post a great deal of scripture, as happened with

To overcome this problem, produced an entirely new translation called The NET, which can be quoted at great length without special permission. That does not mean you can copy the whole text, but if you’re, say, writing a devotional or other book relying on long passages or numerous scripture, you needn’t worry about profusely quoting The NET.

As the Introduction states: “The NET Bible was created to be the first major modern English translation available free on the Internet for download and use in Bible studies and other teaching materials so that the opportunities provided by the Internet could be maximized.”

Not only are those downloads available through the website, but so are almost 61,000 notes by the translators! Those notes can help us to understand variations of biblical interpretations among Christian denominations, which I see as a good and healing thing. i.e., The more we know the mindset of our brothers and sisters in Christ, the more empathetic, accepting, and embracing we might be. Such a response to one another is vital to the Body of Christ if we’re to stand together, healed and empowered to minister God’s love and forgiveness to one another and to a wounded world.

With so many translations of the Bible, “proof texts” might be easy to find to prove one's personal bias. However, a new and unfamiliar to us translation can help to bring us together again – not so we’ll all think or worship exactly alike, but so we’ll be respectful of one another and become a living testimony to the power of God’s love and Holy Spirit, Who enables diverse peoples to get along!

To become familiar with The NET and its fresh wording, I got a reader’s edition with almost no notes to hinder my reading the text straight through within a few weeks. Then, to avoid spending more time at my computer, I ordered the full edition with all 60,932 notes by the translators and editors in a print copy.

Besides those notes and the heft added, the full edition presently comes in a “premium bonded leather,” which is okay but not the real thing. That study copy also came with an odor, which thankfully evaporated within a few hours. Conversely, the genuine, top grain leather of the reader’s edition has a sturdy, supple feel, which I like with thin but smooth pages and a very readable font.

An unusual feature in both editions is having the chapter and verse numbers for each verse together and in a boldface font, which makes it easier to find the scripture you’re looking for in a Bible study group.

Also, both editions are Smyth sewn, which makes for a longer lasting binding than glued-in pages. However, the user maps in the back are so thick they’ve already separated that section in my reader edition.

About those maps: As fitting for this edition, the maps are also highly unusual. Instead of the typical colored ink drawings we’ve come to expect, these are satellite images that show the terrain of Bible lands such as Galilee and the hills of Samaria.

The freshest feature, though is that the full edition shows the thought processes that occur and countless decisions that must be made in translating the Bible into English. Unlike my usage of other study Bibles, I doubt that I’ll read the full edition straight through because that would be overwhelming! However, I suspect the full edition will become a favorite when I’m researching scriptures for a new book, poem, or Bible study.

I would show you what I mean here, but the notes typically include words in Greek or Hebrew, which I’m not technologically-minded enough to figure out how to type. So I recommend you look at the website, visit the notes, see if this edition will serve you well, then come back here to click one of the ads below. (Thanks!) Although most of the Bibles I review come to me as free review copies, I bought these and get a small percentage of each purchase.

If you enjoy reading and studying via the Internet, you might prefer the reader’s edition, which I like and have also shown below. To give you an idea of the clarity in this translation, here’s The NET version of a familiar Psalm:

23 The LORD is my shepherd,
I lack nothing.
23:2 He takes me to lush pastures,
he leads me to refreshing water.
23:3 He restores my strength.
He leads me down the right paths
for the sake of his reputation.
23:4 Even when I must walk through
the darkest valley,
I fear no danger,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff reassure me.
23:5 You prepare a feast before me
in plain sight of my enemies.
You refresh my head with oil;
my cup is completely full.
23:6 Surely your goodness and faithful-
ness will pursue me all my days,
and I will live in the LORD’s house for
the rest of my life.

© 2015, Mary Harwell Sayler, reviewer, is a traditionally published author of 27 books in all genres, including two poetry books: the Bible-basedOutside Eden and the environmentally-oriented Living in the Nature Poem.

The NET, premium bonded leather, Tuscany (brown)

The NET, premium bonded leather, burgundy

The NET, reader edition, genuine top grain leather, black

December 17, 2013

Common English Bible (CEB) with Apocrypha

The more I get to know the CEB Study Bible, which I recently reviewed, the more I appreciate the fresh footnotes and study helps, but I’m also grateful for a new review copy of a reader edition of the Common English Bible (CEB) that includes the Apocrypha.

With or without study aids, the contemporary text and ecumenical input of scholars from most of the major denominations make this Bible ideal for easy reading alone or aloud in church worship.

The review copy of CEB I recently received from Church Publishing would make an excellent Christmas gift for teens and young adults but also an inexpensive pew Bible for church members who might want to present a memorable gift to their congregation or parish. I’ll include an Amazon ad below, as I do with each review for readers who might want to order. Thanks to the online help of Bible Gateway, the following excerpts from the CEB may be helpful, too, in giving you a feel for the reader-friendly text:

From the NT book, James 5:13-16

If any of you are suffering, they should pray. If any of you are happy, they should sing. If any of you are sick, they should call for the elders of the church, and the elders should pray over them, anointing them with oil in the name of the Lord. Prayer that comes from faith will heal the sick, for the Lord will restore them to health. And if they have sinned, they will be forgiven. For this reason, confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of the righteous person is powerful in what it can achieve.

From the apocryphal book, Judith 15:13-14

I will sing to my God a new song.
Lord, you are great and glorious, marvelous in strength
never to be outdone.
May all of your creation serve you;
you spoke,
and they came into being.
You sent forth your spirit
and it shaped them;
there is no one
who can resist your voice.

From the apocryphal book, Sirach 2:1-6

My child, if you come to serve the Lord,
prepare yourself for testing.
Set your heart straight, be steadfast,
and don’t act hastily in a time of distress.
Hold fast to God
and don’t keep your distance from him,
so that you may find strength
at your end.
Accept whatever happens to you,
and be patient
when you suffer humiliation,
because gold is tested with fire,
and acceptable people are tested
in the furnace of humiliation.
Trust him, and he will help you;
make your ways straight,
and hope in him.


©2013, Mary Harwell Sayler

Common English Bible with Apocrypha, paperback

Common English Bible – Pew Bible with Apocrypha, hardback