Monday, November 2, 2009

Mosaic Bible -NLT

Thanks to Tim Archer for hooking me up with the Holy Bible Mosaic from Tyndale House. I picked up my copy last Thursday and immediately began leafing through the pages. Before this particular Bible I had not read much from the New Living Translation (NLT) other than quotes in blogs and bulletins. (More on the NLT later).

There are things I really like about this Bible:
  1. The Advent Mosaic study system will be fun for me. I am looking forward to learning more about the so-called "Christian Calendar." In the Restoration Movement, we do not observe this calendar, so I am mostly unfamiliar with it. My hope in going through this year long study to is gain better insight into the viewpoint of other religious people. I plan to begin with the first week's devotional four weeks before Christmas, as suggested by the guide. I may sneak a few of the more interesting studies into the blog.
  2. Friday evening I read through Timothy and Titus. Saturday, I started reading Hosea. I am going to like the NLT for a "reading Bible." The translation model the translators follow make for easy understanding in modern context.
  3. The artwork throughout the Advent Mosaic is impressive. My 12 year old son enjoyed thumbing through the artwork. His comment was that the older art is better than the contemporary -- I knew he had discerning tastes.
The only issue I have concerns the NLT's translation of some passages. In my selected reading so far, I get the impression that in the attempt to translate "thought for thought" from Hebrew and Greek into contemporary English sometimes leans toward a paraphrase and misses the point the original writers intended. This is why this will become a "reading" Bible and not one I would preach from regularly.



nick gill said...

The NLT handles Greek verb tenses better than any other translation I've dealt with. For example, most translations render the verbs in Matthew 7:7 thus: "Ask, and it shall be given to you; seek, and ye shall find..."

the NLT translates them much more literally (and accurately, I believe): "Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask you. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you."

Tim Archer said...


I've had a lot of the same impressions, both of Mosaic and the NLT.

Grace and peace,
Tim Archer

Scott said...

Nick, please note I said "sometimes" and "seems." There are other passages that have given me new insight to consider. I will save those for another blog entry.

Thanks for reading!

JRandal said...

Scott, I've been using the NLT (second ed.) for a reading Bible as well, especially in the OT for a good overview and feel for a book. I've registered some impressions of it on my website, like their rendering "fat cats."

As far as the Mosaic, I was not impressed with the proposal of it, though haven't examined it closely. Somehow, trying to teach people out of a false religion and using a Bible that puts that religion in a positive light through quotations and artwork, not to mention their "holy" calendar, is a bit too much for my threshhold.

John Gaines said...

Nick, the Holman Christian Standard gives the same treatment to Matthew 7:7. This is admittedly subjective, but I prefer the HCSB to the NLT for several reasons. Both, however, are useful for devotional reading but lean too much into thought translation to be primary study or preaching Bibles. At least, that is my opinion, for whatever that might be worth.