Two New Scholars Appointed to NLT Bible Translation Committee

We are pleased to announce that Dr. Lynn Cohick and Dr. Nijay Gupta have been appointed to the Bible Translation Committee (BTC) for the Holy Bible, New Living Translation.

The New Living Translation (NLT) was first published in 1996, and since then more than 50 million copies have been sold. It is consistently among the top English translations in terms of copies sold each year. The NLT was created by a team of 90 top Hebrew and Greek scholars working with texts in the original languages. Tyndale’s commitment is to make the Bible understandable and accessible to all readers. Accordingly, the translators’ goal was to create a modern English translation that was true to the meaning of the original texts and was as readable and dynamic as The Living Bible, a paraphrase by Kenneth N. Taylor that was first published by Tyndale House in 1971.

The central committee of twelve scholars and English-language stylists reviewed and approved every word of the New Living Translation. After the first edition was published in 1996, the BTC decided to go through the entire text of the NLT again to work at refining the translation’s precision even further. The second edition was published in 2004.

The NLT was created under the auspices of Tyndale House Publishers, and Tyndale is the primary publisher of the NLT. The Bible Translation Committee is a semi-independent body that is responsible for ongoing review of the text of the NLT.

The NLT Bible Translation Committee has seen significant changes with the passing of Dr. Grant Osborne, general translator for the Gospels, and Dr. Norm Ericson, general translator for the Epistles. Recent committee discussions have focused on the need to include younger scholars who represent the next generation of translators. They will offer fresh insights as they participate in overseeing the NLT text into the future.

Lynn Cohick, PhD, is the Provost of Northern Seminary and Professor of New Testament. She has written The Letter to the Ephesians (New International Commentary on the New Testament) and co-authored with Amy Brown Hughes Christian Women in the Patristic World. In addition to her administrative responsibilities at Northern, she teaches in the MA in Women and Theology program. She also directs the Women, Theology, and Leadership track within Northern Seminary’s DMin program. She serves as President of the Institute of Biblical Research. As a member of the BTC, she will be specifically responsible to oversee ongoing review of the Gospels and Acts in the NLT.

Nijay K. Gupta, PhD, is Professor of New Testament at Northern Seminary. His recent books include Paul and the Language of Faith and A Beginner’s Guide to New Testament Studies. He has published commentaries on Colossians, 1-2 Thessalonians, Philippians, and Galatians (forthcoming), and has served as chief editor of Bulletin for Biblical Research and Journal for the Study of Paul and His Letters. He is co-editor of two important forthcoming works: Dictionary of Paul and His Letters (2nd ed.) and The State of Pauline Studies. As a member of the BTC, he will be specifically responsible to oversee ongoing review of the Epistles and Revelation in the NLT.

21 thoughts on “Two New Scholars Appointed to NLT Bible Translation Committee

  1. Excited about the commitment to the NLT! I find it one of the best and easiest to understand English translations – the translation I recommend to new believers. It’s the translation I grab for a quick read and it’s on the table w/others when I dig deeper.

    May we always have the NLT available to us.

  2. This is very exciting news!
    I enjoy the NLT and read it every day.
    I greatly appreciate the expose of Dr Covick & Dr Gupta. I look for to researching the ability to purchase some of Dr Gupta’s other books. I am very interested in learning more about the letters of Paul.
    God continue to lead you all at Tyndale in clarity and purpose for the future generations.

  3. I am very nervous about young people, coming out of college, with liberal ideas and an agenda. It will be difficult to trust updates. I would ask that details are provided for all the updates.

    1. These scholars have been teaching at the seminary level for many years and are some the most respected scholars in New Testament teaching and scholarship.

  4. Your explanation was vague and inadequate. Are these two joining an existing committee or a new one?
    From your explanation it sounds like Tyndale may becoming WOKE. Please assure me that I am wrong.
    I am a retired Presbyterian pastor and I have seen too many Christian & Evangelical groups infiltrated and turned from their orthodox beginnings.
    Your words worry me.

    1. These scholars join the existing New Living Translation Committee. Two of the members have passed and they will help the legacy of the NLT to continue to for years to come.

  5. I would love to see a later translation of NLT. I’ve been using the 2011 for a few years now. I understand there is also a later translation. The English language changes so rapidly we have to keep up with it. Thank you for including the NLT.

  6. Dear faithful servants of the Lord Jesus.
    It is si comforting and reassuring to know that the WORD of the Lord we are reading
    Comes to us by praying wise people who LOVE JESUS and share the WORD.
    With gratitude from Sophie E.

  7. I’ve used the NLT for many years now and am very happy with its accuracy with other translations. I am just concerned that with newer and possibly younger translators being added the accuracy might be watered down to fit in with this depraved world???!!!! Please reassure me that this will NOT be the case. Yours in Christ.

    1. I share Vivienne’s concerns about the potential impact the younger translators may have in the desire to fashion a translation of the NLT to suit today’s cultural norms. It was in 2009 when I first read an NLT Bible, and I have never looked back. I pray that the NLT Bible Translation Committee will continue to submit to the guidance of the Holy Spirit, in the sacred duty to bring God’s eternal message to this fallen world.

      1. The Bible translation committee is a wonderful team of scholars. The addition of these scholars will only enhance the NLT’s translation philosophy and help shepherd it into the years to come.

    2. Thank you for sharing your concern. The scholars joining the team are known around the world for their excellence in Bible teaching and research. They have been prayed over and there was a process by the Bible Translation Committee to select members to join after the passing of two members of the committee. They are wonderful people of God and will help to shepherd the New Living Translation into the years to come. As you can image this process was done with much prayer and discussion by some of the best Bible scholars. The Bible translation committee members who are still living are and will continue to be active in the translation process.

  8. I have been using the NLT Bible now for a long time. I found the translation fantastic. The translation, to me is second to none. I welcome the new Translators and like other people have suggested, the accuracy and authenticity of the Version should be maintained. I wish the Committee well.

  9. I am not a NLT fan; neither am I a detractor. The main reason I don’t use the NLT (I have many friends who do) is that the pronouns for deity (He, Him, His, etc.) are not capitalized. I have noted recently how many passages do not repeat the name of the character referenced but use pronouns only. So in one sentence or several sentences the pronoun “he” may be used many times without easy reference to whom it responds. I am not grammatically challenged so if I have trouble figuring out passages with multiple references, how are others figuring it out?

    I would think adding caps on pronouns for God, Jesus & Holy Spirit wouldn’t take a ton of revision. I’d be inclined to give the NLT a new look if you did. Thanks for “listening.”

    1. Thanks for sharing your concern. Here is the answer to that question from our FAQ section:

      Most other English Bible translations do not capitalize deity pronouns, beginning with the earliest English Bible translations, including the King James Version. Only the New American Standard Bible (NASB) and the New King James Version (NKJV) capitalize deity pronouns in their standard texts.

      The decision to keep deity pronouns lower cased is in no way motivated by a lack of respect for God’s name. It is based on standard English usage and standard translation practice. The original Hebrew and Greek Bible manuscripts did not highlight divine pronouns in any way. The pronouns in the ancient texts were treated grammatically and typographically like other standard pronouns. So for most English translations, this characteristic of the original texts has been preserved in translation.

      Another factor that comes into play in this decision involves the fact that there are pronouns in the Bible that could be understood in more than one way—it could refer to God but it might also refer to a person. In such cases, capitalizing it or not becomes an exegetical decision by the translator rather than a simple translation of the text. Since there are a fair number of ambiguous pronouns in the Bible, it has been deemed safer by many translators to just treat them all the same and allow the reader and expositor to deal with the ambiguities.

  10. The 2004 NLT is the most clear and easy to read English translation of the Bible available. I think it’s easier to read than Ken Taylor’s Living Bible paraphrase, which may be a little hard to believe. But aren’t you done? Is the NLT intended to be a “living document”? If so, why? I don’t believe idiomatic English changes that quickly. Surely an edition as fine as 2004 is good to go for many years. Are we going to see change for the sake of change, or change because new translators are anxious to grind their personal axes? Speaking of whom, I see both of the new committee members are from the same seminary faculty. While I don’t doubt either is qualified, would it not have made some sense to bring in a second viewpoint? Bringing in colleagues just feels strange. Anyway, you hear my concerns. Your 2004 work was outstanding. Please keep it up.

  11. Congratulations to the both of them. We pray that the work of God will progress in their time and the holy spirit will continually be their companion.

  12. I read the 1996 NLT Bible and the 2004 NLT Bible before I lost my sight. I have been searching for the NLT Bible as an ebook since that time, but there are none available for free. I have been a registered member of Tyndale Bibles for approximately 20 years and have read, listened to, all of Tyndale’s Bibles, and look so forward to reading, listening to, Tyndale’s NLT Bible.

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