My Story: “Aha” Moment

We love hearing stories from people using the NLT! Kristy sent us her story of discovering how readability doesn’t mean being watered down. We love how excited she is to share God’s Word with those she loves!

This version is fantastic. I am not a big fan of watering down the scripture and making it easy to read because so many times things are lost. I have been reading the Bible for 52 years. I have a deep burden for the church because so many people don’t take time to read the Bible because it takes such mental effort, and experience to be able to figure out what a verse means. Today in my regular Bible study I compared Ephesians 1 to my current translation that I use, and your translation was so close to what mine said that I became very excited, because I have grandchildren that would read the Bible if it was something that could hold their attention, and understand. I am very excited to share this new to me, translation with my family. I did notice one thing that wasn’t included in Ephesians 1 that I read was the actual reference near the end of the chapter to Psalms 8. And it may not be necessary, but I love to see the new covenant scriptures tie to the old covenant scriptures because that was the basis of the teaching all of the disciples had until Jesus came and added to that teaching. To me it seems to bring the Bible as a whole into importance, when the new teaching quotes the old teaching. To me it provides kind of like an “aha moment” look and see God knew what he was doing all along . Again, I love it, I’m so excited to share it with my family and my church family.

-Kristy C.

The NLT’s use of “the LORD” for YHWH


by Mark Taylor, member of the NLT Bible Translation Committee and CEO of Tyndale House Publishers

In the Old Testament, the God of the Hebrews identified himself by the Hebrew name YHWH (sometimes transliterated in English as Yahweh). The meaning of the Hebrew name can be translated literally as “I am who I am” or “I will be what I will be.”

This name was considered to be so holy that ancient readers of the Hebrew text would not say it aloud. Instead, they would use the name Adonai (“God”) in place of YHWH. In Psalm 23:1, for instance, we find this familiar phrase: “YHWH is my shepherd.” But the Hebrew reader would read it aloud as “Adonai is my shepherd.”

Perhaps because of this reticence to pronounce the name YHWH, most English translations of the Old Testament render it as “the Lord.” (Note the use of small caps in this usage.) So Psalm 23:1 is typically rendered in English as “The Lord is my shepherd.”

This method of translating YHWH as “the Lord” goes back as far as the Coverdale translation, which was first published in 1535.

The name YHWH is found 6,828 times in the Hebrew text of the Old Testament. Like most other English translations, the NLT renders YHWH as “the Lord” almost every time. But in a few passages in Exodus, the name itself is being emphasized in the text. In those instances, the NLT renders YHWH as “Yahweh.”  These passages are:

Exodus 3:13-16a

        13But Moses protested, “If I go to the people of Israel and tell them, ‘The God of your ancestors has sent me to you,’ they will ask me, ‘What is his name?’ Then what should I tell them?”
        14God replied to Moses, “I Am Who I Am. Say this to the people of Israel: I Am has sent me to you. 15God also said to Moses, “Say this to the people of Israel: Yahweh, the God of your ancestors—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob—has sent me to you.

        This is my eternal name,
                my name to remember for all generations.

        16“Now go and call together all the elders of Israel. Tell them, ‘Yahweh, the God of your ancestors—the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob—has appeared to me.’”

Exodus 6:2-3

2And God said to Moses, “I am Yahweh—‘the Lord.3I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob as El-Shaddai—‘God Almighty’—but I did not reveal my name, Yahweh, to them.”

Exodus 15:3

        3The Lord is a warrior;
                Yahweh is his name.

Exodus 33:19

19The Lord replied, “I will make all my goodness pass before you, and I will call out my name, Yahweh, before you. For I will show mercy to anyone I choose, and I will show compassion to anyone I choose.”

Exodus 34:5-6

5Then the Lord came down in a cloud and stood there with him; and he called out his own name, Yahweh. 6The Lord passed in front of Moses, calling out,
        “Yahweh! The Lord!
                The God of compassion and mercy!
        I am slow to anger
                and filled with unfailing love and faithfulness.”

In the Old Testament, the Hebrew word adonai is found 442 times. In most cases it is used as a name for God. In those instances, the NLT and most other English translations render it “Lord”. (Note that the word is capitalized, but we do not use small caps.) Look, for instance, at Psalm 147:
        5How great is our Lord! His power is absolute!
                His understanding is beyond comprehension!

And sometimes YHWH and Adonai are used in conjunction with one another, as in Psalm 8:
        1O Lord, our Lord, your majestic name fills the earth!
                Your glory is higher than the heavens.

I hope this helps you get behind the English text, where Lord and Lord look quite similar, but they reflect very different Hebrew words.

Will We Be Daring Like Daniel?

“But Daniel was determined not to defile himself by eating the food and wine given to them by the king. He asked the chief of staff for permission not to eat these unacceptable foods.” Daniel 1:8, NLT

Taken from the Africa Study Bible

Daniel was among the young men of Judah’s leading families who were exiled to Babylon after King Nebuchadnezzar conquered Jerusalem. Daniel and others were chosen to be trained in the language and customs of their captors. This was a golden opportunity to escape their indignity of living as slaves and refugees. But the privilege and training they were offered required them to give up a part of their ethnic identity and moral purity.

Although he was a young man, Daniel understood the implications and resolved not to eat food that would have defiled him. God honoured Daniel by causing the Babylonian official to deal favourably with him and his three friends when they suggested a test.

Tribal wars, political and religious clashes, terrorism, and poverty cause many of us to live as refugees, both within and outside of our continent. Many young people seek to escape a life of poverty by becoming economic migrants in foreign lands.

The reason why many of us are refugees or in unfamiliar situations may be different from the reason Daniel was in Exile. And many of us living in other cultures may be considered second-class citizens instead of privileged officials, the way Daniel and his friends were. Nevertheless, we face the same pressures to abandon our culture and faith that Daniel and his friends faced.

It is sad that in their quest for a better life, many believers in Africa are forgoing their Christian and cultural identity and allowing themselves to be contaminated with the evil of the world around them. Daniel offered Nebuchadnezzar’s chief of staff a plan to test God’s power. Let us dare to be a Daniel and hold to God’s values and plan for us wherever we are.

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Am I Committed?

Many of us make New Years resolutions, but we get a few weeks or maybe even a few months in and we start to get tired. The excitement wears off, the busyness of life sets in and our commitment to that resolution starts to diminish. But it’s not just resolutions where our commitments start diminish. It can happening in relationships, where God has called us to serve, and even in our faith.

Read what the Bible has to say about the importance of commitment from the HelpFinder Bible

The achievement of any goal or purpose requires commitment—whether for good or for evil. The Bible speaks of commitment in both negative and positive ways: “committing” a sin (Deuteronomy 22:22) and “commit everything you do to the Lord” (Psalm 37:5). Each alternative involves making a decision, turning oneself over to something or someone, a focused and sometimes costly perseverance, and then reaping the negative consequences or positive rewards of our commitment. Understanding commitment and learning to commit our hearts, minds, and bodies is central to a life of faith. In fact, faith devoid of commitment is dead.

Why is commitment so important?
• PSALM 25:10 | The Lord leads with unfailing love and faithfulness all who keep his covenant and obey his demands.

When you are committed to following God, he will lead you to his will for your life, the satisfying and fulfilling goal for which he has created you.

• PSALM 31:23 | For the Lord protects those who are loyal to him.

When you are committed to God, he is committed to watching out for you and caring for you.

• RUTH 1:14 | And again they wept together, and Orpah kissed her mother-in-law good-bye. But Ruth clung tightly to Naomi.

Commitment is the true mark of friendship.

• 1 CORINTHIANS 13:7 | Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.

Commitment is the evidence of love for one another.

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My Story:Life Application Study Bible In Africa

What a joy to hear from our brother in Africa! Thank you for sharing this encouragement with us!

“I feel moved to inform you that Life Application Study Bible has been a tool which helped me shape a great deal of servants here in Africa and thoroughly furnished my life in a way I can not explain thank you.”

Mapendo Songoro