Using the NLT Translation Philosophy in German

Tyndale House Publishers

Did you know that the full New Living Translation is available in seven different languages and that the New Testament of the NLT is in two additional languages? These are not translations of the English version into other languages. Instead, translators and biblical scholars from the places that speak those languages use the NLT translation philosophy to translate the ancient texts into their modern-day languages.

In Germany we partner with SCM R. Brockhaus to share God’s Word through the NLB (the German NLT). Here is an update on their struggles and joys as they bring God’s Word to those who speak German.

by SCM R. Brockhaus

About 25 years ago, then publisher Friedrich Hänssler was looking for a way to put a new communicative Bible translation on the German market. There was something missing for German Bible readers. There were some communicative Bible translations, but they were not well received for several reasons, like lack of fidelity to the text or having a theological bent that did not go over well with many of our readers.

Friedrich Hänssler believed the NLT could make a significant impact on readers who were looking for an accurate translation that was also enjoyable to read. He saw the NLT as the right combination of Bible translation with appropriate accuracy, while still being very communicative.

Germany has a special situation when it comes to Bible translations. With the strong dominance of the Lutheran Church on the one hand and the Catholic Church on the other, most people only know the dominant translations: the Protestant Luther translation and the Catholic Einheitsübersetzung (“Unity Translation”). They are “unbeatable” in the Bible market due to their strong church and school use.

Beyond this, however, the German NLT has gained a significant place in Bible translations. Though there are no studies or valid data about market share for German Bible translations, we estimate it to be about the fifth most used translation among 12 major translations. The German Life Application Study Bible is one of the best-selling study Bibles in Germany for the last 20 years. Our teen and kids editions are also very popular for readers.

Most churches, apart from those mentioned above, have no preferred Bible translation for congregational use. What translation is used in churches varies greatly, as does the preferred Bible translation for personal use. Many people own several Bible translations. Apart from the very conservative wing of the Russian-German congregations, who almost only use the Schlachter Bible, there are no major faith disputes about the correct Bible translation, which allows people the opportunity to experience the power of reading the German NLT.

We continue to see a very positive future for the German NLT. After almost 25 years, we are currently in the process of revising the text of the NLT to make it even more accessible to our audience and to attract new readers.

Learn more about our partner in Germany

Reading the Entire Bible in 30 Days!! What?!?

Tyndale House Publishers

by Molly Jo Nyman

The challenges of 2020 brought about something amazing in the life of Levi Gonzales. When the pandemic, the turmoil of the election, and the uncertainty of life left him feeling anxious, depleted, and desperate for God, he decided he needed a total “reset.”

And he was willing to take what some might call radical steps to revive his heart, steady his soul, and renew his mind. He also knew the source of what he needed was found in God’s Word.

Levi said, “I used to read a lot of my Bible. It was pretty common for me to sit down and read an entire book of the Bible, but over the past three years there was a career change and a move, and I wasn’t reading as much. I was desperate for a reset;  for God’s word to realign my thinking. I needed to run away from the world, ignore the news, delete social media. I needed to get God’s perspective. So my initial plan was to read through the entire Bible in three months.”

Levi talked with his wife about his plan, and she was fully supportive, knowing that after Levi worked his full-time job as a software engineer, nights and weekends would be set aside for Bible reading. As it turned out, Levi most frequently settled into his wife’s comfortable chair, often reading 4-5 hours at a stretch.

His Bible of choice was the NLT Thinline Reference Filament Bible.

“I was in the Barnes and Noble in Salt Lake City and chose this Bible. When I was talking with my wife about getting back into Bible reading, she was looking into the NLT. I also have friends and family that read it and enjoy it. I liked the font size, and the Bible was easy to hold up,” Levi explained.

Three months seemed like a rigorous pace, but after acquiring his new Bible and starting to read, things did not go as planned…Levi read the entire Bible in 30 days!

He said, “I’ve read through the whole bible before but this time, at this speed, I was able to really see the ties and connections back and forth between books of the Bible that align historically and prophetically. And seeing the grand picture of Scripture… witnessing the story of redemption unfolding… it was what I needed to be reminded of the absolute and sovereign control of God.

“I feel like the NLT does a great job of explaining what it is trying to say. It is so easy to read. I don’t have to guess at what I’m reading, and I needed a translation that did all the heavy lifting for me.”

His method, his motivation, and his advice for Bible reading all go hand-in-hand.

“My advice is to soak up as much as God’s Word as you need. Consume as much nourishment as you need. Goals are not for goal’s sake, but for what you get out God’s Word,” Levi shared.

“My method was to not go about it like many who start in Genesis and try to read through. I tried that before and got burnt out in 2 Samuel. I feel like I need a little more Jesus at that point!” So Levi’s approach was to follow his interest.

“I just picked a book and read it all the way through, most of the time in one sitting. As I tackled each book I mixed Old and New Testament, usually not in any order and sometimes historically backwards. I read what piqued my interest at the time, because you put more effort in what you’re interested in.”

It was a method that not only led Levi to far exceed his initial plan, it also led him to achieve the results he needed.

“Who I am now, after doing it, is a much less stressed and anxious person.”

Learn more about the Filament Bible Collection

her.Bible John 1:1-14

Tyndale House Publishers

Glad Klassen, one of the women who voice the her.Bible app, reads John 1:1-14, NLT. Listen and reflect on God’s beautiful words to us.

Learn more about her.Bible

Those Who Seek God

Tyndale House Publishers

Think and Pray Feature from the Streetlights New Testament

“Even as Peter was saying these things, the Holy Spirit fell upon all who were listening to the message. The Jewish believers* who came with Peter were amazed that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out on the Gentiles, too. For they heard them speaking in other tongues* and praising God. Then Peter asked, ‘Can anyone object to their being baptized, now that they have received the Holy Spirit just as we did?’ So he gave orders for them to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Afterward Cornelius asked him to stay with them for several days.” Acts 10:44-48, NLT.

Even if we know much more about Jesus Christ, God’s Word, Christ’s church, and God’s eternal plan than Cornelius did, we can still tend to grow apathetic and not hunger for God. But one lesson we should take away from this story is that those who seek God will be rewarded! Cornelius knew very little about God, but he sought Him in prayer and by giving to the poor. For Cornelius, the message of the gospel being extended to people beyond the Jews came as an unexpected and great gift.

Are you thankful, like Cornelius was? Do you approach God consistently out of awe and gratitude for what He has done? How did God bring you the Good News of Christ’s forgiveness for your sins? When have you been challenged to share the knowledge of His grace with other people who have backgrounds different from your own?

The Streelights New Testament combines print and audio to create a compelling experience for all readers, but aimed at teens and young adults. Learn more about the Streetlights New Testament

What can I do when I’m overwhelmed by anxiety?

Tyndale House Publishers

From the HelpFinder Bible

Pressures in our lives can build and pull us in different directions. These pressures pull against our sense of well-being, and anxiety begins to overwhelm us. Trying to do too much work with too little time or too few resources can stretch us beyond our capacity.

Trying to cope with the financial demands of life without adequate income can make us begin to feel desperate. Difficulties in marital relationships, in parent-child relationships, or in work relationships can lead to deep anxiety and a sense of hopelessness. What is the answer? We need a perspective that comes from God. And we also need the help of wise counselors and friends who God can use to bring us his presence, wisdom, and hope.

What can I do when I’m overwhelmed by anxiety?
• 2 CORINTHIANS 4:9 | We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed.
Keep going! Knowing that God is by your side during times of anxiety can help you to keep
from giving up.

• PSALM 55:22 | Give your burdens to the Lord, and he will take care of you. He will not permit the godly to slip and fall.

• ISAIAH 41:10 | “Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.”

• PSALM 62:2 | He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress where I will never be shaken.

• JOHN 14:1 | “Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me.”

• HEBREWS 2:18 | Since he himself has gone through suffering and testing, he is able to help us when we are being tested.

• PHILIPPIANS 2:4 | Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too.
The first step in dealing with your anxiety is to bring it to the Lord. Only he brings true peace of heart and mind. God’s availability and promises provide effective stress reducers.

• 2 SAMUEL 22:7 | But in my distress I cried out to the Lord. . . . He heard me from his sanctuary; my cry reached his ears.

• PSALM 86:7 | I will call to you whenever I’m in trouble, and you will answer me. Be persistent in prayer.

• MARK 6:31 | Then Jesus said, “Let’s go off by ourselves to a quiet place and rest awhile.” He said this because there were so many people coming and going that Jesus and his apostles didn’t even have time to eat.
Take time to slow down and take a break from pressure-packed situations.

• 1 CORINTHIANS 6:19-20 | Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body.
Take care of your body. Adequate rest, regular exercise, and proper nutrition are essential to dealing effectively with stress and anxiety.

• GALATIANS 6:9 | So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up.
Don’t let stress and anxiety defeat you. When you are tired of doing good, it may be because you are just too tired.

Learn more about the HelpFinder Bible

Video Story: The Story of Immerse

Tyndale House Publishers

Immerse: The Bible Reading Experience was born out of a passion for people to reengage with God’s Word in a way that wasn’t encumbered by historically added roadblocks. Though many households own Bibles, people aren’t reading them. The Institute for Bible Reading is on a mission to help people find ways to simply read the Bible in the way it was originally written. Immerse: The Bible Reading Experience is a wonderful way to reconnect with God’s Word and each other. Hear from the creators of Immerse: The Bible Reading Experience.

Learn more about Immerse: The Bible Reading Experience

See What’s Coming Next in 2021

Tyndale House Publishers

We’ve already has some really exciting new release this year and we’re just getting started! Here’s what is coming this spring and summer and we’re giving you a sneak peak at one of our new lines coming to the Filament Bible Collection this fall!

Streetlights New Testament released this month. This amazing combination of print and digital gets youth and young adult engaged in God’s Word in a way that feels natural and comfortable for them. In addition to the text, articles, and book introductions it also gives you access to the revolutionary Streetlights Audio Bible. Great for personal and group study. This New Testament has huge ministry potential so checkout our bulk rates. Learn more about the Streetlights New Testament.

Immerse is coming to a store near you. We are starting with Immerse: Messiah and Immerse: Beginnings, but by the end of the summer you should be able to get the entire Immerse series at your local bookstore or your favorite online retailer. We also are excited that the first large print edition of Immerse has just been released. Immerse: Messiah Large Print has the beautiful NLT text with no chapter and verse interruptions in an over 11 point font. Learn more about Immerse: The Bible Reading Experience.

Life Application Study Bible will gain a new beautiful coral cover to join the already fantastic cover choices. This cloth covered hardcover will be available in the New Living Translation, has a lay flat binding, and will have words of Christ in red. See all the different Life Application Study Bible options.

Inspire Bible is having a huge growth spurt and we’re so excited about these new releases in the best-selling coloring and journaling Bible line. Next month the Inspire PRAYER Bible releases in a new galaxy softcover and a GIANT PRINT edition!! This summer a pink hardcover will be added to the Inspire for Girls line and a dark brown LeatherLike cover in the Inspire Catholic. In July a new coloring portion of the books of Matthew and Mark will release. See all our journaling Bibles.

Fall Sneak Peak

We have some exciting additions coming to the Filament Bible Collection this fall. One of the new lines is the compact line which includes covers with zippers! The trim size will be about 4×6 with a 6 point text font and of course access to the Filament Bible App. More information will be coming soon! Learn more about the Filament Bible Collection.

Empowering the People of God

Tyndale House Publishers

Streetlights is a ministry of Creative Communicators called to intentionally engage global urban culture with the Gospel of Jesus Christ by producing, translating, teaching and proclaiming God’s Word so all can understand. Their identity and call are founded on the belief that God’s Word is transformational and needs to be accessible and understandable to all people. We are excited to partner with them on this amazing New Testament resource that combines audio and visual elements to encourage people to listen to, read, and study the Bible with fresh ears and hearts.

Hear the Streetlights team share their hearts and passion to connect people with God’s life-transforming word without barriers.

Why Does the NLT Use Occupy in Deuteronomy 1:21

Tyndale House Publishers

“Look! He has placed the land in front of you. Go and occupy it as the Lord, the God of your ancestors, has promised you. Don’t be afraid! Don’t be discouraged!” Deuteronomy 1:21, NLT

Recently, we received a question from a reader asking why the translation team for the New Living Translation chose to use the word occupy instead of possess. Here is the answer from our Bible editorial team.

This is a very interesting question. In comparison to the handful of other English Bible translation I checked, “occupy” appears to be a unique translation of the underlying Hebrew word, yarash, by the NLT translators at Deut 1:21 (and elsewhere). The Hebrew dictionaries I referenced indicate a range of possible English translations for this word, for example “to seize, dispossess, take possession of, inherit, disinherit, occupy, impoverish, be an heir,” depending on context. One note on “occupy” from the NLT Study Bible at Deut 1:8 could also be helpful to us: “The land was already Israel’s because God had promised it to the nation’s ancestors centuries earlier. . . . Israel was not seizing new territory from its rightful owners but was taking possession of land occupied by squatters.” From this, I think we can assume the NLT translation team felt that “possess” and “occupy” are really close synonyms. In terms of the range of meaning of the English words, per, definition 3a of occupy is “to take or hold possession or control of” and the example provided is in a military context. It seems like English translations that employ possess are taking advantage of definition 2a of that word, which means “to seize and take control of.”

In light of all this, my best guess would be that the NLT translators wanted to make sure the English readers understood the nuance of not only ownership (because Israel already owned this land whether they were living in it or not) but also the importance of them physically living in the land, thus occupying it. One important thing to note about the NLT translators is that they place a very high value on making sure that their translation communicates whole ideas to contemporary, American English speakers in terms they understand well. For English usage today, I think “occupy” has strong military associations (I think of “troops occupying the West Bank” and other similar examples), so it would bring the military aspect of the conquest to the forefront in the mind of the reader. It seems like “take possession of” could sound archaic, or even a bit vague, to the ear of modern English readers, or it doesn’t quite fully convey the military context of the Bible’s use of yarash.

Learn more about the New Living Translation.

Remaining in Christ

Article from the NLT Study Bible

“Remain in me, and I will remain in you. For a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine, and you cannot be fruitful unless you remain in me.” John 15:4, NLT

One of Jesus’ favorite words was meno¯, often translated “remain,” “stay,” or “abide.” It describes a profound, intimate, and enduring relationship. For example, Jesus said, “You are truly my disciples if you remain faithful to [meno¯ en, ‘stay in’] my teachings” (8:31).

The idea is that a disciple’s life is fully formed by Jesus’ word. Jesus described how the Son is in the Father and the Father is in the Son (14:10- 11). Likewise, when we remain in Christ, the Son is in us and we are in the Father and the Son (17:21). Both the Father and the Son come and make their home within his disciples. This mutual indwelling is precisely what it means that the disciple remains in Christ. We cannot gain the permanence of our relationship by our own effort; this relationship is only made permanent by the gracious initiative of God indwelling our lives through his Spirit.

This means commitment on the part of both God and the disciple. The mutual indwelling between God and the believer is not a fleeting or temporary commitment, but an enduring, permanent, and eternal relationship.

Take a look inside the NLT Study Bible