Yes, I give permission to share my story on the NLT blog.
My name is Joshua. The Bible has been a part of my life since childhood. The Living Bible was one of the first adult-level books I had. My grandfather gave me the Bible in the late 1980s. Although it was nice, I always thought the Bible was another book on the shelf. Eventually I started taking the Bible seriously, getting saved in the spring of 1994. I used The Living Bible for the first few months; it made Scripture clear. In the early part of 1996 I heard about a new version called the New Living Translation; I wrote Tyndale, requesting more information (this was before social media).The company sent me a booklet about the NLT. Reading the booklet with its questions, product details and text samples piqued my interest. My parents gave me a copy for my birthday in the summer of 1997. I really enjoyed my new Bible, taking it to school and my local youth group.
In time I moved to various military bases, leaving the church behind. While living in Hawaii I found myself looking for information about the Bible on the internet; this lead back to the NLT. I started to read it again, using it as part of the Online Bible (this was before Bible apps). After another series of moves, I started going back to church. After looking at various versions, I came back to the NLT. It helps me in two ways. I teach a discipleship group (i.e., Sunday School). The group is multi-generational; the attendees range from Gen Xers, millennials to older adults. The clarity of the NLT helps in teaching; It brings understanding to the weekly lessons. I participate in a ministry that serves hot meals to the needy in the community; a prayer and a devotional are said before dinner. The NLT has been a blessing in speaking to the attendees.
My favorite edition is the Filament Bible; the single column layout gives me a reading experience that’s free of distractions. The study notes and other helps are an invaluable resource in study. The devotionals and other digital content serve as a great resource in putting the pieces together in reflecting on the bigger picture of the Bible. As I look back over these 30 plus years, I am grateful for the bountiful blessings that the NLT (and The Living Bible) has yielded. The NLT has become the translation I use as I head towards eternity, walking with Jesus.
The picture attached to this story shows:
The Living Bible my grandfather gave me (late 1980s)
The NLT my parents gave me (summer 1997)
My Filament Bible