Updated: Mar 14
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On occasion, there are passages when the NLT gets it exactly right. Here are just a few really beneficial examples.
Matthew 7:21 “Not everyone who calls out to me, ‘Lord! Lord!’ will enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Only those who actually do the will of my Father in heaven will enter. 22 On judgment day many will say to me, ‘Lord! Lord! We prophesied in your name and cast out demons in your name and performed many miracles in your name.’ 23 But I will reply, ‘I never knew you. Get away from me, you who break God’s laws.’
2 Timothy 2:15 Work hard so you can present yourself to God and receive his approval. Be a good worker, one who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly explains the word of truth.
1 John 2:4 If someone claims, “I know God,” but doesn’t obey God’s commandments, that person is a liar and is not living in the truth. 5 But those who obey God’s word truly show how completely they love him. That is how we know we are living in him. 6 Those who say they live in God should live as Jesus lived.
12:17 And the dragon was angry at the woman and declared war against the rest of her children—all who keep God’s commandments and maintain their testimony for Jesus.
14:12 This means that God’s holy people must endure persecution patiently, obeying his commands and maintaining their faith in Jesus.
They don't always get it right. There are as many errors. But, wielded skillfully, it can really help open some people's eyes.
Some passages are very close, and by choosing another appropriate version you can actually make it work in your favor.
Here is an example:
NLT - “But I admit that I follow the Way, which they call a cult. I worship the God of our ancestors, and I firmly believe the 👉🏻 Jewish law 👈🏻 and everything written in the prophets.
👆🏼👆🏼THIS IS NOT QUITE WHAT IT REALLY SAYS IN THE GREEK...
...but those below CAN bring a balance to help folks understand.
NKJV - “But this I confess to you, that according to the Way which they call a sect, so I worship the God of my fathers, 👉🏻 believing all things 👈🏻 👉🏻 which are written in the Law and in the
ASV - But this I confess unto thee, that after the Way which they call a sect, so serve I the God of our fathers, believing 👉🏻 all things 👈🏻 which are 👉🏻 according to the law, 👈🏻 👉🏻 and which are written in the prophets 👈🏻;
Some say "laid down by" "instead of in accordance with" but you get the idea. In this day and time, if a believer or leader is educated, it's actually perceived as suspicious because we are in that time "when men will not endure sound doctrine" (defined by Proverbs 4:2*) and they will "seek out teachers who will tickle their ears". Anyone with a formal advanced education or degree is often regarded as "stiff necked", "lacking the Spirit", or "full of dead men's bones". Regardless of the soundness of what they say, any attempt from these folks to explain the original languages meets with blind eyes and deaf ears because the receiver has been hurt, led astray, or any of a million other things that turned them from trusting an education in Scripture. They have become convinced they need no one to teach them but Holy Spirit.
*Proverbs 4:2 For I give you good doctrine - Do not forsake my law.
When John penned "But you have received the Holy Spirit, and he lives within you, so you don’t need anyone to teach you what is true" he had just finished telling the reader that anyone who claims to know God but disobeys His commands is a liar!! His assumption is that these readers knew the commands and would take his previous statement in proper context to the comment about Holy Spirit is all we need. Sadly, most will never realize this because of the environment in which they have chosen to "worship" and fellowship. Why? Because their chosen environment will always go passed 1 John 2:4-6 and straight to verse 27.
Using a few variations of differing English translations can sometimes break down the wall they have built against anyone who sounds educated. It's a good tool. If you're not already using this, give it a try and come back to tell us what happened. If you're already using it, let us hear about it below. If you're struggling with someone, let's come together and reason out how you might reach them.
NO NAMES please, just the story... in the comment section below this blog.