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Bible Commentary Adam Clarke

The New Living Translation is Dangerous!

PDF Version

The NLT Bible, of 1996, is ungodly and dangerous to the youths and immature Christians who have purchased it. I would not address this issue except that this, so called translation, is the number four selling Bible from 2011 to 2013. The NIV Bible, which is the number one seller from 2011 to 2013, has been addressed in our article, 'The NIV Bible is a Paraphrase.' The NIV, so called translation, is a saint when compared to the NLT. The prophet Ezekiel was made a watchman by Yahweh in order that he could warn Yahweh's people (Ez. 3:17). As a watchman on the wall, I have seen the invaders, who have penetrated the camp, so I must blow the horn to all who will hear the warning. The NLT, as I will demonstrate, is a corrupting influence on the babes in Christ.

E. W. Bullinger wrote, "The Word of Yahweh is being cut up, not with the pen-knives by its enemies, but with pens by those who profess to be its friends, and the few faithful witnesses whom Yahweh raises up and sends forth to testify against these evils have to suffer as Jeremiah suffered" (Jer. 36:23). The Word of Yahweh is and has been undermined by, so called,  'Bible Scholars.'  They are teaching in our seminaries and members of Bible translating committees. This should be of no surprise, during Christ's time, the Pharisees and the Sadducees were also teachers in the religious communities, some being uncloaked, by our Lord, as children of the slanderer. The Hebrew text was corrupted by the translators who produced the Septuagint in 250 B.C. These individuals,  dismissing the divine names of the books, renaming them and rearranging the divine order of the books, according to their order, disregarding Yahweh's command in Deuteronomy 4:2, "Ye shall not add unto the word which, I, am commanding you, neither shall ye take away therefrom,—that ye may keep the commandments of Yahweh your Elohim, which, I, am commanding you." Robert Young, Bible translator in the 1800's, wrote concerning the translators who produced the Septuagint, "... who observed that

the Septuagint Translators had
with the freedom which characterizes their whole work
 both in style and sentiments

deemed the Hebrew idioms too colloquial for the fastidious Greeks, and too, simple for the dignity of literary composition; and as all succeeding translators, without an exception, were under the spell of the sacred character of that Version, it is no wonder, though much to be regretted, that their example was followed...

Yahweh through Christ through Paul spoke, "I marvel that, thus quickly, ye are moving away from him that called you in the favour of Christ, unto a different glad-message,— Which is not, another, only there are, some, that are troubling you, and wishing to change the glad-message of the Christ. But, even if, we, or, a messenger out of heaven, announce a glad-message aside from that which we announced unto you, accursed, let him be! As we have said before, even now, again, I say: If anyone is announcing unto you a glad-message aside from that which ye accepted, accursed, let him be" (Gal. 1:6-9)! The NLT has changed the glad-message, thereby announcing a different glad-message, as I will illustrate, which means, they are accursed.

The NLT states, "On the one hand, they translated as simply and literally as possible when that approach yielded an accurate, clear, and natural English text. Many words and phrases were rendered literally and consistently into English, preserving essential literary and rhetorical devices, ancient metaphors, and word choices that give structure to the text and provide echoes of meaning from one passage to the next. On the other hand, the translators rendered the message more dynamically when the lit­eral rendering was hard to understand, was misleading, or yielded archaic or foreign word­ing." I will examine some scriptures to see if they have practiced these principals.

Creating a Different Glad-Message
Philippians 2:6, a simply and clear verse, states, "Who [Yahoshua], in form of God, subsisting, not, a thing to be seized, accounted the being equal with God, (Rotherham)." The NASB states, "who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped." The statement that Yahoshua was in the form of God is very simple and is throughout the Word of Yahweh but the NLT changes this verse, thereby creating a different glad-message by saying,

"Though he was God, he did not demand and cling to his rights as God."

John 1:18 states, "No one, hath seen, God, at any time: An Only Begotten God, The One existing within the bosom of the Father, He, hath interpreted him (Rotherham); "No one has seen God at any time; the only begotten God who is in the bosom of the Father, He has explained Him" (NASB). The NLT states,

"No one has ever seen God. But his only Son, who is himself God,
is near to the Father's heart; he has told us about him."

1 Thessalonians 4:16b states, "...and, the dead in Christ, shall rise, first (Rotherham);" "...and the dead in Christ will rise first" (NASB). The NLT states,

"...all the Christians who have died will rise from their graves."

1 Corinthians 7:1 states, "Now, concerning the things whereof ye wrote, it were, good, for a man, not to touch, a woman" (Rotherham); "Now concerning the things about which you wrote, it is good for a man not to touch a woman" (NASB). The NLT states,

"Now about the questions you asked in your letter. Yes, it is good to live a celibate life."
2 Corinthians 5:3 states, "Although, indeed, even clothing ourselves, we shall not be found, naked" (Rotherham); "inasmuch as we, having put it on, will not be found naked" (NASB). The NLT states,

"For we will not be spirits without bodies, but we will put on new heavenly bodies."

Revelation 1:4b states, " and from—The Seven Spirits which are before his throne" (Rotherham); "...and from the seven Spirits who are before His throne" (NASB). The NLT states,

"...from the seven-fold Spirit before his throne."

Genesis 37:35b states, "...Surely I will go down unto my son, mourning, to Sheol" (Rotherham); " Surely I will go down to Sheol in mourning for my son" (NASB). The NLT states,

"I will die in mourning for my son."

Genesis 2:7 states, "So then Yahweh God formed man, of the dust of the ground, and breathed in his nostrils the breath of life—and man became a living soul" (Rotherham); "the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul" (KJV). The NLT states,

" Then the LORD God formed a man's body from the dust of the ground and breathed into it the  breath of life. And the man became a living person."

1 Corinthians 14:3 instructs us that "...he that prophesieth, unto men, doth speak—edification, and exhortation, and comfort;" divine words that build up rather than tear down. 1 Corinthians 14:24-25 states, "But, if, all, be prophesying,—and there come in one who is unbelieving or unskilled, he is convicted by all, he is searched by all, the secrets of his heart, become manifest, And, so, falling down upon his face, he will do homage unto God, reporting that, in reality, God is, among you" (Rotherham); "But if all prophesy, and an unbeliever or an ungifted man enters, he is convicted by all, he is called to account by all;  the secrets of his heart are disclosed; and so he will fall on his face and worship God, declaring that God is certainly among you" (NASB). The NLT states,

"But if all of you are prophesying, and unbelievers or people who don’t understand these things come into your meeting, they will be convicted of sin and they will be condemned by what you say.  As they listen, their secret thoughts will be laid bare, and they will fall down on their knees and worship God, declaring, “God is ready here among you.”

In the New Testament there are three Greek words that have been translated, 'gift,' which are doron, dorea and charisma, none of which are in 1 Corinthians chapter fourteen. The NLT has placed the word, 'gift,' six times in this chapter. I Corinthians 14:5 states, "Howbeit I wish you all to speak with tongues, but, rather, that ye may prophesy..." (Rotherham); "Now I wish that you all spoke in tongues, but even more that you would prophesy..." (NASB). The NLT states,

"I wish you  all had the gift of speaking in tongues,
but even more I wish you were all able to  prophesy..."

Romans 8:9-10 states, "But, ye, have not your being in flesh, but in spirit,—if at least, God’s Spirit, dwelleth in you; and, if anyone hath not Christ’s Spirit, the same, is not his;  But, if Christ is in you, the body, indeed, is dead by reason of sin, whereas, the spirit, is life by reason of righteousness" (Rotherham); "However, you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him. If Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, yet the spirit is alive because of righteousness" (NASB). The NLT states,

"But you are not controlled by your sinful nature. You are controlled by the Spirit if you have the Spirit of God living in you. (And remember that those who do not have the Spirit of Christ living in them do not belong to him at all.) And Christ lives within you, so even though your body will die because of sin, the Spirit gives you life because you have been made right with God."

Ephesians 1:17a states, "That, the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory..." (Rotherham); "that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory..." (NASB). The NLT states,

"asking God, the glorious Father of our Lord Jesus Christ..."

Ephesians 1:17, as well as many other scriptures, states that Yahoshua has a God. The NLT, very subtlety, has removed this information from this verse. They did this again in Revelation 1:6,

"He has made us a Kingdom of priests for God his Father.,,"

When the verse states, "and he hath made us to be a kingdom—priests unto his God and Father..." (Rotherham); "and He has made us to be a kingdom, priests to His God and Father..." (NASB).

The NLT states that it translates literally when the verse is easy to be understood. The phrases, 'the God of our Lord Jesus Christ,' and 'His God and Father,' are not difficult to understand, so we must ask ourselves, why are they doing this? Why are they restructuring the verses in order to remove the information that 'Yahoshua has a God?'

The NLT publishers have unveiled their very definite agenda, that is in addition to making a Bible in, 'contemporary English,' which is the creation of new doctrine, which is why their book is dangerous. These actions are in rebellion against the commandment presented in Galatians 1:6-9. What are the NLT's different glad-messages (new doctrines), that have been presented to us, so far, in this short article? (Many of these doctrines may be taught and believed on in some Christian Churches but they are not present in the Hebrew and Greek text that have been presented.)

          1.) Yahoshua did not exist in the form of God but was God. (Phil. 2:6)
2.) The Son is not a begotten God but rather he is himself God. (Jn. 1:18)
3.) The dead in Christ do not rise but rather all the Christians... (1 Thes. 4:16)
4.) It is good to live a celibate life. (1 Cor. 7:1)
5.) We will not be spirits without bodies. (2 Cor. 5:3)
6.) The seven spirits [plural] has been changed to the seven-fold Spirit [singular].           (Rev. 1:4)
7.) Sheol has been erased. (Gen. 37:35)
8.) Yahweh Elohim did not form man of the dust of the ground but rather man's           body. (Gen. 2:7)
9.) Prophesy is not for building up but rather convicting and condemning one of sin. (1 Cor. 14:24-25)
10.) Paul did not ask us to speak in tongues and prophesy but rather he wished that we had the gift of tongues or that we were able to prophesy. (1 Cor. 14:5)
11.) Christians are controlled by the Spirit and your body will die because of sin.           (Rm. 8:9-10)
12.) Yahoshua has a Father but not a God. (Eph. 1:7, Rev. 1:6)

The pure words of Yahweh are not holy to these people, which has been demostrated by their flagrant disregard of following the Hebrew and Greek text. You know a tree by its fruit and not by what it calls itself. The NLT is a Bible that has many good ingredients (a wheat field) but at the same time it is laced with poison (darnels (weeds NLT)), which not only makes it worthless, when there are good contemporary Bible's, such as the NASB, but also very dangerous. (Darnels resemble wheat except the grains are black, which is very enlightening.) The parable of the darnels in the wheat field instructs us that, '...An enemy, hath, done this...' 

We must remember the warning given to us by our Father concerning the deceiver. Genesis 3:1 proclaims, "Now, the serpent, was more crafty than any living thing of the field which Yahweh Elohim had made,—so..." His method was to add, delete and change the very words of Yahweh Elohim, which resulted in the deception and fall of Eve. Even the title of this Bible is alarming; The New 'Living' Translation' in contrast to what came before, 'The Old 'Dead' Translation'? It is 'alive'  but many of its living organism come from the adversary.  Matthew 23:27 warns us by saying, "Alas for you, Scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites; because ye make yourselves like sepulchres whitewashed, which, outside, indeed, appear, beautiful, but, within, are full, of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness." The NLT might not be this extreme but, never-the-less, uncleanness is present within it. The horn has been blown, warn others.

(For footnotes, read PDF version.)

(When quoting scriptures, from the Rotherham Emphasized Bible New Testament, I will substitute the Hebrew words
Yahoshua (yeh-ho-shoo’- ah) for Jesus, Yahweh and Elohim for God and the LORD and ruah for pneuma (spirit).

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