The Rise in Popularity of the New Living Translation: An Interview with Tremper Longman, III

Episode #757
July 12, 2022
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Over the last few years, the New Living Translation has seen significant growth in popularity, even moving into the #2 spot for several months in a row. Still, some pastors are hesitant to use it as their main translation. Why is this translation gaining in popularity and what about the translation process and model can help pastors feel more confident in using it as their main translation? What is important for pastors to think about when choosing a translation?

  • We are starting to see a shift in the top-selling Bible translations. Why do you think that’s happening?
  • Though the NLT is seeing growth in popularity there still is some resistance at the church or pastoral level to make it a main translation. Why do you think that is?
  • There also is a misconception that newer translations or translations that have updates are staying true to the text. What would be your response and why is it important for translations to be open to updates?
  • Some preachers insist that expository preaching can only be done from a “formal equivalence”—is preaching from a more dynamic translation really all that different?

Tremper Longman, III is a distinguished Scholar of Biblical Studies at Westmont College in Santa Barbara, California, where he was the Robert H. Gundry Professor of Biblical Studies for nineteen years before his retirement in 2017. He was the senior translator for the wisdom books on the central committee that produced and now monitors the New Living Translation.

Prior to joining Westmont in 1998, Longman taught for eighteen years at Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia. He has also served as visiting professor at The Seattle School of Theology and Psychology, an adjunct professor at Fuller Theological Seminary, and a guest lecturer at Regent College and the Canadian Theological Seminary.

He earned his B.A. from Ohio Wesleyan University, his M.Div. from Westminster Theological Seminary, and his M.Phil. and Ph.D. from Yale University.




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