NLT contest post deleted

I have just deleted my post containing the announcement from Tyndale of a NLT contest. I apologize for feeling the pressure to post something on the blog more than I read the announcement in careful detail. Those of you who are not Americans were right to object to the contest being only open to Americans.

The comments on the blog post were directed to the American focus of the contest, rather than the content of the questions, about the NLT, for the contest itself. My wife and I are sensitive to issues about ethnocentrism having lived and worked outside mainstream American culture for much of our lives. We do not want such concerns to detract from the merits of any translation of the Bible.

Our experience with this blog post illustrates well that we not only must be concerned with the usual issues which make for an adequate translation, such as accuracy, naturalness of languages forms in the target language, equal clarity in the target language translation as in the biblical source texts, sensitivity to genre differences in the source texts, and stylistic differences among authors, but must also be sensitive to acceptability concerns, how well a translation will be accepted by the church and its leaders. If a translation or advertising about it is perceived to be ethnocentric, that ethnocentrism reduces acceptability for a translation.

I happen to know some of the individuals involved in the production of the NLT, including Mark Taylor, President of Tyndale, and I believe there is no intention ethnocentism intended. One of the NLT translators is a longtime friend who helped translate the Bible into a language of Nigeria. He is cross-culturally sensitive. It may be that this contest is a case where the advertising department was not connected as closely as it could have been to other departments which would have been more concerned with worldwide distribution of the NLT to English-speaking people. I can’t say. Perhaps there are  legal  requirements that Tyndale, an American company, can only permit American citizens to enter its contests. I do know that Mark Taylor, his late father, Ken Taylor, and their entire family are passionate that the entire world can access the Bible in the language of their heart, including the entire English-speaking world.

Lesson well taken for this post. Thank you, everyone, for your comments.

I still consider the NLT to be one of the best English translations today, for *all* of the English-speaking world. I do not believe that the translation itself is ethnocentric toward American speakers of English. I assume that there are already editions of the NLT with British spellings and perhaps other adjustments to the translation to make it more acceptable to those  who speak other dialects of English


Now, for anyone who wants to learn about the NLT contest, click here for contest details from Tyndale.

2 thoughts on “NLT contest post deleted

  1. John Radcliffe says:

    Wayne, I think you made a good call. But then, from what I have seen over the time I’ve been visiting BBB, I can’t say I’m at all surprised.

    Of course what concerned me as a (relatively) able-bodied non-UK resident wasn’t just any charge of ethnocentrism, but points like the following extracts from the Rules:

    Participants and winner(s) must be U.S. residents of the 50 U.S. States, at least 18 years old, as determined by the Company, and be physically healthy and able to participate in a trip to the Turtle Bay Resort without physical limitations.


    By participating, where allowed by law, all participants and winner(s) grant the Company exclusive permission to use their names, characters, photographs, voices, and likenesses in connection with promotion of this and other contests and waive any claims to royalty, right, or remuneration for such use. By participating in the Contest, where allowed by law, participants agree that the Company may disclose personal information obtained from participants in the Contest to third parties and use such information for marketing and other purposes.

    Of course I’d have to say that something that seeks to promote a Bible translation by encouraging people to compose glowing endorsements in return for possible financial gain is not something I’d want to participate anyway.

  2. John Radcliffe says:

    Sorry. That should have read “non-US resident” (although what I actually wrote also happens to be true)

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