October 22, 2020

NLT Mosaic Bible Released

163x251_mosaicRESOURCE: More than 80 pages of Mosaic are available to view here.

UPDATE: THE CONTEST IS CLOSED. Congratulations to winner Brian Ladd.

For those of you interested in the New Living Translation of the Bible, there will be some excitement at the release this week (9/22) of the Holy Bible: Mosaic Edition, a unique edition of the NLT that combines a year’s worth of weekly devotional material shaped around the Christian Year and expressions of various traditions with an NLT reference Bible. The Mosaic Bible is now available for order at Amazon.com.

The devotional side of this Bible has a large collection of diverse Christian art, quotes, stories, Biblical observations and other materials from every continent and every age of Christian history. It truly does present a “Mosaic” of the Christian church. I believe many of the IM audience will have a particular appreciation for this Bible.

A wealth of material from the publisher is available at HolyBibleMosaic.com.

I’ll be sponsoring a Question and Answer session with Mosaic General editor Keith Williams on October 14th.



    Dear Mr. Williams,

    I am a fan of the New Living Translation (Second Edition), and have been using it for the past two and a half years for the public proclamation of the Word in liturgy. One matter that has come up frequently is the bevy of little changes which appear in various prints of the NLT 2nd Edition. In family devotions, my wife and I notice little oddities between our two Bibles, even though we both have the LASB version. While we agree that these little changes don’t alter the meaning of the text, we find the changes to be annoying and detracting from our devotional time. In checking the copyright page, they are identical, and make no mention of being a different revision of the 2nd Edition text. Could you please reflect on the reasons these various changes exist, how many version of the NLT 2 text are out there, and how you might respond to those who find the little aberrations to be distracting?

    Father Robert Lyons
    Bargersville, IN


    Dear Mr. Williams,

    A second question, if I may. The first edition of the NLT had a version which included the Apocrypha. The second edition does not. Are there any plans to make avaliable a version of NLT 2 with the Apocrypha?

    Father Robert Lyons
    Bargersville, IN

    The arrangement of the Mosaic Bible is obviously influenced by the more liturgical church traditions such as Anglicanism and Lutheranism, however the NLT’s primary readership seems to be highest among more low-church evangelicals. What do you hope the Mosaic’s inclusion of church calendar-based devotions, art, and perspectives from ancient and modern thinkers will bring to the typical evangelical reader not accustomed to such?

  4. josh s blake says

    This question is obvious, but I just wondered how this particular Bible will add to the plethora of Bibles available. To make it a question: In what ways is this Bible THE next Bible to purchase and how will it help Christians walk closer to Christ?

  5. Is it better than the ESV? 🙂

  6. Kevin Walker says

    As a pastor, WHY is the NLT a better choice for use at my church (pulpit, studies, etc.) than other translations (i.e. the ESV)?

    • Just replying from my point of view as someone who uses the NLT liturgically…

      I am a huge fan of the ESV on account of its accuracy, but I find that even with my most seasoned readers, it doesn’t proclaim well. It comes across, to an large degree, as a very choppy read. The NLT does not suffer from this problem. It suffers from other issues – I get heartily annoyed each Christmastide when Mary and Joseph are referred to as engaged rather than betrothed, and since my Synod still offers couples the chance for a Betrothal prior to marriage (in my case, it was a five month betrothal to my bride), we understand the meaning and implications of it and I correct the text based on the ESV and move on.

      Further, the NLT has impacted my personal devotions and daily prayer life in a far more significant way than any other translation ever has. So, for me, it’s NLT with ESV accuracy checks when I have concerns about the translation… while retaining the ESV for intended theological writing.


      • Father Robert Lyons…I hope Michael will allow this little sidetrack question. Can you tell me the difference between engagment and betrothal? I did do a little internet search and I find, “Historically betrothal was a formal contract, blessed or officiated by a religious authority.” It also says depending upon the society, the couple may not actually ever marry and some societies expected the couple to be sexually intimate and only marry if the woman became pregnant. I am guessing that is not how your betrothal worked!

        • In the biblical context (and perhaps I am oversimplifying), betrothal was as binding as marriage in the Hebrew world, and could only be broken upon death or the discovery of infidelity or other deception used to secure the betrothal. This is different from engagement in that we can break off engagements at any time.

          The betrothal commits the couple to wed (unless the above ‘outs’ are discovered). Further, it places into context (at least in some people’s opinion) Jesus’ statement in Matthew that ‘fornication’ (i.e., premarital sex) was cause for a writ of divorce where the verse is omitted in Luke due to the difference in audience and understanding of the concept of betrothal.

          Today we would find breaking off an engagement to be a sad, but not uncommon occurance. In Jesus’ day, the disolution of a betrothal was a horrifying event (particularlly for the bride!). Very different views, and very different long-term implications.



    Does the literary “feel” of the New Living Translation match the beauty of the artwork and the articles and notes, creating a uniform “feel” over the entire book?


    When you want to get someone interested in the NLT, what passage do you direct them to first in the translation?

  9. Mine was similar to Jacob’s above, but:


    Why choose the NLT, a readable translation using today’s English, to combine with a mosaic of traditional art and devotional material from throughout history? Do you see this introducing the beautiful history of the church to an audience that might not otherwise see it, or attracting those who appreciate that history to take another look at the NLT, or both?


    1. Does it have study notes? If so, do they carry any particular bias?
    2. What events are on the church calendar?
    a. Typical Lutheran/reform entries (apostles, OT patriarchs)?
    b. Typical evangelical events (fourth of July, presidents day, mother’s day)?
    c, Anglican calendar entries (including some Catholic saints and reformed figures, like J.s. Bach and John Wesley)?
    3. Is the artwork contemporary enough that I would be embarrassed to carry it ten years from now (remember “They Way” Living Bible bible from the 70’s?).
    4. Is the print reasoonably large enough to be readable for old geezers like me?

  11. NLT Question:

    For some reason many so-called conservatives think that the NLT is not a good translation (read “liberal”). Years ago when I was in a more “fundamentalistic” frame of mind, I thought the same thing. Perhaps it was due to thinking it was closely tied to The Living Bible paraphrase.

    Why do you think this (mis)perception exists and what can you do overcome or correct it?

    Ps – I have since grown to enjoy and recommend the NLT.


    Is this edition an attempt to reach out to traditions who would tend to appreciate it’s focus on historical Christianity such as Catholics and Orthodox ?

    Are there any plans to release an NLT/Greek New Testament like the NET did?

    I come from a very conservative organization who strongly endorses the KJV over any other but I have noticed in some of our Sunday School/Youth Dept literature and teaching material that the NLT is often being used. This tells me that the NLT is making inroads where no other translation has before. Are you preparing to compete for the paraphrase/dynamic equivalent market with the upcoming NIV revision?

  13. How many Mosaic Bibles can fit on the head of a needle? 🙂

    NLT ?

    For the good and the bad of it, we who profess Christ live, work and minister in a consumer driven, capitalistic culture. It is easy for Christians who run ministries/business, etc, to be looking for ever expanding market niches to produce and sell our “wares”. It’s easy for Christian companies to put everything under the banner of “meeting peoples needs”, “expanding the kingdom”, etc.

    How does Tyndale face these human challenges and, in particular, what would you say is the primary vision and intention that has driven Tyndale’s desire and commitment in creating the Moasaic Bible?

  14. Christopher K. says

    NLT Question:

    Why do the publishers feel it is necessary for another study bible to be on the store shelves, and what will I gain from yours that I won’t from others?

  15. I have two unrelated questions, of questionable merit.

    1. The title – it took me a minute or two to get that the title referred to mosaic like artwork, and not Mosaic like Moses. I puzzled over why a Bible with both testaments would have such a strong reference. Was the wordplay intentional?

    2. I have a NLT. I don’t really want to buy *another* Bible, but I’m always into other study guides. Are there any thoughts of just releasing the accompanying study guide?


    The premise of this bible seems to fit the growing trend towards post-evangelical, ancient-future/Webber, AMiA, and other movements trying to reintegrate the whole spectrum of Christian liturgy. More restoration than reformation.

    That trend IMO is partly due to the internet and the blogosphere, not to mention the mess the ECUSA is in. Those of us that are drawn to this “mosaic” view of church and liturgy have never been unified in any identifiable way until the last couple of years.

    My question: If it’s 1999, does this bible get published? Is it something that could only come out now, or would it be successful no matter what?

    Thanks to you and iMonk for your time.

  17. No question.

    Just a thank you to Tyndale for creating a Bible that pulls in so much of the different ways people can give glory back to God – through study, devotion, art, and liturgy.


    What efforts is the publisher making to ensure that profit from the NLT is being used to fund translations of the Bible into other languages than English, especially languages that don’t have the full Bible translated yet?

    • “Tyndale House Publishers has a significant tie with Wycliffe Bible Translators. A percentage of the sales of all NLT Bibles goes to support this organization. Also, sales of the NLT provide funding for Tyndale House Foundation, which helps underwrite Bible translation work in languages all around the world.”

      From the FAQs on the NLT’s website

    I already have an NLT Study Bible and use the online version of that as well. Any chance there will be an online version or will it be offered as a module for Accordance or Libronix. I use bound bibles frequently, but I seem to be using computer based ones more.

    Thank you!


    Are there any plans for an Anglicized edition?

  21. Angie Battle says

    Is this Mosaic edition of the NLT an improvement or a continuation of the current NLT?

    I’m wondering how honest the historical materials are. Do they paint an idealized gloss on Christian history or do they include some of the absurdity, dividedness, and tragedy to be found in the true history of the church?

  23. I’m not entering for the competition, but I do have a question regarding translations.

    In your podcast sermon, you read the Gospel of Mark and the healing of the boy possessed by a demon. You ended with Jesus explaining to the disciples their failure to cast out the demon with “This kind only goes out with prayer.”

    I am familiar with this as “This kind only goes out with prayer and fasting” (to show you how old-fashioned the version I am familiar with, the quote in my head went “This kind goeth not out save by prayer and fasting”).

    So I looked up the Jerusalem Bible translation used in Irish Mass readings and yep, they agree with you – the “and fasting” bit has been dropped.

    So can anyone tell me if this is (1) an exclusively Catholic translation that has been modified (2) an exclusively Protestant translation that has been adopted (3) there are variants in the manuscripts and it depends what translation uses which?

    Also, as an addendum: if this Mosaic Bible is adopting the Liturgical Year, does that mean you’re going to be wearing rose for Laetare (in Lent) and Gaudete (in Advent) Sundays? 😉

    • It’s a matter of textual criticism. “…and fasting” isn’t in the oldest manuscripts. All modern translations follow this or have a footnote. I’d imagine only the NKJV would keep it.

      • *sigh*

        So basically I have to get hip to the beat and follow the modern translations, huh? After all, this *is* the Century of the Anchovy! Aw, man, if the Pope hadn’t said we should be reading Scripture, I could have remained happy in my ignorance 😉

        And I’m taking it to mean no pink shirt for Mothering Sunday on your part, huh? 🙂

        • Hope not. I just ordered a used copy of the Jerusalem bible on Amazon a couple of days ago.

          • dumb ox, as far as I’m concerned, the Jerusalem Bible *is* a new translation; I still get twitchy about “But aren’t we only supposed to be reading Douay-Rheims?” 😉

    • The Mosaic Bible does not do a detailed version of the Christian year. Each weekly devotional mentions where that week is in the Christian year. If you want a detailed explanation of the Christian year, it can be found in the Treasury of Daily Prayer. (Lutheran)

  24. Honestly, when I saw this, the first thing I thought, the very first thing, was that it was connected with Erwin McManus’s Mosaic church.

    Just goes to show that it you’re in this thing too deep, your head starts going in weird directions.

    • Erwin gets a quote in the devotional section, as does a lot of people. Even a couple of bloggers.

      • Hey, DLE, I thought first of Erwin McManus, too. That’s cool that he gets a quotation in the devoctional section. Michael, you mention “a couple of bloggers” also did. Were you one of them?

        (I like McManus from the bits that I have seen and read on the internet.)

      • Bloggers? Well, I’m appalled that no one asked me what I thought! 😉

  25. NLT QUESTION (well, not really)

    Why Sir, are you continuing to publish this heretical, dynamic equivalent trash when obviously the ESV is all that is needed by any and all believers?


    (and just in case someone doesn’t get that sarcasm, the NLT is what I give to new believers)

  26. Wow, so many great questions already! I’m very much looking forward to interacting with you all on the blog tour. I know we won’t be able to address all of these questions here on iMonk, but perhaps I can use some of them as springboards for some of my other guest posts throughout the tour. The full schedule will be posted on my blog at http://www.holybiblemosaic.com/blog

  27. ok, for real this time

    NLT Question

    What makes the Mosaic different than other devotional bibles or resources, such as IVPress’s “Living the Christian Year” and other similar publications? What is the value proposition to the believer to make this purchase?

  28. Whatever happened to the old stand-bys, the NIV or RSV? Are conservatives opposed to them for some reason, or are they just considered too boring?

    (I also use the New Jerusalem Bible.)

    • I only bought an NIV because they released an edition marked as “The Archaeological Study Bible”, which ties into my geekdom. RSV-wise, I own two copies of the RSV Second Catholic Edition, which is basically the RSV in fully contemporary English (save for any liturgical texts, i.e., the Lord’s Prayer). I find the latter a helpful counterbalance to the ESV.



    I poked around on the website a bit and couldn’t find an answer to this, so I’ll try it here: How intrusive are the devotional/study “aids”? Not so much the artwork, since icons and good art point wordlessly to the Holy One, but editorial comments and devotional suggestions…. Too much commentary often leads me to too much analysis. I can go tramping along on a happy intellectual side trip, sometimes leaving behind my awareness that it’s in God that I live and move and think.

    Actually, I think I’d like to see a sample page or two. Did I miss them?

  30. Wow, it’s only $20.24 at Amazon? That’s a really good price. How can it cost that little?


    What was the process for interpreting differing traditions and stitching them together as part of a cohesive whole?


    One of the things I like most about the NLT is it’s readibility, allowing one to focus on the larger message instead of trying to understand rarely used idioms. How does the “mosaic” content aid in seeing the big picture and hearing the word as originally written?

  33. http://www.newlivingtranslation.com/05discoverthenlt/textcomparison.asp
    Wow, I would never have known that Proverbs 5:15-17 was to be understood the way the NLT has it. Cool! And I thought the comparisons on the other passages they show on that page were good too. I may have to get this translation of the Bible. I have been wondering for a while which translation I should make my “primary” reading. I have maybe six versions at home, and refer to a number of them, but I would kind of like to make one THE one I love the best.

    When I try to decide if I like a translation of the Bible, I look at the beginning of the Gospel of John. I also look at Psalm 23. And Luke 1:46-55 is good to check out too. That’s Mary’s “Song of Praise” after being told she will be the mother of the Son of God. I am not a scholar of the Greek or Hebrew language, so I cannot determine “accuracy” of the translations. I just have to go on “gut” feeling and what SOUNDS to me like clarity, truth and beauty. (Of course, I also read what those more educated than myself say about the translations.)

    Does it have the Apocrypha? I hope so, but I am thinking not.

    For anyone who wants to see which scholars worked on the books, you can go to
    http://www.newlivingtranslation.com/05discoverthenlt/meetthescholars.asp to read there. There were a lot working on it, but only three women unless some of the scholars using initials are women. Not that it matters. I would want the best scholars doing this and if it so happened that most of them were men, then so be it. But I thought I would check it out anyway. I see that Scot McKnight worked on the Gospel of Luke. Nice!

  34. http://www.nltblog.com/
    That blog may answer some questions we have about the NLT translation of the Bible.


    Wondering if the Mosaic Bible will point out the Orthodox Church Year as well. I’m not too familiar with it, but I do know Pentecost falls on a much different day than it does in the Western Church.

    • didi,
      the reason Pentecost is sometimes different that the Western calendar is that Easter is sometimes different. Pentecost is still 50 days after Easter in both traditions. There are additional “rules” for calculating the date for Easter (Pascha) in Orthodoxy; it’s somewhat more complicated than in the West. Sometimes, as in 2010, Easter/Pascha are the same Sunday.

      Here’s a link to the basics of the O. church year:

      If I were able to see one thing in my lifetime regarding the unity of Christianity, I would wish for a way to figure out how all Christians could celebrate Easter/Pascha on the same Sunday.


      • They do–maybe one year out of three. (If they really wanted to make it permanent, they could–presumably with Jerusalem as the observation point.)

      • Dana, you really want to reconvene the Synod of Whitby? Good luck with that! 🙂


    How ‘Jewish’ could a Bible like this possibly be?

    I know we’re Christians, but I’m asking because I feel that a lot of Bibles have a tendency to be steeped theologically in ‘New Testament Only’ thinking, and tend to eschew the uncomfortable and culturally-dissonant aspects of Judeo-Christianity in favor of what I take to be a somewhat strained emphasis on the Messiah rather than the Jewish moment.

    And if not, does English-speaking Christianity really need to have another BIble translation that isn’t basically conversant with Jewish thought and interpretation?

  37. NLT Question:

    How will the Mosaic Bible help someone coming from a Free-Church background (ie, Baptist) who is completely unfamiliar with the Christian Year as well as other elements of liturgical worship connect with broader Christian tradition and incorporate them in his or her devotional life?

  38. NLT Question:

    Considering that this version of the Bible is a paraphrase of the original text, why is it being used so heavily for study? Does this interfere with interpretation of scripture to the extent of impacting doctrine or major differences between traditions?

  39. What’s the difference between the NLT and NLTse? I had assumed the NLTse overrode the NLT. I guess not.

  40. I looked at the website preview. Looks like the approach by the “Treasury of Daily Prayer” which I loving reading “daily”. The art work looks very good.