Mishap in the NLT?


Hi all!

I noticed that in the New Living Translation seems to add onto the translation of Galatians 4:26, and it bothers me greatly. The normal translation is along these lines for most all translations: “But the Jerusalem that is above is free, and she is our mother.”

However, NLT reads this: “But the other woman, Sarah, represents the heavenly Jerusalem. She is the free woman, and she is our mother.”

Do you think there’s any reason for this? Is it to cover up any similarities that Jerusalem may symbolically share with Mary? :shrug:


More like the first phrase was added to balance the reference to Hagar in the previous verse.


Here are a variety of English language translations:

biblegateway.com/verse/en/Galatians%204:26 Do you have the Catholic edition of the NLT? If not, it is missing seven crucial books of the Old Testament. From the Wiki:

“A Roman Catholic edition of the NLT with the Deuterocanon has been published by ATC Publications in Bangalore, India. The NLT Catholic Edition (NLTCE) has been granted an imprimatur by Oswald Cardinal Gracias, Archbishop of Bombay and President of the Council of Catholic Bishops of India.[10] The imprimatur does not extend to use of the NLTCE in the liturgy, but it has been officially approved by the Roman Catholic Church for private study.”

In my collection, I have a Catholic Living Bible, a loose, easy-to-read translation that is rather sappy in some places. It translates Galatians 4:26 thus:

“But our mother-city is the heavenly Jerusalem, and she is not a slave to Jewish laws”

Quite a bit more clear, more Catholic, IMO. Just for reference, in the Douay-Rheims Book of Judith (13:23), is the following:

“And Ozias the prince of the people of Israel, said to her: Blessed art thou, O daughter, by the Lord the most high God, above all women upon the earth.”

Of course, Judith is clearly a “type” - a forerunner or foreshadowing of Mary.


It’s what is called, I believe, a “dynamic equivalence” translation, where the translator is attempting to convey (what he believes is) the idea of the inspired author, rather than translate word by word. Of course, the translator could well be mistaken. :slight_smile:


Do you have the Catholic edition of the NLT?

I don’t have an NLT at all, just the NAB, Douay-Rheims, and my most favorite Didache Bible with catechism help because I’m still learning the faith (I’m getting confirmed next year).

My family has quite a large Bible collection as well, haha

Thank you, all of you, my question has been answered :thumbsup:


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