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Using the NLTSB and NISB: Romans 14:1-12

I thought it might be useful to look at the information available in each of these study guides for a few passages. Since I regularly read the lectionary passages during my personal devotions, I will compare the information available in each Bible for some selected passages from the current lectionary.

I’m choosing to compare only the NISB and the NLTSB, because these two Bibles are the my most recent acquisitions, and also because they are the ones that interest me the most out of the numerous ones I consult.

I chose Romans 14:1-12 today, and my post can be quite short, because there is remarkably little difference. The one surprise for me is that comments in the NLTSB use a few more words (around 600) than the ones in the NISB (a bit over 400). The layout makes the NISB look more dense, but the word count doesn’t bear out appearances.

In terms of themes, both sets of notes are remarkably similar, even though one is largely from a mainline protestant perspective, and one evangelical.

There are two divergences, though these are minor, and not contradictory. First, the NISB is at pains to point out that the adjectives “strong” and “weak” refer to faith, not character, which is, of course, part of the point. Second, in discussing the judgment based on days, the NISB says that “perhaps” this might refer to moving the Lord’s day from Saturday to Sunday, while the NLTSB makes the explicit statement “With Christ’s provision of salvation, observance of the Sabbath in its original form is not required of Christians.”

Otherwise, had I chosen this text on which to base a sermon, I would glean pretty much the same outline points from it. Neither is comprehensive, but that is not expected in a study Bible. Both are solid in what they do say. I confess that in most areas I prefer the NLTse as a translation to the NRSV.

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