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The NLT Family of Study Bibles

The NLT began as a revision of The Living Bible, which in time, became an entirely new translation from the Hebrew and Greek texts. The NLT has grown over the years to become the second most popular version of the Bible (based on sales), with the NIV being the most sold translation. 

The NLT was translated by 90 plus translators with several revisions up through 2015. Instead of using older language like "talents" for money, the NLT uses modern equivalents and puts the literal translation in a footnote with an explanatoin. 

Translation Philosophy

The NLT is a "dynamic equivalent" translation. The translations sought to give the same meaning and help the reader experience the text in the same way as the original readers. 

This thought-for-thought translation has led many people to fall in love with God's Word as they were better able to grasp the meaning God intended. 

Read More About The NLT Translation

NLT Bibles

The NLT is available, like most translations, in a wide array of options, from Text Bibles to Study Bibles - and a few unique projects like the Illumina software and the Red Letters Project (Scripture-based music).

Like most translations, there are the well known (NLT Study Bible, NLT Life Application Study Bible), the not as well known (Life Recovery, Illumina, Red Letters) and the brand new (Chuch Swindoll Study Bible). 

Additionally, the NLT website offers a nice offering of study tools and application-oriented articles to help with Bible Study. 

NLT Living It Now Website - Learn to Live Out The Word
Read the NLT Online Here

NLT Study Bible 2 (Blue)

The updated and slightly smaller in size NLT SB 2 continues the tradition of the original NLT Study Bible.

The NLT SB 2 features fifty major evangelical voices (e.g., Daniel Block, Tremper Longman, Grant Osborne) providing insight into the Bible as you read along in this Study Bible.

Inside The Bible

The NLT Study Bible 2 has the following features.

  • 25,000+ study notes
  • 50,000+ cross-references
  • 300+ themed articles
  • 220+ Charts, Illustrations, Maps, Timelines
  • 200 Greek & Hebrew Word Studies
  • 90 Profiles of major Bible figures
  • 85 introductory articles to Books of the Bibles, sections of the Bible and time periods of the Bible
  • Feature Index
  • Dictionary-Concordance
  • Words of Christ in Red
NLT Study Bible - Intro to Gospels & Matthew

NLT Study Bible (Original-Red)

The product of over forty Bible scholars and seven years' work, it is the most comprehensive study Bible ever created. The notes focus on bringing out the full meaning of the text, allowing the reader to understand the Bible more deeply than ever.
Feature details:

  • 25,900 study notes (over 820,000 words)
  • Maps, charts, & illustrations
  • Ten section introductions provide an overview of the literature and history of each section of the Bible, showing how the books are related to each other and to the rest of Scripture
  • Theme articles and person profiles (406 total) highlight recurring ideas and describe the lives of those who inhabit the pages of scripture
  • 100 Greek and 100 Hebrew word studies
  • 100 quotations from modern and ancient writers
  • Words of Christ in red
  • 9-point text
  • Recommended further reading at the end of each book and section introduction
NLT Study Bible - Genesis

NLT Illustrated Study Bible (ISB)

This winner of the 2016 Christian Book Award provides an entirely new visual study experience. The who, what, where, when and why of the Bible come alive with stunning photos, illustrations, infographics and full-color maps, along with background material, study notes and theme articles. 

This feature-rich Study Bible includes

  • 56 page index to study notes by topic (rare in a Study Bible)
  • 85 page dictionary/concordance
Click Here For A Look Inside The NLT Illustrated Study Bible

NLT Life Application Study Bible

One of today's best-selling study Bibles—the Life Application Study Bible—has been updated and expanded. Over 300 new Life Application notes, nearly 350 note revisions, 16 new personality profiles, updated charts, and a Christian Worker's Resource make this best-seller even better. 
New Features:

  • Over 300 new Life Application notes and significant revisions to nearly 350 others
  • 16 new Personality Profiles
  • Most charts revised to clarify meaning and importance, plus eight all-new charts
  • New information on the intertestamental period
  • Christian Worker's Resource, a special supplement to enhance the reader's ministry effectiveness, includes:
    • How to Become a Believer,
    • How to Follow Up with a New Believer,
    • Mining the Treasures of the Life Application Study Bible,
    • So You've Been Asked to Speak,
    • Taking the Step to Application

All this is in addition to the excellent collection of features that have made the Life Application Study Bible a best-seller.

  • Thousands of Life Application notes help explain God's Word and challenge readers to apply the truth of Scripture to life
  • Personality profiles highlight over 100 important Bible characters
  • Book introductions provide vital statistics, overview, and timeline to help readers understand the message of each book
  • 200 thumbnail maps highlight important Bible places and events
  • 260 charts help explain difficult concepts and relationships
  • Cross-references
  • Harmony of the Gospels built right into the text of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John
  • Dictionary/concordance
  • Words of Christ in red letter
  • Daily reading plan
  • Additional features:
    • Presentation Page
    • Family records section
    • Single Column Format
    • Side-column cross references
    • Index to Notes
    • Index to Charts
    • Index to Maps
    • Index to Personality Profiles
    • Dictionary/Concordance
    • Scripture Text: 8 Point
    • Notes: 8 Point
    • 16 pages of color maps & diagrams

This Bible is now available in most other translations as well (KJV, NKJV, NIV)

NLT Life Application Sample - Genesis

NIV Swindoll Study Bible

The Swindoll Study Bible offers the best of Chuck Swindoll's wit, charm, pastoral insight, and wise biblical study in the study of God's Word. Chuck's informed, practical insights get straight to the heart of the Bible's message for the world today. Reading each part of this study Bible is like hearing Chuck speak God's Word directly to your heart. It will both encourage readers' faith and draw them deeper into the study of God's Word.

In Chuck's own words:

"This study Bible was designed with you in mind. As you read the Scriptures...You'll discover the who, what, where, when, why, and how of the Bible. Who wrote it and when? What does it mean, and where did its events occur? Why should I trust it? And most importantly, how can I apply it today? It's that last question more than any other that has fed my passion to publish this Bible...God communicated His Word to us-that we may become like His Son, Jesus Christ, the central figure of this Book."

Free App with Purchase! App includes all content from the Swindoll Study Bible and can be used on up to 5 devices. Available for iOS and Android.

NLT Chronological Life Application Study Bible

This Bible was the 2013 Christian Book Award Winner. 

The new four-color Chronological Life Application Study Bible combines the proven resources of the Life Application Study Bible with a chronological format and several brand-new resources.

The Bible is arranged in 10 chronological sections that help the reader to see how the various pieces of the Bible fit together. New section intros and timelines set the stage for the passages in each section. New archaeological notes and photographs help to bring God's story to life in a whole new way. And of course, the Life Application resources answer the all-important question—"so what?"

  • Section Introductions—Background information help you get the big picture of biblical history
  • Chronological Format—Read God's story in the order it happened
  • Parallel Passage Indicator—Shows you when there are multiple perspectives of a single story
  • Running Timeline—Notes key biblical and world events in the margin
  • Full-color Maps, Photos, & Illustrations—Unique presentation of biblical history and content
  • Life Application Notes—Learn how to apply the Word to your life with the most trusted application notes available today
  • Archaeological Discoveries—Brings you closer to the world of the Bible with engaging insights
  • Christian Worker's Resources—Sharing the faith with others
  • The Bible Book-By-Book—Introductions and outlines to each of the books of the Bible
  • NLT Dictionary/Concordance
  • Master index to all study notes, chart, map, personality profile, or archaeology notes
  • Presentation page
  • 8.5-point text size

This Bible is now available in most other translations as well (KJV, NKJV, NIV)

The Bible in 3 Minutes Video
NLT Chronological Life App Web Site
NLT Chronological Life Application Sample
The One Year Chronological Bible Sample

NLT Parallel Study Bible

Torn between notes that focus on life application and notes that focus on background, culture, themes and theology? Then this Bible is for you - it combines the Expository study notes from the NLT Study Bible to help you understand the Bible like a 1st-Century believer AND the best-selling Life Application study notes to help you apply its truths in a 21st-century world.

This Bible recognizes its application is best done with a thorough knowledge of historical and literary context. The NLT Study Bible is excellent at establishing this base. The Life Application Study Bible content guides you in the concrete steps toward application.

The New Living Translation is an authoritative Bible translation, rendered faithfully into today’s English from the ancient texts by 90 leading Bible scholars. The NLT’s scholarship and clarity breathe life into even the most difficult-to-understand Bible passages. That’s why we call it "The Truth Made Clear." 


  • Study notes from the NLT Study Bible & the Life Application Study Bible
  • Section introductions
  • Book introductions
  • Cross-references
  • Topical index
  • Dictionary & Index for Hebrew & Greek word studies
  • Dictionary/Concordance
  • Full-color maps
  • Presentation page
  • 9.75" x 7.00" x 2.00"
Video on NLT Parallel Study Bible

NLT Life Recovery Bible

The #1 selling recovery Bible based on the Twelve-step recovery model. It was created by two of today's leading recovery experts, Stephen Arterburn, M.Ed. and David Stoop, PhD., to lead readers to the source of true healing—God himself.


  • New Inspirational Preface
  • Four Helpful Articles on Overcoming Addiction
  • Life Recovery Facilitator's Guide
  • Step-by-Step Life Recovery Meeting Guide
  • The 12 Christian Foundations of Life Recovery
  • The 12 Self-Evident Truths of Life Recovery
  • Resources page, directing readers to helpful books and online resources

And Many More

The number of Bibles is almost mind-numbing but definitely points out how we have no excuse to be ignorant of God's revelation to us!

The NLT comes in a variety of Teen Study Bibles, the Hands-On Bible for Kids and many other options as well.

As mentioned many of these (Life Application, Chronological, etc.) are available in other translations as well. 

12 Days of Christmas One Day Sales Events

Study Bibles Are Not In Short Supply!

There are many, many more that we have not covered. Hopefully, however, what we have covered gives you a better understanding of the different translations and options available to you.

And there is definitely one that will meet your needs!

We carry each of the Study Bibles mentioned in this series of articles at FIT Books, and if we're out of an item we can order it for you.

If you missed the previous installments in this series, see the links below. 

What Is The Difference Between A Text Bible & A Study Bible?
The Holman Study Bible Family
The CSB Family of Study Bibles
The ESV Family of Study Bibles
The NIV Family of Study Bibles

The chart below provides samples of some of the main translations, along with year the translation was completed and the reading grade level of each translation.

For a PDF of the Chart Above Click here.

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