The moderator, Caleb, said:

This answer only presents an argument from authority: scholars were involved in the translation ergo their translation must be good.

My answer did not contain any judgement as to the worth of the NLT as a translation. What it did was provide a valid reason for why the NLT translation differs from the NIV and ESV.

It was clear to me the questioner, and a number of commenters also, were unaware of the nature (purpose and process) of the NLT translation.

My answer has been deleted for an invalid reason, as my answer filled an obvious gap in the questioners knowledge, and did not make any judgement about the worth of the NLT as a translation.

If Caleb can identify any statement in my answer to support his claim, I would appreciate being informed.

  • 1
    If you want the community to be able to review my judgement call it would be only fair to quote the entirety of the comment I left on it. You've left out the justification I left you for the deletion.
    – Caleb
    Nov 4, 2015 at 22:57

3 Answers 3


For >1k users: the answer under discussion.

The OP’s Meta concern:

If Caleb can identify any statement in my answer to support his claim, I would appreciate being informed.

The claim being referenced here appears to be:

This answer only presents an argument from authority....

To justify this point, we need not identify any statement in [your] answer but the lack of any argument in your answer starting from the text. You may be correct that the background about translation philosophy of the NLT is interesting supplemental information that would benefit the OP. However, it is tangential to the material under consideration, which is:

does the original Hebrew support this interpretation, allow it, or neither?

In order to answer this, you need to show your work starting at the level of the text. Your answer does not do so and thus misses the essential requirement for answers to exegetical questions on this site. The show your work post is one we refer to a lot here; if you really understand it, you’re unlikely to write answers that fall short of site expectations on this point.

We do have at least one question on Hermeneutics.SE and one question on our Meta site that deal with various translation philosophies in one way or another. You may find that you have something to offer on these questions.


Caleb, I stated clearly what my intention was in the very first sentence: to inform the questioner about "WHY there is a difference between the NLT and the other translations."

The reader clearly didn't understand that the NLT translation has a fundamentally different purpose than the ASV and NIV. I think my answer clarifies that issue such that, if the questioner had read it before asking the question, then he/she probably wouldn't have asked it.

Susan, I am new here, and I don't know yet how to address what I saw as a lack of understanding that was apparent to me in the question. I tried to make a comment, but I didn't have enough reputation points to do so. Interestingly, that answer was voted up by a member, which pushed me over fifty points, so I could then make comments anywhere. Having it deleted, has disabled that privileged.

So, how would you have approached the situation, so that the questioner, and those who are similarly unaware of something, have immediate feedback on the knowledge they lack?

  • I see where this is coming from. I still think my initial judgment call about the post note even touching on any actual Hebrew or even the verse in particular stands, but given the slightly off topic nature of the question its a more of a borderline case. Given the community seems somewhat undecided about whether my judgment call was good or not I've undeleted it on the benefit of the doubt. Hopefully that will make it easier to discuss how to fix the question. I would like to see your answer expanded to show how the general ideas you see as relevant are applied to that verse in particular.
    – Caleb
    Nov 5, 2015 at 8:13
  • The NLT and NIV have very similar purposes. Both try to be idiomatic meaning based translations
    – curiousdannii Mod
    Nov 5, 2015 at 13:38

After mulling this over for a bit, I have come to realize the problem was not nearly so much with the answer, but with the origional question. As the question was phrased, enegue's response was directly on point. The OP's question was

Does the original Hebrew support this interpretation?

To which enegue's basic answer was "the 90 scholars who translated it seemed to think so" which isn't a bad answer to the question above. however, Susan is correct, the answer didn't actually deal with hermeneutics which means that the problem wasn't really with enegue's answer as it was with the question itself. I am therefore going to edit the question, because I think the OP wanted to know why the NLT scholars chose to translate this way and/or what the best translation is. Not if it is "valid".

I was the one upvote BTW. I knew the NLT started as a simple language translation tageted at a lower grade levels, but didn't realize that they had also employed scholars later on in the writing process and I found that "useful".

Enegue, I also read some of your other answers. They aren't bad and although a few could use a link/reference or two, several others did a great job of showing your work. One of them I really liked, so I up-voted it and you should now have your commenting privileges reinstated as a result.

Sorry your answer was deleted - that's a tough break - but as it won't answer the question once the OPs post is revised. If you would like to edit your answer to match however, it will go into the community queue for review and will be undeleted if it answers the question as it is rephrased.

  • Thank you, James. I will go back and see if I can add something appropriate.
    – enegue
    Nov 5, 2015 at 1:03
  • 3
    I see where you're coming from with this, but in general I think the scope of the site should always be taken into account when answering whether the questions are themselves well phrased or not.
    – Caleb
    Nov 5, 2015 at 8:08

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