Beginning this Fall, The Gideons International In Canada will begin handing out a new translation. The association’s National Cabinet has approved the addition of the New Living Translation (NLT) for distribution within Canada.
The official launch will occur during the ministry’s annual national convention in Ottawa this August as part of its 100th anniversary celebrations. Gideon members have been placing and distributing Bibles and New Testaments since 1911, beginning with the King James Version (KJV), the predominant translation used in the Protestant church at that time. In 1972, recognizing the need to use a more modern translation, The Gideons International In Canada added the recently published New American Standard Bible (NASB) as an approved Scripture. Over time the NASB eclipsed the KJV in popularity and became the core translation distributed by Canadian Gideons. This year's addition of the NLT will not replace the NASB but become a new option for members to distribute.
Widely embraced by Evangelical churches in Canada today, the NLT is a translation that The Gideons believe is ideal for giving to someone who is new to the Bible. Published by Tyndale House Publishers in 1996 (with subsequent updates), the NLT is easy to read and understand, and accurately communicates the meaning and content of the original biblical texts. The NLT was produced using a team of more than 90 scholars representing a rich variety of theological and denominational backgrounds, and is consistently among the top three selling translations in North America.
For over 100 years, the focus of the Gideon ministry has been connecting unsaved people with God's message of salvation. Gideon members distribute free Scriptures to individuals one-on-one, or place Bibles in public settings such as hotels and motels, hospitals, prisons, fire halls, ships, trains, and other places. New Testaments are offered to students in colleges, universities and public schools, as well as nurses, police officers and others in public service. Gideons also partner with local churches through evangelistic outreaches in their communities.
Given the secular culture and spiritual emptiness that exists in Canada today, The Gideons International In Canada is excited to be able to offer a version like the NLT to people who are unfamiliar with God’s message of love and forgiveness. The translation’s contemporary style of English will likely surprise people and encourage them to keep reading through the pages of God’s Word. And those who have turned away from the faith of their childhood will hopefully re-experience the Bible and give it another chance.