My main criticism of this translation is when does the translating end and when does the translators' interpretations begin? The 2015 NLT rendering of Ephesians 2:8 may be a good example of this. But this is a problem with all phrase for phrase and thought for thought translations. Therefore the NLT should be used along with translations like the NASB, ESV, or LSB. I never would use just one translation anyway.

The NLT does a very good job of explaining difficult passages. Ecclesiastes 12 is a prime example. Read it in most translations and compare it to the NLT and you will have your eyes opened. The book of Job has a similar effect.

One thing I am concerned about in reading the NLT is that many times they translate the word that means "faith" as "believe." Faith means both "believe" and "trust." They should use "faith" to convey the double meaning. We live both believing and trusting, not a mere believing.

While the NLT explains difficult passages, I cannot recommend it as the sole Bible for a deep Hebrew or Greek language word study (the NASB is better suited for this), but as a Bible to find the meaning and intent of a passage, the NLT is delightful to read and really speaks to me like no other translation. It is also a great to use with the NET Bible.

I use the NLT strictly to compare to the other translations. The NLT takes liberties and adds words and even phrases that are not found in Scripture, mostly to explain what IS in Scripture. While that can be helpful, those words and phrases are not the Word of God. It is impossible to tell what is Scripture and what is not when using the NLT, without comparing it to other Bibles. That is why I would highly recommend that you should compare the NLT with such versions like the New American Standard Bible or the Legacy Standard Bible, and consider the NLT as more like a commentary that will explain difficult passages from the more literal Bible translations.