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Thread: English Bible verion and denomination

  1. #1
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    Default English Bible verion and denomination

    One may, for various reasons, prefer one version over the others from among the bewildering array of the English Bible versions. But to a majority of Christians who do not know English, an English Bible is just an English Bible, and they do not comprehend there can be differences among versions.

    It would be very instructive to know which English Bible version is used by some of the major denominations in the English speaking communities. Do the Presbyterians, for instance, still use RSV, or do they now use NRS or something else? Who use NAU, or KJV, or NKJ, or NIV, etc? To a person who lives in a community where English is not spoken, this can be valuable information.

    Thanks, in advance.

    Yaku Lee

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yaku Lee View Post
    One may, for various reasons, prefer one version over the others from among the bewildering array of the English Bible versions. But to a majority of Christians who do not know English, an English Bible is just an English Bible, and they do not comprehend there can be differences among versions.

    It would be very instructive to know which English Bible version is used by some of the major denominations in the English speaking communities.
    I can only answer this for my own particular denomination, the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod. We do not have an "official" version, but the version that is used in a lot of Synodical worship materials, and therefore it is called the "primary" Bible translation used by the Synod is the ESV. However, if you go into other churches, you will no doubt find a varied use. I suspect, however, that between the ESV and NIV, that would be about 95% of the congregations in the Synod.
    Michael Hanel
    PhD candidate Classics Univ. of Cincinnati
    MDiv Concordia Seminary
    MA Classics Washington University
    Unofficial BibleWorks Blog
    LibraryThing!

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yaku Lee View Post
    But to a majority of Christians who do not know English, an English Bible is just an English Bible, and they do not comprehend there can be differences among versions... To a person who lives in a community where English is not spoken, this can be valuable information.
    I don't think there is any way to really pin this down nowadays. With regard to Bible versions, every man does what is right in his own eyes.

    While the Baptists, say, might officially designate one particular version for its official version (I believe the Southern Baptists designated the NIV some years back, and that's what is in the pews at the Southern Baptist Church I sometimes attend), but that doesn't mean that each Baptist church will use that version. It usually depends on the pastor and the individual members.

    For example, the pastor may preach out of one version, and his congregation may follow in the version the pastor uses or -- just as likely -- the congregation may use a dozen different versions that each individual prefers, while yet in other churches, the pastor might insist on -- or at least strongly prefer -- a uniformity of translation among his congregation.

    It almost always boils down to each individual church, although if I was forced to make a guess today, I would say that the ESV or the NIV is probably the most popular version among professing English Christians. I don't know that to be true, but that's my guess.

    It's been my experience that for most people the Bible they use is primarily a matter of preference, while for a few the Bible they use is a genuine matter of conviction. I am in the latter group.

    And of course, the underlying text also comes into play when choosing a Bible to employ, and thus I have written a few articles dealing with this matter which you can find at --

    http://www.lamblion.net/Articles/textual_criticism.htm

  4. #4

    Default Bible versions

    The Assemblies of God would reflect broader Evangelicalism:
    • There are a few traditionalists still insisting on the KJV. I once had a pastor step up behind me while I was preaching and remove my NIV from the pulpit and hand me his KJV. Since I preach from a full manuscript with the biblical text(s) included, it didn't change anything.
    • Some of the more traditionally minded will have moved to the NKJV.
    • I would say the NIV dominates, by far. It's almost certain to be what shows up on Powerpoint if the congregational readings and sermon texts are projected.
    • Lots of pastors will be using the NASB, at least as a study Bible, because they prize the literalness of its Translationese.
    • An isolated few will be using the ESV.
    • I know lots of people in the pew are now using the NLT, especially the younger generation; however, I'm not sure how many would be using it in the pulpit.
    • I suppose a few are even venturing to use Peterson's, The Message; however, I would think that mostly gets used as a secondary citation because the pastor likes the sound of how it goes one verse at a time.
    • I doubt if very many are using the RSV or NRSV.

    Dale A. Brueggemann

    כִּי עֶזְרָא הֵכִין לְבָבוֹ לִדְרוֹשׁ אֶת־תּוֹרַת יְהוָה וְלַעֲשֹׂת וּלְלַמֵּד בְּיִשְׂרָאֵל חֹק וּמִשְׁפָּט (Ezra 7:10)


  5. #5

    Default Elca

    In the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America one would most likely find the NRSV. Most of the materials produced by the denominational publishing house (Augsburg Fortress) use NRSV, but it is by no means exclusive. I have seen NIV and ESV and (for younger readers) CEV. I also suspect many pastors look at The Message just to spark engagement with the text.

    Michael: What about God's Word to the Nations version? I have found it to be a rather good translation, and I thought it had LCMS roots. What versions is Concordia Publishing house using?
    Mark G. Vitalis Hoffman
    Professor of Biblical Studies
    Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg
    ltsg.edu - CrossMarks.com
    Biblical Studies and Technological Tools

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    Quote Originally Posted by MGVH View Post
    Michael: What about God's Word to the Nations version? I have found it to be a rather good translation, and I thought it had LCMS roots. What versions is Concordia Publishing house using?
    Nope, ESV all the way. I heard about the God's Word translation briefly in college (Concordia-Seward), but I have never been in a setting where it has been used in any way. Concordia Publishing House (CPH), the publishing arm of the Synod, doesn't sell God's Word translation to my knowledge, so that's one way you can know it's not really going to float.

    Next October, CPH will be publishing a Lutheran study Bible which will be an annotated version of the ESV Study Bible. For better or for worse, for the next few years I imagine the ESV will be a lot of what you see in our circles.

    Here's a link to the LCMS study on translations and why Beck/God's Word didn't make the cut....
    Last edited by Michael Hanel; 09-16-2008 at 11:11 PM.
    Michael Hanel
    PhD candidate Classics Univ. of Cincinnati
    MDiv Concordia Seminary
    MA Classics Washington University
    Unofficial BibleWorks Blog
    LibraryThing!

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yaku Lee View Post
    Do the Presbyterians, for instance, still use RSV, or do they now use NRS or something else?
    Of the Presbyterian churches in Australia I have been a part of, I know of no one using the RSV (or NRSV for that matter). The most commonly used version is certainly NIV, with some use of ESV due mainly to Sydney Anglican influence. My wife and I are actually using HCSB in personal reading at the moment to get away from the predictability/familiarity of the NIV. (I know of no one other than my Grandma using KJV.)

    Regards,
    David.

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