I think that most English Bible translators hope that their translation of the Bible will serve the needs of more than one church denomination. It is interesting, however, to note the denominational background (or funding) for some English Bible versions. In this post I’ll note denominational connections. But before doing so, I want to emphasize that many, if not most, of those who have translated and published these versions do not wish for them to be thought of as denominational versions. In my own years of study of English Bible versions I have found very little evidence of denominational bias in translations. (There is greater ideological or theological bias, but that bias is not limited to beliefs of single denominations, except in the case of the NWT.) So, please do not take away from this post that the versions mentioned here are denominational versions. They are not denominational versions, except for the NWT and the Catholic versions (which are also used by some Protestants, as “Protestant” versions are used by some Catholics). These versions just originated with a denomination or had funding from a denomination or an organization association with a denomination.
Here are denominational connections for some English Bible versions:
- KJV – Church of
- NAB – Catholic
- JB/NJB – Catholic
- NIV – Christian Reformed impetus, but began with an inter-denominational translation committee
- NWT – Jehovah’s Witnesses
- God’s Word – Lutheran (Missouri Synod)
- HCSB – Southern Baptist (see Kevin Sam’s recent blog post; I disagree with Sam if he is saying that there is Baptist influence in the HCSB text itself)
- NCV – Churches of Christ
- Tanakh: The Holy Scriptures – Jewish
- “Our New Bible” (version name not chosen yet) – United Methodist (but ecumenical)
Please feel free to correct me if I have erred anywhere. And please comment on other denominational connections with specific Bible versions, if you are aware of any.