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United Methodists affirm the usefulness of a number of translations and versions of the Bible as being helpful for study, teaching, memorization and other purposes. Photo by Kathryn Price, United Methodist Communications

Photo by Kathryn Price, United Methodist Communications

United Methodists affirm the usefulness of a number of translations and versions of the Bible as being helpful for study, teaching, memorization and other purposes.

Does The United Methodist Church have an official Bible translation?

 

The United Methodist Church does not have an “official” version or translation of the Bible. Only the General Conference can designate specific ritual texts or other liturgical or text for the denomination. It has not established any official translation for us. Given our worldwide nature and the vast diversity of languages we speak across the church, this is wise!

In practice, United Methodists affirm the usefulness of a number of translations and versions as being helpful for study, teaching, memorization and other purposes, since each sheds a slightly different light in translating or paraphrasing the original languages and manuscripts.

When it comes to United Methodist teaching resources published by The United Methodist Publishing House in English, the Common English Bible (CEB) and the New Revised Standard Version (NRSV) are the preferred texts for curriculum, largely because these are the preferred versions of many of our pastors and teachers in the US. However, writers are also free consult other versions or quote from them when doing so strengthens the teaching resource.

For more information, download Cokesbury’s Guide to Popular Bible Translations

Have questions? Ask the UMC. And check out other recent Q&As.

This content was produced by AskTheUMC, a ministry of United Methodist Communications.
First published Oct. 11, 2016. Revised December 20, 2018.