Ask the UMC: Does the church have an official Bible?

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
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

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 teaching resources as official. Protestant denominations never designate a single Bible translation for use. Rather, 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, the Common English Bible (CEB) and the New Revised Standard Version (NRSV) are the preferred texts for curriculum. However, writers can 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 InfoServ, a ministry of United Methodist Communications.
First published Oct. 11, 2016. 

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