Is there is a list of which translations of the Bible are accepted by the Southern Baptist Convention?

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    The whole discussion seems to assume that Southern Baptists only use English Bibles. This is not true. – user5415 Aug 13 '13 at 15:32
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    The Southern Baptist Convention is headquartered in the United States, and the vast majority of them do speak English. – Affable Geek Feb 13 '15 at 15:55

The Southern Baptist Convention, while the highest authority within the Southern Baptist church, is not technically an authority amongst Baptists. It functions as a voluntary association with which member churches may choose to associate, but cannot dictate terms to anyone. While it does approve changes to the "Baptist Faith and Message," these are to be taken as guidelines not at odds with the local autonomy of the church.

Within the Baptist Faith and Message (the closest thing Baptists have to a creed), it simply says:

The Holy Bible was written by men divinely inspired and is God's revelation of Himself to man. It is a perfect treasure of divine instruction. It has God for its author, salvation for its end, and truth, without any mixture of error, for its matter. Therefore, all Scripture is totally true and trustworthy. It reveals the principles by which God judges us, and therefore is, and will remain to the end of the world, the true center of Christian union, and the supreme standard by which all human conduct, creeds, and religious opinions should be tried. All Scripture is a testimony to Christ, who is Himself the focus of divine revelation.

The BFM itself is silent on which versions are "approved."

That said, I suspect the question wants to know what translations are preferred. Here, any major translation would suffice, I propose the following list to help you figure out which ones are most likely:

  • Conservative to Evangelical: English Standard Version (ESV), NIV, HCSB (if you went to Dallas Theological Seminary)

  • Moderate to Scholarly: NRSV, RSV

  • Moderate to Gender-inclusively liberal: TNIV

  • Super-traditional: King James Version. Maybe New King James, if they're feeling special.

  • Conservative but Scholarly: The Amplified Bible.

  • When the Preacher wants to make a point: NLT, "The Message"

Perhaps more useful would be the ones Baptists would be very unlikely to use:

  • New Jerusalem Bible, Duoay-Rheims: perceived as too Catholic

  • New World Translation: restricted to the Jehovah's Witness

  • Makes most conservatives barf: The Living Bible, Readers Digest Condensed, Good News Translation.

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    +1 for the content, but additional kudos for "makes most conservatives barf". I think I would say that the Living Bible is great for what it is--a paraphrase. – Narnian May 28 '13 at 14:19
  • I've never heard the TNIV referred to as "scholarly" - it's less so than the NIV, which is in the dynamic equivalent category (aka thought-for-thought). "Scholarly" goes with the more literal word-for-word translations. – warren May 28 '13 at 15:30
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    @warren Yeah - I changed my label on that one. Fixed! – Affable Geek May 28 '13 at 15:31
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    @DoubleU Please be a little more restrained in editing my answers. The word "popish" really didn't fit here, in particular. – Affable Geek Feb 13 '15 at 15:53
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    Also, NWT isn't "controversial" for most Baptists - it is downright heretical. It is not fair to say "controversial amongst Trinitarians" It is fair to say "that's really only for Jehavoah's Witness" – Affable Geek Feb 13 '15 at 16:00

Televangelist Southern Baptists like Charles Stanley and Ed Young use the NASB translation. They are former presidents of the Southern Baptist Convention. This does not make the NASB the SBC's official bible, but it shows a preference.

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What about the NASB?

The SBC does not support the TNIV nor the 2011 revision of the NIV because of the inaccurate translations pertaining to gender. There are resolutions stating such.

They were fine with the 1984 NIV, but it is no longer being printed. They now support the HCSB.

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    Welcome to C.SE. When you get the chance, please read our tour and see how we are different than other sites. While I don't disagree with anything in this answer, it would really benefit from being fleshed out a little bit more, ideally with references. – Affable Geek Aug 9 '13 at 13:04
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    You are right about the HCSB; it's not just a Dallas thing. Reason is, the SBC owns the HCSB, thus has a vested interest in supporting it and encouraging its sale and use. – user5415 Aug 13 '13 at 15:32
  • This would be a much better answer if you were to edit and flesh it out with quotes and links to the actual resolutions you mention as well as details about how the HCSB came to be supported. (And @LelandBryantRoss, having a vested interest is not the same as being "owned", which I think is an inaccurate representation of the relation between the SBC and HCSB.) – Caleb Aug 17 '13 at 9:45

During my time as a Southern Baptist, i gravitated toward the NASB, NKJV, and the ESV. The church to which I now belong uses the NRSV, although I am still partial to the ESV, which is very close to the NRSV.

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