Choosing a Bible translation for WELS publications

The WELS adopted a resolution in 1977 to authorize the use of the NIV for publication purposes. In the last two years a new version of the NIV was prepared to take the place of the older version.  The revision became available on line first in November 2010 and then in print in March 2011.

To study thoroughly the NIV 2011 translation and evaluate other translations, WELS President Rev. Mark Schroeder has appointed the Translation Evaluation Committee (TEC). Members of the committee include Rev. Paul Wendland, president of Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary; Rev. Ken Cherney, professor at Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary; Rev. Tom Nass, professor at Martin Luther College; Rev. Joel Petermann, president of Michigan Lutheran Seminary; and Rev. John Braun, vice president at Northwestern Publishing House.

UPDATE: At the 2013 synod convention, delegates adopted a resolution from the Translation Evaluation Committee that “encourages NPH to choose whichever translation it deems best for a particular publication.” The resolution also encourages all WELS congregations to use the four-part Bible study that the Translation Evaluation Committee produced and concludes by resolving “that we, as members of WELS standing firm in one spirit, contending as one man for the faith of the gospel, fix our hearts on this one unshakable truth: the Word of our God endures forever.”

In addition, the synod in convention defeated a resolution from the Translation Feasibility Committee proposing “to explore further the preparation of a quality, confessional Lutheran translation of the Bible.”

The second resolution provided by this Translation Evaluation Committee recommended that “a standing committee be appointed by the Conference of Presidents to evaluate major Bible translations; to communicate with their editors and publishers; to offer, when appropriate, suggestions to improve such translations; and to share its findings with the synod at large.” This resolution was overwhelmingly passed.

Read the resolutions from the convention.


Except where indicated the documents below have been created by members of the TEC and represent the opinion of the entire Committee.

Four-part Bible study on translation

Translation Evaluation Committee official reports

  • Now including the official 2013 Synod Convention reports from the Translation Evaluation Committee and the Translation Feasibility Committee.

2012 Translation Evaluation: Report of the 102

Theories on translation

Issues involving the NIV 2011

Evaluating other translations of the Bible

Forward in Christ articles

Other Resources