Bible Translations: Denominational Influences
This is especially true in any Dynamic Equivalence or Paraphrase translation, which leave the greatest room for modifications, but can also be true in a word-for-word translation, because some Greek and Hebrew words can have multiple English equivalents (though almost always those variants are in the same semantic domain).
While it would take much more room and time than you are willing to read to demonstrate how these denominational influences can affect the reading (though the first example in Translation Philosophy between the dynamic equivalence and paraphrase Bibles is a good example), I think it is useful to demonstrate the wide variety of translators and denominations used by some translations.
Note: Many translations will note not only the translators, but the “translation team”, which will include the “Advisory council” and “translation reviewers”. However, in the end, the translators, not advisors or reviewers, make the decision on what the words will be. The publisher’s own words are generally used to describe the translators’ affiliations.
King James Version: 47 (plus 7 for the Apocryphal books) for 54 – All Anglican…but as it was the only English-Speaking Church of the period this would not be an example of a denomination as we know it. There were significant dissenters in the Anglican Church, most notably the Puritans, whose theology was known by the translators. Conservative, evangelical.
New King James: 119 (includes all categories)– Trans-national, trans-denominational. Conservative, evangelical.
NASB: 54 – Trans-denominational, conservative.
ESV: 14 (over 100 total) - International and represents many denominations, shares a commitment to historic evangelical orthodoxy, and to the authority and sufficiency of the inerrant Scriptures. Includes J.I. Packer, Robert & William H. Mounce and Wayne Grudem.
NIV: 15 – International, trans-denominational. The National Association of Evangelicals, which includes most moderate-to-conservative denominations (not the Southern Baptists, though) represents the general denominational beliefs of these translators and associates.
Holman CSB: 13 (90 total) – Conservative & Evangelical. Has many SBC translators, but lacks the big SBC names.
NRSV: 30 - “has received the widest acclaim and broadest support from academics and church leaders of any modern English translation. It is the only Bible translation that is as widely ecumenical”. The NCCUSA is the denominational representative of this translation. They are, by any standards, “liberal”, including the PCUSA, ECUSA, UCC, and UMC.
Good News Translation/TEV: 7 – Denominational/ theological influences? Well, here are the words of one of the lead translators: “Only willful ignorance or intellectual dishonesty can account for the claim that the Bible is inerrant and infallible.... No truth-loving, God-respecting, Christ-honoring believer should be guilty of such heresy... No one seriously claims that all the words of the Bible are the very words of God. If someone does so it is only because that person is not willing thoroughly to explore its implications ... Even words spoken by Jesus in Aramaic in the thirties of the first century and preserved in writing in Greek 35 to 50 years later do not necessarily wield compelling or authentic authority over us today.” You make the call.
The Message: 1 – PCUSA. You can’t get much more slanted in any direction than one translator!
A truly “trans-denominational” translation is, well, absent. The KJV, being produced before denominationalism became prevalent, is the closest one can get. If you are concerned about denominational influences, it would be worthwhile to get more than one type to compare.