Since there are vast differences in language used in the various translations, should we comment/suggest to people answering include the translation along with the scripture?

  • 1
    Could you expand upon this? I'm a little confused as to what's being asked, exactly.
    – Iszi
    Aug 23, 2011 at 20:46
  • @Iszi I've seen some answers that have quoted scripture references, but don't include whether it was NIV or King James (although that's pretty evident!), etc. Just wondering if this information matters in the answers. Aug 23, 2011 at 20:50
  • 1
    Ah, in that case I'd be inclined to close this thread as a dupe of the other "quoting scripture" thread. This topic is covered there also, albeit not quite as specifically.
    – Iszi
    Aug 23, 2011 at 20:53
  • possible duplicate of How would you like to see scripture linked?
    – Iszi
    Aug 23, 2011 at 20:53
  • I'd be alright with that, if others agree (using the close functionality). I won't delete in case others think the specificity of this is warranted. Aug 23, 2011 at 20:54
  • Something like meta.christianity.stackexchange.com/questions/14/… would make that possible to know what translation the quotation is from. This would be better.
    – daviesgeek
    Aug 23, 2011 at 22:40

2 Answers 2


Specification of translations and/or versions of scripture should always be explicitly specified by the person referencing them. This should not only include quoted scripture, but also referenced scripture.

For example, if I were to be discussing the creation of the world I should say either:

In Genesis 1:2 (NIV), we're told that the earth began formless, empty, and dark.


Genesis 1:2 (NIV) says:

"Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters."

I should not simply say:

Genesis 1:2 says the earth was vacant, dark, and without form.


Genesis 1:2 says:

"Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters."

  • I think you should be required to quote the scripture passage in the post and then summarize it below the block quote.
    – Kalamane
    Aug 23, 2011 at 22:25
  • 3
    There's no need to reference the translation if you're not quoting it. If you are quoting, the preferred format is typically to follow the quote with the translation's abbreviation, e.g., "Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters." (NIV)
    – Ray
    Aug 23, 2011 at 22:48
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    @Ray - There is absolutely reason to reference the translation if you're not quoting it. Someone could read the passage in a different translation, and come to a completely different conclusion than you have about it - therefore creating possible debate, conflict, and confusion.
    – Iszi
    Aug 23, 2011 at 23:33
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    I strongly agree that ALL passages should have translation identifiers if they are in any way directly discussed. However @Ray might have a point here if secondary support references since looking at them at all is an exercise left to the reader, the translation may be as well (or assumed to the the same as the main passage mentioned.) Any time even a single word is used out of a verse, what translation that came from should probably be identified. In the example above if somebody said "Genesis 1:2 tells us that the earth was vacant." I would want to know where the word 'vacant' came from.
    – Caleb
    Aug 25, 2011 at 10:26
  • Even if no words from the text are used, whenever a verse is referenced in support of a certain statement the translation should be identified so that the readers who do check the text are not left so much confused as to how the user who posted the reference came to the conclusions they posted. A prime example would be the infamous "Jehovah's Witness" question. Had the asker chosen not to post the exact text he was referring to, we'd all be wondering where he got his ideas from because (and even still) no translation was specified..
    – Iszi
    Aug 25, 2011 at 13:02
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    I just wish to add that, with the NIV at least, this is a legal issue. The NIV preface states that you must specify the version when quoting them to comply with copyright, and recommends the Genesis 1:1 (NIV) format for most use.
    – trlkly
    Aug 25, 2014 at 14:20

It seems that if the translation is not provided, a link to the site that contains the translation should be provided.

For example, if you say

Genesis 1:1

1 In the beginning of God's preparing the heavens and the earth --

I think it's acceptable to not include the translation since you have the link that you can use to find the translation.

However, if you do not provide the link to the translation, you should include the translation.

If we could work on implementing this, it would help clarify questions when people are using New World Translation or something else that isn't a "mainstream" translation.

  • I disagree. I've already found myself hovering over links looking for what translation was used so I can go look it up myself on a different site than was linked. I think the translation should ALWAYS be identified. The link is a bonus, but not a substitute for identifying the verse.
    – Caleb
    Aug 25, 2011 at 10:16
  • Hmmm. I can definitely see your point.
    – Richard
    Aug 25, 2011 at 10:46

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