Change of bible translations for Wellspring (August 2019)

You will notice that we are now using and preaching from a new bible translation for our English-speaking congregations. It’s called the Christian Standard Bible (CSB), and replaces the New International Version bibles (1984 ed.) that we’ve had for many years. All in all, there’s not a lot of difference between the two, but it’s worth asking and answering the questions below.


Some more information can be found at these links:




Q1. Why are we changing translations?

A few reasons:

  • Our existing bibles are deteriorating; some have been discarded, some repaired. This has become less efficient than replacing them.
  • NIV84 became obsolete as a translation when the 2011 version was introduced. Continuing to use NIV84 in Sunday services has often led to a jarring between what people are reading and hearing. We want to eliminate this distraction.
  • The CSB is more accessible in more ways (digital and hardcopy) than many other bible versions. It’s especially hoped reading this version will make God’s timeless word sound refreshed in your hearing.


Q2. What’s happening to the old bibles?

There are many international students living in Hobart who’ve never read the bible, let alone been given one. Many of them are also learning English. God has given us the opportunity to connect with some of these students through our Resonate congregation and other ministries; we look forward to offering these bibles as gifts to bless these young people with God’s word.


Q3. How was the Christian Standard Bible translation decided upon?

The NIV84 had several translation issues that were corrected with its 2011 update, especially regarding gender pronouns. Arguably, the 2011 version created more but different issues in this area. In any case, it gave Wellspring’s staff the opportunity to explore further afield. The CSB aims to be ‘word for word’, not ‘thought for thought’, whilst retaining readability. It is especially good at honouring the female-and-male audience where intended, as well as not obscuring singular pronouns. (See links above for more on this).


Q4. How is this being paid for?

The late June Smith, a former parishioner of St. Peter’s Sandy Bay, generously bequeathed a sum of money to the Parish in her will. June was known to love the bible, which made the use of her bequest an easy decision.


An important final word: in February 2018, as part of our ‘Lament & Repent’ series, our Senior Pastor Rob noted that “although most Aboriginal languages in active use today have at least a New Testament, there is still much work to be done. There are others, as yet, who have only small portions or none of the bible in their mother tongue. This takes incredible amounts of time, training, and money.” In light of this, and the fact that we have the luxury of hundreds of English translations to choose from (including the CSB), Parish Council decided to donate our External Missions funding for 2018-19 to the Bible Society’s indigenous literacy and bible programme. The amount was close to $8,000.