The Wartburg Project

The Wartburg Project

In 2011, it became clear that the 1984 edition of the New International Version (NIV) of the Bible, so widely used in our synod’s congregations and publications for many years, would no longer be available.  The 2011 edition of the New International Version is a concern to many pastors who are uncomfortable with what seem to be systemic and cumulative weaknesses.  Some of these issues include the use of unwarranted gender inclusive language in certain passages and also the weak translation of certain prophecies of the Savior.

While the 2011 edition of the NIV  is not unusable, and also includes some improvements in certain passages, the probability of further revisions every 5 to 10 years, along with its current weaknesses, could take this version in a troublesome direction.

In addition to making use of other faithful, English versions currently on the market, such as,  The New King James Version (NKJV), The English Standard Version (ESV) and others, there has been a move to produce a new English translation of the Scriptures which stands on the shoulders of translation “giants” who have gone before and which reflects the respect we have for the Scriptures as the heirs of the Lutheran Reformation.

This has led to what is now known as The Wartburg Project described below.

The Wartburg Project is a group of WELS & ELS Lutheran pastors and professors who are working together to produce a new translation of the Bible. To provide you with an opportunity to gain an insight into their work and to experience firsthand the style of the translation, the Wartburg Project has developed a Passion History for use this Lenten season. This Passion History weaves together the Wartburg Project translations of the four gospels into a unified Passion narrative. It also includes arrangements for a three-year series of lessons from the three synoptic gospels.


In September our WELS Northwestern Publishing House sent the pre-order information for the completed EHV (Old & New Testaments) in hard cover with a projected shipping date of July 1, 2019.  From the anonymous donation to St. Paul’s held in reserve for this, orders have been placed for distribution to our members and students and for placement on the shelves of our church and school.  Enough remains in the fund for the future ordering of EHV-based catechisms and other related materials which will be published.  At some point, individuals will be able to buy leather-bound editions.  About a year after this initial edition of EHV comes out, an EHV Study Bible, now in progress, will also be published. St. Paul’s, Bangor, along with many other WELS & ELS congregations have been making use of the EHV New Testament and Psalms for some time already.  Starting this past fall, confirmation students are memorizing many of their passages from the EHV.   Since the NIV 84 is no longer available for sale, we are grateful to God for the completion of this project. Below is the description sent out by Northwestern Publishing House.   

Evangelical Heritage Version

A group of Lutheran pastors and professors known as the Wartburg Project is completing a new translation of the Bible called the Evangelical Heritage Version (EHV). The complete EHV will be available through Northwestern Publishing House beginning in July 2019. The EHV at a glance:

  • An accurate translation that communicates the expressions and style of the original Greek and Hebrew in clear English
  • trustworthy version that does not add or subtract from the Word, allowing God to speak for himself
  • readable rendering of the Bible formatted in a single column with headings, footnotes, and references for guidance
  • The familiar message we know and love, ensuring every verse retains its meaning and impact

Translated faithfully from the original Greek and Hebrew, the EHV proclaims the gospel of salvation through faith in Jesus Christ. The expressions, imagery, and style of the original texts are there, giving readers a lasting picture of God’s grace and mercy for a lost human race.

With a text that remains reliable and trustworthy, yet at the same time readable and familiar, the Evangelical Heritage Version honors the heritage of the church, which has handed down the Word of God for generations.