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Five shrinking denominations generally regarded as “liberal” now have their own translation of the Bible.

“There are a number of translations available for conservative churches,” spokesman Paul Franklyn told the Nashville Tennessean newspaper. Now, the liberal churches have theirs, the Common English Bible. Its translation from the original ancient texts was funded by the Church Resources Development Corp, which, according to the Common English Bible website “allows for cooperation among denominational publishers in the development and distribution of Bibles, curriculum, and worship materials.”

The Common English Bible Committee, according to the website, “meets periodically and consists of denominational publishers from the following denominations: Disciples of Christ (Chalice Press); Presbyterian Church U.S.A. (Westminster John Knox Press); Episcopal Church (Church Publishing Inc); United Church of Christ (Pilgrim Press); and United Methodist Church (Abingdon Press).

Declining in membership, the five denominations have lost about 5 million members since 1960, according to the website Today the Disciples of Christ total about 786,000 members, down from 1.2 million in 1960. The Presbyterian Church U.S.A. has 3.2 million members, down from 4.1 in 1960. The Episcopal Church has 2.3 million, down from 3.2. The United Church of Christ has 1.2 million, down from 2 million. The United Methodist Church has 8.2 million members, down from 10.7 members in 1960.

In comparison, the traditionally conservative Southern Baptists total 16.2 million members, up from 9.7 members in 1960. Conservative on such issues as abortion and same-gender marriage, the Roman Catholic Church claims 62.4 million members, up from 41.6 million in 1960.

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