The short answer is No. Let us explain.
First of all, as a matter of historical fact, WELS has never had an “official Bible.” The 1977 Synod Proceedings of the WELS say this:
“The Synod never adopted any translation as the official Bible of the Synod” (p. 74).
In 1979, when the NIV was accepted for use in publications, the WELS in convention passed a resolution that quoted the statement above as a fact and then stated:
“We still concur with the 1977 resolution, ‘That this action should not be construed as the adoption of the NIV as the Synod’s official Bible’ (1977 Synod Proceedings, p. 74).”
The Wartburg Project views its work as an attempt to serve the church at large. Our work is an expression of faith and love and service. We are working to provide the church at large (not just WELS) with the best translation we can produce. It has never been our goal to be “the official WELS Bible.” And we will not seek to be “the official WELS Bible.” We do not encourage anyone to promote or describe our work in those terms.
We hope and pray that the EHV will be a blessing for many. We hope and pray that the EHV will be used by many people. We hope and pray that it will be used in worship, Bible study, home devotions, and Christian literature. We plan to make the EHV available to many churches, authors, and people on the most agreeable terms. We are hoping to share God’s Word widely. We are encouraging our publisher to get copies of the EHV into as many bookstores as possible. We are aiming way higher than just use within WELS.
While we do have many WELS members who are participants in the Wartburg Project, this project is a separate “parasynodical” organization. We are not funded by the WELS at all. (We also have many participants from the ELS. To our knowledge, we have never been asked if we are trying to be “the official ELS Bible.”)
Please look at our work and the EHV as an attempt to serve the Triune God with the gifts he has given us. We are trying to be faithful stewards with all of the abilities we have. We’ve been amazed at how many abilities our participants have as gifts from God. We’ve been encouraged by the progress of the translation work.
Please look at our work and the EHV as an attempt to provide a faithful translation of God’s inspired and inerrant Word to as many people as possible.
From the beginning, we have tried to steer clear of debates or negativity. Our motto has been and remains that we are striving to be: “Purely Positive.” We hope that you will see that in our translation work and the results.
Thank you for asking!
By the way, please also see FAQ #8 Is the Wartburg Project sectarian? Will the Bible it produces be sectarian?