I want to do a free daily podcast of the Bible. Would I need permission of the copyright holder of the translation I am reading or would this be considered fair use? Would I need to state the source or, conversely, would I be restricted from stating the source without authorization?
First of all, yes, the (purported) author of the Bible has much better recourse than the standard Cease & Desist letter -- for example, He could send a plague of locusts or kill your kin and kine -- and arguments about "the life of the author" would probably make things worse rather than better, but, no, He probably won't take any sort of action.
And yes, the translator for any particular version does hold the copyright but there are many, many translations whose copyrights have long since expired. The King James Version (certainly the most poetic translation) saw its copyright expire before George Washington was born. There's also the now-public-domain American Standard Version.
Finally, there are versions released under very flexible licenses. For example, you can record the New English Translation without paying a dime so long as you aren't making money off it yourself.
And the translation certainly does matter. For proof, look no further than Genesis 1:2. The (free!) King James Version reads:
But the (not free!) New International Version is
There are those who claim that Shakespeare and Marlowe helped out on the KJV. I don't know if I believe that, but you don't have be a poet to realize that "hovering over the waters" is not the image you want to start your Bible with. Makes the Lord of Hosts sound like He's in a helicopter...
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The Bible itself isn't under copyright. A modern translation/interpretation may be, so just stick with one that's in the public domain, eg. The King James Version.
First: Here are no lawyers around, sorry.
Third: Why don't you just ask the copyright owner?