Comments: General Synod - business done Friday

"(b)Commend the king James version and other traslations of the Bible as relevant and authoritative per personal and public instruction, reiterating the importance of continuing Biblical translation, scholarship and teaching"
- "Confidence in the Bible" at General Synod -

This section (c) on the amended G.S. Motion needs, itself, perhaps to be interpreted for modern Christian congregations. Especially when considering the fact that the King James version of the Bible was truly a product of its own time, produced in a language and idiom of theological understanding at the time of the Reformation.

More modern versions of the scriptures - published most often by accredited scholars of varying Christian traditions - are now available to help the contemporary student of Christianity to understand more of the background and cultural origins of the wrtings and their meaning and relevance to the interpreters of their own day and age.

One of the problems for modern theological students with using just one version of the Bible - especially, perhaps, the King james version - is that they can be beguiled into believing that there is ony one particular way of interpreting a particular passage, when in fact, there may be as many interpretations as their are Biblical scholars available to interpret.

The Bible is read publically in most Churches at least on Sundays, and in many churches, every day, with readings usually from the Old Testament and the New (both Epistle and Gospel readings). However, without adequate study of the passages, and an intelligent hermeneutic process, there is little hope of discovering what the Bible may be 'saying' to us today, in our particular context and situation.

This is one important reason why the upcoming process of hermeneutical studies being promoted within the communion may help us all to better understand the inclusivity of God and Jesus in the Scriptures.

While welcoming the G.S. Motion affirming the place of Scripture in the life and witness of the Church; an over-emphasis on the King James version of the Bible as a medium for teaching would seem to preclude any reference to modern discoveries of science and social mores to which a more modern version of the Bible bears witness.

My own preference is the New Jerusalem Bible which is now authorised in most Anglican churches around the world and, to my mind, more helpful from a language perspective in the teaching of, and discussion with, neophyte Chritians.

Posted by Father Ron Smith at Monday, 15 February 2010 at 10:17am GMT
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