A small mailing of Synod papers arrived on Monday. It included the official record of the Business Done at the July sessions; this is available online.
There was also a copy of GS Misc 760 The Church of England and Church Colleges and Universities Mutual Expectations Working Group. The working group is being set up by the Board of Education and invites submission of written evidence by the end of September 2004.
In a reply to a question at this month’s General Synod the Bishop of Salisbury referred to Versions of Scripture: A Note by the House of Bishops (GS Misc 698). The full text of this is reproduced below.
GS Misc 698
VERSIONS OF SCRIPTURE
A Note by the House of Bishops
1. While the Church of England authorizes the Lectionary - what passages are to be read on which occasion - it does not authorize particular translations of the Bible. Nevertheless, among the criteria by which versions of Scripture are judged suitable for reading in church during the course of public worship are the following:
2. A distinction needs to be drawn between translation and paraphrase. Versions which are read in church during the course of public worship should be translations of the Bible, not paraphrases of it. In less formal contexts, paraphrases may be useful.
3. Versions of Scripture which are translations and appear to satisfy at least four of the criteria set out in paragraph 1 above include:
4. Decisions about which version to use on which occasion are best made as locally as possible.
5. It should be noted that the NIV and the ESV do not include the Apocrypha, which is a necessary resource for Church of England lectionaries.
6. Some of the translations listed in paragraph 3 are ‘inclusive’ translations which avoid the use of masculine nouns and pronouns when reference is made to women as well as men. Where a masculine noun or pronoun is used in the original language, making an English text ‘inclusive’ necessarily involves a degree of departure from accurate translation. A conscious choice would have to be made between the two criteria of inclusivity and accuracy in respect of any of these versions.
On behalf of the House
+ DAVID EBOR:
9 October 2002
Although it is not being debated by Synod GS Misc 742 Paths to Unity explorations in ecumenical method is online here.
At tonight’s Question Time at General Synod the Chair of Synod’s Legal Advisory Commission referred to an Opinion from the Commission Effect of Acts by Women Bishops of Churches in Communion with the Church of England. The opinion is online as two Word documents.