22 Apr GS 1983 art 71
GS 1983 ARTICLE 71 – CANONS OF DORT
Committee IV presents:
I A. MATERIAL – Agenda D, 1-9
- 1. Report from the Committee on the Canons of Dort.
- 2. Letter from the Church at Abbotsford re Canons of Dort.
- 3. Letter from the Church at Abbotsford re not to accept this new translation (see also C, 3).
- 4. Letter from the Church at Burlington (Ebenezer).
- 5. Letter from the Church at Burlington-South (see also B. 9).
- 6. Letter from the Church at Carman.
- 7. Letter from the Church at Chilliwack.
- 8. Letter from the Church at Cloverdale (see C, 8).
- 9. Letter from the Church at Langley.
- 1. The Committee on Translation and Revision of the Confessional and Liturgical Forms received the following mandate from Smithville 1980:
- a. To pass on the remarks of the Advisory Committee regarding the newly translated text of the Chapters I-V to the Committee for consideration or incorporation into the final draft.
- b. To charge the Committee to complete the revision of the Rejection of Errors and to present the whole, corrected by a subcommittee of linguistic experts, to the Churches nine months prior to the next Genera l Synod for final adoption for use in the Churches.” (Acts, Smithville 1980, Art. 123, II, D. 2, 3).
- 2. The Committee reports:
- a. That it did not receive the remarks of the Advisory Committee of Synod Smithville 1980 regarding the newly translated text of the Canons. They were not passed on to the Committee as adopted by Synod according to Article 123, II. D. 2 of the Acts. These remarks could for that reason not be considered by the Committee.
- b. That the brothers Rev. R. Aasman. W. Horsman and N. VanDooren were appointed as a language subcommittee with the mandate to examine the Creeds with regard to vocabulary, style, punctuation and readability.
- c. That due to the time limitation the Refutation was not submitted to the language subcommittee.
- d. That it received “a request of the deputies Church Book of the Free Reformed Churches in Australia to remain informed as to the progress of the work of the Committee. This request was granted by passing on the completed material.”
- 3. The Committee recommends:
- a. To appoint Dr. W. Helder of Hamilton as language scrutineer of the Refutation of Errors. added to the Canons of Dort.
- 4. The Churches at Abbotsford. Burlington-East, Burlington-South. Carman. Chilliwack, Cloverdale and Langley have provided Synod with a long list of linguistic emendations and/or objections to the proposed version on doctrinal grounds.
- 5. The Church at Abbotsford recommends not to adopt the new translation of the Canons of Dort in !Is present form because:
- a. The Committee on Translation and Revision of the Confessional and Liturgical forms did not complete its mandate in time (see Acts General Synod 1980 Art. 123. I. D. 2. b re Belgic Confession: Art. 123, II. D. 3 re Canons of Dort).
- b. Partly as a result of the above mentioned ground the material for General Synod 1983, received by the consistories in the last six months, was just too much to be dealt with justly.
- c. Some of the proposed revisions and translations showed that we still suffer from lack of expertise in the English language.
- 1. The Committee could not fulfill its mandate since the remarks of the Advisory Committee of Synod Smithville 1980 regarding the newly translated text of the Canons were not passed on to it as decided by Synod.
- 2. The revision of the Rejection of Errors was not submitted to the language sub committee.
- 3. Some of the doctrinal and/or linguistic notations are:
- a. Chap. Ill. IV, Art. 4: In this article “glimmerings of natural light ” has been replaced with “some light of nature” – an expression which adds more “light” than Dordt allowed, but only darkens the issue. Also, “some knowledge of God” has been changed to “some notions of God.” Why? Also, the original article stresses man’s incapability of using the natural light correctly, a point completely lost in the revision.
- b. Chap. Ill/IV. Art. 5: “the strength to extricate” has been replaced with “the power to free himself,” a weaker expression while the former is clear English.
- c. Chap. V. Art. 1· “from the infirmities of the flesh” now becomes “from the flesh.” which hopefully is an error of some kind or another. Otherwise, the new rendering is plainly heretical.
- d. Chap. V. Art. 13: “torment of conscience” has been replaced with “torment of the soul.” which hardly comes over as improvement.
- e. Chap. I. paragraph 1: “It” (second sentence) is incorrect pronoun reference.
- f. Chap. II. paragraph 6: “As far as God is concerned” sounds wordy, colloquial.
- g. Chap. Ill/IV. paragraph 1: “to deserve” lacks a subject.
- h. Chap. V. paragraph 2: “evangelical” should be “Biblical.”
- 1. To thank the Committee on Revision and Translation of the Confessional and Liturgical Forms for the work done thus far on the Canons of Dort.
- 2. To pass on the doctrinal and/or linguistic critical notations from the various Churches, as well as the remarks of the Smithville Advisory Committee to the Committee for consideration or incorporation into the final draft.
- 3. To charge the Committee to complete the revision of both the Canons of Dort and the Rejection of Errors. and to present this revision to the Churches one year prior to the next General Synod.
- 4. To appoint Dr. W. Helder of Hamilton as language scrutineer.
- 5. To charge the Committee to pass on the final draft to the Deputies of the Free Reformed Churches of Australia.
The Recommendations D. 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 are ADOPTED.