GS 2007 art 141

GS 2007 Article 141 – SCBP – Prose Section with the NIV Bible References

The advisory committee presented its proposal:

1.      Material

  • 1.1     SCBP Report 10
  • 1.2-6 Letters from the following churches:
  • Smithers, Chatham, Carman West, Flamborough, Burlington Fellowship

2.      Observations

  • 2.1     The committee report serves as observations.
  • 2.2     Synod Chatham mandated the committee to continue the mandate of Synod Fergus to prepare the prose section of the Book of Praise with the NIV Bible references.
  • 2.3     The committee recommends that synod adopt the updated prose section of the Book of Praise with the NIV Bible references, as presented (10.1-10.3 of report).
  • 2.4     The Book of Praise will include the following copyright statement: “Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®®. NIV®®. Copyright©© 1973, 1978,
  • 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.”
  • 2.5     Regarding the proposed prose section with the NIV Bible References (10.0 of report):
    • 2.5.1    Smithers recommends that Synod Smithers consider the following points before adopting the committee’s recommendation:
      •  The committee made some minor changes that appear to go beyond the mandate and are not explained:
        •     BC Art. 5: Omission of the word “for” in the last sentence
        •     BC Art. 14, second paragraph: the word “is” was changed to “was” in the sentence, “For whatever light is in us has changed into darkness.” The footnote reference to Eph 5:8 does not explain the difference.
        •     BC Art. 37, third last sentence: the words “cause them to possess” have been changed to “grant them.”
      •  In some places the switch to the NIV language was not made:
        •     BC Art. 3, quotation of 2 Pet 1:21. The proposal maintains the RSV “no prophecy ever came by the impulse of man” and then switches to the NIV for the last part of the quotation “but that men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.” If the RSV translation is kept because it is better, that should be mentioned in a note.
        •     BC Art. 14, first sentence. The phrase “He made and formed him after His own image and likeness” should be “He made and formed
        • him in His own image and likeness.”
        •     Lord’s Day 26, QA 71. The word “regeneration” should be
        • “rebirth” as per Titus 3:5.
        •     Lord’s Day 52, QA 128. The word “art” should be “are.”
      •  In Canons of Dort chapter 1, Article 18 the exact quotation of the NIV of Matthew 20:15 hinders clarity. Smithers suggests not keeping this as a direct quotation, and instead using the words of the RSV while referring to Matthew 20:15 in the side margin.
      •  In some places there are typographical errors:
        •     BC Art. 7: the italics should be removed from “be” in “Even if it be an angel from heaven” .
        •     BC Art. 17: the quote from Gen 3:15 should be put in italics (as in the current version). The same applies to the quote from Gal 4:4.
        •     BC Art. 21, second paragraph, second sentence: “Chris” should be “Christ” .
        •     BC Art. 35, final paragraph: the reference of 1 Cor 10:28-29 should be 1 Cor 11:28-29. Although the committee reports that this correction has already been sent to the printers, the correction is not made in the updated prose section.
        •     Canons of Dort 1,7: the italics needs to begin earlier in the quotation of Eph 1:14.
        •     Prayers in various liturgical forms. Smithers recommends changing the words “We pray You” to “We pray to You” in the following liturgical forms:
          •        Baptism of infants, closing prayer, first words of second paragraph
          •        Adult baptism, closing prayer, first words of second paragraph.
          •        Ordination of missionaries, closing prayer, first words of second paragraph.
          •        Ordination of elders/deacons, closing prayer, first words of last paragraph.
    • 2.5.2    Carman West and Chatham note that simply replacing Thee/Thy with You/Your is not always sufficient: sometimes an accompanying verb also has to be modified (e.g., the word “art” should be changed to “are” in the proposed version of Q&A 128 of the Heidelberg Catechism (Reports, Vol 2, p.80).
    • 2.5.3    Chatham gives examples of “numerous errors” that should be corrected before the new version is published:
      •  Canons of Dort 2 4: the proper text reference is Hebrews 4:15, not Hebrews 4:5.
      •  Marriage Form: the phrase “the Lord God said” is repeated twice.
      •  A prayer for all Christendom: the word “heathen” should be in plural.
    • 2.5.4    Flamborough, commenting on the Form for the Ordination of Elders and Deacons, recommends consistency with the quotes from the NIV throughout the form, also when it is not a literal quotation but a reference. Hence the phrase “tending the flock of God that was (in) their charge” (RSV language of 1 Peter 5:2) should be modified.
    • 2.5.5    Burlington Fellowship questions the wisdom of making a number of linguistic changes to the liturgical forms (other than the use of text quotation from the NIV) and suggests that it would be preferable to time the changes to the forms with the changes to the hymn section to minimize the need for members to purchase different versions of the Book of Praise over a relatively short period.

3.      Considerations

  • 3.1     re Obs. – synod agrees with Smithers that the committee should not go beyond its mandate with changes to the text unless it is a direct or indirect quotation from scripture.
  • 3.2     re Obs. – the committee should consider this.
  • 3.3     re Obs. – the suggestion of Smithers is good.
  • 3.4     re Obs. – the committee should consider this.
  • 3.5     The committee should note the letters of Carman West and Chatham (2.5.2 and 2.5.3).
  • 3.6     re Obs. 2.5.4 – the committee should implement the recommendation of Flamborough as far as possible.
  • 3.7     re Obs. 2.5.5 – it should be noted that linguistic changes other than direct and indirect quotations of the NIV is beyond the mandate of the committee.

4.      Recommendation

Synod decide:

  • 4.1     To adopt the proposed updated prose section of the Book of Praise with the NIV Bible references, along with the necessary changes as noted in the above considerations.