GS 2019 art 65

Article 65 – Appeal of Neerlandia-(North) re: GS 2016 Art. 111 (NIV2011)

1.   Material

  • 1.1    Appeal to GS 2019 from the Neerlandia-(North) CanRC re: GS 2016 Art. 111 (

2.   Observations

  • 2.1    Neerlandia-(North) believes that GS 2016 erred by not giving a strong warning against the use of the NIV2011 and asks General Synod to recommend to the churches that the NIV2011 not be used because it contains problematic texts.
  • 2.2    GS 2016 (Art. 111 Cons. 3.3) stated that “regarding texts pertaining to office” only two texts remain problematic and noted that “Brampton-Grace has a valid point when it states that the NIV2011 should not be rejected on the basis of two problematic texts”. Neerlandia considers this “a very subjective argument” and posits the hypothetical question, “How many problematic texts now need to be in place before a translation can be rejected.”
  • 2.4    GS 2016 (Art. 111 Cons. 3.5) stated that “The recommendations of the CBT and the decisions of synods ultimately are advisory, as is evident in the way a synod does not prescribe but recommends translations for use in the churches”.
  • 2.5    GS 2016 adopted the recommendation “To acknowledge that while it may not be possible to recommend the NIV2011, a general synod may not forbid churches to use it if they so desire.” (GS 2016 Art. 111 Rec. 4.3)

3.   Considerations

  • 3.1    Neerlandia-(North) argues that “we should aim for using the best possible [translation]” and that “we have a Committee for Bible Translations so that the resources of the church can be pooled together so that the best translations are in use.” Neerlandia-(North)’s argument implicitly acknowledges that translations are not perfect. A decision which takes all considerations into account in a balanced way will need to be made when determining which are the “best translations.”
  • 3.2    The issue of so-called problematic texts in Bible translations is not limited to the NIV2011. GS 1977 Art. 104, Obs. 4 noted that the Committee mandated to review the RSV “indicates that there are unscriptural and evolutionistic influences” and cites five problematic texts regarding the Holy Spirit, three texts where the evolutionistic view could be suspected and notes that the RSV has unnecessary contradictions between some texts. GS 1977 Art. 104 Obs. 5 noted that the Committee concluded “that it is afraid that the RSV shows evidence of unscriptural influence.” Despite these considerations, GS 1977 decided to “To leave the use of the Revised Standard Version – though with discretion and care – in the freedom of the Churches.”
  • 3.3    Neerlandia-(North) believes that permitting the use of a translation with two problematic texts seems to be a contradiction of the consistory’s responsibility to ward off false doctrine (CO Art. 27). However, Neerlandia-(North) does not provide any evidence that the particular problematic texts of the NIV2011 are inherently more likely to introduce false doctrine than the issues identified in other translations (see Consideration 3.2).
  • 3.4    GS 2016 had no need to give “a strong warning against the use of the NIV2011,” since GS 2016 did not recommend the use of this translation and such a warning would have been redundant.
  • 3.5    Even though GS 2016 went further than previous synods when it stated in Consideration 3.5 that “a general synod may not forbid churches to use it if they so desire” Neerlandia-(North) incorrectly concludes that this makes the CBT of no purpose.

4.   Recommendations

That Synod decide:

  • 4.1    To deny the appeal of the Neerlandia-(North) CanRC re: GS 2016 Art. 111.