All of the bishops received a copy of The Bible in the Life of the Church, a compilation of resources produced by the Anglican Communion. It was created following the meeting of the Anglican Consultative Council in Jamaica in 2009. Anglicans around the world say ‘we are formed by scripture,’ said Hiltz. “That’s true, but Anglicans also recognize that there are a variety of ways to read and interpret scripture, and it is that very point that has been so close to the centre of the debates on sexuality,” Hiltz acknowledged. He held up the new Bible study as a gift from the Anglican Communion. “It really is about how Anglicans read the Bible.” The bishops enthusiastically received the document, and Hiltz suggested that not only could individual parishes use it, but it could also be recommended to theological colleges for their curriculums. Bishop Stephen Andrews of the diocese of Algoma is anchoring a House of Bishops working group examining the study.
There are actually only two ways to read the Bible:
- The first is to acknowledge that it states objective truth propositionally; our job is to read it and determine what truth it is conveying however uncomfortable it might make us feel.
- The second is to impose subjective preconceptions on the text in the hope of making it conform to contemporary prejudice.
The Anglican Church of Canada favours the latter approach; all variations in interpretation are to be accepted equally other than the one that results from adhering to point one.
Replace phrases that resonate with meaning with politically correct twaddle.
For example, the Common English Bible (CEB) renders “Son of Man” “Human One” in the interests of removing exclusive language.
If that were not enough to recommend avoiding the CEB, the Anglican Church of Canada is considering adding it to its list of approved translations.
As part of the Bible in the Life of the Church project we are undertaking a Communion-wide survey of the way Anglicans understand and engage with the Bible. We rightly say the Bible is central to our life together but we also engage with it and interpret it in different ways. What are those differences? Why might there be differences? What can we learn from those who differ from us?
Naturally, instead of the starting position being that the Bible is God’s propositional revelation to man, making it the main way to find out what God is like and what he expects of us, the assumption is that the Bible is to be engaged with – whatever that means.
To that end, the survey asks such engaging questions as whether the following are true:
The Bible contains some human errors
Science shows that some things in the Bible cannot have happened
Christians can learn about God from the writings of other faiths
Some parts of the Bible are more true than others [what does “more true” mean? Is Anglican truth a mark on a sliding scale between Absolutely True and Absolutely False. Perhaps my view of truth has been conditioned by spending too long with computers – I thought true/false was a binary condition]
Jesus rose from the dead in bodily form
Jesus ascended into heaven
If I were an optimist, I would conclude that the survey is a surreptitious attempt to discover how far heretical rot has penetrated into the laity in order that drastic remedial steps could be taken. As it is, I’m not an optimist.
The BBC’s new face of religion is an atheist who claims that God had a wife and Eve was “unfairly maligned” by sexist scholars.
Dr Francesca Stavrakopoulou has been given a primetime BBC Two series, The Bible’s Buried Secrets, in which she makes a number of startling suggestions.
She argues in the programme that Eve was not responsible for the Fall of Man and was not even the first woman, as the story of the Garden of Eden did not belong in the first book of the Old Testament.
“Eve, particularly in the Christian tradition, has been very unfairly maligned as the troublesome wife who brought about the Fall,” Dr Stavrakopoulou said. “Don’t forget that the biblical writers are male and it’s a very male-dominated world. Women were second-class citizens, seen as property.”
The idea that God had a wife is based on Biblical texts that refer to “asherah”. According to Dr Stavrakopoulou, Asherah was the name of a fertility goddess in lands now covered by modern-day Syria, and was half of a “divine pair” with God.
Dr Stavrakopoulou is a senior lecturer in the Hebrew Bible at the University of Exeter, and gained a doctorate in theology from Oxford. Born in London to an English mother and Greek father, Dr Stavrakopoulou was raised “in no particular religion” and does not believe in God.
Atheism is itself a religion, one which is gradually gaining ground in the West. Stavrakopoulou, like most atheists, exhibits tedious political correctness – even worse, though, is the BBC’s use of a member of one religion to ridicule the beliefs of another. If the BBC wanted to be fair – an unlikely turn of events – it would air a second program, hosted by a Christian, poking holes in atheism; too easy, perhaps.
It is a task of truly Biblical proportions.
But dedicated Christian, Chris Juby, has pledged to spread the word of the Lord - tweet by tweet.
The 30-year-old plans to publish the entire Bible on social networking website Twitter by condensing one chapter a day into less than 140 characters – the maximum allowed for a single entry.
Mr Juby began with the first chapter of Genesis on Sunday and intends to work his way through all 1,189 chapters.
He estimates that it will take more than three years to complete, with the last entry due on November 8, 2013.