April 11, 2009

Scripture for the Ridley Cambridge Draft

I am working at wrapping my mind around the latest draft of a proposed Anglican covenant, the so-called Ridley Cambridge draft. I am not much inclined to say anything about the draft before I have succeeded in developing an informed view of the latest proposal. The task is going slowly.

In reading the draft, I found myself wanting to consult the Bible to read the scripture sited by the document. Not much scripture is cited in the body of the covenant, but a good deal is cited in the introduction. This procedure feels a lot like prooftexting, of which I am quite skeptical. Like it or not, however, anyone trying to make sense of the draft needs to consider both the scripture cited by it and the nature of the citation process. For now, I am reserving judgment on both fronts.

Since I felt obliged to look up the biblical citations anyway, I thought I might do fellow Anglicans a favor by making the passages readily available to everyone. I have therefore assembled a document called “Scripture References for the Ridley Cambridge Draft of the Anglican Communion Covenant,” which you can read, print, or download here.

“Scripture References” presents all the biblical passages referred to in the covenant draft in the order in which they appear in that draft. Although it is reasonable to want to read these passages in their original context, I have avoided the temptation to provide context, lest I be accused of editorial bias. Curious readers can consult their Bibles to get as much context as they think appropriate. Because I am used to using the New Revised Standard Version of the Bible, that is the version from which I took the passages in “Scripture References.” Those who are content to read the NRSV can use oremus Bible Browser to look up passages in context. BibleGateway.com can provide similar access using other versions of the Bible.

“Scripture References” includes bookmarks that Adobe Reader can display, allowing readers to go directly to a particular reference.

I hope that people will find my document useful. I plan eventually to offer an evaluation of the latest draft covenent itself, but I’m not ready to offer a timetible for doing that.

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