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220th General Assembly (2012) Voting Tallies

Approved By The 220th General Assembly (2012) Approval of Heidelberg requires 116 affirmative votes; all other amendments require 87 affirmative votes.

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  1. Some questions for commissioners to the various Presbyteries to consider: What is the reason to retranslate the Heidelberg Catechism from the English version adopted into the Book of Confessions by the United Presbyterians in the 1960’s; and which is used in study and for worship liturgy ever since by Presbyterians in the English-speaking world? If there is reason for the Heidelberg’s retranslation, then would that rationale apply to any of the other confessions in the Book of Order? Why the concern over a word-for-word (literal) translation from the original language of this particular confessional document; especially considering that approach yields a departure from the original meaning of the texts of the Scripture which the catechism quotes? (compare the Scripture of Question 87.) Do the cultural conditions of the time the Heidelberg Catechism was written indicate it was considered poor pedagogy to have confirmands considering specific subjects of sexuality; and therefore, the original paraphrasing of the Scripture? If the intent is to conform to the original German in the most literal form, why has inclusive human language and inclusive God language been introduced to reflect modern preferences where that inclusive language does not appear in the German? How much will it cost to reprint the Book of Confessions with the new translation and how many liturgical resources will be affected because they use the 1960’s English version? I see no compelling need to adopt a new translation.

    by Thomas Fultz

    March 12, 2013

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