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How do Anglicans read the Bible?

How do Anglicans read the Bible?

One of the take-aways from controversies within the Anglican Communion is the recognition that there is no agreed upon Anglican method of “reading” Holy Scripture. That lack has frequently stymied attempts to get disagreeing bodies within the Communion to speak with each other about what the Bible is saying to the Church today.

There have been numerous calls for the development of an Anglican Hermeneutic (biblical interpretive method), and not just between Anglican provinces in the West or in the Global South but by emergent church groups, evangelicals and theological progressives too.

The Anglican Consultative Council is taking the first steps in beginning the conversation:

“We are undertaking this survey by means of a questionnaire that is now available online and in a downloadable paper form. It takes about 10-15 minutes to complete and we want as many Anglicans as possible to get involved – either individually or through their local churches.

We also want to use the questionnaire as a way that churches can explore further the way they engage with the Bible, the processes used. So we have written a five-session course outline that looks in more depth at the issues that lie behind the questionnaire.

The results from the survey will be included in the final reports that come from the project when it reports to Anglican Consultative Council at its next meeting in November 2012.”

Details here.

What do you think of the material? Are they asking the right questions?


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Julia Bertaut

I got frustrated by the questions. Usually I wanted to either say “none of the above” or “all of the above.” Also, it felt a lot like those reading comprehension tests they inflict upon you when you’re in school.

Ann Fontaine

I took the survey but found it difficult to answer the questions as my interpretation of the story had nothing to do with what it was asking about the story.


I actually liked the survey pretty well, since I think it gets at how people read the Bible through, you know, actually reading the Bible, rather than asking people to place themselves into camps or groups. I did find the “this passage shows” questions to be frustrating since there were a number where I didn’t see what I thought represented at all. Otherwise, an interesting take. I’ll be curious to see what it shows.

Laura Toepfer

Chris Epting

I took this survey the other day. It’s pretty simplistic and hardly does justice to the complexity of biblical exegesis, hermeneutics, etc. I’m not sure how helpful it will be and may even reinforce old stereotypes.

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