Biblical Readings

"The task of biblical translation has been ongoing since various parts of the Hebrew Bible were first put into Greek in the third century B.C.E. Today, it is widely recognized that there are significant issues of language and gender involved in treating texts that speak to the whole community of men and women, and texts about God" - Eileen M. Schuller

At Christ Church, Ontario, we care about the proclamation of biblical passages during the liturgy. Most of the Bible was written originally to be read aloud in public, and we try to present it in a lively way corresponding to such original intent.


For the most part, the translation that is adopted during the Sunday Mass was done from the original Hebrew and Greek by the Rev. Jon Olson and cannot be found in other churches. Olson's guidelines in producing this translation were:

  • that it truly used the "language of the people" so that it could be understood by anyone; thus, colloquialisms and every-day expressions are employed at length;

  • that it communicated the original intent of the writer (for what it can be known from biblical scholarship) instead of focusing on reproducing the text word-by-word (it is a "dynamic translation" that sometimes borders on paraphrasing);

  • that some of the original syntax be kept, rather than smoothed to obtain "beautiful English", in order to make the hearers feel both the poetic aspects of the text and the cultural distance of its context.

At liturgies other than Sunday Mass, we use instead the New Revised Standard Version or the New Jerusalem Bible.


In terms of which readings are proclaimed on any given Sunday, the parish follows for the most part the Revised Common Lectionary, like the great majority of Episcopal parishes, except for some specific Holy Days. Such readings can be found here in the New Revised Standard Version (not in Jon Olson's version).

On top of page: A view of our Oratory with a Bible.