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  #16  
Old Sep 26, '12, 9:56 am
a_Anita a_Anita is offline
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Lightbulb Re: Is the Old Testament......"mean?"

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Originally Posted by Gorgias View Post
Notice, too, that Adam and Eve weren't tempted by the tree, but by the voice of a third-party (the serpent).
Yes, that's important! He (the devil pictured as a snake) was thrown out of heaven with no possibility to be welcomed back. His way of tempting was to sow doubt about what God had said. This is the way he is still working: "Are you sure that the Catholic Church teaches so and so" (related to dogmas)? "Are you sure about this and that. Did Jesus really institute the Church?, etc, etc ... The devil's aim is always to make people say NO to God as he himself did.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gorgias View Post
(...) I'm just thinking out loud here, but what if the intent of the writer was that Abel gave a gift to God freely, but Cain gave because he was required to? In other words, the difference between the two isn't in the value of the gift, but in the spirit in which it was offered?
May be, may be. My suggestion about "right sacrifice" was built upon the idea that animal sacrifices was a common topic in the OT until we in NT got a sacrifice once and for all by Jesus on the cross (witch is recreated by Our Savior through every Mass).


Quote:
Originally Posted by Gorgias View Post
Or maybe it was because God had explicitly commanded them to "be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth" (Gen 1:28)? Maybe because man and women are designed to be "one flesh" (Gen 2:24)? Maybe because God predicted to Eve that "your desire shall be for your husband" even though "in pain you shall bring forth children" (Gen 3:16)?
I don't think we will ever get an exact answer to that. May be they remembered about "the one flesh" after they were thrown out of the Garden, or may be they only clung to each other because now they were lonely and lived a totally different life (toil) then when they lived in the Garden. The catholic understanding of "the one flesh" is that it is a covenant between man + woman + God, so may be that your suggestion is the best. Even if God had thrown them out of the Garden, He did not break the marriage covenant.
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  #17  
Old Sep 26, '12, 10:30 am
a_Anita a_Anita is offline
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Lightbulb Re: Is the Old Testament......"mean?"

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Originally Posted by Sebrina View Post
Hello

4) Why didn't God accept Cain's sacrifice? If God accepted Cain's sacrifice, he wouldn't have gotten jealous and killed Abel

My opinion is that Cain was not sacrificing the best of the best of his crop for God. Abel was. Abel was shown as taking the fattest and healthiest of his herd and sacrificing. It doesn't go into detail about Cain's choices, but God did favor Abel over Cain and I think Cain was being cheap and it showed.
I think you are right. This mean that Gorgias had a good point too. Abel offered from his firstlings while God in the form of a question told Cain, that if he did well, he would be accepted (Gen 4:7). Scot Hahn and his partner in the Study Bible (Genesis) is suggesting that Abel is offering "those that are suitable as divine offerings" while they refer to (Ex 13:2) and they continue to tell that there is "no indication" that Cain gave his sacrifice from his "firstfruits". All in all they suggest that it shouldn't surprise us, that God who knew the givers "interior disposition" preferred Abel's offering.

To be practical
: This should teach us that we are to give our best (of what we have) to God, at least try.
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  #18  
Old Sep 26, '12, 11:46 am
a_Anita a_Anita is offline
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Default Re: Is the Old Testament......"mean?"

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Originally Posted by TheWhoFreak View Post
9) Did Noah really curse Chanaan to servitude, just because he caught Noah drunk and naked?

It's not that Canaan saw his father drunk and naked, but that he dishonored his father by making fun of him to his brothers (heck, even telling someone about it would've been dishonorable in and of itself).
There was a bit more to it: "Nakedness" in the Bible refers to intercourse. Since Ham, not Canaan, saw "his fathers nakedness" it may point to that Ham either saw his mother in her nakedness, that is that he had intercourse with his mother, i.e incest. Or it might be that Ham raped his father (homosexual incest). There are even more sexual explanations to this event.

Hahn and his partner, in the explanation to the Study-bible, seem to see this event as incest with the mother. Canaan was then the fruit of a an unholy union between a son and a mother. He was of course quite innocent in being so, but it's important to remember were we are in the Salvation history. As we saw in the example with Cain and Able, it is the very best we are supposed to give to God. Since Canaan was a result of an unholy union, he could not be the forefather of the branch that one day should bring Jesus into this world. That gift was given to Canaan's uncle Shem. From Shem comes the Semitic tribes from witch Jesus were to be born (from one of them). The other uncle of Canaan, Japheth, was blessed ("be enlarged") as a sign of friendship between Shem's people and Japheth's. The Canaanites, however, became strangers and enemies for the Semites. They were the people who worshiped strange gods (baals). It was the people that God warned the Semites about if they wanted to be holy.

The way I see this, is that this is a demonstration about that good and evil is opposed. For us who live such a long time afterward, there is a lesson to learn: Doing evil will not bear good fruits.

As already mentioned, we must see the curse of Canaan as a part of what happened on the road in the Salvation narrative. In our days a child born of an nonlegal act, will not be cursed. We are on the other side of the Salvation history. Jesus has come and everybody is free to chose His company and worship him. Nobody who wants to be with God will be sent away.
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  #19  
Old Sep 26, '12, 11:56 am
Gorgias Gorgias is offline
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Default Re: Is the Old Testament......"mean?"

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Originally Posted by a_Anita View Post
There was a bit more to it: "Nakedness" in the Bible refers to intercourse.
Actually, I believe that the phrase is "to uncover (someone's) nakedness" and in Leviticus, it's used as a euphemism to describe immoral/illegal sexual intercourse.
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  #20  
Old Sep 26, '12, 1:17 pm
Richca Richca is offline
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Default Re: Is the Old Testament......"mean?"

[quote=minion;9819732]I feel like I'm reading the OT wrong, but a bunch of questions popped up (some of them very kindergarten-ish), but if some could enlighten me on these questions, and how I should just approach reading the Bible in general, that'd be very helpful.

So for starters, from Genesis. I'm not sure how literally I should be taking this story, so I'm just going to go for the hyper-literal approach so it can be corrected :P

1) Why did God bother making the Tree of Good and Evil if would just make tempt people to sin? God made human beings free and he told Adam and Eve that they could eat from all the trees of the garden of Eden except the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. God gave Adam and Eve this command because though he made Adam and Eve free, they are subject to their creator God.2)
Why should the human race have to suffer for the sins of Adam and Eve? It's not my fault they ate the apple.

3) Why did God even let the serpent talk to Eve?

4) Why didn't God accept Cain's sacrifice? If God accepted Cain's sacrifice, he wouldn't have gotten jealous and killed Abel. Cain offered sacrifice to God with a bad heart. Abel offered sacrifice to God with a good heart.5)
Did other people exist alongside Adam and Eve? Or was it incest? Were they really making children for 900+ years?

6) If Adam and Eve knew their children would be suffering from their curse of original sin, why did they bother having children in the first place? "God blessed them and God said to them: Be fertile and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it. (Genesis 1:28).7)
Is Eden a literal place?

8) Is Noah's Ark a literal story? Did Noah really build a boat big enough to store every land animal and bug on the planet? Can trees really survive being submerged in a 40 day flood? Scripture can have a number of different senses. The story of Noah's ark definitely has an allegorical meaning as St Peter says it signified christian baptism. Noah's ark also symbolizes the church.9)
Did Noah really curse Chanaan to servitude, just because he caught Noah drunk and naked? In Leviticus 20:17-21 to "uncover the nakedness" means to have sexual relations. So some commentators think that Ham may have had sexual relations with his father or mother. Other commentators say that Ham's act and the telling of it imply contempt for one's father, a serious offense. Obviously, there was more to Ham's act then what the scripture at face value is telling us.10)
Isn't drowning every single person on the planet beside Noah a bit extreme? It seems like the 900 years of baby-making between Adam and Eve went to waste. Not if those people are useless. It's God's world, he created it. God created man and placed him on the earth so he could live a life of virtue, a life of love for his creator, not a life of debauchery. 11)
Is the Tower of Babel a literal event? Wouldn't universal peace be easier to achieve if everyone spoke the same language? The tower of Babel is a direct reference to the chief ziggurat of Babylon, the E-sag-lla, signifying "the house that raises high its head" (footnote in the New American Bible). This was a sin of pride, indeed man is prone to pride from his birth.12)
In Genesis 12, why should the Pharoah be afflicted when it was Abram that lied about Sarai just being his sister? Shouldn't Abram have been punished instead? As the scripture says, the Egyptians or possibly the Pharoah himself would have killed Abraham if he had told them Sarai was his wife. Murder is against God's law. Abraham was a just man in the sight of God. We can reasonably presume the Pharoah was a depraved human being especially since they thought they were divine.
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  #21  
Old Sep 26, '12, 3:01 pm
a_Anita a_Anita is offline
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Default Re: Is the Old Testament......"mean?"

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Originally Posted by Gorgias View Post
Actually, I believe that the phrase is "to uncover (someone's) nakedness" and in Leviticus, it's used as a euphemism to describe immoral/illegal sexual intercourse.
Here is a web-page from United Kingdom about different ways of "de-coding" the word "nakedness" used in the Bible:

http://www.ukapologetics.net/canaan.html

It's a topic where the experts seem to disagree..
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  #22  
Old Sep 26, '12, 5:59 pm
The GreyPilgrim The GreyPilgrim is offline
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Default Re: Is the Old Testament......"mean?"

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Originally Posted by PennyinCanada View Post
Good example! I'll be using that.

You might want to look into the OT using the series Our Father's Plan with Jeff Cavins & Scott Hahn. I really got a lot of out it...

http://www.ewtn.com/vondemand/audio/...sID=-306548622

I already read "A Father who Keeps His Promises" by Scott Hahn, which I believe was the basis for the series, correct?

I've also facilitaed Jeff's Bible Study here in my parish.

But anyway, Thank You!
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  #23  
Old Sep 27, '12, 11:04 pm
minion minion is offline
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Default Re: Is the Old Testament......"mean?"

Wow...thanks for the answers everyone. And for the extra Bible resources. I think I will need join a Bible study group someday, so I don't needlessly pepper CAF board with questions.

Some of the answers do conflict, though Some follow-up questions (still a little bit in kindergartner mode):

1) So the Tree of Good & Evil, is essentially an allegory for our original parent's decision to sin, correct? However....but if even they chose to sin despite not possessing original sin, what will make us and the saints any different after Christ's second coming? Won't the decision to sin still be available?

2) So if the serpent (Satan) was allowed to tempt us, would it be fair to say the Satan is the source of original sin? So essentially, the fall of the angels has repercussions on the fall of mankind, and we're not really responsible, but a level of a creatures higher than us?

3) How would Cain know murder was wrong if he was the first one who's done it? Wouldn't the fact that Abel was killing animals and offering them to God give Cain the idea that killing was acceptable?

4) So.....was the Flood a literal event? I believe there are various myths around the world that seemed to confirm the Flood story.

5) When God sees Cain's anger, and asks "what's wrong?", with God being omnipotent...couldn't God have given him some advice to calm down? Maybe it just wasn't included in the Bible? Or is Cain just another allegory of the children of Adam and Eve beginning to murder out of jealousy?

6) Is Adam and Eve in hell? Their actions pretty much condemned millions of sinners' souls to hell. Would it be fair to say God may have been easier on sinners back then due to mankind's infancy?

7) Why did God talk more directly with Adam and Eve, but is relatively silent now? (no, I'm not an atheist )

Quote:
Hahn and his partner, in the explanation to the Study-bible, seem to see this event as incest with the mother. Canaan was then the fruit of a an unholy union between a son and a mother.
Um....I'm not sure I agree with Hahn's interpretation. Is it the Catholic position? Or does the Catholic Church give wiggle room to the laity for these interpretations?

8) Did Jesus's new covenant cancel God's former desire for animal sacrifice?

9) Not in OT, but is Lilith real?

10) ) How do I know what I'm being taught is the "official" interpretation of the Catholic Church? Is there a Catholic book or resource that specifically interprets what each individual verse means, and the cited interpreter? (Bishop, priest, theologian, etc)

peace
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  #24  
Old Sep 27, '12, 11:32 pm
Gorgias Gorgias is offline
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Default Re: Is the Old Testament......"mean?"

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Originally Posted by minion View Post
so I don't needlessly pepper CAF board with questions.
Nah... you're not "needlessly peppering" anyone. It just seems that a good Bible study will be able to address your needs more thoroughly and successfully...!

Quote:
1) So the Tree of Good & Evil, is essentially an allegory for our original parent's decision to sin, correct?
Some might call it 'allegory', while others are free to understand it literally. What's important -- from a Catholic perspective -- to remember is that everything that God created was 'good', and the creation of humans was 'very good', and yet, since we have free will, humans chose sin. If you really want to look deeply into the story, then keep in mind that humans chose "the knowledge of good and evil", not "good and evil"; in other words, they chose to make decisions of what was good and bad instead of having that knowledge given to them by God, in a way of His own choice.

Quote:
However....but if even they chose to sin despite not possessing original sin, what will make us and the saints any different after Christ's second coming? Won't the decision to sin still be available?
Well... not really. After all, if we attain heaven, and are there following Christ's return, then we'll be in the presence of perfection -- of God. In a way, we sin not because we want evil things, but because we make errors in judgment, and decide to pursue things that look good, even though they're not good. In heaven, we won't have that problem -- in God's presence, it's going to be obvious what 'good' is; and so we won't be tempted to choose the 'bad' in the way that we're tempted here. Moreover, there won't be evil in God's presence, so it won't even be around to tempt us.

Quote:
2) So if the serpent (Satan) was allowed to tempt us, would it be fair to say the Satan is the source of original sin? So essentially, the fall of the angels has repercussions on the fall of mankind, and we're not really responsible, but a level of a creatures higher than us?
I wouldn't call Satan the source of sin; maybe the 'catalyst' for sin.

Quote:
3) How would Cain know murder was wrong if he was the first one who's done it? Wouldn't the fact that Abel was killing animals and offering them to God give Cain the idea that killing was acceptable?
Killing animals was acceptable, maybe, since God told Adam & Eve that they were to have dominion over the animals (Gen 1); but not over persons.

Quote:
6) Is Adam and Eve in hell? Their actions pretty much condemned millions of sinners' souls to hell. Would it be fair to say God may have been easier on sinners back then due to mankind's infancy?
No... their actions opened the door, but each person who is condemned makes that choice for himself. I don't think it's a question of "easier" or "tougher" on sin.

Quote:
7) Why did God talk more directly with Adam and Eve, but is relatively silent now? (no, I'm not an atheist )
LOL... some suggest that it has to do with the effects of sin...

Quote:
Um....I'm not sure I agree with Hahn's interpretation. Is it the Catholic position?
LOL... it is a relatively recent scholarly notion, and it is sufficiently different from traditional interpretations that it kinda makes your eyes bug out a little, doesn't it? I don't think we can say that there's a single "Catholic position" on this one, although many throughout the years have provided commentary...

Quote:
Or does the Catholic Church give wiggle room to the laity for these interpretations?
Well, Hahn is a Scripture scholar, so I don't think I'd say that there's a notion of "wiggle room for laity" in play here. Nevertheless, the idea hasn't been given any sort of official recognition, so strictly speaking, it's in the realm of "speculation by theologians".

Quote:
8) Did Jesus's new covenant cancel God's former desire for animal sacrifice?
Animal sacrifice was something that God made part of the Mosaic covenant; in that time, and in that situation, it was appropriate. I don't know that we can say that God "desired" it (after all, God says "I desire love, not sacrifice"). Nevertheless, with the destruction of the temple, there's nowhere for Mosaic sacrifices to be offered, even though there are still Jews who are bound by the Mosaic covenant...
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  #25  
Old Sep 27, '12, 11:45 pm
minion minion is offline
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Default Re: Is the Old Testament......"mean?"

Thanks! I'll need to take the time to digest some of these answers.
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  #26  
Old Sep 30, '12, 11:51 am
nordskoven nordskoven is offline
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Default Re: Is the Old Testament......"mean?"

POP QUIZ

1) Why did God bother making the Tree of the Fruit of Good and Evil if it would just tempt people to sin?

I suppose because it is an integral part of God's creation plan on whatever level. Was this fruit a mutagenic as the Doorway Papers suggest?
LINK TO DOORWAY PAPERS: http://www.custance.org/Library/Volume2/index.html
A co-carrier of some enzyme or catalyst that was needed for the smooth working of creation? But we were warned...And we disobeyed.

2) Why should the human race have to suffer for the sins of Adam and Eve? It's not my fault they ate the apple.

If Adam's genes broke--wee Y chromosome?--they broke. See: Custance.

3) Why did God even let the serpent talk to Eve?

Satan had his power and authority from God, only to be eradicated when all mankind has freely chosen God, and never "votes" for Satan. If Adam & Eve had only an "eat all" command and no "eat all minus one" formula, there would have been no allowance for free will, and we'd be no better than animals, including our inability to freely love and obey God or not.

4) Why didn't God accept Cain's sacrifice? If God accepted Cain's sacrifice, he wouldn't have gotten jealous and killed Abel.

God cursed the fruits of the earth and Cain gave cursed sacrifices, not atoning for the sin and death of the Sin of Adam paralleled in God's having to shed first blood by killing animals to clothed Adam & Woman.

5) Did other people exist alongside Adam and Eve? Or was it incest? Were they really making children for 900+ years?

Incest. Close breeding, that is, interbreeding near relatives, is needed to stabilize genetics. This is great if the genetics are great as with the first man and woman and their kindred. But God put an end to that down the line. Linebreeding ANXIETY IV gave us the greatness of Herefords.

6) If Adam and Eve knew their children would be suffering from their curse of original sin, why did they bother having children in the first place?

"Be fruitful and multiply." Wanna dis God twice?

7) Is Eden a literal place?

Yep.
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  #27  
Old Oct 1, '12, 5:13 am
Gorgias Gorgias is offline
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Default Re: Is the Old Testament......"mean?"

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Originally Posted by nordskoven View Post
4) Why didn't God accept Cain's sacrifice? If God accepted Cain's sacrifice, he wouldn't have gotten jealous and killed Abel.

God cursed the fruits of the earth and Cain gave cursed sacrifices, not atoning for the sin and death of the Sin of Adam paralleled in God's having to shed first blood by killing animals to clothed Adam & Woman.
Interesting! I don't think I've ever heard this suggestion before!

By the way... if fruits of the earth themselves are 'cursed', and this is why the sacrifice wasn't accepted... then why does God himself mandate grain offerings as part of the Mosaic system of sacrifice?

oh... and Genesis 3:17 says that the ground is cursed, not the things that come forth from it.
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  #28  
Old Oct 1, '12, 7:55 pm
The GreyPilgrim The GreyPilgrim is offline
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Default Re: Is the Old Testament......"mean?"

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Originally Posted by Gorgias View Post
Interesting! I don't think I've ever heard this suggestion before!

By the way... if fruits of the earth themselves are 'cursed', and this is why the sacrifice wasn't accepted... then why does God himself mandate grain offerings as part of the Mosaic system of sacrifice?

oh... and Genesis 3:17 says that the ground is cursed, not the things that come forth from it.
I don't necessarily agree with nordskoven's interpretation.

From what I understand of the passage it was that Cain, 1) didn't give God "the best" or the "choice" of what he had harvested as God had asked and, 2) Cain's heart wasn't in the right place as in He didn't want to give God anything, that his produce belonged to him alone.

The point of the sacrifies of the OT had nothing to do with God "needing" anything. Instead its about what do they really love. Do they love God, or do they love something other than God.

Its no different than God asking DaVinci to sacrifice the "Mona Lisa". Cain could have produced numerous amounts of grain from the ground and God would have continued to shower him with blessings. Cain wanted God's love on his terms instead of God's terms. And when he didn't get it and saw that his brother did, he killed his brother.
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  #29  
Old Oct 13, '12, 11:00 pm
minion minion is offline
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Default Re: Is the Old Testament......"mean?"

Some more questions popped up. Finished up Exodus. I wasn't sure if it was appropriate to make a new topic, so I'm just bumping my old one....

1) Is Lot's story literal? Did his wife really get turned into salt just for looking back at the city? That's kind of messed up.

2) Did Lot's daughters really have sex with him? Can this be interpreted as a slander by the author to justify attacking Lot's descendants later?

3) Why did God trick Abraham into thinking he should sacrifice Isaac? Doesn't that make God a liar? I already knew this story as a kid, but never received a good answer, other than a lesson of obedience. Because, if God told me to do something like rape someone, to be frank, I'd refuse.

4) Why is Abraham allowed to get away with polygamy? Even after Sara's death? Isn't that a slimy thing to do? These are the people I'm expected to look up to?

5) Isaac lies about his wife being his sister too? Is this just some type of typology by the author?

6) Couldn't Jacob just give Esau back his birthright?

7) Jacob gets two wives, after being tricked? Couldn't he just deny the first marriage?

8) Jacob has sex with handmaids too? Isn't that adultery? These patriarchs are really considered saints? Jacob seems to be a trickster/deciever in general, and gets away with a lot.

P.S. It was a relief getting to Joseph's story. FINALLY, a decent person in the OT.

9) Is there proof of the ten plagues God inflicted the Egyptians with? Or is this not meant to be taken literally? What point am I supposed to start taking the Bible literally?

10) Why didn't God kill the Pharaoh instead of killing every firstborn Egyptian? Wouldn't it be easier? Wouldn't it be easier if God just went up the Pharaoh directly and told him he worshiped false gods?

11) Weren't the billions of commandments in Exodus 21-31 a bit extreme? I couldn't make sense of that stuff at all.

12) Please tell me I don't have to understand the instruction manual that is the rest of Exodus to be a good Catholic.

13) Moses really had all the golden calf-worshippers killed after spending all that time freeing them from Egypt? Couldn't Moses just give them time to repent?

14) God seemed to be communicating with the Israelites a lot compared to now, where he is relatively silent. However, apparitions of Mary make me think she has replaced God's signs. Am I mistaken? Is there something Biblical about this idea?

If anyone has the time to respond, thanks in advance
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Old Oct 14, '12, 1:04 pm
grannymh grannymh is offline
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Default Re: Is the Old Testament......"mean?"

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Originally Posted by Trishie View Post
minion,
perhaps you will find a beginning to understanding scripture with this page of the Catechism of the Catholic Church

http://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_cs...m/p1s1c2a3.htm

110 In order to discover the sacred authors' intention, the reader must take into account the conditions of their time and culture, the literary genres in use at that time, and the modes of feeling, speaking and narrating then current. "For the fact is that truth is differently presented and expressed in the various types of historical writing, in prophetical and poetical texts, and in other forms of literary expression."76

115 According to an ancient tradition, one can distinguish between two senses of Scripture: the literal and the spiritual, the latter being subdivided into the allegorical, moral and anagogical senses. The profound concordance of the four senses guarantees all its richness to the living reading of Scripture in the Church.

These sources may also provide a beginning for your understanding of scriptural interpretation:

"The Interpretation of the Bible in the Church"
Presented by the Pontifical Biblical Commission to Pope John Paul II on April 23, 1993

http://catholic-resources.org/Church...p-FullText.htm

Catholic Church Documents related to Biblical Studies

http://catholic-resources.org/ChurchDocs/index.html

http://www.ewtn.com/library/curia/pbcinter.htm

God bless and guide you on your faith journey.

Warm regards, Trishie
For specific directions as to how to understand the major event in the first three chapters of Genesis, it is essential to read CCC 390.
http://www.scborromeo.org/ccc/para/390.htm
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