In the comments section of this Strange Notions article, Brandon Vogt makes the following statement:
We [Catholics] don’t maintain the biblical authors were infallible (i.e., incapable of error), only that the specific biblical texts they authored are inerrant (i.e., they don’t contain errors.) This is a crucial distinction. From the Vatican II document “Dei Verbum”:
“Therefore, since everything asserted by the inspired authors or sacred writers must be held to be asserted by the Holy Spirit, it follows that the books of Scripture must be acknowledged as teaching solidly, faithfully, and without error that truth which God wanted put into the sacred writings for the sake of our salvation.” (DV, 11)
How do we understand historical errors that may arise from studying Scripture? Such as the timing of the Census of Quirinus and Jesus’ birth. I’ve read from NT Wright that Luke 2:2 might have originally been read: “This census took place before the time when Quirinius was governor of Syria” (emphasis mine). Regardless, I myself do not believe historical blunders would take away from the theological inerrancy of Scripture. How do we Catholics understand this? Thank you.