Inspired Inerrant word of God


#1

Vatican ll held that the bible was the inspired inerrant word of God.
Theologians have differing opinions on the meaning of inerrant. What is yours?


#2

Perhaps this article that gives an in depth discussion of the teaching of the Church on biblical inerrancy.

Taking God at His Word: A Catholic Understanding of Biblical Inerrancy


#3

Does not Raymond Brown, perhaps the foremost Catholic bible scholar define inerrancy as the bible being inerrant in matters of salvation alone?


#4

Really–can you give us the source for that assertion as well as the source that defines R. Brown’s definition as definitive Catholic teaching?


#5

[quote=SolaChristo]Does not Raymond Brown, perhaps the foremost Catholic bible scholar define inerrancy as the bible being inerrant in matters of salvation alone?
[/quote]

Raymond Brown’s opinion is irrelevant.

Check these:
**107 **The inspired books teach the truth. "Since therefore all that the inspired authors or sacred writers affirm should be regarded as affirmed by the Holy Spirit, we must acknowledge that the books of Scripture firmly, faithfully, and without error teach that truth which God, for the sake of our salvation, wished to see confided to the Sacred Scriptures."72

You may respond, “for the sake of our salvation,” but it is clearly parenthical. “and without error teach that truth which God wished to see confided to the Sacred Scriptures,” the reason being for our salvation, not as a modifier to what is truthful in the Biblical accounts.

Also see: Divino Afflante Spiritu, Providentissimus Deus

Excerpts from Divino Afflante Spiritu:

When, subsequently, some Catholic writers, in spite of this solemn definition of Catholic doctrine, by which such divine authority is claimed for the “entire books with all their parts” as to secure freedom from any error whatsoever, ventured to restrict the truth of Sacred Scripture solely to matters of faith and morals, and to regard other matters, whether in the domain of physical science or history, as “obiter dicta” and - as they contended - in no wise connected with faith, Our Predecessor of immortal memory, Leo XIII in the Encyclical Letter Providentissimus Deus, published on November 18 in the year 1893, justly and rightly condemned these errors and safe-guarded the studies of the Divine Books by most wise precepts and rules

For “the sacred writers, or to speak more accurately - the words are St. Augustine’s - [6] the Holy Spirit, Who spoke by them, did not intend to teach men these things - that is the essential nature of the things of the universe - things in no way profitable to salvation”; which principle “will apply to cognate sciences, and especially to history,”[7] that is, by refuting, “in a somewhat similar way the fallacies of the adversaries and defending the historical truth of Sacred Scripture from their attacks.”[8] Nor is the sacred writer to be taxed with error, if “copyists have made mistakes in the text of the Bible,” or, “if the real meaning of a passage remains ambiguous.” Finally it is absolutely wrong and forbidden “either to narrow inspiration to certain passages of Holy Scripture, or to admit that the sacred writer has erred,” since divine inspiration “not only is essentially incompatible with error but excludes and rejects it as absolutely and necessarily as it is impossible that God Himself, the supreme Truth, can utter that which is not true. This is the ancient and constant faith of the Church.”[9]

Also, from Providentissimus Deus:

For the Sacred Scripture is not like other books. Dictated by the Holy Ghost, it contains things of the deepest importance, which in many instances are most difficult and obscure.

EDIT: volzcpa’s link seems to cover all this and more, I should have read it first before posting this.


#6

[quote=RobNY]Raymond Brown’s opinion is irrelevant.

[/quote]

'nuff said.


#7

[quote=SolaChristo]Vatican ll held that the bible was the inspired inerrant word of God.
Theologians have differing opinions on the meaning of inerrant. What is yours?
[/quote]

Since you are asking for opinions - not for teaching - here’s mine: :slight_smile: IMO, the Bible is not inerrant, but is infallible: that is, the texts do not, overall, deceive those who let them speak for themselves.

One way of making oneself see faults where they are not, is to use the texts as a body of systematic theology; another, is to ignore the limitations of time and place, and to treat what was intended for a Bronze Age community as though it had been written to meet the circumstances of people wholly different in language, culture, and presuppositions 3000 years later: the Book of Esther was no more composed for modern New Yorkers than it was for Ancient Britons. Similarly, if it’s taken as intended to be a final and inerrant source on astronomy, histiory, mathematics, biology, child-rearing, it will be endlessly distorted - all because it’s been read as what it is not. To a great extent, “the Bible” is what one makes of it: it’s almost a person, rather than a body of text.

Whether a book can be inerrant, or infallible - seeing that it is not a conscious and animate person, I don’t know. Some people say “the Bible” is inerrant; yet can’t be infallible. ISTM that if either term is appropriate, both are.

In some sense, it can be called inspired - quite *in what sense *the inspiration of these texts can be affirmed, is not obvious: as the subject of inspiration is not a matter for theology alone, but also for the study of literature.

[font=Arial][size=2]Raymond Brown’s opinion is irrelevant.[/font]## Not in a thread whose author is seeking opinions - IMO :slight_smile: ##[/size]


#8

[quote=SolaChristo]Vatican ll held that the bible was the inspired inerrant word of God.
Theologians have differing opinions on the meaning of inerrant. What is yours?
[/quote]

The Church teaches that since the bible is inspired, “everything asserted by the sacred writers must be held to be asserted by the Holy Spirit”

Thus, since the Holy Spirit cannot err, the writers cannot err in everything they assert.

So the bible is inerrant in the sense that everything the sacred writers assert (state positively) is inerrant.


#9

Excellent dcdurel, I agree that’s what it means. I will add that we were always taught therefore, if there’s something that appears to us in error, it’s because we don’t yet understand enough and/or the revelation has not been completely revealed to us (either by God’s choice or our own filters of sin).


#10

Ah, I see. Correct. The way he juxtaposed Vat. II teaching of inerrancy with Raymond Brown I thought he was giving the impression that Brown’s position or any theologian’s position can alter the official Church teaching. That’s why I shouldn’t take such quick reads of topics.


#11

[quote=dcdurel]The Church teaches that since the bible is inspired, “everything asserted by the sacred writers must be held to be asserted by the Holy Spirit”

Thus, since the Holy Spirit cannot err, the writers cannot err in everything they assert.

So the bible is inerrant in the sense that everything the sacred writers assert (state positively) is inerrant.
[/quote]

I came accross this recently:

*You do realize that the story of Sarah and Hagar is referred to by none
other than the Apostle Paul as an allegory, don’t you? In other words, to
Paul the real meaning of the story was not the literal details (which may
or may not have occurred exactly as presented), but in the symbolism he
gathered from it.

Let us take your general position on the Scriptures, not that they are necessarily inerrant, but that they are from God. I invite you to go to Genesis 18 for an eye opener.

Here the Lord comes to visit Abraham – in a physical body. He stays for several hours in Abraham’s tents – it takes a while to create a feast from scratch as recorded in the text! And the Lord eats the meal that Abraham prepared.

Talk about “the Presence of the Lord is in this place”! Abraham saw God face to face, and talked with Him as with a friend. Yet we are told in John that God is a Spirit, and that spirits do not have flesh and bones! Is there a disconnect? Well, Abraham has seen God, and what do you think he knows? What
did God reveal to him? A good appetite? An appreciation of the food and fellowship? All of the above?

Then God tells Abraham, “The outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is so great and their sin so blatant that I must go down and see if they are as wicked as the outcry suggests. If not, I want to know.”

Now you may not have picked up on this, but God is telling Abraham something about His nature and character that is flatly denied in the New Testament. Speaking as a King Who hears the news of His domain in His courts, God recounts that He has heard the news, and that it is so incredible He must go see for Himself.

But God is supposed to be Omniscient, knowing everything! He certainly did not reveal that to Abraham! And He is supposed to be Omnipresent! Why would He have to go down to look for Himself if He were already present there?

Yet He must go Himself physically to the city to be sure. Indeed, He told Abraham so.

I hope you will think about it.

Regards,

Raymond E. Griffith*

The full article… is here

groups.google.com/group/talk.origins/msg/a876507949b7e276?dmode=source&hl=en


#12

[quote=SolaChristo]Does not Raymond Brown, perhaps the foremost Catholic bible scholar define inerrancy as the bible being inerrant in matters of salvation alone?
[/quote]

Actually, in his Introduction to the New Testament, Dr. Brown discusses several concepts of “inerrancy” that have been held by Catholics:

*"…there are different attitudes on inerrancy. Some [1] would dispense altogether with inerrancy as a wrong deduction from the valid thesis that God inspired the Scriptures. Others [2] would contend that inspiration did produce an inerrancy affecting religious issues (but not science or history), so that all theological stances in the Scriptures would be inerrant. Still others, [3] recognizing diversity within the Scriptures even on religious issues, would maintain only a limited theological inerrancy. Finally, [4] another solution does not posit a quantitative limitation of inerrancy confining it to certain passages or certain issues, but a qualitative one whereby all Scripture is inerrant to the extent that it serves the purpose for which God intended it. Recognition of this type of limitation is implicit in the statement made at Vatican Council II: ‘The books of Scripture must be acknowledged as teaching firmly, faithfully, and without error that truth which God wanted put into the sacred writings for the sake of our salvation’" *(p. 31).


#13

[quote=RobNY]Raymond Brown’s opinion is irrelevant.
[/quote]

To you, perhaps. However, his opinion may well be considered far less “irrelevant” than yours or mine, given his scholarly gifts and wealth of biblical knowledge. You may not agree with his conclusions, and they may not line up with your particular perception of the Church’s teaching on these matters, but this hardly renders Dr. Brown’s views “irrelevant.”


closed #14

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