Is this true?


#1

Hi all
I read this on an end time website and just wanted to know if any of you have heard of this and if it’s true? I thinkthat the website is timesonline.co.uk/article/0%2C%2C13509-1811332%2C00.html
Thanks.

Catholic Church no longer swears by truth of the Bible

The hierarchy of the Roman Catholic Church has published a teaching document that says some parts of the Bible are not actually true. The Catholic bishops of England, Wales and Scotland are warning that people should not expect “total accuracy” from the Bible. The document, called The Gift of Scripture, says, “we should not expect to find in Scripture full scientific accuracy or complete historical precision.


#2

Some muslim posted this in the islam forum as well. Anything that can possibly cast a negative light on the church, I guess.

The main thing to remember is we don’t know everything about the literary conventions and the original contexts that scripture was written in. It was never meant to be a scientific (or, in some cases not even meant to be historical) document, but since some people are just going to keep reading it that way, we have to keep warning them. Not only that, but the original manuscripts of the scriptures are lost. This is why we have the Church that Jesus left us that won’t err in doctrine. He didn’t promise us all an infallible interpretation of scripture.


#3

Some parts are not literally true.

Then again, some parts are.

I don’t see a problem here.


#4

I’ve heard before that the Church does interpret the Bible literally, but not literal***istic***ally. Not sure exactly what the difference is, though. I guess the latter must be the way those fundies read it.


#5

[quote=NonDenom]Hi all
I read this on an end time website and just wanted to know if any of you have heard of this and if it’s true? I thinkthat the website is timesonline.co.uk/article/0%2C%2C13509-1811332%2C00.html
Thanks.

Catholic Church no longer swears by truth of the Bible

The hierarchy of the Roman Catholic Church has published a teaching document that says some parts of the Bible are not actually true. The Catholic bishops of England, Wales and Scotland are warning that people should not expect “total accuracy” from the Bible. The document, called The Gift of Scripture, says, “we should not expect to find in Scripture full scientific accuracy or complete historical precision.
[/quote]

No, the title of the article is misleading and false (the original article was published by the Times in London). We have and always will have sworn by the fundamental truths of the Holy Bible (Jesus was born of a Virgin, Jesus is the Living Son of God, Jesus is the 2nd person of the Trinity, Jesus died for our transgressions, Jesus rose from the dead, etc.). There are some books which are not intended to be taken literally and some passages which are not intended to be taken literally. For instance, the book of Pslams in the OT was NEVER intended to be taken literally, as it is mostly poems and such. Then you have the parables that Christ used, are those supposed to be taken literally? No. They are parables. The title in that article is used to grab the reader’s attention at the expense of the Church, because even if some Bishops came out and said “the Bible isn’t true at all” and became heretical, then the Catholic Church wouldn’t err, because we have the Pillar and Foundation of Truth. It is a good warning that the media used to slam the Church with, and took it out of context. Not all parts of the Bible are literal, historical fact (this isn’t new!). The fact of the matter is though, Jesus Christ did not leave us a book, He left us a living Church. He did not tell the Apostles to go write everything that He said down. It was the Catholic Church, which canonized Sacred Scripture.

P.S. I wonder why they didn’t publish a link to the document themselves so the readership could make up their own minds? Because that article is simply to get reader’s attention, thus A) slamming the Church and B) Make more money by grabbing your readership.

Also, that document was published by some UK Archbishops. Even if it did contain some heretical errors in it, then the Pope and the Magisterium would deal with it. The Catholic Church cannot change fundamentals of dogma.


#6

Was this perhaps in conjuction with discussion on science / evolution/ beginning times? The quote makes perfect sense in that context as we can say that the Bible was not intended as a scientific text of proofs, but as a theological one. The message is true and accurate, but it speaks to us on a different plane–that of our soul.


#7

[quote=exoflare]I’ve heard before that the Church does interpret the Bible literally, but not literal***istic***ally. Not sure exactly what the difference is, though. I guess the latter must be the way those fundies read it.
[/quote]

Literally means the moral of the story is correct, literalistic means it is factual and accurate in an historical sense. An example, Jesus teaches in parables, they should be understood in a literal sense but not literalistic sense. The prodigal son for example, the moral is correct, but it is not to be understood in a literalistic sense. It really makes no difference if this prodigal son ever existed nor if he did exist that the story actually occurred, the moral of the story is what is important. BTW calling people “fundies” is inflammatory, demeaning and unnecessary. All of Scripture is to be read as literal, not as literalistic.


#8

[quote=Tom]Literally means the moral of the story is correct, literalistic means it is factual and accurate in an historical sense. An example, Jesus teaches in parables, they should be understood in a literal sense but not literalistic sense. The prodigal son for example, the moral is correct, but it is not to be understood in a literalistic sense. It really makes no difference if this prodigal son ever existed nor if he did exist that the story actually occurred, the moral of the story is what is important. BTW calling people “fundies” is inflammatory, demeaning and unnecessary. All of Scripture is to be read as literal, not as literalistic.
[/quote]

A more “laymen” way of looking at Literal vs. Literalistic would be a statement like “I went to a concert last night and there was a million people there”. The literal meaning would be that there was a bunch of people there, the literalistic view is exactly what the words say, there were exactly 1 million people at the concert you went to.


#9

The comments that have been made on this thread are thoughtful and helpful. I think we need to be careful that we should believe what Scripture says, unless it is obviously poetic or symbolic.

The Church, for example, teaches that there was an Adam and Eve, a first man and a first woman. There is strong evidence that there was a flood. I think we should believe the accounts about Moses, Abraham, Joseph etc. The account of Jonah may be poetic but perhaps God did miraculously protect Jonah inside a large fish for a period of time - are we to say that God did not do this miracle?

My point simply is that we should accept the historical records of Scripture and be aware that, as in our modern day speech, some statements are meant to be symbolic or poetic rather than literal.


#10

[quote=NonDenom](Is it true that the) Catholic Church no longer swears by truth of the Bible

The hierarchy of the Roman Catholic Church has published a teaching document that says some parts of the Bible are not actually true. The Catholic bishops of England, Wales and Scotland are warning that people should not expect “total accuracy” from the Bible. The document, called The Gift of Scripture, says, “we should not expect to find in Scripture full scientific accuracy or complete historical precision.
[/quote]

Hi ND -

The Catholic Church has never heald that the Bible is a history text book. Indeed, if you consider the reality that the stories of the bible, espescially the Old Testament, were oral histories that were written down, sometimes hundreds of years after the events took place, you can understand that the stories changed over time.

The Church understands that the absolute truth of the bible lies in what it teaches about God, which cannot be given in error.

Example: Samson and Delilah - Samson allowed himself to be distracted from God with Delilah. The distraction caused him to lose his strength (i.e., his relationship with God). When Samsom re-established his relationship with God, he regained his strength.

Samson’s hair represents God symbolically.

How likely is it that the story happened exactly as told? Did Samson really slaughter thousands of Philistines singlehandedly? Or, was the story given to hyperbole over time in order to make it more exciting to listen to? Remember, it is oral history that was written down hundreds of years after the event. No doubt Samson existed and was heroic.

The document you have mentioned that was recently published only expounds past teachings that the church has given. Here is a Vatican document on the subject dated 1968: vatican.va/archive/hist_…-verbum_en.html

Scroll down to CHAPTER III
SACRED SCRIPTURE, ITS INSPIRATION AND DIVINE INTERPRETATION and you will find the teaching on reading the bible.

Also, the Catholic Church is not alone in this. The Orthodox Church maintains that,

“We shall not compare the biblical story of creation with modern scientific theories of the origin of the universe. The protracted dialogue between science and theology has not yet come to any definitive conclusions about the connections between biblical revelation and scientific developments. It is, however, very clear that the Bible does not aim to present a scientific account of the origin of the universe, and it is rather naive to polemicize on the biblical narrative understood in its literal sense. Sacred Scripture regards all of history from the perspective of an interrelationship between the human and the divine.”

orthodoxeurope.org/page/10/1.aspx#19

Subrosa


#11

If we take the bible to be true in a literalist fashion I reccommend we determine which are the thousand hills that God keeps his cattle on. After all if we take those cattle, He might not like it.

It is hard to take everything literally when there are words in the OT Hebrew that we have no idea how to translate.

The Bible is full of idiom and hyperbole - Do you hate your mother and father? Literally?

There are a lot of judgement calls here and the church for the most part leaves interpretation to the individual. There are some however that are de fide.


#12

[quote=exoflare]I’ve heard before that the Church does interpret the Bible literally, but not literal***istic***ally. Not sure exactly what the difference is, though. I guess the latter must be the way those fundies read it.
[/quote]

Not true. here is the Catechism on the senses in which scripture is traditionally interpreted:

**

The senses of Scripture

**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.

**116 **The literal sense is the meaning conveyed by the words of Scripture and discovered by exegesis, following the rules of sound interpretation: "All other senses of Sacred Scripture are based on the literal."83

**117 **The spiritual sense. Thanks to the unity of God’s plan, not only the text of Scripture but also the realities and events about which it speaks can be signs.

  1. The allegorical sense. We can acquire a more profound understanding of events by recognizing their significance in Christ; thus the crossing of the Red Sea is a sign or type of Christ’s victory and also of Christian Baptism.84

  2. The moral sense. The events reported in Scripture ought to lead us to act justly. As St. Paul says, they were written “for our instruction”.85

  3. The anagogical sense (Greek: anagoge, “leading”). We can view realities and events in terms of their eternal significance, leading us toward our true homeland: thus the Church on earth is a sign of the heavenly Jerusalem.86

**vatican.va/archive/catechism/p1s1c2a3.htm


#13

Doesn’t “No Longer” mean that they did once?
With such liberal nations, you’d think this is 100% slandering.


#14

[quote=Subrosa]Hi ND -

The Catholic Church has never heald that the Bible is a history text book. Subrosa
[/quote]

Providentissimus Deus, Pope Leo XIII: “It is absolutely wrong and forbidden, either to narrow inspiration to certain parts only of Holy Scripture, or to admit that the sacred writer has erred. For the system of those who, in order to rid themselves of those difficulties, do not hesitate to concede that divine inspiration regards the things of faith and morals, and nothing beyond, because (as they wrongly think) in a question of the truth or falsehood of a passage, we should consider not so much what God has said, as the reason and purpose which He had in mind in saying it - such a system cannot be tolerated. For all the books that the Church receives as sacred and canonical, are written wholly and entirely, with all their parts, at the dictation of the Holy Ghost; and so far is it from being possible that any error can coexist with inspiration, that inspiration not only is essentially incompatible with error, but excludes and rejects it…This is the ancient and unchanging faith of the Church, solemnly defined in the Councils of Florence and of Trent, and finally confirmed and more expressly formulated by the Council of the Vatican…Hence, because the Holy Ghost employed men as His instruments, we cannot therefore say that it was these inspired instruments who, perchance, have fallen into error, and not the primary author…Such has always been the belief of the Holy Fathers.”

“It follows that those who maintain that an error is possible in any genuine passage of the sacred writings, either pervert the Catholic notion of inspiration, or make God the author of such error. And so emphatically were all the Fathers and Doctors agreed that the divine writings… in their entirety and in all their parts, were equally from the afflatus of Almighty God, and that God, speaking by the sacred writers, could not set down anything but what was true.

Pope Pius XII, in his encyclical Divino Afflante Spiritu (Sept. 30, 1943), which commemorated the fiftieth anniversary of the above encyclical of Pope Leo XIII, again solemnly condemned the errors of those who rejected to total inherency of the Bible:

“More recently, however, in spite of this solemn definition of Catholic doctrine which insists, claims and demands for these “books in their entirety and in all their parts,” a divine authority preserving them from all possible error, some Catholic writers have nevertheless seen fit to restrict or limit the truth of Holy Scriptures only to those matters of Faith and morals, considering all the rest, being of the field of physics and of history, as “something that is simply mentioned in passing” - and having, as they pretended, no connection whatsoever with the Faith. But our predecessor, Leo XIII, of undying memory, tore to pieces, and rightly so, these very same errors in his encyclical Providentissimus Deus of November 18, 1893."

If you still deny that the Church has always taught the total inherency of the Bible, read Providentissimus Deus.


#15

[quote=CatholicCid]Doesn’t “No Longer” mean that they did once?
With such liberal nations, you’d think this is 100% slandering.
[/quote]

The entire article, again posted at

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,13509-1811332,00.htm

l
is disgustingly filled with gross misunderstandings and an overall poor portrayl of the matter.
In spite of, or perhaps because of the prejudices surrounding the article, the central idea [that the Church is dismissing the literal creationist theories of the earth] leaves many questions. I must admit, for my scientific mind I was relieved that the Church wasn’t associating itself with the promoters of creationism in schools and who have a total disregard for evolution. However, I’m having a hard time making out the truth, which is why I came to these forums. What were these Bishops really trying the say? And what are we as Catholics supposed to believe in relation to the creation stories in the bible?

Thanks in advance -
Katie


#16

[quote=mtndewqueen88]The entire article, again posted at

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,13509-1811332,00.htm

l
is disgustingly filled with gross misunderstandings and an overall poor portrayl of the matter.
In spite of, or perhaps because of the prejudices surrounding the article, the central idea [that the Church is dismissing the literal creationist theories of the earth] leaves many questions. I must admit, for my scientific mind I was relieved that the Church wasn’t associating itself with the promoters of creationism in schools and who have a total disregard for evolution. However, I’m having a hard time making out the truth, which is why I came to these forums. What were these Bishops really trying the say? And what are we as Catholics supposed to believe in relation to the creation stories in the bible?

Thanks in advance -
Katie
[/quote]

i believe in God, the Father Almighty, Creator of Heaven and of
earth, of all that is seen and unseen…

that’s what i feel like i’m supposed to believe… the details are
known only to God… as he didn’t feel the need to give us the
’recipe’ for the universe…

if however, at some future time, he decides to let us discover
the method he used, then i’m sure we will, and i’m equally sure
there will be people who will say ‘that couldn’t be the way it
happened’… lol

:slight_smile:


#17

[quote=NonDenom]Hi all
I read this on an end time website and just wanted to know if any of you have heard of this and if it’s true? I thinkthat the website is www.endtime.com
Thanks.
The document, called The Gift of Scripture, says, “we should not expect to find in Scripture full scientific accuracy.
[/quote]

Some people find a conflict because the bible uses the perspective of the time, such as saying that the sun revolves around the earth. Well, we know that, the sun doesn’t revolves around the earth. We also know that there are 365 and 1/4 days in the year. The bible is not, and was not intended to be, a science book. So what, that does not make the bible false.

BTW, I hope that you also noticed that the newspaper said that there are two conflicting accounts of creation in Genesis. This is false. There are two, completely compatible perspectives in Genesis, not two accounts.


#18

81 "Sacred Scripture is the speech of God as it is put down in writing under the breath of the Holy Spirit."42

This is from the Catechism

and this is how we regard Holy Scripture.


#19

[quote=NonDenom]…The Catholic bishops of England, Wales and Scotland are warning that people should not expect “total accuracy” from the Bible. …
[/quote]

Wasn’t that the same group of people in that area that gave us the King James Bible too?:hmmm:


#20

[quote=Malachi4U]Wasn’t that the same group of people in that area that gave us the King James Bible too?:hmmm:
[/quote]

About five hundred years ago the Catholic bishops of England, with a few sainted exceptions, rolled over and surrended totally to a despotic and licentious king who wanted a “quickie” divorce so he could marry his mistress. Now the bishops of that same country are betraying God’s written word. Some things never change!


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.