On the inspiration of the Bible

Hello lovely ones.

I was baptized as a roman Catholic, became atheist as a teenager but finally made a decision for Christ many years later.
Now I view myself as non-denominational Christian: I find both many positive and negative aspects in Protestant and Catholic churches.

There are two things I cannot accept in Evangelical Christianity:

  1. their belief that the Bible is inerrant
  2. the way they single out the Bible as being more inspired than other great Christian authors.

I summed up my view in this post.

If you find the time, I would be very grateful if you could read it and tell me if there are people in the Church of Rom who hold a similar view.

If so, it would be great if you could also give interesting links.

Lovely greetings from Continental Europe.

All Catholics beliefs about the Bible are summed up right here, in Dei Verbum, from the Second Vatican Council.

That being said, the Catholic Church does teach that the Sacred Scriptures through written by Men, in a very real sense have God as there author, as he inspired them in a way in which no other books are inspired, so that they are the very word’s of God, and contain what God wanted them to contain for our Salvation.

CCC 136 God is the author of Sacred Scripture because he inspired its human authors; he acts in them and by means of them. He thus gives assurance that their writings teach without error his saving truth (cf DV 11).



  1. Why does Sacred Scripture teach the truth?


Because God himself is the author of Sacred Scripture. For this reason it is said to be inspired and to teach without error those truths which are necessary for our salvation. The Holy Spirit inspired the human authors who wrote what he wanted to teach us. The Christian faith, however, is not a “religion of the Book”, but of the Word of God – “not a written and mute word, but incarnate and living” (Saint Bernard of Clairvaux).

If the bible is not divinely inspired, how in the world could you, as a lay person ever distinguish between what parts are right and what are wrong?

By the way, if you are a baptised Catholic then you are still a Catholic. There is no such thing as an ex or former Catholic.
Once a Catholic always a Catholic.

You can find people in the Catholic Church who believe just about anything (especially Germans:D). However, Catholic teaching certainly holds that Scripture is divinely inspired and is on a different level from any other book. Catholic teaching speaks of Scripture being inerrant, but there’s a debate about how to interpret this. Most Catholics interpret Dei Verbum (the relevant Vatican II document) as teaching that Scripture is inerrant in teaching the truth that leads us to salvation, implying that not everything asserted by the human authors may be inerrant in the sense the human authors intended. Other Catholics argue that this is a bad reading of Dei Verbum and further contradicts earlier Catholic teaching–these folks argue for a position essentially identical to that which you’re familiar with from conservative evangelicals, except for the addition of Tradition. However, that’s an important addition–all orthodox Catholics agree that Scripture must be interpreted by the Church in the light of Christ, which means that they don’t take Scripture “on its own” in the way conservative Protestants do.

In other words, you find much the same variety that you find among evangelical Protestants (many of whom likewise do not believe in a “strict” doctrine of inerrancy, though you may not have run into those folks). But Catholic teaching certainly excludes the view that Scripture is just a collection of human teachings recording genuine experiences with God.

It seems to me that you’ve set up somewhat of a false dichotomy, in which either we must take all of Scripture to be inerrant in the sense probably intended by the human author (a view which I agree with you is untenable) or we must reject the idea that Scripture is uniquely inspired.

What of the view that Scripture is indeed inspired, but must be read in the light of the ongoing guidance of the Church by the Holy Spirit, and above all in the light of the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus?


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.