The Inspired Word of God?


#1

People say that the Scripture was written by the Holy Spirit and therefore it is without error.

I beg to differ. In 1 Samuel 13:1, there is discrepancies from one bible to the next about the numbers concerning Saul (in years). It appears that the scripture here is indecipherable. Now, if the Holy Spirit wrote the bible then what accounts for this. Why would God omit the years of Saul out of scripture. It appears that the bible is with error concerning this.

Some bibles try to fill it in with an educated guess, however, the Hebrew (numbers) are too difficult to be for sure. Some say 42 years, some say 32 years. But the ones who do not take a guess omit it from scripture. I understand that some LXX’s have the number but others don’t. Are the ones with the number, the faithful bibles. Why?


#2

Saul’s details are obscure in the Torah. We have to go to the New Testament to find his 40 years. (Acts 13:21) The problem you refer to comes from the awkward language of 1 Samuel 13:1 which literally says, “Saul reigned as a son one year, and reigned two years in Israel.” Two years? Translators usually propose that a preceding number was ‘lost’ through copyist errors and they insert their best guess. ([thirty] two, or [forty] two) However, such assumptions are unnecessary.

What it more likely means is that he reigned one year as an untested ‘son’ under tutelage to Samuel, and then he earned his full respect when he liberated the city of Jabesh. At that stage his kingdom was confirmed (1 Sam. 11:14) and he reigned another two years as King in his own right. However, at the end of three years Saul failed the test, and Samuel said:
"But now your kingdom shall not continue. The Lord has sought out a man after his own heart, and the Lord has commanded him to be prince over his people.” (1 Sam. 13:14)

In that very same year, 1038 BC, David was born! Therefore, the “3 years” of Saul were those years he was recognised as God’s king, and the earthly tenure beyond his rejection was no longer recorded in Samuel’s book.


#3

Sacred heart #1
People say that the Scripture was written by the Holy Spirit and therefore it is without error.

I beg to differ.

Vatican Ecumenical Council II teaches what Scripture scholar Fr John Echert affirms.
Answer by Fr. John Echert on 20/12/2007 (EWTN):
“The Church formally teaches that the Sacred Scriptures are absolutely without error. This teaching is not arrived at inductively – namely, that a careful study of the entire Bible has revealed no discrepancies or difficulties – but follows from the fact that God is the ultimate Author of the Bible and falsehood is incompatible with Truth Itself. **As taught by the Second Vatican Council: 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 the truth which God, for the sake of our salvation, wished to see confided to the Sacred Scriptures.” **[My emphasis].

Re a literal interpretation see rtforum.org/lt/lt59.html
[Fr Brian Harrison refers to *The Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation (Dei Verbum) of Vatican II, 1963-5].
‘The true sense of Dei Verbum, 11, then, is not that the guarantee of inerrancy covers those propositions which a biblical author affirms (or teaches) as opposed to those which he merely “states,” i.e., with less force or deliberation, but still as an expression of his own judgment. Rather, it covers those propositions he affirms (or teaches) as opposed to those which he merely “uses materially,” i.e., those in which what appears on paper, taken in isolation, or in its most superficially literal sense, does not express his own judgment in any way.

‘These “materially used” (but not formally affirmed) propositions in Scripture would appear to be of three main kinds. First (and most obviously), there are those which the human author does not himself utter but attributes to someone else, in which case divine inspiration guarantees only the truthful reporting of such propositions, not the truth of the propositions themselves. Secondly, this category would include individual propositions used by the author as part of a parable or other imaginative literary composition, in which the formally affirmed teachings it sets out to convey emerge only from the story as a whole. Finally, there are propositions in which not every word is meant to be understood in the most immediate literal sense, since the author may be “using” hyperbole, metaphor, or other literary devices, even within a passage or book which is substantially ‘straight’ history or didactic teaching rather than fiction of some sort.

‘In short, what is essentially guaranteed to be true by virtue of divine inspiration, according to the sentence of Dei Verbum, 11, we are considering, is not the isolated propositions taken in their ‘surface’ meaning and without regard to their historical and literary context, but rather (as the next article of Dei Verbum puts it) “that meaning which the sacred writers really intended, and which God, by their words, wanted to make known.” 55 The discernment of that divine and human meaning is what the Church understands by a proper ‘literal’ interpretation of the text - which is not to be confused with a ‘literalist’ interpretation.” ’

There are no “errors” or “contradictions” in the meaning which the sacred writers intended.


#4

The people that say this are called Fundamentalists. The Catholic Church doesn’t say this. The Church teaches that the Bible was written by human authors inspired by the Holy Spirit. Not possessed by the Holy Spirit or used as a dictation device by the Holy Spirit. That means the human authors wrote out of their experience and knowledge to communicate divine truths. The divine truths are without error. It doesn’t mean that every detail in the Bible is literally true.

Fundamentalists do all kinds of exigetical gymnastics trying to explain this or that detail in the Bible. Catholics read the Bible as written by human authors inspired by the Holy Spirit, and if there’s one thing Catholics know it’s that humans are not perfect, even the Popes. BUT when the Pope teaches ex cathedra on matters of faith and morals - he is teaching infallibly! In a similar way, in regard to those truths necessary for our salvation, the Bible is without error.


#5

Also, “without error” does not mean little scribal glosses won’t make it into editions of the Bible or that the text would not suffer in transmission. It is, after all, a human text. Another possible explanation of the passage in question is that the Hebrew text suffered in transmission and was one irretrievably lost, such that none of the alternate ancient editions (Greek, Syriac, Latin) do not represent a reliable guess as to what it was.

What I say to that is, big deal. God knew what he was doing when he allowed the Church to fix the books of the canon. The little detail of Saul’s length of reign is something we can conclude that God did not will to be preserved to our day for the sake of our salvation. The point is that despite the transmission difficulties, especially in the older books of the Old Testament, the message has been preserved intact despite the scribal troubles here and there.


#6

As many say here, the Bible isn’t a history book nor a science book.


#7

" People say that the Scripture was written by the Holy Spirit and therefore it is without error."

It has never been the Church’s position that the Holy Spirit “wrote” the Scriptures, rather He inspired the human authors. It’s quite an important distinction.

“In 1 Samuel 13:1, there is discrepancies from one bible to the next about the numbers concerning Saul (in years).”

There have always been verbal variations among manuscripts; and scribal errors do occur. However, when dealing with the nature of inspiration, the original unchanged text, as it left the pen of the sacred writers, is alone in question.


#8

In his Encyclical, Providentissimus Deus, Pope St. Leo XIII had this to say:

It will never be lawful to restrict inspiration merely to certain parts of the Holy Scripture, or to grant that the sacred writer could have made a mistake. Nor may the opinion of those be tolerated, who, in order to get out of these difficulties, do not hesitate to suppose that Divine inspiration extends only to what touches faith and morals, on the false plea that the true meaning is sought for less in what God has said than in the motive for which He has said it. (Denz., 1950)

Limited inspiration contradicts Christian tradition and theological teaching.

For more, see “Inspiration of the Bible,” Catholic Encyclopedia.


#9

The historical parts are pretty good. From Abraham onward at least. A study of the Hebrew kings are an eye-opener for any who care to do it. Here are my notes on the dates from David to Zedekiah.

Kings of Israel and Judah


#10

For me, personally, understanding the Inspired Word of God in the first three chapters of Genesis is essential.


#11

=Sacred_Heart;13501513]People say that the Scripture was written by the Holy Spirit and therefore it is without error.

I beg to differ. In 1 Samuel 13:1, there is discrepancies from one bible to the next about the numbers concerning Saul (in years). It appears that the scripture here is indecipherable. Now, if the Holy Spirit wrote the bible then what accounts for this. Why would God omit the years of Saul out of scripture. It appears that the bible is with error concerning this.

Some bibles try to fill it in with an educated guess, however, the Hebrew (numbers) are too difficult to be for sure. Some say 42 years, some say 32 years. But the ones who do not take a guess omit it from scripture. I understand that some LXX’s have the number but others don’t. Are the ones with the number, the faithful bibles. Why?

My dear friend in Christ;

I suspect that you misunderstand the inerrantcy of the Bible:)

Keep in mind that what we read today spans about 4,000 YEARS.

The Bible is NOT a history book in the NORM of today’s standard.

The Bible cannot error in teaching Her MORAL truths and Teachings of Jesus Christ.

The rest is open to MISTAKES; but not error:thumbsup:

God Bless you,
Patrick


#12

The Bible was not written by the Holy Spirit. The Bible was written by men inspired by the Holy Spirit. There is a difference.

The Bible communicates exactly what God wanted to communicate and does so without error. Sometimes people think that the Bible communicates things such as history or science when God had no intent to communicate those things.

God gave us the Bible for the salvation of our souls. Everything in the Bible having to do with the salvation of our souls is without error.

-Tim-


#13

Can you please explain the difference between mistakes and error in the Bible? I assume you mean that not everything is 100% accurate. Am I correct?


#14

The problem is that the original, inspired Scriptures were written on perishable material, such as papyrus, and perished long ago. Copies were made and remade by hand by fallible, human copyists. It should be no surprise that such copies do not agree in every aspect. Bible scholars try to reconstruct the content of the original Scriptures by comparing various error-filled copies and applying certain assumed principles of reconstruction but their reconstructions are only educated guesses.


#15

Since we are the "Sola Scriptura " crowd, i would point to the extensive protestant study of the Holy Scriptures. I myself have read, and continue to read bible studies from some incredibly talented, highly educated bible historians. I use several concordances, bible dictionaries, and greek/english dictionaries. The one thing that i do know, from my readings of those most learned, of both protestant and Catholic stripe, is that what we have today as our Bibles are incredibly acurate. There are those who debate the versions of the old testament hebrew scriptures used, just as some debate which version of new testament autographs are the most acurate translation, but when all is weighed, the acuracy of the Holy Scriptures is amazing. In my opinion this is the work of the Holy Ghost.
Where we fallen men go astray is when we grab bits and pieces of scripture without understanding the full context, both textual and historical.

May the love and peace of Christ Jesus be with all this Christmas.


#16

Is that what they taught you in your theological formation ? If so, they were promoting heresy. You should read Providentissimus Deus.


#17

As I told you in the reply to your PM, I was never in theological formation. I have no idea what you are talking about. You are confused or mistake me for someone else.

-Tim-


#18

What’s he talking about, when he said that about Providetissimus Deus?

Are you mistaken in your earlier post? Does Provietissimus Deus (whatever that is) contradict what you said?


#19

=Faith1960;13508043]Can you please explain the difference between mistakes and error in the Bible? I assume you mean that not everything is 100% accurate. Am I correct?

I can but try:) & yes you are correct:)

I have often shared that the bible is always TRUE; but not always factual.

The Bible exist as expressed in 2nd. Timothy 3:16-17 "All scripture, inspired of God, [and] is profitable to teach, to reprove, to correct, to instruct in justice, That the man of God may be perfect, furnished to every good work.

Matthew 4:4"Who answered and said: It is written, Not in bread alone doth man live, but in every word that proceedeth from the mouth of God"

There is an unwritten Infallible rule for right understanding of the Bible; it is this.[caps for emphasis; not shouting here]

**Never-ever; Can, may or DOES
One verse, passage or teaching have the authority or the Power to
Invalidate, make void or override ANOTHER
Verse, passage or teaching

Were this even the slightest possibility[its NOT], it would render the entire bible as worthless to teach or learn god’s [only one] set of Faith beliefs.:thumbsup:**

Perhaps the easiest way to answer your great question is to understand why the Bible exist.

The OT leads to the NT; which both contains the OT; fulfills it and even perfects it. That is why I pointed out that the Bible is not a history book in the identical sense of current history books.

There are going to be historical errors; but they do not encroach on Moral truths. The OT is now some 4,000 years old; and when it was assembled from OT Jewish books it covered a period of about 2,000 years. Add to this that the Jews were a Nomadic people; and the multiple destruction of the Jerusalem & and consequent captivity of the nation; then factor in the lack of literacy; and the shortage of writing materials; and it seems inevitable that their would be inconsistencies.

The OT Bible exist to relate the STORY of God choosing out of all the earth; just one Chosen people Exodus 6:7; who were surrounded by nothing but PAGANS. God had to ween them and introduce them to unheard of things. One God? Yes; One God! In charge of everything.

In the process God had to first teach them to trust Him explicitly & implicitly. This took a very long time and the “carrot & stick” kind of instruction. BUT God never deserted them; & God insisted that they in turn NEVER desert Him…

So the OT should be viewed as the relationship story of God and His P\Chosen People [singular].

The New Testament is the fulfillment of the Old. The entirety of the Bible is the recounting of God’s desire to be in a Personal relationship with humanity; and the ups and downs of that endeavor. God desires this FAR more than we do:)

The NT then in addition to completing the OT; aims to perfect the God-man relationship and to solidify it.

One needs to seem the MESSAGE of the Bible; the LESSONS of the bible and not at all be concerned with the relative inconsistencies. Making THIS our aim; our goal will aid greatly in further establishing our personal relationship with our God.

I do hope this helps you? If not let me know and I’ll try again. I’ll leave you with to very prudent teachings:

2nd. Peter 3: 14-17 “Therefore, beloved, since you wait for these, be zealous to be found by him without spot or blemish, and at peace. And count the forbearance of our Lord as salvation. So also our beloved brother Paul wrote to you according to the wisdom given him, speaking of this as he does in all his letters. There are some things in them hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other scriptures. You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, beware lest you be carried away with the error of lawless men and lose your own stability

2nd. Peter 1: 16-21 “You will do well to pay attention to this as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts. First of all you must understand this, that no prophecy of scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation, because no prophecy ever came by the impulse of man, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God.”

God Bless you,

Patrick

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#20

It helps. Thanks. :slight_smile:


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