When did it become fashionable for so many Catholics to see the Bible as a myth

I know a few Catholics…and have read commentaries by others who seem to regard parts of the Bible as mythology…akin to Greek, Roman, or Hindu stories. They will assert that the book of genesis is really a myth, or that Christ’s feeding of the 5,000 was just a legend, or that Mary was not really a virgin. These events could not be “real,” it is suggested by some, since they would seemingly violate the rules of nature :whacky: .

When did “intellectual” Catholics start viewing parts of the Bible as just stories or as one Catholic woman said to me: “parts of the Bible are just cultural by-products of very primitve ancient people and should not be understood as authentic history.”

Is the reurrection just a story too, or should we view that as actully having happened?

It started when Catholics became more educated about the Church’s interpretation of the Bible based on scholarly understanding which has evolved since the 1940s when a papal encyclical encouraged scholars to use the historical critical method to study scripture.

I think calling the Bible “a myth” is not accurate, but also reading the Bible literally is not accurate either. When interpreting scripture, you have to take into account the context in which the writer was writing and the typical style of literature of the times. Unlike Muslims and some evangelical Christians, Catholics believe that God did not tell the scripture writers what to write, he instead inspired them to write about God and teach people about his covenant with humankind and he let the writers use the talents he gave them to convey those messages.
Unlike our on times where we are concerned with details and accuracy, the biblical writers were more concerned about the theological accuracy than the historical accuracy. They wrote about the events that had occurred in a manner that conveyed God’s message to the people. For example, did Moses exist? I think most scholars would say yes. Did the events recorded in Exodus happen exactly as recorded, probably not, but that’s not important, what is important is understanding the covenant that God made with his people and how the people would lapse into unfaithfulness at times, but God continued to remain faithful to the covenant.

You question about whether the resurrection actually happened? I don’t think any Catholic scholar would say no. The resurrection is one of the few stories which is told in all 4 gospels, this is strong evidence that it actually occurred, being that the gospel accounts come from different communities and oral traditions. Yet all 4 accounts of the resurrection are different. This tells us that the resurrection did occur, but the apostles witnessed something which they did not fully understand at the time, and their experience of it was different, thus different accounts evolved over time in different communities. But despite the differences in detail, all 4 stories convey the important theological message, that Jesus was not dead, but instead God resurrected him as promised and that he is our saviour, even though he did not fit the mold most people thought the saviour would take (ie a king who conqueres land and frees Israel).

So the Biblical authors may have used allegories and stories to convey a theological truth, but that does not make that truth any less of a truth, it just represents a different way of expressing that truth than we are accostomed to using in our modern world.

your ambiguity makes me ill.

well, since im the fashion god, im pretty sure people started doing it cus i said it was cool.

[quote=faithhopelove]It started when Catholics became more educated about the Church’s interpretation of the Bible based on scholarly understanding which has evolved since the 1940s when a papal encyclical encouraged scholars to use the historical critical method to study scripture.

I think calling the Bible “a myth” is not accurate, but also reading the Bible literally is not accurate either. When interpreting scripture, you have to take into account the context in which the writer was writing and the typical style of literature of the times. Unlike Muslims and some evangelical Christians, Catholics believe that God did not tell the scripture writers what to write, he instead inspired them to write about God and teach people about his covenant with humankind and he let the writers use the talents he gave them to convey those messages.
Unlike our on times where we are concerned with details and accuracy, the biblical writers were more concerned about the theological accuracy than the historical accuracy. They wrote about the events that had occurred in a manner that conveyed God’s message to the people. For example, did Moses exist? I think most scholars would say yes. Did the events recorded in Exodus happen exactly as recorded, probably not, but that’s not important, what is important is understanding the covenant that God made with his people and how the people would lapse into unfaithfulness at times, but God continued to remain faithful to the covenant.

You question about whether the resurrection actually happened? I don’t think any Catholic scholar would say no. The resurrection is one of the few stories which is told in all 4 gospels, this is strong evidence that it actually occurred, being that the gospel accounts come from different communities and oral traditions. Yet all 4 accounts of the resurrection are different. This tells us that the resurrection did occur, but the apostles witnessed something which they did not fully understand at the time, and their experience of it was different, thus different accounts evolved over time in different communities. But despite the differences in detail, all 4 stories convey the important theological message, that Jesus was not dead, but instead God resurrected him as promised and that he is our saviour, even though he did not fit the mold most people thought the saviour would take (ie a king who conqueres land and frees Israel).

So the Biblical authors may have used allegories and stories to convey a theological truth, but that does not make that truth any less of a truth, it just represents a different way of expressing that truth than we are accostomed to using in our modern world.
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Wrong. Probobly started during the enlightenment period. Was political in thrust. You’re other ambigious statements make me ill.

However, Peace and Love.

[quote=the dictionary]myth n. A traditional, typically ancient story dealing with supernatural beings, ancestors, or heroes that serves as a fundamental type in the worldview of a people, as by explaining aspects of the natural world or delineating the psychology, customs, or ideals of society:
[/quote]

That what I was taught in Catholic school

What in that definition doesn’t apply to the Bible?

Myth doesn’t mean “untrue”

Some more literal minded folk may take exception to others classifying parts of the Bible as allegorical

But it is clearly all Mythical in the classical sense

[quote=faithhopelove]It started when Catholics became more educated
.
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I see. So scholars have determined that Moses was probably real, but some of the events in Exodus aren’t…hmmmm. I learn something new every day.

[quote=Steve Andersen]That what I was taught in Catholic school

What in that definition doesn’t apply to the Bible?

Myth doesn’t mean “untrue”

Some more literal minded folk may take exception to others classifying parts of the Bible as allegorical

But it is clearly all Mythical in the classical sense
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So if someone told you that Christ’s feeding of the multitudes was a myth…you would agree with them–interesting.

[quote=Steve Andersen]That what I was taught in Catholic school

Myth doesn’t mean “untrue”

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Soooo…what about Zeus and Hera???

you’re still assuming the word myth means untrue, made up, or otherwise didn’t happen…interesting

[quote=Tom of Assisi]Soooo…what about Zeus and Hera???
[/quote]

What about them?

The definition of myth doesn’t say anything about the literal, historical, or allegorical truthfulness of the stories involved or even anything about their worth.

It just says that they are stories that a group uses to explain its worldview

Don’t you use the Bible to explain your worldview?

That’s not the only thing the Bible is but that is part of it

Obviously an ancient Greek would put a lot more weight on stories about Zeus and Hera

Since,the Vatican 2 Council which was good:) There was an interesting spin on people and there theories about what Vatican 2 said.Alot, has gone overboard and out of control.The Vatican has had to put the “smack down” on abuses in theology,and ecumenisn.For instance they are fighting religious orders gone amuck and delving into new age and goddess mess:mad: They get in trouble and do it again.Same thing with the theology question, a majority of Catholic theologions are saying that women must be ordained priest:nope: The Vatican says NO, not one of the apostles was a woman and no women were there when the “marching order was given”.So I would be careful of what you hear and from what source it comes.God Bless
PS The devil tries to destroy from within and that is what we should remember.He did a number with Martin Luther:crying:

dictionary.reference.com/search?q=myth

myth ( P ) Pronunciation Key (mth)
n.

A traditional, typically ancient story dealing with supernatural beings, ancestors, or heroes that serves as a fundamental type in the worldview of a people, as by explaining aspects of the natural world or delineating the psychology, customs, or ideals of society: the myth of Eros and Psyche; a creation myth.
Such stories considered as a group: the realm of myth.

A popular belief or story that has become associated with a person, institution, or occurrence, especially one considered to illustrate a cultural ideal: a star whose fame turned her into a myth; the pioneer myth of suburbia.

A fiction or half-truth, especially one that forms part of an ideology.

A fictitious story, person, or thing: “German artillery superiority on the Western Front was a myth” (Leon Wolff).


Definitions 3 and 4 make myth an imprudent word choice in a discussion about the Bible.

Peace

PS I believe the Church confirms the historicity of the Gospels.

CCC Search Result - Paragraph # 126 (1022 bytes ) preview document matches

  1. The life and teaching of Jesus. The Church holds firmly that the four Gospels, "whose historicity she unhesitatingly affirms, faithfully hand on what Jesus, the …
    URL: scborromeo.org/ccc/para/126.htm

[quote=Steve Andersen]you’re still assuming the word myth means untrue, made up, or otherwise didn’t happen…interesting
[/quote]

Well I guess if you are defining the Bible as a myth, then some myths must be true…how can you tell the difference–between the real myths and the fake myths?

[quote=Tom of Assisi]Well I guess if you are defining the Bible as a myth, then some myths must be true…how can you tell the difference–between the real myths and the fake myths?
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i dont know what everyone else thinks but real myth seems like an oxymoron to me…

Tom of Asisi raised the question that some people think much of the Bible is actually “MYTH”.

I know there were a few German scholars who lived in the early 1800s who tried to explain away miracles by using natural means. This was the start of modern man trying to cause people to loose faith in the Bible. Sure a few of these pompous men have lived since the days of the Apostles but in terms of numbers there are more today. Eggheads think it is “cute” to show litte reguard for God’s Word.

If one thinks one part of the Bible is a myth, then why don’t they just say the entire Bible is a myth? It is hard to explain why thousands of the Early Christians who were sacrificed in the Roman Colosium would be FAITHFUL TO A MYTH.

I read the Bible, but don’t interpret it. The Church has interpreted it for me, if I don’t understand something I read in the Bible, I turn to Her for guidance.

Ah, but Catholics are bound to accept The Holy Bible not as myth but as complete divine truth.

Canon on Revelation, First Vatican Council

  1. If anyone does not receive as sacred and canonical the complete books of sacred scripture with all their parts, as the holy council of Trent listed them,

or

denies that they were divinely inspired :let him be anathema.

:smiley:

[quote=Tom of Assisi]Well I guess if you are defining the Bible as a myth, then some myths must be true…how can you tell the difference–between the real myths and the fake myths?
[/quote]

Apparently it is a matter of Faith :wink:

[quote=Asimis]Ah, but Catholics are bound to accept The Holy Bible not as myth but as complete divine truth.

Canon on Revelation, First Vatican Council

  1. If anyone does not receive as sacred and canonical the complete books of sacred scripture with all their parts, as the holy council of Trent listed them,
    or denies that they were divinely inspired :let him be anathema.

:smiley:
[/quote]

How does the first statement above come out of what Vatican I said? To say there is myth in the Bible is not to deny the inspiration of any of the books in the Canon. There are a number of different literary forms in the Bible. Because some parts may be poetry, song, myth, narritive prose does not make one single book not a part of the Bible. The real problem arises when someone tries to say the whole collection of the parts is all myth. IMO the new testament, the prophets, judges, and the laws are not mythical, while Jonah, a lot of Genesis and maybe parts of Exodus sure read like myth. Myth is a literary form that often teaches truth. It is quite obvious that a good part of these early stories are rooted in a common past and that our Bible contains a version that recognizes the One God as our creator who is involved in the lives of His creatures.

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