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(11-18-2010, 10:18 PM)Grasshopper Wrote: [ -> ]Next you'll be saying that St. Augustine wasn't a Church Father. In fact, you'll have to say that to be consistent with the above statement, because he didn't believe in a literal "six days" interpretation, and indeed cautioned against doing so.

He believed in Creation taking place in an instant, which is, of course, less than six days.

Either way, no Father believed Creation took longer than six days.
(11-19-2010, 06:51 AM)Clare Wrote: [ -> ]He believed in Creation taking place in an instant, which is, of course, less than six days.

Either way, no Father believed Creation took longer than six days.
He did explain that the six days could represent not literal days, but a scheme or plan of creation and that the actual creation during those “days” was instantaneous--but of things in potency and causation, not necessarily their final visible form, which would be shaped later over time. For example, he places the actual formation of man’s body after the seventh day:

“There can be no doubt, then, that the work whereby man was formed from the slime of the earth and a wife fashioned for him from his side belongs not to that creation by which all thing were made together, after completing which, God rested, but to that work of God which takes place with the unfolding of the ages as He works even now.” (St. Augustine, "The Literal Meaning of Genesis," Book 6)
(11-19-2010, 06:51 AM)Clare Wrote: [ -> ]
(11-18-2010, 10:18 PM)Grasshopper Wrote: [ -> ]Next you'll be saying that St. Augustine wasn't a Church Father. In fact, you'll have to say that to be consistent with the above statement, because he didn't believe in a literal "six days" interpretation, and indeed cautioned against doing so.

He believed in Creation taking place in an instant, which is, of course, less than six days.

Either way, no Father believed Creation took longer than six days.

Either way, St. Augustine did not accept a literal interpretation of Genesis, which is my real point here. Neither did Origen, another of the Church Fathers:

"What intelligent person can imagine that there was a first “day,” then a second and a third “day”—evening and morning—without the sun, the moon, and the stars? [Sun, moon, and stars are created on the fourth "day."] And that the first “day”—if it makes sense to call it such—existed even without a sky? [The sky is created on the second "day."]

Who is foolish enough to believe that, like a human gardener, God planted a garden in Eden in the East and placed in it a tree of life, visible and physical, so that by biting into its fruit one would obtain life? And that by eating from another tree, one would come to know good and evil? And when it is said that God walked in the garden in the evening and that Adam hid himself behind a tree, I cannot imagine that anyone will doubt that these details point symbolically to spiritual meanings, by using an historical narrative which did not literally happen."

It simply is not true that all the Fathers accepted Genesis as literal truth. They argued about it, just like we do.
(11-19-2010, 12:44 AM)SaintRafael Wrote: [ -> ]Jesus says the following in John 5:45-47:

"Think not that I will accuse you to the Father. There is one that accuseth you, Moses, in whom you trust. For if you did believe Moses, you would perhaps believe me also; for he wrote of me. But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe my words?"

"He wrote of me" is much more generic and vague than "he wrote every word of the Torah". It doesn't prove anything. Believe what you like, but I'm not convinced. My faith does not depend on Genesis being literal -- in fact, quite the opposite is true. If Genesis is literal truth, I'm laughing all the way back to atheism. It is preposterous if taken as literal truth.
(11-19-2010, 07:51 AM)Grasshopper Wrote: [ -> ]"He wrote of me" is much more generic and vague than "he wrote every word of the Torah". It doesn't prove anything. Believe what you like, but I'm not convinced. My faith does not depend on Genesis being literal -- in fact, quite the opposite is true. If Genesis is literal truth, I'm laughing all the way back to atheism. It is preposterous if taken as literal truth.

What other writings of Moses were there? Everyone at the time of Jesus, all the Jews, and Jesus himself understood that the Torah was written by Moses. This is fact. Everyone understood "he wrote of me" to mean the Torah because that was the belief held by all. It wasn't disputed for centuries until the dawn of modern Biblical scholarship of the 18th and 19th centuries.

The Ordinary Magisterium has always held that Genesis is literal history. Pope Pius XII in Humani Generis upheld that Genesis was genuine history with Adam and Eve. Adam and Eve were real people and all humanity descended from them.

If you deny the literal history of Adam and Eve, you might as well go to Atheism because the whole Catholic faith falls apart without Adam and Eve. If Genesis is not literal, then there is no original sin. No original sin means no need for Christ or the Catholic faith. The entire Bible is the word of God. If Genesis is not literal and the word of God, I don't see how you can take the Gospels as literal and the word of God either.
As far as St. Augustine, Dr. Robert Sungenis says the following about him in this article:

http://www.catholicintl.com/epologetics/...nisis1.htm

"....Allow me to answer the question for you. It makes little difference, simply because, on this particular subject, Mr. Akin has created an artificial distinction between "the majority of the Church Fathers" and the "moral unanimity" of the Fathers. The facts are these: Of the thirty or so Church Fathers that gave at least some interpretation to Genesis 1, all of them, with the exception of one (Origen), and possibly two (Augustine), believed that the days of Genesis 1 were six literal days of twenty-four hours each. Many of them even use the words "twenty-four hours" or its equivalent.(2) We don't possess many defined dogmas in Catholicism that have as much patristic evidence behind them as we do for a literal six-day creation (e.g., doctrines of Mary, purgatory, indulgences, etc).

Moreover, when we examine the reasons for Origen's denial of literal days, his departure from the Fathers is not something about which Akin should take much satisfaction. The fact is that Origen did not see the days of Genesis as literal because practically his whole methodology in interpreting Scripture was allegorization. There is hardly a Scriptural text that Origen did not impose his allegory - a method he learned from the school of Philo, the Greek philosopher bent on assigning his Platonic ideals to holy writ. There is a reason why we don't call him "St. Origen," and that is because many of his ideas were heterodox, and a few of his beliefs were actually declared heretical (e.g., the transmigration of souls).

As for Augustine, far from rejecting a literal six-day period, he did not for a moment suggest that the days of Genesis 1 could be billions of years long, and he never, in fact, rejected that the days of Genesis were 24 hours long. Rather, in one of his interpretations, Augustine suggested that perhaps God created everything instantaneously, and that the six days were the means by which the angels could comprehend, in stages, what God had made all at once.(3) In short, Augustine offered what he thought was a viable alternative to remedy what he believed were exegetical difficulties in interpreting Genesis 1 as six literal days, not to mention the fact that Augustine also had a penchant for spiritual interpretation.

The main reason Augustine had these difficulties is due to his self-imposed desire to find some place in Genesis 1 for the creation of the angels. Seeing no other place to put them, Augustine suggested that the creation of light in Genesis 1:3 served this purpose. This, of course, would force the other days to be representations of what the angels contemplated, but not necessarily in 24-hour segments. Since none of the other Fathers of the Church shared his concern about when the angels were created, Augustine acknowledged that his interpretation was only a possibility, and that he would gladly concede it if someone could harmonize the rest of the Genesis 1 text......"

"....So let's take the tally. Of the thirty or so Fathers who taught on the days of Genesis 1, all but two said the days were literal. Of those two, one had a known-habit of interpreting almost all of Scripture in an allegorical sense (Origen), while the other said the days could be limited to one instant of time, but only because he felt compelled to add the angels to Genesis 1, in addition to the fact that he misconstrued the Greek of Ecclesiasticus 18:1, yet even at that, admitted his interpretation might not be correct and he would gladly concede it to anyone who had a satisfactory literal interpretation. Thus, we have at least 94% of the Fathers who say the days of Genesis 1 are literal days, 3% who say they are not, and 3% who say that they may be. ..."

(11-19-2010, 03:38 PM)SaintRafael Wrote: [ -> ]
(11-19-2010, 07:51 AM)Grasshopper Wrote: [ -> ]"He wrote of me" is much more generic and vague than "he wrote every word of the Torah". It doesn't prove anything. Believe what you like, but I'm not convinced. My faith does not depend on Genesis being literal -- in fact, quite the opposite is true. If Genesis is literal truth, I'm laughing all the way back to atheism. It is preposterous if taken as literal truth.

What other writings of Moses were there? Everyone at the time of Jesus, all the Jews, and Jesus himself understood that the Torah was written by Moses. This is fact. Everyone understood "he wrote of me" to mean the Torah because that was the belief held by all. It wasn't disputed for centuries until the dawn of modern Biblical scholarship of the 18th and 19th centuries.

The Ordinary Magisterium has always held that Genesis is literal history. Pope Pius XII in Humani Generis upheld that Genesis was genuine history with Adam and Eve. Adam and Eve were real people and all humanity descended from them.

If you deny the literal history of Adam and Eve, you might as well go to Atheism because the whole Catholic faith falls apart without Adam and Eve. If Genesis is not literal, then there is no original sin. No original sin means no need for Christ or the Catholic faith. The entire Bible is the word of God. If Genesis is not literal and the word of God, I don't see how you can take the Gospels as literal and the word of God either.

Your point about Adam and Eve is taken. As you claim, Catholic theology is heavily dependent on the concept of original sin, and that falls apart without Adam and Eve. And this is explicit in the Catechism (even the new post-Vatican II Catechism) -- I don't have the text here to quote from, but it basically affirms that mankind is descended from one man and one woman, and that this ties in with the teaching on original sin. So I won't argue that point.

However, it's a big leap from that to saying that all of Genesis must be literal truth, and the Church no longer requires that leap. And I'm not sure that it ever did. As I mentioned in a different post, Origen and St. Augustine are both on record as warning against an overly literal interpretation of Genesis, and the current Catechism also warns that you must read the books of the Bible with the understanding that they include many different literary forms, and that they were written in a different time, and for a variety of audiences. It's not all straight factual history, and even when it is, it wasn't written to modern standards of scientific and historical accuracy. The Bible can be "inerrant" without being literally factual. A good example of this is the parables of Jesus. No-one would claim that the events in those parables actually happened, yet they contain truth.

As for atheism, I used to be an atheist (after being born and raised Catholic), and one of the things that drove me to that was a realization of how preposterous much of the Bible is if taken literally. Genesis is one of the best examples of this. Aside from the many contradictions with the findings of science (and this goes way beyond biology and evolution), it is also full of internal contradictions and things that just don't make sense. I could not then, and cannot now, accept Genesis as literal truth unless I check my brain at the door, and I'm not willing to do that. One of the things that helped me come back to the Catholic Church is that they no longer require that kind of belief. If they did, I simply wouldn't be here. As I said in my previous post, I don't think that a refusal to take the Bible literally necessarily leads one to atheism. For me, it's the only thing that keeps me from atheism.

As for the Gospels, they are on much more solid ground than Genesis, but I can't accept everything in them either. I believe that Jesus existed, that He was who He claimed to be, and that he did and said most of what is recorded in the Gospels. But there are things in there that strain credibility, especially in the early parts of Matthew and Luke. The two Nativity narratives are difficult to harmonize, and the two genealogies of Jesus might as well be for two different people, as almost nothing in them matches. They can't even agree on who Joseph's father was!

Getting back to Moses -- well, there's the Torah (the first 5 books of the OT), and there's the torah (the law). I think just about all Jews and Christians, then and now, would agree that Moses was the lawgiver -- that he received "the law" from God and passed it on the the Israelites. But I wonder how many people still believe that he wrote the 5 books of the Torah all by himself. I certainly don't believe it. There is ample textual evidence that there were at least 3 or 4 different authors with different writing styles, and that those writings were later compiled into what we have now. If you read the books carefully, this isn't difficult to believe. There are two different creation stories in Genesis, and two different flood narratives, and in both cases, some of the details differ. You can see the seams where the stories are joined if you look for them. And there are numerous other places in those 5 books where the same story is told more than once, or different stories that are suspiciously similar to each other (was it really that common for people to pass their wives off as sisters?).

None of this shakes my faith. The Bible is the word of God, but He had to use men as the conduit, and men are imperfect. Therefore the books are imperfect. You don't have to accept that if you don't want to, but I do. If I don't accept it, then I can't accept that it's the word of God, either. There are just too many things wrong with it.
Speaking of modern biblical scholarship that has undermined the faith in the Word of God and reduced it to a mere symbolism (like that of Grasshoper's), I suggest the following enlightening read:

The "Toledoths" of Genesis.
(11-19-2010, 06:36 PM)Grasshopper Wrote: [ -> ]However, it's a big leap from that to saying that all of Genesis must be literal truth, and the Church no longer requires that leap. And I'm not sure that it ever did. As I mentioned in a different post, Origen and St. Augustine are both on record as warning against an overly literal interpretation of Genesis, and the current Catechism also warns that you must read the books of the Bible with the understanding that they include many different literary forms, and that they were written in a different time, and for a variety of audiences. It's not all straight factual history, and even when it is, it wasn't written to modern standards of scientific and historical accuracy.

The Church has always required belief in a literal Genesis. The teaching has been the same for centuries. It is part of the Ordinary Magisterium. The modern Catechism is full of ambiguity and Modernism put side by side with prior Church teaching. I don't read or pay attention the the modern Catechism. It was put together by liberals and in no way infallible or free from error. I stick with the Baltimore catechism, other older catechisms, and the infallible teachings already set in stone for centuries. Modern science is full of errors and bad philosophy.

(11-19-2010, 06:36 PM)Grasshopper Wrote: [ -> ]Aside from the many contradictions with the findings of science (and this goes way beyond biology and evolution), it is also full of internal contradictions and things that just don't make sense. I could not then, and cannot now, accept Genesis as literal truth unless I check my brain at the door, and I'm not willing to do that. One of the things that helped me come back to the Catholic Church is that they no longer require that kind of belief. If they did, I simply wouldn't be here.

I am college educated, with a degree, and hours upon hours of self study in religion, philosophy, and theology, but I do not check my brain at the door by believing a literal Genesis and literal Bible. I am quite confident about my belief and not about to be intimidated by all these poor scientists, theologians, and scholars with their errors. I would be willing to take on anyone of these people and defend the literal understanding of the Bible.

The problem is that you have fallen for modern scientific claims that are in no way scientific, true, proved, or correct. For example, it is not a scientific fact or law that the universe or Earth are billions and millions of years old. All of modern geology is built on an assumption and theory that science today with better technology, is showing be be false. It has been assumed that rock formations or strata form very slowly and that each layer of strata is a gap of milions of years. Water current velocity was never taken into account and modern lab tests are showing the strata forms very rapidly by the velocity of the current and with many of the strata forming laterally and vertically, depositing at the same time, not successively by superposition of million upon millions of years.

The following Catholic creationist website created by Catholic scientists is a great resource where you can learn about Genesis, creation, and scientific errors:

www.kolbecenter.org

(11-19-2010, 06:36 PM)Grasshopper Wrote: [ -> ]As for the Gospels, they are on much more solid ground than Genesis, but I can't accept everything in them either. I believe that Jesus existed, that He was who He claimed to be, and that he did and said most of what is recorded in the Gospels. But there are things in there that strain credibility, especially in the early parts of Matthew and Luke. The two Nativity narratives are difficult to harmonize, and the two genealogies of Jesus might as well be for two different people, as almost nothing in them matches. They can't even agree on who Joseph's father was!

There are no contradictions in the Bible and no errors. To claim that there are things wrong in the Gospels is heretical. There are things that seem difficult and look like contradiction, but we have to be humble enough to understand God does not make errors in his word and we can be taught by the Church. There are many great traditional Catholic Bible study options, such as Bible study books from Robert Sungenis and classical Bible commentaries from St. Thomas Aquinas and Fr. Leo Haydock.

In the Gospel of Matthew, St. Matthew uses the genealogy of St. Joseph. In the Gospel of Luke, St Luke uses the genealogy of Mary. Matthew uses the paternal lineage of his foster father while Luke uses the maternal lineage of his mother.

(11-19-2010, 06:36 PM)Grasshopper Wrote: [ -> ]Getting back to Moses -- well, there's the Torah (the first 5 books of the OT), and there's the Torah (the law). I think just about all Jews and Christians, then and now, would agree that Moses was the lawgiver -- that he received "the law" from God and passed it on the the Israelites. But I wonder how many people still believe that he wrote the 5 books of the Torah all by himself. I certainly don't believe it. There is ample textual evidence that there were at least 3 or 4 different authors with different writing styles, and that those writings were later compiled into what we have now.

All the Jews not only believed he was the lawgiver, but believed he wrote their books. At the time of Jesus, they believed he was the author, word for word of the five books. History shows that it is only in the last 3 centuries, that this has been disputed and debated. In the 1st century there was no question.

You say you can't believe that Moses wrote it, but Jesus believed that Moses wrote it. Did not Jesus Christ say and believe that Moses wrote the first five books? When Jesus was talking about the writings of Moses, he was talking about the first five books, because in the first century, that is what they believed. Didn't Jesus believe in the authorship of Moses?

(11-19-2010, 06:36 PM)Grasshopper Wrote: [ -> ]None of this shakes my faith. The Bible is the word of God, but He had to use men as the conduit, and men are imperfect. Therefore the books are imperfect. You don't have to accept that if you don't want to, but I do. If I don't accept it, then I can't accept that it's the word of God, either. There are just too many things wrong with it.

The Catholic teaching is that the Holy Spirit is the author of the Bible. Men wrote the Bible under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. He guided their thoughts and could not have lead them into error. Under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, these men were lead into transcendence. They transcended culture, time, and place. There is absolutely no errors of any kind in the Bible whether they be historical, cultural, or scientific.
(11-19-2010, 08:59 PM)SaintRafael Wrote: [ -> ]The problem is that you have fallen for modern scientific claims that are in no way scientific, true, proved, or correct. For example, it is not a scientific fact or law that the universe or Earth are billions and millions of years old. All of modern geology is built on an assumption and theory that science today with better technology, is showing be be false. It has been assumed that rock formations or strata form very slowly and that each layer of strata is a gap of milions of years. Water current velocity was never taken into account and modern lab tests are showing the strata forms very rapidly by the velocity of the current and with many of the strata forming laterally and vertically, depositing at the same time, not successively by superposition of million upon millions of years.

I find the commonly accepted version of geology infinitely more plausible than your version, which presupposes the literal truth of Genesis. If you start out with a fixed conclusion that you're absolutely unwilling to alter, it's easy to pick and choose only the evidence that supports that conclusion. But that's not how science works. And it's not just geology. Astronomy and physics also support an age for the earth and the universe that is much greater than that proposed by young-earth creationists. Archaeology shows that people and civilizations have existed longer than your proposed age for the earth. When all the sciences independently come to the same conclusion, I find that much more convincing than a book that is full of obvious errors and contradictions.
Quote:In the Gospel of Matthew, St. Matthew uses the genealogy of St. Joseph. In the Gospel of Luke, St Luke uses the genealogy of Mary. Matthew uses the paternal lineage of his foster father while Luke uses the maternal lineage of his mother.

Matthew 1:16 -- "And Jacob begot Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ."

Luke 3:23 -- "And Jesus himself ... being (as it was supposed) the son of Joseph, who was of Heli, ..."

I see nothing in there about the genealogy of Mary. One says Jacob was the father of Joseph; the other says Joseph was the son of Heli. Either they contradict each other or at least one of them is to be taken non-literally. Make your choice -- you can't have it both ways.
Quote:There is absolutely no errors of any kind in the Bible whether they be historical, cultural, or scientific.

I beg to differ. I find it to be full of scientific and historical errors, as well as internal inconsistencies and outright contradictions.

This will be the last word from me on this issue, because this argument is obviously a complete waste of time for both of us. You are already denying Origen, St. Augustine, the Catechism of the Catholic Church, and the Pope, as well as common sense and almost all of modern science. Given that, there is no chance that anything I say will change your mind. And, with all due respect, I find those authorities infinitely more convincing than you.

You can believe whatever you like. I'm sticking with common sense and the Pope.
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