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I'm going through a book that gives a Catholic overview of the Bible. I know the Church has many different interpretations of scripture but I am often left more confused from these different interpretations.

For example, the author states that the many miracles that occurred in Exodus (such as the "10 Plagues" and the parting of the Red Sea) can be explained by natural phenomena, and are not actually "miracles" that God did. Yet at the same time, he says that this doesn't in any way downplay God as being all-powerful.  He says that the point of Exodus is to show that indeed there was an Israelite population that "escaped" Egypt to wander in the desert, but the many events that we are so familiar with in Genesis were added later. In a sense, he states that Exodus is meant to be read as a religious epic, not so much as a historical event.

But at the same time, we Catholics believe that wine and bread literally become the Blood and Body of Christ. In other words we take John 6 quite literally to the point where Protestants fully reject it (at least most Protestant Evangelicals who claim to take a strict Fundamentalist approach to scripture).

If we therefore assume that the many written events/miracles which God supposedly did in the Old Testament never happened, why should we believe anything about Jesus written in the New Testament? If we assume that perhaps, God did not cause the 10 Plagues or part the Red Sea in Exodus, why should we therefore assume Jesus was able to heal the sick, multiply the loaves, resurrect from the dead, and ascend into heaven? Where are we, as Catholics, supposed to draw the line?

This has been bothering me for quite some time so I figured I should post this sooner or later.
I'd suggest trying to read as much of the Fathers as you can so you get their take on things. I also suggest trying to hold to a simple, childlike faith. Certainly if God can change the very substance of bread and wine into His own Body,Blood and Divinity, and if He can raise men from the dead He can certainly make animals talk, send plagues, part the Red Sea, make water come out of a rock in the desert and create the world several thousand years ago in a literal creation week of 24 hour days. Try to read the Bible with simplicity. You should also read the lives of saints, many of whom lived in a world of endless miracles.

The only dilemma is that the Church no longer has an index of prohibited books for all the nonsense that "catholic authors" are polluting the minds of the faithful with.
Whatever the literary genre of Exodus might be, the Gospels were written well within 100 years after the Resurrection, and recount events that happened within the memory of living people.  Without the miracles, and without the Resurrection, there would not have been any Christians to write the Gospels, or any Church to preserve them.  Even if the Exodus account is somewhat embellished, the Gospels certainly are not.
As far as the bread and wine being made into the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus..Jesus said so , Jesus is God and God can't lie.  End of discussion!! :)
Just a general point: the Bible is not one monolithic book, but a library of 73 books of various genres.  Just because one book is read as metaphorical or allegorical, doesn't mean another necessarily is. It is up to exegetes, and ultimately the Church, to interpret these books.

Regarding the Gospels, this is what the Church teaches:

Second Vatican Council, Dei Verbum Wrote:19. Holy Mother Church has firmly and with absolute constancy held, and continues to hold, that the four Gospels just named, whose historical character the Church unhesitatingly asserts, faithfully hand on what Jesus Christ, while living among men, really did and taught for their eternal salvation until the day He was taken up into heaven (see Acts 1:1).

I'm not sure if stating that certain apparently miraculous events in the Old Testament occurred "naturally' violates any fixed principles, so long as it is admitted that Providence was involved in them (it may, I'm not sure).  In the papal encyclical Humani Generis and various decisions of the Pontifical Biblical Commission, it is permitted to assert that the Pentateuch was not written wholly by Moses and may have had additions and changes made to it over time.  Likewise, it is permitted to hold that popular narrations about the events could have been borrowed from other sources and that the language may be in "simple and metaphorical language adapted to the mentality of a people but little cultured." (Humani Generis 38).

Ultimately, though, "If, however, the ancient sacred writers have taken anything from popular narrations (and this may be conceded), it must never be forgotten that they did so with the help of divine inspiration, through which they were rendered immune from any error in selecting and evaluating those documents." (Ibid).

Anyway, the opinion in your book really shouldn't be put forth as the Catholic view, since even if it is permissible, it is at best only a Catholic view, and a very minority view at that (taking into account the whole history of the Church). It of course has also not been endorsed by the Church as a definitive interpretation.
The old testament is primarily a historical narrative and tale of covenants. The Church from the 1st century through now has not provided infallible interpretation of every passage. In a sense this leaves open the faith as faith is not based solely on historical proofs.

We believe the Word, and everyone willing to understand can sincerely approach the Bible and hear God theoretically. We know to avoid undue curiosity and presumption. Bibliomancy is a word that used to mean taking scripture and using it as a means to divine the future. It now has a figurative(?) second meaning but you get the idea. About other translations of the bible. For example, I was looking into the Catholic Public Domain Version. I don't know the whole situation but it appears to need ecclesiastical approval and is awaiting a sign that it is free from error.
(09-11-2014, 11:51 PM)Gabriel Serafin Wrote: [ -> ]The only dilemma is that the Church no longer has an index of prohibited books for all the nonsense that "catholic authors" are polluting the minds of the faithful with.

This book has an Imprimi Potest and Imprimatur. Many of these Catholic books I see or have read state the Church has many different approaches to viewing scripture (which I know, indeed it does).  But at the same time these authors seem to have a strong bias towards whatever their interpretation of scripture is and therefore assume their interpretation is correct.

So, what Catholic Bible study is "safe" to read? Or even a traditional Catholic commentary?

Someone in this thread stated I should read the Church Fathers. I have read the "Confessions" by St. Augustine but that's about it for the "classics." So which Church Fathers should I start reading? I have a dumb mind so complicated theology is not currently my forte.
(09-12-2014, 07:31 PM)Sequentia Wrote: [ -> ]
(09-11-2014, 11:51 PM)Gabriel Serafin Wrote: [ -> ]The only dilemma is that the Church no longer has an index of prohibited books for all the nonsense that "catholic authors" are polluting the minds of the faithful with.

This book has an Imprimi Potest and Imprimatur. Many of these Catholic books I see or have read state the Church has many different approaches to viewing scripture (which I know, indeed it does).  But at the same time these authors seem to have a strong bias towards whatever their interpretation of scripture is and therefore assume their interpretation is correct.

So, what Catholic Bible study is "safe" to read? Or even a traditional Catholic commentary?

Someone in this thread stated I should read the Church Fathers. I have read the "Confessions" by St. Augustine but that's about it for the "classics." So which Church Fathers should I start reading? I have a dumb mind so complicated theology is not currently my forte.
If you want a good commentary on Scripture, you can get the Haydock Bible online for free. I find it sometimes to be the best, because it quotes a lot of the Church Fathers.

The Navarre Bible or A Catholic Commentary on Holy Scripture are excellent as well.

The book you are reading I will say is very dangerous and damaging to one's faith. By denying the miracles, one is ultimately denying Jesus Christ and calling him a liar. Even Christ speaks about the miracles (such as the manna from Heaven in Gospel of St John) being true.

If the flood and plagues are false, why wouldn't the multiplication of loaves or walking on water be false as well?
(09-12-2014, 07:31 PM)Sequentia Wrote: [ -> ]
(09-11-2014, 11:51 PM)Gabriel Serafin Wrote: [ -> ]The only dilemma is that the Church no longer has an index of prohibited books for all the nonsense that "catholic authors" are polluting the minds of the faithful with.

This book has an Imprimi Potest and Imprimatur. Many of these Catholic books I see or have read state the Church has many different approaches to viewing scripture (which I know, indeed it does).  But at the same time these authors seem to have a strong bias towards whatever their interpretation of scripture is and therefore assume their interpretation is correct.
I think there are abuses in many areas of the Church including granting the Imprimi Potest and Imprimatur.
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