Evolution
(11-02-2010, 08:07 PM)The Catholic Thinker Wrote: I can get by with $60K/year.

"get by"?
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(11-02-2010, 09:13 PM)Rosarium Wrote:
(11-02-2010, 08:07 PM)The Catholic Thinker Wrote: I can get by with $60K/year.

"get by"?

Raising a family where I live on a lot less is not so easy.  Especially with substantial charitable/Church giving.  Then again, it was a clearly facetious comment.  You could start another thread if you wanted to discuss the topic...
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(11-02-2010, 07:14 PM)Cambrensis Wrote: Vulgate:

Formatis igitur Dominus Deus de humo cunctis animantibus terræ, et universis volatilibus cæli, adduxit ea ad Adam ...

"Therefore the Lord God, with all the animals of the earth and all the birds of the sky having been formed from the ground, led them to Adam ..."

Formatis ... animantibus ... volatilibus

Ablative absolute -- formatis = having been formed.

I'll deal with this in more detail some other time (this has been, and will continue to be, a very busy week for me, and if I don't want to be a zombie at work tomorrow, I need to get to bed soon), but I do not regard the Vulgate as authoritative. It's a translation like any other translation, and translations are inherently imperfect. No two languages are perfectly congruent. There will always be words that have no exact translation, not to mention idioms and figures of speech, differences in word order, etc. You can either try to translate the words exactly, in which case you inevitably lose or distort some of the meaning, or you can try to translate the meaning exactly (assuming you can figure out what the meaning is), which inevitably requires changing or re-organizing some of the words. Professional translators don't even agree on which approach is best.

In any event, the Challoner revision/re-translation of the Douay Rheims version, which seems to be the English translation of choice among trads, is 4 times removed from the original Hebrew, which was translated into Greek (Septuagint) hundreds of years later, then translated from that into Latin (Vulgate) hundreds of years after that, then translated into English (Douay-Rheims) hundreds of years after that, then revised/re-translated again (Challoner) hundreds of years after that -- inevitably losing something in each translation. More modern translations, many of which are translated directly from the original Hebrew (or at least the earliest copies of that that we have), are arguably more accurate.

If you really want to argue for a literal interpretation, you would have to read it in the original Hebrew (assuming that you're capable of doing that -- I am not) -- and even then, there's no way you would get the same exact meaning as a Jew reading it in 500 B.C. -- the cultural differences are too great.

Notwithstanding all of that, I am willing to concede that there is enough ambiguity in this particular example to allow for an interpretation that has no contradictions. However, there are plenty more where that came from, many of them not so easily resolved. I am firmly convinced that you cannot read the Bible as exact literal truth unless you're willing to leave science, logic, reason, and common sense at the door -- and I'm not willing to do that. And that doesn't make me a heretic or an apostate. The official documents of the Catholic Church, and many of the writings of the Fathers of the Church, either agree with me, or at least allow my approach. They also allow a literal interpretation, if that's what you like, but they don't require it..
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(11-03-2010, 01:05 AM)Grasshopper Wrote: I do not regard the Vulgate as authoritative.

The Church, that has authority to decide these matters, does.
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Grasshopper Wrote:[The Vulgate is] a translation like any other translation, and translations are inherently imperfect. No two languages are perfectly congruent. There will always be words that have no exact translation, not to mention idioms and figures of speech, differences in word order, etc. You can either try to translate the words exactly, in which case you inevitably lose or distort some of the meaning, or you can try to translate the meaning exactly (assuming you can figure out what the meaning is), which inevitably requires changing or re-organizing some of the words. Professional translators don't even agree on which approach is best.

In any event, the Challoner revision/re-translation of the Douay Rheims version, which seems to be the English translation of choice among trads, is 4 times removed from the original Hebrew, which was translated into Greek (Septuagint) hundreds of years later, then translated from that into Latin (Vulgate) hundreds of years after that, then translated into English (Douay-Rheims) hundreds of years after that, then revised/re-translated again (Challoner) hundreds of years after that -- inevitably losing something in each translation.

I can't help noticing that you describe a purely human process.  Your account fails to acknowledge the possibility that the Holy Ghost had a hand in things.

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(11-03-2010, 08:00 AM)Vetus Ordo Wrote:
(11-03-2010, 01:05 AM)Grasshopper Wrote: I do not regard the Vulgate as authoritative.

The Church, that has authority to decide these matters, does.

They did at one time, but the Vulgate of St. Jerome that was authorized by the Council of Trent has been replaced by the Nova Vulgata, and the Douay-Rheims English translation has been replaced by the NAB (in America), the Jerusalem Bible (in the rest of the English-speaking world), and the RSV Catholic Edition as an alternative to either of these.

Anyway, I didn't mean my statement to sound as categorical as it does, and "authoritative" is also a loaded word. The Vulgate was declared "free from doctrinal error", but it's not clear to me that this extends to details such as whether a particular verb should be translated as "formed" or "had formed" or "having formed". Note that all 3 of the more modern (and currently preferred) English translations listed above use "formed" or "fashioned" (without the participle "had" or "having"), which would be in line with my argument. I would be interested to hear from an expert in ancient Hebrew (if any of those are lurking here) as to what the most accurate translation of the original manuscript is. I would regard that as more authoritative than any secondhand translation from intermediate sources.

My main point remains -- translation of ancient manuscripts is anything but an exact science, and there is a reason why we have dozens of distinctly different English translations of the Bible, including at least 5 that are recognized by the Catholic Church, and many of which claim to be "the most accurate". My brother, who drifted away from the Catholic Church around the same time as me (about 40 years ago), and "got religion" about 10 years ago as an Evangelical Protestant, swears that the translation that his church uses is "the best" (because his pastor told him so). I'm extremely skeptical that there is any such thing as a single "best" or "most accurate" translation, given the inherent difficulties of the enterprise. They all have their pros and cons (and potential "agendas" of the translators). And given that many of the original writings were poetic or allegorical in nature, I still think it's absurd to interpret them literally, regardless of which translation you're looking at.
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(11-03-2010, 04:09 PM)Grasshopper Wrote:
(11-03-2010, 08:00 AM)Vetus Ordo Wrote:
(11-03-2010, 01:05 AM)Grasshopper Wrote: I do not regard the Vulgate as authoritative.

The Church, that has authority to decide these matters, does.

They did at one time, but the Vulgate of St. Jerome that was authorized by the Council of Trent has been replaced by the Nova Vulgata, and the Douay-Rheims English translation has been replaced by the NAB (in America), the Jerusalem Bible (in the rest of the English-speaking world), and the RSV Catholic Edition as an alternative to either of these.
They weren't replaced. The Clementine Vulgate and D-R are fully approved as always.

They use the D-R for English translations at my parish.

Quote: which would be in line with my argument. I would be interested to hear from an expert in ancient Hebrew (if any of those are lurking here) as to what the most accurate translation of the original manuscript is. I would regard that as more authoritative than any secondhand translation from intermediate sources.
The tense of Hebrew verbs can always be translated variably. There is no one correct way to translate it into English.

English aspect and tense is very precise compared to most languages. Hebrew is quite vague about it; context is very important.

The way one traditionally translates it is using the understanding of the Greek and Latin.

However, keep in mind verb use in this manner cannot really be answered by language alone. The languages are too different in their use of verbs.
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(11-03-2010, 06:04 PM)Rosarium Wrote:
(11-03-2010, 04:09 PM)Grasshopper Wrote:
(11-03-2010, 08:00 AM)Vetus Ordo Wrote:
(11-03-2010, 01:05 AM)Grasshopper Wrote: I do not regard the Vulgate as authoritative.

The Church, that has authority to decide these matters, does.

They did at one time, but the Vulgate of St. Jerome that was authorized by the Council of Trent has been replaced by the Nova Vulgata, and the Douay-Rheims English translation has been replaced by the NAB (in America), the Jerusalem Bible (in the rest of the English-speaking world), and the RSV Catholic Edition as an alternative to either of these.
They weren't replaced. The Clementine Vulgate and D-R are fully approved as always.

They use the D-R for English translations at my parish.

Just out of curiosity, what kind of parish is this? My regular parish (standard modernist, NO Mass, but relatively reverent -- no severe abuses) uses the NAB translations. The Diocesan TLM that I go to occasionally uses the D-R translations. That Parish also has NO masses -- I've never been to one of those, so I don't know which version they use there (but I would guess NAB).

I didn't mean to imply that the D-R had been abandoned completely, it just seems to have been superceded by the newer translations in most places. The Church still recognizes it, but they don't seem to use it much anymore.
Quote:
Quote: which would be in line with my argument. I would be interested to hear from an expert in ancient Hebrew (if any of those are lurking here) as to what the most accurate translation of the original manuscript is. I would regard that as more authoritative than any secondhand translation from intermediate sources.
The tense of Hebrew verbs can always be translated variably. There is no one correct way to translate it into English.

English aspect and tense is very precise compared to most languages. Hebrew is quite vague about it; context is very important.

The way one traditionally translates it is using the understanding of the Greek and Latin.

However, keep in mind verb use in this manner cannot really be answered by language alone. The languages are too different in their use of verbs.

Thanks for the info -- very interesting!
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(11-03-2010, 06:49 PM)Grasshopper Wrote: Just out of curiosity, what kind of parish is this? My regular parish (standard modernist, NO Mass, but relatively reverent -- no severe abuses) uses the NAB translations. The Diocesan TLM that I go to occasionally uses the D-R translations. That Parish also has NO masses -- I've never been to one of those, so I don't know which version they use there (but I would guess NAB).
St. Stephan's of Hungary in Allentown PA. It is in the diocese.

I am not sure if there are restrictions on what translation can be used in the TLM besides it being approved. I know the US bishops approved the NAB for the NO in the USA.

Quote:Thanks for the info -- very interesting!
Hebrew verbs are a pain for this reason.
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(11-01-2010, 04:08 PM)Grasshopper Wrote:
(10-30-2010, 04:55 PM)Nic Wrote: Catholic Thinker,

You clearly state that you don't hold to molecules-to-man macro evolution, and you also clearly state that you hold to an old earth, some billions of years old.  My only conclusion from your remarks is that you believe that God created man, as he is today, some billions of years ago.

I'm not the "Catholic Thinker", and I can't read his mind, but I would be willing to bet a large amount of money that the above statement does not accurately reflect his beliefs. Nobody believes that man, as he is today, has existed for billions of years, and that belief is not necessary unless you also insist on believing that the "6 days" of creation were 6 literal 24-hour days. And no self-respecting scientist believes that either. Such a literal reading of Genesis is untenable even without recourse to science. If you insist that everything in Genesis happened exactly as it says, down to every last detail, how do you reconcile the two different creation accounts? Did God create plants first (on the third day), then some of the animals (on the fifth day), then the rest of the animals, and finally, man and woman (on the sixth day), as in Genesis 1:9-31? Or did He create man first, and then the plants, and then the animals, and then woman, as in Genesis 2:4-22? You can't have it both ways. The two accounts contradict each other. The only way to reconcile this is to admit, as the Church does, that "in order to discover the sacred authors' intention, the reader must take into account the conditions of their time and culture, the literary genres in use at that time, and the modes of speaking, feeling, and narrating then current" (Catchism of the Catholic Church, paragraph 110). The author(s) of Genesis were not writing to modern standards of historical and scientific accuracy.

It is possible for me to believe that God suspended or superceded the laws of science as we know them, in the process of creation, but I can't bring myself to believe that He did it, then started over and did it again in a different order -- which is what a literal reading of Genesis requires. And that's just one example -- I could come up with dozens more. But I'm not here to pick apart the Bible -- just to plead for some sense of sanity in reading it. It is possible for it to be "inerrant" in some sense without requiring literal accuracy of every detail. Because that would require you to tie your mind in knots and believe numerous mutually contradictory statements. And I'm not willing to do that. I will leave that to Protestant fundamentalists. Catholics are supposed to be more intelligent.


Many people try to undermine the inerrancy of Genesis 1 and 2 by pointing out alleged “inconsistencies” between the two creation accounts. Of course, if Scripture is not inerrant, then the secularists can advance any theory they wish about creation and the age of the earth. Following are the most common “inconsistencies” raised by the secularists:

1.  Plants created before or after Adam?

Gen. 1:11-12 – God says “Let the earth put forth vegetation, plants yielding seed, and fruit trees bearing fruit in which is their seed.”  In this account, God made plants before He made man.

Gen. 2:5 – it says “when no plant of the field was yet in the earth and not every herb of the field had yet sprung up,…God formed man of dust from the ground.” In this account, it appears that God made plants after He made man.  How do we reconcile the two accounts? Well, none of the early Church Fathers had a problem harmonizing the texts, so 21st century Westerners should have no problem doing so.

In Gen. 1:11-12, it says that God made “herb” and the “tree producing fruit.” This refers to two kinds of vegetation. Gen. 1:11-12 also says that this vegetation produced “seed” (in Hebrew, dashah). These types of vegetation evidently served as food for Adam and Eve.

In Gen. 2:5, it refers to the “shrub,” which is a third type of vegetation, to be distinguished from that which is described in Genesis 1. This is further demonstrated by the fact that the text says that the “shrub” of Genesis 2 had not yet produced seed (in Hebrew, tsemach).  This is different from the dashah produced by the vegetation in Genesis 1.

Finally, Gen. 2:5 says “not every herb of the field had yet sprung up.” This indicates that some vegetation did already spring up, which is the different kind of vegetation described in Gen. 1:11-12 (the fruit-bearing vegetation versus the vegetation that had yet to bear fruit). Thus, Gen. 1:11-12 describes vegetation which immediately produced fruit, and Gen. 2:5 refers to vegetation whose fruit would bud in the next generation.  Is this an inconsistency? No.

2.  Animals created before or after Adam?

Gen. 1:24-25 – it says that God made “living creatures” before He made man.

Gen. 2:7 – it says that God made man, and then in Gen. 2:19 it says that God made the “living creatures.” It thus appears that God made the animals after He made man, whereas in Genesis 1 it says that God made the animals before He made man. Is this an inconsistency? No.

In Gen. 2:19, it says “out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field…and every bird of the air and brought them to the man to see what he would call them.” The Hebrew for “formed” is yatsar, which is in the past tense (not the present tense). This means that God “had already formed” the beasts and birds before He made man, which is consistent with Gen. 1:24-25.

This is bolstered by the fact that Gen. 2:18 says God was trying to find a “suitable helper” for Adam. Why? Since God already knew that the animals would not serve that role, it seems obvious that He would not have created them after Adam, only to discover what He already knew (that the animals would not be suitable helpers for Adam). The animals were already created. God “had formed” them before Adam. This alternative account poignantly sets the stage for God’s creation of Eve, the true suitable helper for Adam, with whom he would “be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth.”

3.  Wasn’t Eve was created years after Adam?

If liberal exegetes can prove that Eve was created years after Adam, this supports their claim that the six-day creation account cannot be interpreted literally.  To that end, the liberals point out that “the Lord God planted a garden in Eden…and made grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food, the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil” (Gen. 2:8-9). The liberals argue that since it takes years for trees to grow, Eve could not have been created on the sixth day. Such an interpretation limits God’s ability to create trees using natural processes, which is not how God was creating during the miraculous creation week.

The more plausible (and correct) interpretation is that God created the trees ex nihilo, just as he created the heavens and the earth. The fact that Eve was later created ex nihilo from the side of Adam (as Pope Leo XIII affirms in Arcanum Divinae Sapientiae, 1880) demonstrates that God’s miraculous ex nihilo activity is occurring right to the very end of the creation week.

Similarly, the liberal exegetes point out that, after God created the trees in Gen. 2:8-9, He made a river flow out of Eden, which divided into four other rivers (Gen. 2:10). Again, they argue the creation of four rivers out of the river in Eden would have taken many years prior to the creation of Eve. Once again, such an argument limits God’s creating activity to natural processes. God could have created the rivers ex nihilo, and Gen 2:10 would only be describing how the newly created river of Eden joined them.

Alternatively, since Gen. 2:10 does not say that the four rivers were created at that time, the rivers could have been separated with the rest of the waters on day three (see Gen. 1:9-13). The days of Genesis 1 and Genesis 2 correspond as follows:

Day One:              1:1-5; 2:4-7
Day Two:              1:6-8; 2:8
Day Three:          1:9-13; 2:9-14
Day Four:            1:14-19; 2:15
Day Five:            1:20-23; 2:16-17
Day Six:                1:24-31; 2:18-24
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