Pope Benedict: Bible Cannot Be Taken Literally
(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:


(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.

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Re: Pope Benedict: Bible Cannot Be Taken Literally - by SaintRafael - 11-19-2010, 08:59 PM

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