Saturday, October 08, 2005

RC Bishops Doubt Bible

I got this from NTR Ministries. It is reported that Roman Catholic bishops in Great Britain doubt certain passages of the Bible to be historically accurate. They think, for example, that the story in Genesis 1-11 is untrue. Look here


Jeff Tan said...

I have not read the book "The Gift of Scripture" nor "Verbum Dei" just yet, so I can't comment, and I'd only comment on the book in question, not the article. I wouldn't, not from reading an obviously biased secular source like Times Online UK. A good reading of the article is a giveaway: secular bias, axe to grind against American right, axe to grind against "Intelligent Design" which is a scientific theory, not a Biblical exegesis, etc.

Grain of salt. And don't trust mainstream media too far. They don't know what they're talking about.

For the Catholic Church to believe that parts of the Bible are untrue is ridiculous in light of what the Church has said before about Scriptures, e.g., from the Catechism, calling it inerrant, inspired and revealed. Which part of inerrant needs to be explained?

I suggest reading what the book actually says rather than believing a secular writer for mainstream media. They're after Intelligent Design proponents, which includes the Catholic Church. But.. the writer obviously didn't know that. :P

Luckily, Dei Verbum is available online here.

Jeff Tan said...

Two errors:

I should say that the Catholic Church continues to say (not "has said before") that Scripture is inerrant..

I meant "Dei Verbum", the Vatican II encyclical, not "Verbum Dei" -- got mixed up with the podcast, "Verbum Domini." :P

LPC said...

Fair enough we all need to see the book The Gift of Scripture.

As for me, it is naive to think that the RC is a theologically homogenous group so I will not hold my breath should the Times Online did quote the book accurately.

Jeff Tan said...

Lito, I am curious. How has the Roman Catholic Church proven heterogeneous to you?

Note that we do allow for heterogeneity in theology, liturgy and other things, but never in terms of doctrine, e.g., the Eastern Rite Catholics, e.g., Melkite, submit to the same doctrines of the Roman Catholic Church while retaining their ancient liturgy and traditions, including married clergy.

LPC said...


The view that RC is homogeneously united monolithic church is a myth because we know that Augustinians differ with Dominicans in theology like free-will etc. Also there are factions in the RC that are just as liberal as the liberal Protestants. I will not be surprised if this group of Bishops in Britain are one of them.

The other Catholic groups historically were not part of the Roman Catholic denomination, and went with Rome during the crusades for political reasons. Most of them were part of the Eastern Orthodox which called these churches "Uniat" an insulting term, for uniting with the Bishop of Rome.

Thus the criticism that the Reformation's sola Scriptura brought about these 25000 denominations to me is not an argument against it (see 1 Cor 11:19) Jesus said that we are to live by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God - Mt 4:4.

Jeff Tan said...

As I said, having different theologies is not a problem. It's doctrine that matters.

'The other Catholic groups historically were not part of the Roman Catholic denomination... Most of them were part of the Eastern Orthodox.'

Er.. yes, they were not part of the Roman Catholic Church because the East and West (the Roman Catholics) were distinct halves of the one, single Catholic Church. By the time of the Council of Chalcedon (AD 451), Christendom was effectively divided into the patriarchates of Rome, Constantinople, Antioch, Alexandria and Jerusalem. The latter four adhered to the Byzantine Tradition, while the first was of course Latin.

However, the primacy of the bishop of Rome was always accepted, even upto now, in the East, but not in the terms developed later under the doctrine of papal infallibility. Historically, the supreme pontiff was a court of last appeals if the other patriarchates couldn't resolve a grave issue, e.g., the case of Pelagius. The same practice dates back to ancient times, e.g., Council of Whitby and King Oswiu.

'Thus the criticism that the Reformation's sola Scriptura brought about these 25000 denominations to me is not an argument against it'

I don't know about you, but it bothers me that 25,000 denominations appealing exclusively to the same authority, Scriptures, relying on the same Holy Spirit, can outrageously contradict one another in some rather serious issues, e.g., the necessity of baptism, the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist, dispensationalism, the one-time-event of justification, etc. I cannot believe that the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Truth, could lead sincere, prayerful men and women into conflicting doctrines from the same Scriptures.

LPC said...


This is where we differ, for us theology is doctrine. For RCs theology is not the same as doctrine. This is playing with semantics (as I often observed with RC) . If your theology is different from mine, then your doctrine is not the same as mine and vice versa. This to us they are one and the same.

Again, I hasten to say that the metropolitan patriarchs of the Eastern Orthodox Churches have always denied the supremacy of the Bishop of Rome. Even today this is true. That is why these churches that formerly belong to the EOC were dubbed by them as "uniat"s.

And yes, I do consider EOC as catholic but not Roman. The same as Prots consider themselves catholics but not Roman.

Of course, if you go to RC, you must align and uphold the Bishop of Rome, you can not be part of the RC and not recognize the Pope as your pope. That comes with the definition. Thus, your use of the word East (is misleading as if the EOC recognizes the Pope), you mean the Eastern Catholics (which as I point were former EOCs who went w/ the Bishop of Rome).

If the Scripture which is the word of God in 1 Cor 11:19 predicted this 25000 factions, then I have nothing to say. God is the boss.

Paul rebuked Peter as recorded in Scripture. So can you say that I can not believe the HS will allow the apostles to rebuke each other since they use to have the same Old Testament? The issue of factions is a complex issue and sincerity is not the point here. We are each one (and I am not happy to say this) responsible in placing our lives to that which we think is infallible. My decision is an fallible decision to trust an infallible Scripture sufficient to guide me for faith and conduct. That is an article of faith. The question is which is safer? To trust the promises of an infallible Scripture(Book) or the promises of an infallible Magisterium (People).

Jeff, the issue is truth. See here Jer 29:13 and Psalm 119:160.
May we all be content that it is the Christ - the way the truth and the life. He loves us more than we know.