by Robert A. Sungenis, M.A. Ph.D. (cd)
A reporter in the United Kingdom has written an article titled: “Catholic Church no longer swears by truth of the Bible.” The reporter’s name is Ruth Gledhill, who is a “Religion Correspondent.”
Ms. Gledhill is remarking on the recent document released by the Catholic bishops of England, Wales and Scotland titled “The Gift of Scripture.” As Ms. Gledhill shows, the bishops have caused quit a stir by their novel teaching regarding the nature of Scripture.
Perhaps not knowing Catholic Church protocol very well, the first thing we must critique about Ms. Gledhill’s article is the title, since she confuses what various bishops of the United Kingdom have disseminated over against what the Catholic Church officially proclaims as doctrine. In her title Ms. Gledhill leaves no room for the fact that the bishops of the United Kingdom have made erroneous statements or overstretched the bounds of their authority. As it stands, the bishops can proclaim as doctrine only what the Catholic Church itself has declared as official. Suffice it to say, much of what the bishops of the United Kingdom have written about the Scripture is simply not the official teaching of the Catholic Church. It never has been and never will be.
Before delving into this subject, one needs to understand that the United Kingdom, very similar to the United States, is saturated with liberal prelates who have followed the modernist claim that Scripture contains errors in history, science, culture, etc., and is only error-free when it speaks about things concerning salvation. Although certain high-placed Cardinals and most Catholic seminaries also hold to this modernistic view of Scripture, no pope or council has ever proclaimed it as the official teaching of the Catholic Church. Those who teach these modernistic views of Scripture are, in actuality, dissenting from official Catholic doctrine, but that is nothing new for liberals.
The more these Catholic bishops and scholars attempt to force these errors into the public eye, the more they show themselves as having departed from true Catholic faith. The number of bishops in the world who have sided with the erroneous position that Scripture contains errors is truly remarkable. Their numbers rival the Arian crisis of the first centuries of the Catholic Church in which most of the bishops sided with the heresy of Arius, a heresy which held that Christ was not God.
The unfortunate happenstance is that most of the people under the rule of their bishops simply are not educated enough from Catholic doctrine concerning the true nature of Scripture, and thus they will be easily led astray by these liberal bishops. What is needed is for Pope Benedict XVI to step in and set the record straight. We have gone on far too long with liberal prelates dictating their modernistic views on the Catholic populace. They have virtually destroyed the Catholic’s confidence in Scripture. Every time an individual reads Scripture he is subjected to the modernistic footnotes of the New American Bible where he is told to believe that the biblical narratives he has come to know and love never actually took place. This is an absolute travesty.
For those who are not familiar with this subject but would like to know the short version of why these bishops of the United Kingdom are so inclined to claim that Scripture contains errors, their whole campaign is based on one ambiguous sentence in one of the documents of Vatican II, titled Dei Verbum. From Ms. Gledhill’s article we know that Dei Verbum is in view since the bishops released the document on its anniversary. She writes:
The new teaching has been issued as part of the 40th anniversary celebrations of Dei Verbum, the Second Vatican Council document explaining the place of Scripture in revelation. In the past 40 years, Catholics have learnt more than ever before to cherish the Bible. “We have rediscovered the Bible as a precious treasure, both ancient and ever new.”
As to what the celebration is referring to, here is the section of Dei Verbum 11 to which the bishops would appeal their case:
11. Those divinely revealed realities which are contained and presented in Sacred Scripture have been committed to writing under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. For holy mother Church, relying on the belief of the Apostles (see John 20:31; 2 Tim. 3:16; 2 Peter 1:19-20, 3:15-16), holds that the books of both the Old and New Testaments in their entirety, with all their parts, are sacred and canonical because written under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, they have God as their author and have been handed on as such to the Church herself.(1) In composing the sacred books, God chose men and while employed by Him (2) they made use of their powers and abilities, so that with Him acting in them and through them, (3) they, as true authors, consigned to writing everything and only those things which He wanted. (4)
Therefore, since everything asserted by the inspired authors or sacred writers must be held to be asserted by the Holy Spirit, it follows that the books of Scripture must be acknowledged as teaching solidly, [faithfully and without error that truth which God wanted put into sacred writings (5) for the sake of salvation.] Therefore "all Scripture is divinely inspired and has its use for teaching the truth and refuting error, for reformation of manners and discipline in right living, so that the man who belongs to God may be efficient and equipped for good work of every kind" (2 Tim. 3:16-17, Greek text).
The text I have bolded and put in brackets is the only statement in all official Catholic Church teaching that the liberal bishops and scholars claim as their authority to teach their people that Scripture contains errors. They do so by twisting the meaning of the phrase “for the sake of our salvation.” Without any precedence from the patristics, previous popes or councils, saints or doctors, they make the totally outlandish conclusion that this singular phrase in Die Verbum is teaching that Scripture is only inerrant when it speaks ‘for the sake of our salvation.’ That’s it. There is no other text in Catholic history to which they appeal. Everything you’ve ever heard from their mouths on Scripture’s errancy or inerrancy comes from this one passage.
That this one phrase can be so twisted and distorted from its true meaning is one of the most amazing phenomena in Catholic history. The passage says nothing that conditions Scripture’s inerrancy on whether or not it is teaching about salvation. Not even the original Latin does so. In fact, as Fr. Brian Harrison has shown in his remarkable paper, the original Latin of Dei Verbum 11 is even clearer that salvation is not the condition of biblical inerrancy. The Catholic Magisterium (i.e., pope or council) has not issued one statement that the modernistic interpretation of Die Verbum is correct, yet Catholic scholars perpetuate their insidious commentary as if it were handed down from heaven itself.
Knowing how thorough and persistent the Catholic Magisterium has been prior to Vatican II in teaching that Scripture is without error in all that it says, anyone with common sense can read Dei Verbum 11’s words and understand that “for the sake of our salvation” is added to the sentence not as a condition of Scripture’s inerrancy, but precisely the opposite, that is, Scripture has been given to us without error so that we can, indeed, be saved. Obviously, our attempt at achieving salvation would be on shaky ground if it were based on erroneous words. Who would want to base their salvation on something that had error in it?
Not only does the context of Dei Verbum’s paragraph demand this meaning, it is required of exegetes to interpret all conciliar documents in light of the tradition. Since there is not even a hint in Catholic dogmatic teaching that Scripture contains error, it is totally irresponsible (not to mention heretical) to take one six word phrase out of its literary and historical context to make a conclusion that is diametrically opposed to both. It only shows how desperate the modernists and liberals are today, for this is the only passage on which they can hang their hat, as it were. It shows, as St. Paul warned us: “professing themselves to be wise, they became fools.”
The context of the passage simply will not allow any interpretation that seeks to limit the inerrancy of Scripture to matters of salvation. If salvation as a condition for inerrancy was in the minds of the Vatican II Fathers who wrote Dei Verbum, you can depend upon it that they would have spelled it out clearly and distinctly for us, for they would have known that the whole of Catholic dogmatic history on this subject had said something quite the opposite, that is, that Scripture contained no errors, regardless whether it was speaking about salvation.
Let’s look closely at the context. In the two paragraphs quoted above, we have the following categorical statements made by the Vatican II Fathers:
1) The Scripture is “under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit”
2) The Scriptures, “in their entirety… with all their parts, are sacred and canonical because written under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit”
3) The Scriptures “have God as their author…. so that with Him acting in them and through them… everything asserted by the inspired authors or sacred writers must be held to be asserted by the Holy Spirit”
4) “the books of Scripture must be acknowledged as teaching solidly, faithfully and without error…”
5) The Scripture are to be used “for teaching the truth and refuting error”
How much clearer can it be? Three times the Scripture is said to be inspired or asserted by the Holy Spirit. It equally states that God is the author of Scripture. The very reason the Catholic Church has insisted upon the total inerrancy of Scripture is that it is an absolute fact that God cannot lie, therefore, anything to which He puts His authorship cannot be in error.
Dei Verbum also says that Scripture itself is without error and to be used to refute error. This is the unadulterated context of the phrase “for the sake of our salvation.” What person in their right mind would then conclude that “for the sake of our salvation” is to be used to modify or make conditional the former categorical statements about Scripture’s inerrancy?
The answer, of course, would be someone who is not in his right mind. As Sr. Lucia warned us, there is a “diabolical disorientation” occurring today and you are seeing it right in front of your eyes, just as it was in the days of the Arian crisis, and perhaps even worse. That intelligent men who call themselves “men of God” could twist one phrase totally and irreparably out of context, with absolutely no precedent in Catholic dogma to do so, is certainly one of the most incredible acts of I have ever seen in my 30 years of Scripture study.
Not only does the context of Dei Verbum 11 refute the modernistic interpretation, when we study the preliminary drafts of Dei Verbum 11 before the final version was approved, we discover that Paul VI specifically rejected a version of Dei Verbum 11 that attempted, underhandedly, to state that Scripture contains errors. The liberal periti at Vatican II were bent on passing it through, but thanks to a last minute warning given to Paul VI, he rejected the liberals’ wording and demanded that it be changed. Fr. Brian Harrison gives us the blow-by-blow events in his wonderful essay.
Thus far we have: (1) Catholic dogmatic teaching; (2) the context of Dei Verbum 11; and (3) the specific mandate of Paul VI to assure us that the modernistic interpretation of “for the sake of our salvation” is fallacious. We also have a fourth witness: the footnotes provided by the Vatican II Fathers. In the two paragraphs I quoted above from Dei Verbum, there are footnote numbers. Below I give the references that the Vatican II Fathers cited as the supporting authorities for their conciliar teaching. Note that they all come from authoritative sources that held to the total inerrancy of Scripture:
First Vatican Council, Dogmatic Constitution on the Catholic Faith, Chap 2: “On Revelation” Denzinger 1787
Biblical Commission, Decree of June 18, 1915, Denzinger 2180
Holy Office, Epistle of Dec. 22, 1923, EB 499
Pius XII encyclical, Divino Afflante Spiritu, Sept. 30, 1943, AAS 35, p. 314.
First Vatican Council, Schema on Catholic Doctrine, note 9, Coll Lac VII, 522.
Leo XIII, Providentissimus Deus, 1893, Denzinger 1952.
St. Augustine, The Literal Interpretation of Genesis, 2, 9, 20
St. Augustine, Epistle 82, 3
St. Thomas, “On Truth,” Question 12, Article 2, c.
Council of Trent, Session IV, Scriptural Canons, Denzinger 783
Leo XIII, encyclical Providentissimus Deus
Pius XII, encyclical Divino Afflante Spiritu.
In none of these documents is it ever taught that Scripture is inerrant only when it speaks about salvation. They all say just the opposite. The curious thing is, the modernists know this to be the case, and that is why we never see them citing Dei Verbum 11’s footnotes in their commentaries.
Just to give you some sense of how adamantly opposed our former popes and councils were to saying that Scripture contained errors, note the statements from these authoritative sources:
Pius IX in Syllabus of Errors, condemned the following notion: “The prophecies and miracles set forth and recorded in the Sacred Scriptures are the fiction of poets, and the mysteries of the Christian faith the result of philosophical investigations. In the books of the Old and the New Testament there are contained mythical inventions...”
Pope Leo XIII, in Providentissimus Deus, “It is absolutely wrong and forbidden either to narrow inspiration to certain parts only of Sacred Scripture or to admit that the sacred writer has erred.”
Pope Pius X, in Lamentabili Sani, condemned the notion: “Divine inspiration does not extend to all of Sacred Scriptures so that it renders its parts, each and every one, free from every error.”
Pope Benedict XV, in Spiritus Paraclitus: “...the divine inspiration extends to all parts of Scripture without distinction, and that no error could occur in the inspired text.”
Pope Pius XII, in Divino Afflante Spiritu, repeats Leo XIII decree: “It is absolutely wrong and forbidden either to narrow inspiration to certain parts only of Sacred Scripture or to admit that the sacred writer has erred.”
In Humani Generis, Pius XII condemns the notion: “...immunity from error extends only to those parts of the Bible that treat of God or of moral and religious matters.”
Pontifical Biblical Commission, in 1964, states: “...that the Gospels were written under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, who preserved their authors from every error.”
Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, in 1998, states in Professio Fidei: “...the absence of error in the inspired sacred texts...”
Leo XIII: “For the sacred Scripture is not like other books. Dictated by the Holy Spirit, it contains things of the deepest importance, which, in many instances, are most difficult and obscure” (Prov. Deus, I, B, 2, b). He also says: “For all the books in their entirety...with all their parts, have been written under the dictation of the Holy Spirit” (DS 3292).
Vatican Council 1 says: “Further, this supernatural revelation....is contained in the written books...from the apostles themselves by the dictation of the Holy Spirit, and have been transmitted as it were from hand to hand” (DS 3006).
The Catholic Catechism: “Sacred Scripture is the speech of God as it is put down in writing under the breath of the Holy Spirit” (Para 81). “God inspired the human authors of the sacred books...it was a true authors that they consigned to writing whatever he wanted written, and no more” (Para 106).
Leo XIII: “It is futile to argue that the Holy Spirit took human beings as his instruments in writing, implying that some error could slip in...For by his supernatural power he so stimulated and moved them to write, and so assisted them while they were writing, that they properly conceived in their mind, wished to write down faithfully, and expressed aptly with infallible truth all those things, and only those things, which He himself ordered; otherwise He could not Himself be the author of the whole of Sacred Scripture” (DS 3293).
Hence, you see that at no time has any pope or council, Father or doctor or saint, ever taught that Scripture is inerrant only in matters of salvation. There isn’t even a discussion on the topic, let alone a conclusion favoring the modernists. Unfortunately, most of our prelates today have been duped by those purporting to be Catholic scholars.
As the article by Gledhill continues, she writes:
THE hierarchy of the Roman Catholic Church has published a teaching document instructing the faithful that some parts of the Bible are not actually true. The Catholic bishops of England, Wales and Scotland are warning their five million worshippers, as well as any others drawn to the study of scripture, that they should not expect “total accuracy” from the Bible. “We should not expect to find in Scripture full scientific accuracy or complete historical precision,” they say in The Gift of Scripture. The document is timely, coming as it does amid the rise of the religious Right, in particular in the US.R. Sungenis:There are no conflicting stories in the narratives of Genesis; there are only neglectful efforts at harmonizing the stories by lazy and prideful biblical scholars. The Fathers, the medievals, and every biblical exegete prior to the modern era wrote volumes on how to reconcile the apparent “conflicts” in Scripture, and they were quite successful at doing so. Cornelius Lapide catalogued most of them for us.
Some Christians want a literal interpretation of the story of creation, as told in Genesis, taught alongside Darwin’s theory of evolution in schools, believing “intelligent design” to be an equally plausible theory of how the world began. But the first 11 chapters of Genesis, in which two different and at times conflicting stories of creation are told, are among those that this country’s Catholic bishops insist cannot be “historical”. At most, they say, they may contain “historical traces”.
But here is the curious issue: even the parts dealing with “salvation” have conflicts that have to be harmonized. For example, St. Paul’s statement that “man is not justified by works,” over against St. James’ statement that “man is justified by works.” So, contrary to what the modernists claim, the so-called “conflicts” are not only in the historical portions of Scripture, but, to use their words, in the portions that speak “for the sake of our salvation.” They harmonize those conflicts, so why don’t they harmonize conflicts in the historical narratives?
In Scripture there are even instances in which a writer “conflicts” with himself, since he seems to say different things in different contexts. It is the exegete’s job to harmonize these apparent conflicts. “Conflict” is simply not a sufficient reason to claim that the historical narratives of Scripture are in error. If we were forced to designate as error every biblical text that presented “conflicts” between the various writers, we wouldn’t have much of the Bible left, if any.
Moreover, the Church has already authoritatively decreed under Pius X’s Pontifical Biblical Commission that the biblical narratives are true history. Moreover, the PBC in 1909 held the full authority of the pope, whereas today the PBC has been demoted to merely an advisory board. As such, below are the categorical statements made by Pius X’s commission:
Question 1: Whether the various exegetical systems which have been proposed to exclude the literal historical sense of the three first chapters of the book of Genesis, and have been defended by the pretense of science, are sustained by a solid foundation? Reply: In the negative.
Question 2: “…it can be taught that the three aforesaid chapters of Genesis do not contain the stories of events which really happened, that is, which correspond with objective reality and historical truth; but are either accounts celebrated in fable drawn from the mythologies and cosmogonies of ancient peoples and adapted by a holy writer to monotheistic doctrine, after expurgating any error of polytheism; or allegories and symbols, devoid of a basis of objective reality, set fourth under the guise of history to inculcate religious and philosophical truths; or, finally, legends, historical in part and fictitious in part, composed freely for the instruction and edification of souls? Reply: In the negative to both parts.
Question 3: Whether in particular the literal and historical sense can be called into question, where it is a matter of facts related in the same chapters, which pertain to the foundations of the Christian religion, for example…the formation of the first woman from the first man…the transgression of the divine command through the devil’s persuasion under the guise of the serpent…? Reply: In the negative.
Questions IV – VIII leave some room to interpret various words and phrases in the Genesis narrative in less than a literal sense, but at no time does the 1909 Pontifical Biblical Commission deny the historical truth of the narratives themselves, which is in direct contradiction to what the United Kingdom bishops are proposing.
The document shows how far the Catholic Church has come since the 17th century, when Galileo was condemned as a heretic for flouting a near-universal belief in the divine inspiration of the Bible by advocating the Copernican view of the solar system. Only a century ago, Pope Pius X condemned Modernist Catholic scholars who adapted historical-critical methods of analysing ancient literature to the Bible.
R. Sungenis: Gledhill is, of course, admitting what I have plainly stated above, that is, that the views of the bishops of the United Kingdom are diametrically opposed to those of Pius X. The fact is, however, the bishops hold no dogmatic authority in the Catholic Church, but Pius X certainly did. The bishops are to take their orders from the Catholic Magisterium, as represented by Pius X and subsequent popes, not disseminate teachings that the Catholic Magisterium has not sanctioned in the whole 2000 years of its history.
Gledhill: In the document, the bishops acknowledge their debt to biblical scholars. They say the Bible must be approached in the knowledge that it is “God’s word expressed in human language” and that proper acknowledgement should be given both to the word of God and its human dimensions.
R. Sungenis: We see here that the bishops are getting their cue from the “biblical scholars.” Today in the Catholic Church there is hardly a biblical scholar left who does not believe there are any errors in Scripture. When Vatican II closed its doors, there was an avalanche of dissent from the traditional teaching about Holy Scripture. It is truly a sad day in the Church. The use of “human dimensions,” of course, is a code phrase in liberal circles for saying that the authors of the Bible sometimes erred in their recountings of history.
Gledhill: They say the Church must offer the gospel in ways “appropriate to changing times, intelligible and attractive to our contemporaries”.
R. Sungenis: Here are the two biggest sins of liberalism and modernism: (1) changing beliefs to match the times, and (2) accommodating the whims and desires of man instead of God.
Gledhill: The Bible is true in passages relating to human salvation, they say, but continue: “We should not expect total accuracy from the Bible in other, secular matters.” They go on to condemn fundamentalism for its “intransigent intolerance” and to warn of “significant dangers” involved in a fundamentalist approach. “Such an approach is dangerous, for example, when people of one nation or group see in the Bible a mandate for their own superiority, and even consider themselves permitted by the Bible to use violence against others.”
R. Sungenis: Yes, “fundamentalism” certainly has its problems but they are minor compared to the outright heresies coming from the liberals and modernists in most of Catholic biblical scholarship today. At least the Protestant fundamentalists believe the Bible is the inerrant word of God, even though they often misinterpret its words because of their particular ideologies. You can teach a fundamentalist how to interpret the Bible properly, because at least you have some common ground with him, but you can’t teach a liberal or modernist. If he doesn’t believe in the Bible’s veracity (except when he desires it to be so), there is nothing to discuss any longer.
From another perspective, the charge of “fundamentalism” is merely a demagogic ploy. Ask yourself this question: for all the literalness that a Protestant fundamentalist supposedly brings to the Bible, how would the typical fundamentalist interpret the words of John 6:54: “he who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life”? Most interpret it in the figurative or metaphorical sense, not the literal sense. How would the same fundamentalist interpret John 20:23: “If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained,” or John 3:5: “unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God”? Certainly not in the literal sense. So how “fundamentalist” can he really be?
But of all the religions in the world, which one holds what we might call a consistent “fundamentalist” approach to these very Scriptures and interprets them as literally as possible? Yes, the Catholic Church. While everyone else in the world is making symbols and metaphors out of these Johannine passages, the Catholic Church has stuck her neck out for 2000 years and taken them at face value. You can’t get much more “fundamental” than that.
But somehow, when it comes to things that are even easier to believe than the fact that God Himself is present in a circular wafer, then there is an uproar among biblical scholars. If it is held, for example, that God actually took a rib from Adam to make Eve; or that there was actually a talking snake in the Garden of Eden, all of a sudden the modernistic “biblical scholars,” hampered as they are by the dubious foundation of modern science, castigate anyone who would understand these events literally as “fundamentalists.” What they accept in one instance they condemn in another. So much for consistency. The real truth is that most biblical scholars today have accepted the doctrine of evolution, and the only way they will be able to defend that belief against the teachings of Scripture is to posit that most of the opening chapters of Genesis are neither historical nor literal.
Oh, but the modern biblical scholar will cry: “but John 6:54 is a matter of salvation, so we must believe what it says!” And we answer: “And where did the Church tell us, dogmatically, that only things dealing directly with salvation are both inerrant and to be interpreted literally?” The answer, as we have seen, is nowhere.
Second, if the liberal can accept the literal truth of John 6:54, which is clearly impossible from a scientific perspective, then he has implicitly admitted that he can apply a literal interpretation to the Bible without necessarily having a scientific explanation for it. Just as we have no scientific explanation for how God could be contained in a circular wafer, one should have no problem accepting the fact that God miraculously called all things into being instantaneously and fully formed (as all our Fathers and Doctors taught), even though we may not have a scientific explanation for the occurrence. Likewise, we don’t need to have a scientific explanation for talking snakes in order to believe that there was, indeed, a talking snake in the Garden of Eden.
Gledhill: Of the notorious anti-Jewish curse in Matthew 27:25, “His blood be on us and on our children,” a passage used to justify centuries of anti-Semitism, the bishops say these and other words must never be used again as a pretext to treat Jewish people with contempt. Describing this passage as an example of dramatic exaggeration, the bishops say they have had “tragic consequences” in encouraging hatred and persecution. “The attitudes and language of first-century quarrels between Jews and Jewish Christians should never again be emulated in relations between Jews and Christians.”
R. Sungenis:: Instead of teaching their Catholic parishioners that it is wrong to harbor thoughts of anti-Semitism, these prelates would rather hold the position that the sacred writer of Scripture either lied to us or somehow altered the words of the Gospel narrative. One can begin to see how insidious this whole enterprise becomes. Scripture’s veracity is at the whim of whoever is reading it.
Moreover, the bishops are trying to put the blame for the Jews’ problems on the Bible, when in actuality the Bible puts the blame on the Jews who rejected Jesus. It was God Himself who cut off Israel from being His chosen people, and according to the same Scriptures, He will not accept them again until they accept Jesus Christ as the one and only savior. But, of course, this is not a message that the liberal prelates of the Catholic Church want to hear today. They have filled their itching ears with falsehoods of the highest order. They have placated the Jews to the point of saying that they can be saved in their own religion (Judaism) without making an effort to convert to Christianity, which is just as serious an abomination as saying that Scripture contains errors.
Gledhill: As examples of passages not to be taken literally, the bishops cite the early chapters of Genesis, comparing them with early creation legends from other cultures, especially from the ancient East. The bishops say it is clear that the primary purpose of these chapters was to provide religious teaching and that they could not be described as historical writing.
R. Sungenis:: We have already seen from the excerpts of the 1909 Pontifical Biblical Commission that the bishops of United Kingdom are in direct opposition to the dogmatic and traditional teaching of the Catholic Church regarding the interpretation of Genesis.
Gledhill: Similarly, they refute the apocalyptic prophecies of Revelation, the last book of the Christian Bible, in which the writer describes the work of the risen Jesus, the death of the Beast and the wedding feast of Christ the Lamb. The bishops say: “Such symbolic language must be respected for what it is, and is not to be interpreted literally. We should not expect to discover in this book details about the end of the world, about how many will be saved and about when the end will come.”
R. Sungenis:: Yes, but this is nothing new in Catholic teaching. We have always made a distinction between the prophetic portions of Scripture and the historical narratives of Scripture. Revelation belongs in the category of prophecy, which is often symbolic, but Genesis belongs in the category of historical narrative, which is to be interpreted literally, and the two are not to be confused. Since the time of the Fathers, the Catholic Church has made this distinction. The problem with Catholic scholars today is that they want to make most of the Bible into symbolism rather than history. They do so because they have an agenda to advance their own political, cultural and scientific ideology on the rest of the world.
Gledhill:In their foreword to the teaching document, the two most senior Catholics of the land, Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor, Archbishop of Westminster, and Cardinal Keith O’Brien, Archbishop of St Andrew’s and Edinburgh, explain its context.
BELIEVE IT OR NOT:
Genesis ii, 21-22
So the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and while he slept he took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh; and the rib which the Lord God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man
Genesis iii, 16
God said to the woman [after she was beguiled by the serpent]: “I will greatly multiply your pain in childbearing; in pain you shall bring forth children, yet your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you.”
Matthew xxvii, 25
The words of the crowd: “His blood be on us and on our children.”
Revelation xix, 20
And the beast was captured, and with it the false prophet who in its presence had worked the signs by which he deceived those who had received the mark of the beast and those who worshipped its image. These two were thrown alive into the lake of fire that burns with brimstone.”
Exodus iii, 14: God reveals himself to Moses as: “I am who I am.”
Leviticus xxvi,12: “I will be your God, and you shall be my people.”
Exodus xx,1-17: The Ten Commandments
Matthew v,7: The Sermon on the Mount
Mark viii,29: Peter declares Jesus to be the Christ
Luke I: The Virgin Birth
John xx,28: Proof of bodily resurrection
R. Sungenis:: As you can see for yourself, the Bible has become the play-toy of modernists rather than their instructor. For a full blown treatment on these insidious attempts to undermine the authority of Scripture, please see the following essays on our site: