Is the Bible Inspired and Inerrant?

Is the Bible Inspired and Inerrant? March 21, 2015

In which Yr. Obdt. Svt. looks at the recent document from the Pontifical Biblical Commission on proper interpretation of Scripture and tackles tough questions about biblical violence, the status of women, historical errors and who authored what books.

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  • Marthe Lépine

    There were only 3 comments when I read that piece in the Register, but I was shocked. American Exceptionalism is truly alive and kicking, although it had already been condemned before the beginning of the 20th century. Unless those who wrote such comments are OT scholars and theologians with serious credentials, I find the hubris of those people who always claim to know better than anyone in the Vatican and most bishops rather disgusting… and not very Catholic!

    • Marthe Lépine

      In order to avoid confusion… I should have written “people who always claim to know better than anyone in the Vatican and talk as if they possessed superior knowledge to that of most bishops rather disgusting”. Sorry for this grammatical error, I was writing too fast.

    • capaxdei

      What do traditionalists critiques of the Pontifical Biblical Commission have to do with American Exceptionalism? How much scholarship is required to know that what the PBC has been saying now for several decades contradicts what OT scholars and theologians with serious credentials, everyone in the Vatican, and most bishops taught for generations prior? Is “anything a 21st Century commission says wins” a manifestly better approach for Catholics than “anything a 19th Century pope says wins”?

      • Edward De Vita

        capaxdei,
        What is it precisely in Mark Shea’s summary of the PBC document that you think is contrary to the tradition of the Church?

        • capaxdei

          Mark references the PBC document’s conclusion that Tobit is fiction, a thesis nearly all Catholics rejected prior to 1900. (He also mentions Jonah, which has undergone a similar re-categorization from history to fiction.)

          The commenters who shocked Marthe bring up Moses’ authorship of the Pentateuch, a once-settled question that “The Inspiration and Truth of Sacred Scripture” is at best wobbly on.

          I’m not sure the backpedaling from the historicity of Genesis 15 in TIaToSS n. 107 quite squares with the PBC’s own statement of June 23, 1905.

          • Do you think that the affirmations “The Pentateuch was writen by Moses”, “Jonah is a factual history” are parts of the “the tradition of the Church”?

            Are you aware of the general state of catholic biblical scolarship at 1905, and how those decrees affected the (now considered) greatest catholic biblical scholar of the time (Marie-Joseph Lagrange)?

            Do you think that an affirmation like “The Pentateuch was writen by Moses” depends on science (which, you know, lives and evolves) or that is some immutable revealed truth that the Church has ther right to proclaim and bind all catholics to believe that (in spite of what science tells)?

            • capaxdei

              I didn’t introduce the phrase “the tradition of the Church” into this conversation. Nor am I particularly interested in defending the 1905 PBC against the 2014 PBC, much less against l’Ecole Biblique.

              My primary point is that the anti-modernism Marthe diagnosed as “American Exceptionalism” is nearly its inverse. My secondary point is that there has been a real change in what Catholics are taught about the Bible in the last hundred plus years, a change that can’t be waved away be appeal to the authority of the PBC.

          • Newp Ort

            I really hope that Moses did not write the Pentateuch, because writing about oneself in the third person is so corny.

            • capaxdei

              The death scenes are a tad maudlin as well.

      • chezami

        For what it’s worth, I see the document, not as offering definitive conclusions about anything, but as a snapshot in the long process of the Church’s attempt to grapple with Scripture. I think some of it is useful, some of it dubious. But I think it is manifestly undertaken in good faith and with respect for the Tradition and the text.