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Does catholicism recognize Biblical contradictions?

Discussion in 'One Bread, One Body - Catholic' started by kern, Nov 20, 2002.

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  1. kern

    kern Miserere Nobis

    +7
    Catholic
    Does Catholicism teach that the Bible has no contradictions? It seems that the contradictions could be admitted, and then Sacred Tradition could be used to determine which passage is "right". But I don't know if this is how it works.

    -Chris
     
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  2. VOW

    VOW Moderator

    +15
    Catholic
    Married
    The Catholic Church teaches that Sacred Scripture is incomplete, it must be viewed together with Sacred Traditions. When the two are used together, there are no contradictions.

    I would say the Church would necessarily say there are obvious contradictions in Scripture Alone, which merely points to the need for Sacred Tradition.


    Peace,
    ~VOW
     
  3. kern

    kern Miserere Nobis

    +7
    Catholic
    I do wonder about more than just minor textual conflicts.

    For instance, I have noticed (and it has been noted by commentators) that the Synoptic Gospels present a different picture of Jesus than the Gospel of John does. Sola scriptura people go to great lengths to harmonize conflicting passages.

    However, it seems that from the Catholic viewpoint we could say that the authors of the Gospels were working from different traditions and chose to emphasize different parts of Jesus' ministry. But we know from Tradition that they are *both* important. Does this make sense?

    -Chris
     
  4. Hoonbaba

    Hoonbaba Catholic Preterist

    +39
    Catholic
    To my knowledge, the Catholic church teaches biblical inerrancy, but that's about all I know :)

    -Jason
     
  5. VOW

    VOW Moderator

    +15
    Catholic
    Married
    To Kern:

    It's my own personal, humble opinion that ALL contradictions are rectified through Sacred Tradition. Sola Scriptura folks IMHO contort Scripture to accommodate the alleged contradictions.

    The best example of this is the argument over the supposed "Rock" upon which Jesus established His Church. The Sola Scriptura folks like to take the GREEK wording and come up with this "big rock-little rock" argument to negate the understanding that Peter was indeed the first Pope.


    Peace,
    ~VOW
     
  6. dignitized

    dignitized Well-Known Member

    +724
    Any and all perceived biblical contradictions are due to one of two things - translation errors or our own misconceptions.

    You must remember that the 4 gospels were written to different people for different purposes. Matthew ( the only NT book not originally written in Greek BTW) was written to the Jews to reveal Christ as the fulfillment of scriptures and as the Messiah they have been awaiting. Luke was written to evangelize the Romans, Mark was written to the Greeks and appeals to the Greek idea of a perfect man - which Christ of course was. John however, was not directed at any specific people but is a catholic - that is universal - gospel. It is aimed at present the doctrines of Christ to the whole world and stress the deity of Jesus Christ. Different perspectives and different audiences along with different goals in no way make the gospels contradictory.

    An erudite study of the scriptures will reveal that there is not a single factual contradiction in the canon.
     
  7. nyj

    nyj Goodbye, my puppy

    +1,247
    Catholic
    Most certainly not.

    The Catholic Church has always stated that the Bible is the infallible Word of God. What may be "obvious contradictions" to others can be rectified by analysis of the passages in question given the era in which the piece was written, who wrote it, the language it was written in and who it was written for. People fall into the trap of believing that the Bible needs to be not only the written word for the faithful, but it must also serve as a history or science text and in some cases a medical journal.

    As the Dogmatic Consitution on Divine Revelation (Dei Verbum, 1965) stated, the proper way to understand Scripture is:
    This however does not say that Sacred Scripture, inspired by God, is fallible. Quite the contrary. Why else would the Catholic Church employ an infallible interpreter if not to interpret an infallible text?
     
  8. VOW

    VOW Moderator

    +15
    Catholic
    Married
    To NYJ:

    You are right, of course. I worded my statement poorly. I should have said "apparent contradictions."

    And as you pointed out, MANY things must be taken into consideration: Tradition, History, Language constructs, Literary format, the author's style of writing, and the INTENT behind the communication.


    Peace be with you,
    ~VOW
     
  9. Christopher Paul

    Christopher Paul New Member

    77
    +0
    Depending on your interpretations, contradictions can be seen in Scripture.  The key is to interpret it in the correct manner, which involves a lot more research than most of us can afford.  Luckily we have 2,000 years of scholarship already addressing this area.
     
  10. kern

    kern Miserere Nobis

    +7
    Catholic
    OK, that's not immediately comprehensible to me. Let's take a simple example -- all the criticism of Joshua I have read says that archaeological and extra-biblical evidence does not support the sequence of events (or even the events themselves) described in Joshua. But by what you quoted it seems like that's not important, because the Bible is not a history text?

    -Chris
     
  11. Christopher Paul

    Christopher Paul New Member

    77
    +0
    I don't know about this issue, but I will say to consider the source when people are attacking the Bible.
     
  12. kern

    kern Miserere Nobis

    +7
    Catholic
    Biblical criticism is not attacking the Bible -- most of the people who do this sort of work claim to be Christians. I'm talking about things like the New Interpreter's Bible, the Anchor Bible Commentary, and the New Oxford Annotated Bible.

    -Chris
     
  13. VOW

    VOW Moderator

    +15
    Catholic
    Married
    To Kern:

    And here I had heard that ancient ruins of what was believed to be the city of Jericho HAD been found, and son-of-a-gun, the city walls were crumbled!

    The amazing thing is not what hasn't been found....it's that there is so much corroboration through archaeology to support the events in the Bible!

    And then you have to consider outside sources of information as well. There actually IS a "Bethlehem," "Jordan River," and a "Jerusalem."


    Peace be with you,
    ~VOW
     
  14. dignitized

    dignitized Well-Known Member

    +724
    kern,

    The problem with archeology is you have to FIND something before you know it to be true. That does not however mean that just because you have not found the proof that the archeological proof is not there. Take Troy example. For a long time people believed it to be mythical because no one knew where it was. SUDDENLY they found it. Wow. There really was a city of Troy. *shrug*
     
  15. dignitized

    dignitized Well-Known Member

    +724
    kren, Most NEW biblical commentaries are written by biblical critics with an agenda to push. Its like these people get off on finding some way to make people disbelieve the scriptures. *sigh* And these people want to claim to be Christian??
     
  16. kern

    kern Miserere Nobis

    +7
    Catholic
    Yet there are others who find their faith strenghtened by textual analysis like this. All in how you approach it, I suppose. I seriously doubt that these people have the purpose of trying to discredit the scriptures.

    And the Joshua problem were not with Jericho, IIRC, but unfortunately I don't have the books with me to check.

    -Chris
     
  17. nyj

    nyj Goodbye, my puppy

    +1,247
    Catholic
    First off, there is a difference between "contradictory" and "cannot currently be confirmed". Things like the "parting of the Red Sea" cannot be confirmed, nor can they be reproduced (at least by conventional standards) yet this does not mean that the Bible is wrong simply because no one can "support the sequence of events".

    Second, as for my comment of the Bible not being a history text, it depends on which book of the Bible you are speaking about. For instance, the Gospels are definitely historical, as is Acts of the Apostles. Yet, while the book of Daniel contains historical data, it is written in the apocalyptic literature style which seems to indicate it was less intent on conveying history than it was with its message to the Jews.
     
  18. dignitized

    dignitized Well-Known Member

    +724
    Oh MY!!! You mean that the bible is not a textbook?? what will the athiests say? lol
     
  19. nyj

    nyj Goodbye, my puppy

    +1,247
    Catholic
    They'll say nothing. They'll continue to attack the same old strawmen that they're always used to constructing and burning. I've been down this road many a time with some atheists and I've come to believe in the following adage when dealing with them.

    Free Thought, you get what you pay for.
     
  20. dignitized

    dignitized Well-Known Member

    +724
    I love how they say they want proof but never accept anything but what they have already concluded.
     
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