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10-07-2005 @ 2:22 PM    Notify Admin about this post
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Source: The Times, Europe - October 05, 2005
By: Ruth Gledhill, Religion Correspondent

Catholic Church no longer swears by truth of the Bible

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...

...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?...

...They say the Church must offer the gospel in ways ?appropriate to changing times, intelligible and attractive to our contemporaries?.

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.?...

... 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.

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.?

Among other things, the Catholic Church says that the following versus of the Bible are UNTRUE.

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.?

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