Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Infallible Pope and inerrant Bible

Also we Christians are humans, after all, and need security in this rapidly changing world where everything seems to be in a swirl if not in turmoil.

So we have very secure solid foundations for our faith - or at least so some Christians hope!

Papal infallibility
Papal infallibility is a dogma of the Catholic Church which states that, in virtue of the promise of Jesus to Peter, the Pope is preserved from the possibility of error "when, in the exercise of his office as shepherd and teacher of all Christians, in virtue of his supreme apostolic authority, he defines a doctrine concerning faith or morals to be held by the whole Church".

This doctrine was defined dogmatically in the First Vatican Council of 1869–1870, but had been defended before that, appearing already in medieval tradition and becoming the majority opinion at the time of the Counter-Reformation.

Dei Verbum
The Catechism now states that "the books of Scripture firmly, faithfully, and without error teach that truth which God, for the sake of our salvation, wished to see confided to the Sacred Scriptures."

There was a controversy during the Council on whether the Roman Catholic Church taught biblical infallibility or biblical inerrancy. Some have interpreted Dei Verbum as teaching the infallibility position, while others note that the conciliar document often quotes previous documents such as Providentissimus Deus and Divino Afflante Spiritu that clearly teach inerrancy. 

Dei Verbum has sometimes been compared to the Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy, which expounds similar teachings, characteristic of many evangelical Protestants.

Biblical inerrancy
1. God, who is Himself Truth and speaks truth only, has inspired Holy Scripture in order thereby to reveal Himself to lost mankind through Jesus Christ as Creator and Lord, Redeemer and Judge. Holy Scripture is God's witness to Himself.

2. Holy Scripture, being God's own Word, written by men prepared and superintended by His Spirit, is of infallible divine authority in all matters upon which it touches: it is to be believed, as God's instruction, in all that it affirms, obeyed, as God's command, in all that it requires; embraced, as God's pledge, in all that it promises.

3. The Holy Spirit, Scripture's divine Author, both authenticates it to us by His inward witness and opens our minds to understand its meaning.

4. Being wholly and verbally God-given, Scripture is without error or fault in all its teaching, no less in what it states about God's acts in creation, about the events of world history, and about its own literary origins under God, than in its witness to God's saving grace in individual lives.

5. The authority of Scripture is inescapably impaired if this total divine inerrancy is in any way limited or disregarded, or made relative to a view of truth contrary to the Bible's own; and such lapses bring serious loss to both the individual and the Church.
The Chicago Statement on Biblical inerrancy

The Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy was formulated in October 1978 by more than 200 evangelical leaders at a conference sponsored by the International Council on Biblical Inerrancy (ICBI), held in Chicago. The statement was designed to defend the position of Biblical inerrancy against a perceived trend toward liberal conceptions of Scripture. The undersigners came from a variety of evangelical Christian denominations, and include James Montgomery Boice, Carl F. H. Henry, Kenneth Kantzer, J. I. Packer, Francis Schaeffer, and R. C. Sproul.

Leading inerrantists regard the Chicago Statement as a very thorough statement of what they mean by "inerrancy". The statement elaborates on various details in Articles formed as couplets of "WE AFFIRM ..." and "WE DENY ...". Under the statement inerrancy applies only to the original manuscripts (which no longer exist, but can be inferred on the basis of extant copies), not to the copies or translations themselves. In the statement, inerrancy does not refer to a blind literal interpretation, but allows for figurative, poetic and phenomenological language, so long as it was the author's intent to present a passage as literal or symbolic.

The Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy has been compared to the Vatican Council Decree Dei Verbum, which expounds similar teachings for Roman Catholics


    It seems odd that people believe the "Math Book" to be inerrant, but question the infallibility of the "Bible" when it does not suit their doctrinal positions.

    MATH BOOK: Chapter 2 page 7 Two plus two equals four.

    Did you ever hear anyone say Ch 2.7 is not included in some versions of the Math Book, therefore; two plus two does not equal four? No, everyone trusts the Math Book.

    BIBLE: Mark 16:16 He who has believed and has been baptized shall be saved; but he who has disbelieved shall be condemned.

    Some believers say this verse is not included in some translations of the Bible; therefore water baptism has nothing to do with your salvation. Leading some to believe the Bible cannot be trusted.

    MATH BOOK: Chapter 2 page 7 Two plus two equals four.

    What if a math teacher said, "In my opinion two plus two equals seven?" Would you believe that? No, you would believe the Math Book.

    BIBLE: 1 Peter 3:21 Corresponding to that, baptism now saves you---not the removal of dirt from the flesh, but an appeal to God for a good conscience---through the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

    Some preachers say baptism has nothing to do with salvation. I guess the Bible is in error once again.

    MATH BOOK: Chapter 2 page 7 Two plus two equals four.

    If you looked in the Math Book commentary and it said that two plus two equals four is a mistake; because in the original language it means two alone equals four and the other two was mistranslated. Would you believe the commentary? No, you would believe the Math Book.

    BIBLE: Acts 2:38 Peter said to them, "Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

    Some men say that "for" has been mistranslated and should be translated as "because of." Should you trust what some men say or trust the Bible?

    Believers and non-believers alike never question that Hannibal crossed the Alps on elephants. No one doubts that George Washington was the first president of the U.S.A. We understand that Christopher Columbus crossed the Atlantic in three small boats, no question about. The only proof we have confirming these historical facts are books. We trust history books written by men, however,we doubt the facts recorded in the Bible.

    THE MATH BOOK: We trust to be infallible!
    THE BIBLE: Many believers say it has been mistranslated; therefore, we can adjust the facts to comply with our doctrinal view.

    1 Peter 1:25 But the word of the Lord endures forever....

    Can anyone find God's truth if they believe they are searching for truth in a FUZZY Bible?

    (All Scripture quotes from: NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE)


    1. Hi Steve, thank you for your comment and invitation, I will look at your blog.

      We both agree that if Holy Spirit wishes to give to humanity an inerrant Bible without any fuzziness He can certainly do so.

      As Christians we would then be invited just to memorize the Book written in Heaven and given to the humanity through the only true Prophet.

      We can see the consequences of such a faith and religion.

      Instead of a scientifically solid revelation about earthly and heavenly things, past, present and future, Holy Ghost has inspired a collection of books during more than one thousand years of the Jewish history, a collection that is full of contradictions, errors and some very fuzzy paragraphs, indeed.

      For so He has seen it good for the most wondrous gift to humanity, the only begotten Son of God of Israel.

      We do not believe in Bible as the heart of our religion.

      We believe in Jesus Christ, the promised Messiah of Israel, who is the Word of God that came down to earth from heaven and who is attested already in the first verses of Genesis, as God said things, saying words.

      I understand that this understanding of the Bible as witness of the "coming of the Word of God" is not to your liking.

      But it stands the most rigorous acid test of truth.

      Faith that is life together with the Word of God in Holy Spirit as children of God the Father is a miracle that nobody can take to himself or herself, it is something that is given from above.