Against Modern Heresies: Biblical Inerrancy

It is a well-established formal dogma in the Church that the Bible (Sacred Scripture) is entirely without error. Everything that the Bible asserts as true is certainly true, in the sense, to the extent, and in the way, that the Bible says that it is true. The proper interpretation of a passage can be a matter of some pious disagreement among the faithful, as long as the Magisterium has not yet ruled on its meaning. But it is abject heresy for any Catholic to claim that the Bible contains an error on any subject, whether the subject is faith and morals, or science and history.

However, this does not imply that the Bible is entirely literal. Some parts of Sacred Scripture are figurative, and other parts are literal. The teaching that we must love our neighbor is partly literal, as in literal true selfless spiritual love, and partly figurative, in that our neighbor includes persons who live far away from us, who are treated as if they were neighbors.

A common heresy today is the claim that the Bible is only inerrant on matters of faith and morals, or in matters pertaining to salvation. But that claim has been repeatedly thoroughly rejected by the Magisterium: Seven Words on the Inerrancy of Sacred Scripture.

We might not understand what a particular passage of Sacred Scripture means. Or we might not see how it can be true or in what way it is true. But as a matter of faith, we must believe that the Bible is entirely free from error.

by
Ronald L. Conte Jr.
Roman Catholic theologian and translator of the Catholic Public Domain Version of the Bible.

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3 Responses to Against Modern Heresies: Biblical Inerrancy

  1. Matt says:

    Ron,
    How do you reconcile the theory of evolution and Mark 10:5-7, “But Jesus told them, “Moses wrote this commandment for you because your hearts were hard. However, from the beginning of creation, ‘God made them male and female.’ For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife.”

    It clear fact that at the “beginning of creation” God made them male and female. To claim that God created animals first and then allowed them to evolve over many years, and then later created male and female, is false. This simple statement by Jesus Christ completely refutes evolution, in my opinion.

    • Ron Conte says:

      {10:6} But from the beginning of creation, God made them male and female.
      I think you are misinterpreting the verse. It does not state that man was created before animals. Even a literal reading of Genesis places the creation of man after animals. It’s a figurative term, from the beginning of the plan of Creation, God intended humanity to be male and female, husband and wife.

  2. Mark P. says:

    In my opinion, it is a scandal that the USCCB uses and endorses the New American Bible (some have called it, “Not Actually the Bible”) due to its numerous skeptical footnotes. For example, in the NAB you will find such statements as Mary did not actually say the words of the Magnificat, that Matthew and Luke basically made up the Beatitudes, that Genesis is predominantly a mishmash of Babylonian stories adapted to monotheism by Jewish authors, that Jesus did not actually predict the destruction of the temple, and that Jesus did not really appear to the disciples on the road to Emmaus. Furthermore, while better editions such as the Didache Bible and the Ignatius Catholic Study Bible (RSV) give the benefit of the doubt to traditional authorship and dating, the NAB instead endorses skeptical views such as late dating of the Gospels and that many of the New Testament epistles are pseudepigraphic. It also does not help when prominent figures in the Church, such as the new head of the Jesuits, publicly state that nobody really knows what Jesus said because back then there were “no tape recorders” and that instead we should rely on “the great blossoming” of scriptural studies performed by modern day liberal exegetes instead.

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