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Is it possible for a gospel author to be in error?

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Is it possible for a gospel author to be in error?

Post  RememberGethsemane on Sun Oct 21, 2012 2:48 pm

Here are what 2 previous popes have to say on the matter:

Pope Leo XIII, Proventissimus Deus (#20-21), Nov. 18, 1893: “For all the books which the Church receives as sacred and canonical, are written wholly and entirely, with all their parts, at the dictation of the Holy Ghost; and so far is it from being possible that any error can co-exist with inspiration, that inspiration not only is essentially incompatible with error, but excludes and rejects it as absolutely and necessarily as it is impossible that God Himself, the supreme Truth, can utter that which is not true. This is the ancient and unchanging faith of the Church, solemnly defined in the Councils of Florence and of Trent, and finally confirmed and more expressly formulated by the Council of the Vatican. These are the words of the last: "The Books of the Old and New Testament, whole and entire, with all their parts, as enumerated in the decree of the same Council (Trent) and in the ancient Latin Vulgate, are to be received as sacred and canonical. And the Church holds them as sacred and canonical, not because, having been composed by human industry, they were afterwards approved by her authority; nor only because they contain revelation without error; but because, having been written under the inspiration of the Holy Ghost, they have God for their author."(57) Hence, because the Holy Ghost employed men as His instruments, we cannot therefore say that it was these inspired instruments who, perchance, have fallen into error, and not the primary author. For, by supernatural power, He so moved and impelled them to write-He was so present to them-that the things which He ordered, and those only, they, first, rightly understood, then willed faithfully to write down, and finally expressed in apt words and with infallible truth. Otherwise, it could not be said that He was the Author of the entire Scripture. Such has always been the persuasion of the Fathers… 21. It follows that those who maintain that an error is possible in any genuine passage of the sacred writings, either pervert the Catholic notion of inspiration, or make God the author of such error.”

Pope Benedict XV, Spiritus Paraclitus (#22), Sept. 15, 1920: “Those, too, who hold that the historical portions of Scripture do not rest on the absolute truth of the facts but merely upon what they are pleased to term their relative truth, namely, what people then commonly thought, are - no less than are the aforementioned critics - out of harmony with the Church's teaching, which is endorsed by the testimony of Jerome and other Fathers.”

Here is what Benedictine XVI says in one of his books:
Benedict XVI, Jesus of Nazareth – Holy Week: From the Entrance into Jerusalem to the Resurrection, 2011, p. 186: “An extension of Mark’s ochlos, with fateful consequences, is found in Matthew’s account (27:25), which speaks of ‘all the people’ and attributes to them the demand for Jesus’ crucifixion. Matthew is certainly not recounting historical fact here: How could the whole people have been present at this moment to clamor for Jesus’ death? It seems obvious that the historical reality is correctly described in John’s account and in Mark’s.”

Has this ambiguity ever been officially straightened out?

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Re: Is it possible for a gospel author to be in error?

Post  tornpage on Sun Oct 21, 2012 3:46 pm

Matthew is certainly not recounting historical fact here: How could the whole people have been present at this moment to clamor for Jesus’ death?

Absolutely right.

There is no inconsistency, ambiguity, contradiction . . . no error.

You want to throw tomatoes at BXVI, you certainly have an assortment of rotten in the bag - and you go with this?

It's no different than an idiomatic expression such as, for example, describing a party and saying, "everyone was there."

Good grief.

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Re: Is it possible for a gospel author to be in error?

Post  columba on Sun Oct 21, 2012 3:46 pm

Matthew is certainly not recounting historical fact here:

If the same criticism had been leveled at the translators of the Novus Ordo Missae when they interpreted "pro multis" to mean "for all," that would have been a genuine highlighting of error.

Its comforting to know that the Vat II Counsil fathers were supernaturally protected from error while -on the other hand- the authors of Sacred Scripture were prone to mistakes. Afrter all, the error/s in translation of the Novus Ordo Missea weren't really "errors," those appointed by the council fathers to undertake the translation simply failed to render the most exact translation of the text. This of course had no impact on the understanding or theological expression of the mystrey of the sacrifice of Christ, unlike St. Mathew; he really blew it by his use of the word "all."
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Re: Is it possible for a gospel author to be in error?

Post  RememberGethsemane on Sun Oct 21, 2012 4:45 pm

tornpage wrote:
Matthew is certainly not recounting historical fact here: How could the whole people have been present at this moment to clamor for Jesus’ death?

Absolutely right.

There is no inconsistency, ambiguity, contradiction . . . no error.

You want to throw tomatoes at BXVI, you certainly have an assortment of rotten in the bag - and you go with this?

It's no different than an idiomatic expression such as, for example, describing a party and saying, "everyone was there."

Good grief.

Throwing rotten tomotoes? huh? So the Holy Spirit must have a lapse in concentration or something when He was dictating supernaturally to Matthew then? Otherwise it should have said 'some' right when referring to the Jewish people?


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Re: Is it possible for a gospel author to be in error?

Post  tornpage on Sun Oct 21, 2012 8:12 pm

Matthew 3:4-6

And the same John had his garment of camels' hair, and a leathern girdle about his loins: and his meat was locusts and wild honey. Then went out to him Jerusalem and all Judea, and all the country about Jordan: And were baptized by him in the Jordan, confessing their sins.

On that day the streets in Jerusalem were empty, with not a soul in town when they “all” went out to John and were baptized by him in the Jordan.

If they weren’t empty, then Matthew and the Holy Ghost were liars, right Gethsemane?
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Re: Is it possible for a gospel author to be in error?

Post  RememberGethsemane on Sun Oct 21, 2012 8:39 pm

tornpage wrote:
Matthew 3:4-6

And the same John had his garment of camels' hair, and a leathern girdle about his loins: and his meat was locusts and wild honey. Then went out to him Jerusalem and all Judea, and all the country about Jordan: And were baptized by him in the Jordan, confessing their sins.

On that day the streets in Jerusalem were empty, with not a soul in town when they “all” went out to John and were baptized by him in the Jordan.

If they weren’t empty, then Matthew and the Holy Ghost were liars, right Gethsemane?

I think you may have just defeated your own argument brother. Were the previous popes liars that I quoted? Has Benedict XVI got the inside scoop here and has authority to contradict the gospel?

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Re: Is it possible for a gospel author to be in error?

Post  tornpage on Sun Oct 21, 2012 10:01 pm

Were the previous popes liars that I quoted?

No.

Has Benedict XVI . . . contradict[ed] the gospel?

No.
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Re: Is it possible for a gospel author to be in error?

Post  RememberGethsemane on Sun Oct 21, 2012 10:41 pm

tornpage wrote:
Were the previous popes liars that I quoted?

No.

Has Benedict XVI . . . contradict[ed] the gospel?

No.
Did Matthew misinterpret the Holy Spirit?

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Re: Is it possible for a gospel author to be in error?

Post  tornpage on Mon Oct 22, 2012 10:52 am

Did Matthew misinterpret the Holy Spirit?

What are you talking about?

As my citation from Matthew indicates, the word “all” is sometimes used in a non-literal sense, just as - once again - you or I might refer to a “happening” party that drew a lot of attention and a good crowd by saying, “everyone was there,” when not every single person on earth was there.

We would not be lying by using that idiomatic expression.

And Matthew was not lying when he said “all” Jerusalem and Judea went out to John on the Jordan and received John’s baptism. Do you really believe every single person in Jerusalem and “all Judea” went out to the Jordan and was baptized by John? And on a single day no less?

To paraphrase BXVI, Matthew was not recounting literal fact there. He was not taking a head count.

If you want to make a better case, go ahead.

Otherwise it should have said 'some' right when referring to the Jewish people?

So, Gethsemane, you read Matthew 27:25 as indicating that “all” the Jewish people, as in every single one, called out for Christ’s crucifixion?


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Re: Is it possible for a gospel author to be in error?

Post  RememberGethsemane on Mon Oct 22, 2012 1:40 pm

Torn Page: "So, Gethsemane, you read Matthew 27:25 as indicating that “all” the Jewish people, as in every single one, called out for Christ’s crucifixion? "

(Matthew 27: 24-27
And Pilate seeing that he prevailed nothing, but that rather a tumult was
made; taking water washed his hands before the people, saying: I am innocent of the blood of this just man; look you to it. And the whole people answering, said: His blood be upon us and our children. Then he released to them Barabbas, and having scourged Jesus, delivered him unto them to be crucified.)

If we are to take the gospel literally (which we are clearly required to do) then we are to infer from this that ALL the Jewish people are culpable for the crucifixion and death of Christ, and asked for His blood to be on their hands and their children. So be it.

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Re: Is it possible for a gospel author to be in error?

Post  tornpage on Mon Oct 22, 2012 5:24 pm

BXVI said:

An extension of Mark’s ochlos, with fateful consequences, is found in Matthew’s account (27:25), which speaks of ‘all the people’ and attributes to them the demand for Jesus’ crucifixion. Matthew is certainly not recounting historical fact here: How could the whole people have been present at this moment to clamor for Jesus’ death? It seems obvious that the historical reality is correctly described in John’s account and in Mark’s.

I think we are having a problem here on multiple fronts.

You cite the text above, and imply that BXVI is at odds with popes who believe in the inerrancy and historical truth of Scripture. I don’t see that case as being established by the cited text, for the reasons I’ve given. BXVI is right: factually all the Jews did not call for Jesus’s crucifixion. Matthew is not recounting “historical” fact there.

I think the real issue here is an unstated conclusion that BXVI draws from this historical fact, one not in the text you quoted from him (which is part of my confusion regarding your point, perhaps), one you don’t agree with: “all” the Jews are not culpable for Christ’s death.

That conclusion is not an issue of “historical” fact regarding Matthew’s text. To that extent I agree with BXVI. And that is all he says in the text you cited.

What does Matthew mean when he says “all” the Jews called for Christ’s crucifixion? Obviously it’s true, it’s Scripture, but it’s not true in a “historical" sense. There’s an element of judgment in that truth. Just as there is when I say “everyone was there” at a party in which not every person was present.

Another way of looking at it is that “all” the people could be said to call for Christ’s death because all of the ones who cried out on the issue called for death. Interestingly, the Douay Rheims translates the passage this way:

And the whole people answering, said: His blood be upon us and our children.

“All” of the one’s “answering” - not every single one of the Jewish people - cried out for Christ’s blood. The Vulgate reads: "Et respondens universus populus, dixit: Sanguis eius super nos, et super filios nostros.” Not all the Jews were there, and if a Jew were there who was opposed to Christ’s crucifixion, and kept his mouth shut out of fear or for whatever reason, he would not be among the “respondens” or “answering.”

BXVI and you disagree as to what Matthew 27:25 means. But BXVI is not wrong to say that Matthew is not presenting “historical reality” in that text in the sense that one (such as yourself) takes it as saying every Jew - all of the Jews in Jerusalem - physically called for Christ’s death. He may take that accurate point to a theological conclusion that you clearly don’t agree with and which may go against Matthew 27:25, but that’s another issue.

In any event, we are not talking about the same thing as that which those popes you quoted were getting at, which is someone saying “Adam,” or “Noah,” or the sun going backwards at Jericho, is “myth,” not fact. That type of thing.

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Re: Is it possible for a gospel author to be in error?

Post  RememberGethsemane on Mon Oct 22, 2012 8:44 pm

Well thanks for taking the time out TP to respond and give a view on it. I'm really trying to get light on the matter as opposed to chucking rotten tomatoes or take a stance, but a lot of time the matter at hand stagnates for me rather than moves to enlightment. A personal question to you though, and way off subject, if you don't mind: Do you feel that perhaps BXVI is trying to open the Church and make it accessible to 'all' by esteeming other religions as in Nostra Aetate #3 (concerning muslims) and then eventually unite its new members with official infallible church teachings whilst they are then a part of the true church? I'm not attempting to start a new debate but rather just your personal opinion which I will respect. Thanks again.

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Re: Is it possible for a gospel author to be in error?

Post  tornpage on Tue Oct 23, 2012 4:18 pm

Do you feel that perhaps BXVI is trying to open the Church and make it accessible to 'all' by esteeming other religions as in Nostra Aetate #3 (concerning muslims) and then eventually unite its new members with official infallible church teachings whilst they are then a part of the true church? I'm not attempting to start a new debate but rather just your personal opinion which I will respect. Thanks again.

Gethsemane,

We elect to punt.

We have a good punter. Very Happy
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Re: Is it possible for a gospel author to be in error?

Post  MRyan on Wed Oct 24, 2012 10:20 am

tornpage wrote:
Do you feel that perhaps BXVI is trying to open the Church and make it accessible to 'all' by esteeming other religions as in Nostra Aetate #3 (concerning muslims) and then eventually unite its new members with official infallible church teachings whilst they are then a part of the true church? I'm not attempting to start a new debate but rather just your personal opinion which I will respect. Thanks again.

Gethsemane,

We elect to punt.

We have a good punter. Very Happy
Was that the Pontifical "We" of Apostolic Primacy?

The idea put to you is actually quite absurd, but it does have that consistent conspiratorial ring to it that is forever telling us the true "intention" of the Holy Father (which is always nefarious and always subversive [as in "modernistic"] to the true faith and to the true Church).

To even suggest that the invitation to "all men" to be united to the one true Church of Christ, who then clandestinely enter the Church as "new members" without knowing it while remaining Muslims, Jews, or what have you, only later to have the surprise of "infallible church teachings" sprung upon them when they become "truly" united to the Church as members (or not) is just a bit too silly to take seriously.

Of course, "charity" dictates that we entertain all opinions, no matter how absurd, so if someone wants to accuse Pope Benedict XVI and all the Conciliar Popes of having the "intention" of magisterially teaching universal salvation (everyone is an "anonymous Christan"), hey, its a free country and a free forum; ditto for those who want to suggest that Pope BXVI is working towards a new vision and reality of the Catholic Church that encompasses all religions and all men, regardless of creed and regardless of unity in the one true Church of Christ.

Sorry to be such a bump in the road; I am after all, the most uncharitable man Jehanne has ever encountered, so do please continue to tell us how you "feel", and go in peace, brother!

Anyway, Tornpage, thanks for dispensing with silly conspiracy theory no. 127 that has the Holy Father denying the inerrancy of Matthew 27:25, even if you failed to "enlighten" the co-conspirator, leaving "the matter at hand" (historical fact) in a state of the jury is still out "stagnation".

Some things are just too silly, even by your gloomy conspiratorial standards. Smile










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Re: Is it possible for a gospel author to be in error?

Post  RememberGethsemane on Wed Oct 24, 2012 1:04 pm

Well I see your jury has already made a verdict on me MR as a 'co-conspirator' my post-verdict plea to that charge is not guilty, perhaps I shouldn't seek enlightment on matters that interest me in the faith I was baptised into, in your view, as they ring of a nefarious conspiracy theory. You are quite right though that I have stagnated on this matter until such times as I get enlightment, so far I have been given other views and perhaps some direction on it which I'm grateful for. But I will say, as towards 'surprises' being sprung on the church, we wouldn't have forums like this and some confused people if they hadn't been taken aback as catholics by some current writings and teachings being put forward to them by the clergy.

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Re: Is it possible for a gospel author to be in error?

Post  MRyan on Wed Oct 24, 2012 1:43 pm

No verdict, I am simply saying it the way I see it. In fact, I can appreciate the fact that you are opposed to "chucking rotten tomatoes". Your question was legitimate, though I must admit that I do not understand your seeming reluctance to give Pope BXVI the benefit of the doubt (especially when his statement was entirely orthodox) and accepting the common sense and factual explanation of Tornpage.

Here's hoping that you find "enlightenment".

Sorry for throwing you in with the usual suspects who do indeed enjoy throwing rotten tomatoes at the Holy Father. I should know better, and I regret taking that tone with you.

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Re: Is it possible for a gospel author to be in error?

Post  tornpage on Wed Oct 24, 2012 8:57 pm

Of course, "charity" dictates that we entertain all opinions, no matter how absurd, so if someone wants to accuse Pope Benedict XVI and all the Conciliar Popes of having the "intention" of magisterially teaching universal salvation (everyone is an "anonymous Christan")

They don't teach that "everyone" is an "anonymous Christian," but they (at least JPII did) do teach the "anonymous Christian":

Rahner:

Non-Christians could have "in [their] basic orientation and fundamental decision," Rahner wrote, "accepted the salvific grace of God, through Christ, although [they] may never have heard of the Christian revelation."[1]


JPII:

Normally, it will be in the sincere practice of what is good in their own religious traditions and by following the dictates of their own conscience that the members of other religions respond positively to God’s invitation and receive salvation in Jesus Christ, even while they do not recognize or acknowledge him as their Savior.”


JPII (Redemptoris Missio, quoting VII)

This grace comes from Christ; it is the result of his Sacrifice and is communicated by the Holy Spirit. It enables each person to attain salvation through his or her free cooperation.

For this reason the Council, after affirming the centrality of the Paschal Mystery, went on to declare that "this applies not only to Christians but to all people of good will in whose hearts grace is secretly at work. Since Christ died for everyone, and since the ultimate calling of each of us comes from God and is therefore a universal one, we are obliged to hold that the Holy Spirit offers everyone the possibility of sharing in this Paschal Mystery in a manner known to God."
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Re: Is it possible for a gospel author to be in error?

Post  RememberGethsemane on Mon Oct 29, 2012 1:24 am

MRyan wrote:No verdict, I am simply saying it the way I see it. In fact, I can appreciate the fact that you are opposed to "chucking rotten tomatoes". Your question was legitimate, though I must admit that I do not understand your seeming reluctance to give Pope BXVI the benefit of the doubt (especially when his statement was entirely orthodox) and accepting the common sense and factual explanation of Tornpage.

Here's hoping that you find "enlightenment".

Sorry for throwing you in with the usual suspects who do indeed enjoy throwing rotten tomatoes at the Holy Father. I should know better, and I regret taking that tone with you.


That's no problem, my fragile ego was not harmed during the making of that post MR. But if you are truly penitent for that misdemeanour I request that you kneel down, cross yourself, and offer an Ave Maria for me. When you inform me my request was completed satisfactorily I will do the same for you as acceptance of your penace Very Happy

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