The Raving Theist

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Literally Speaking

October 6, 2005 | 14 Comments

We should not expect to find in Scripture full scientific accuracy or complete historical precision . . . We should not expect total accuracy from the Bible in other, secular matters.

Catholic bishops of England, Wales and Scotland, The Gift of Scripture,, 2005

[via Bill the Giraffe]


14 Responses to “Literally Speaking”

  1. leon
    October 6th, 2005 @ 5:05 pm

    Welcome to the 19th century . Now, please catch up to us in the 21st century.

  2. MBains
    October 6th, 2005 @ 6:39 pm

    That was that ol’ Bishop Spong!

    What a cool wankar that cat is.

    He believes in godities despite his respect for reality. I just don’t know how he does it but it’s no skin off my junk.

  3. Mookie
    October 6th, 2005 @ 8:13 pm

    The Earth is round and revolves around the sun. Also, species evolve over time, and that is how humans came to be in their present form. Religious dogma has done more to hurt and hinder the progress of humanity than it has to help it. Vatican city is encrusted in gold, silver, and precious stones:

    “A rich man has as much a chance of getting into heaven as a camel does getting through the eye of a needle.”


  4. Tomek
    October 7th, 2005 @ 1:43 am

    I don’t think the document condemms a lot of bad stuff in the bible. I know it says the 10 commandemnts are good. The uncut version of those talks about god punishing people to the 3rd and 4th generation. How good :)

    I’d like to know who decides what is and is not accuarte anyway. That person must surely be great in order to see through the human words into God’s words. Shouldn’t the pope have made these judgements?

  5. Steve G.
    October 7th, 2005 @ 8:00 am

    You guys should read the comments section in the ‘Teaching the controversy post. A couple of us have addressed this over there.

  6. qedpro
    October 7th, 2005 @ 1:45 pm

    then just what the hell are we supposed to find in the bible. it appears to be useless

  7. a different tim
    October 8th, 2005 @ 8:00 am

    Spiritual guidance, obviously.

    “Spiritual” (adj). – 1. A content free term; 2. Shorthand for “I have no idea what I’m talking about so I’m going to make something up”.

  8. Mort Coyle
    October 9th, 2005 @ 2:33 pm

    This comment comes from the forum on the Times site that pertains to this article. I think it’s a good representation of how most thinking Christians would view the article:

    “As a former journalist now working as an Anglican minister, and with a robust evangelical theology, I am surprised that the latest Roman Catholic report is regarded as news. To believe that the Bible is the inspired Word of God, as I do, in no way requires a literalistic interpretation of every verse: it all depends, as the catholic bishops rightly say, what sort of literature it is – poetry, letter, history or whatever. When the Psalms speak of Lebanon “skipping like a calf” we recognise it as a figure of speech. Likewise, it seems to me that the early chapters of Genesis, taken in their own context, require a non-literalistic interpretation – how else can the Bible speak of evening and morning before it speaks of the creation of the sun? The ancient writers were not fools and we should not demand of the text what it does not even demand of itself.” Rev David Baker, Surbiton

  9. Tomek
    October 9th, 2005 @ 9:30 pm

    I wonder how you can possibly look at the kill homosexuals bits of the bible with a “non-literalistic interpretation”. In either case, it’s stupid.

  10. daphne's mom
    October 9th, 2005 @ 9:57 pm

    Where are the kill homosexual bits to be found?

  11. daphne's mom
    October 9th, 2005 @ 9:57 pm

    Where are the kill homosexual bits to be found?

  12. daphne's mom
    October 9th, 2005 @ 9:57 pm

    Where are the kill homosexual bits to be found?

  13. daphne's mom
    October 9th, 2005 @ 9:57 pm

    Where are the kill homosexual bits to be found?

  14. Mort Coyle
    October 9th, 2005 @ 11:18 pm

    That would be in Leviticus 20:13 “If there is a man who lies with a male as those who lie with a woman, both of them have committed a detestable act; they shall surely be put to death. Their blood guiltiness is upon them.”

    This was part of the civil law of the ancient Israelite nation.

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