tisdag 22 februari 2011

Should scripture be believed literally?

Reaching Catholics for Christ is a website that is not what it appears at first sight to be, but actually aims to "disprove" the teachings of the Catholic Church. The giveaway is the text on the front page "But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness." Romans 4 : 5.

It is interesting that this style of protestant usually quotes the King James translation. But of more interest is that they promote a literal interpretation of scripture, but then stop short of interpreting chapter 6 of St John's gospel literally. Here is the (Douai-Rheims) text...

48 I am the bread of life.
49 Your fathers did eat manna in the desert: and are dead.
50 This is the bread which cometh down from heaven: that if any man eat of it, he may not die.
51 I am the living bread which came down from heaven.
52 If any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, for the life of the world.
The Jews therefore strove among themselves, saying: How can this man give us his flesh to eat?
53 Then Jesus said to them: Amen, amen, I say unto you: except you eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood, you shall not have life in you.
54 He that eateth my flesh and drinketh my blood hath everlasting life: and I will raise him up in the last day.
55 For my flesh is meat indeed: and my blood is drink indeed.
56 He that eateth my flesh and drinketh my blood abideth in me: and I in him.
57 As the living Father hath sent me and I live by the Father: so he that eateth me, the same also shall live by me.
58 This is the bread that came down from heaven. Not as your fathers did eat manna and are dead. He that eateth this bread shall live for ever.
59 These things he said, teaching in the synagogue, in Capharnaum.
60 Many therefore of his disciples, hearing it, said: This saying is hard; and who can hear it?
61 But Jesus, knowing in himself that his disciples murmured at this, said to them: Doth this scandalize you?
62 If then you shall see the Son of man ascend up where he was before?

It is clear from this, bearing in mind the abhorrence felt by Jews at the idea of drinking blood and eating human flesh, that the notion of eating My flesh and drinking My blood is intended to be interpreted literally. The reference would not have been made were it not for the express purpose of emphasising that the words should be taken literally.

Then of course there is Matthew 16
18 And I say to you, that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hell shall not prevail against it.
19 And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven. And whatever you shall bind on earth shall be bound, even in heaven. And whatever you shall loose on earth shall be loosed, even in heaven.

1 kommentar:

Roses and Jessamine sa...

That's a very good point. I shall use it on my Pentecostal friend who believes everything in Scripture must be taken literally (including Genesis?). I've used the "... Peter, upon this rock I will build my church" on my friend before, to which he replied: "Yeah, but Peter wasn't a Catholic!" (???)

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