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Friday, October 07, 2005


'We should not expect to find in Scripture full scientific accuracy or complete historical precision,' they say in The Gift of Scripture.[...] The Bible is true in passages relating to human salvation, they say, but continue: "We should not expect total accuracy from the Bible in other, secular matters." (Via here.)

All right, this is a quotation taken out of context, blah-di-blah, but still. I mean, fair enough on the 'full scientific accuracy' front, though that's rather an unhelpful way of putting it - it's not as if
'In sole posuit tabernaculum suum ;
et ipse tamquam sponsus procedens de thalamo suo.
Exsultavit ut gigas ad currendam viam ;
a summo cælo egressio ejus.'
is intended as a cosmological tract. But what do you mean, no 'complete historical precision'? Sure, it isn't all history; but it's silly to say that something which is not historical lacks 'complete historical precision.' This sounds like the bishops are saying that the genuine history writing in the Bible is not completely accurate!

Yes, yes, taken out of context, I know, it's probably fine. But how many Times readers are going to be checking? How many of them are actually going to read Dei Verbum and Providentissimus Deus and Spiritus Paraclitus and Divino Afflante Spiritu ?
And what's "We should not expect total accuracy from the Bible in other, secular matters" meant to mean?
All right, I'll read the text before making any criticisms. May I merely register concern? Oh dear, perhaps even that fails in charity. Well, lectores dilecti Britannici - since I presume it won't be available in America - read the thing and see what to make of it. Oh, oh, I pray that no-one will be misled by this Times article into lowering their regard for the Scriptures.