Catholic Church no longer swears by truth of the Bible - World - Times Online

Funny -- I was just talking about this on the podcast (Ericast #32 from Ericast.com -- go check it out.).

Anyway, in the article Catholic Church no longer swears by truth of the Bible we read, "Similarly, they refute the apocalyptic prophecies of Revelation, the last book of the Christian Bible, in which the writer describes the work of the risen Jesus, the death of the Beast and the wedding feast of Christ the Lamb.

"The bishops say: 'Such symbolic language must be respected for what it is, and is not to be interpreted literally. We should not expect to discover in this book details about the end of the world, about how many will be saved and about when the end will come.'"

Ironically, all this Genesis and end-times stuff isn't dusty old mythology or the rantings of some dude named John exiled on an island; Jesus Himself talks about both things, a lot. He spends a surprising amount of time talking about mankind's sinfulness in the explicit context of Adam and Eve, and He spends most of chapters 24 and 25 in the book of Matthew talking about His return -- the end of the world, how many will be saved, and about when the end will come!

So, it's fine to say, "I don't believe that stuff," as long as you understand you're denying the very words of Jesus. (Not "fine" in the sense of a wise and eternally healthful course of action, sure, but it's at least internally consistent for you to hold that.) But when folks say, "I believe what Jesus said, but not all that other stuff in the Bible"... you gotta understand that what He said is that other stuff in the Bible!

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