This Times article is interesting – Catholic Church no longer swears by truth of the Bible. They haven’t gone crazy and renounced the virgin birth or anything like that, but they have said that “We should not expect to find in Scripture full scientific accuracy or complete historical precision”. This is contrary to the views of much of the Christian right here in the US, many seem to want to revert back to the days of literal biblical translation.
That is not to say of course that there is not valuable literal information in the bible. The bible, as well as other religious texts, have been great resources for historians. For example, The Hittites and King Belshazzar were thought to be biblical myths until archeology records were found that proved the bible was accurate. But the idea that the bible should be relied upon as a scientific or historical guide is ridiculous. That was never the purpose of the book.
Roman Catholic Church also touches on views and feuds from thousands of years ago, and how they should not be used today. They specifically quote Matthew 27:25, ï¿½His blood be on us and on our childrenï¿½ and say it must never be used again as a pretext to treat Jewish people with contempt. They also mention Genesis iii 16, which some have seen as a curse on woman – ï¿½I will greatly multiply your pain in childbearing; in pain you shall bring forth children, yet your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you.ï¿½
This has been a good step for the church. The primary purpose of the bible is to guide, teach, and inspire. To expect scientific facts and figures from a text that is thousand of years old, and translated many times, is nescient. Yes, I’m using both definitions.