Pop-Up Catechesis: Figurative Language in the Bible

Pop-Up Catechesis with Joe Paprocki

Catholics believe in the inerrancy of the Bible. However, that word “inerrancy” means different things to different people. To some, the inerrancy of the Bible means that every word in the Bible is to be taken literally. This is known as fundamentalism, and folks who abide by this approach are known as fundamentalists. For Catholics, the inerrancy of the Bible refers to the truth that Scripture is conveying. In other words, Catholics believe that everything in the Bible is true, though not necessarily fact. We believe that the Creation story in the first chapter of the Book of Genesis is true, because it teaches us that God is the author of all life and reality; God created everything out of love; God’s creation is good; God brings order out of chaos; and human beings are made in the image and likeness of God. Science, then, teaches us the facts about how the universe came to be. The two are not in opposition to one another. Scripture sometimes uses figurative language to express essential truths. That doesn’t make the story a fairy tale. It is the literary method that God inspired in the human author to convey an essential truth about God. In this episode of Pop-Up Catechesis, we explore figurative language in Scripture and the Catholic approach to interpretation (hint: it’s not fundamentalism).

For more information about the Catholic approach to Scripture interpretation, check out the following links:

About Joe Paprocki 2742 Articles
Joe Paprocki, DMin, is National Consultant for Faith Formation at Loyola Press, where, in addition to his traveling/speaking responsibilities, he works on the development team for faith formation curriculum resources including Finding God: Our Response to God’s Gifts and God’s Gift: Reconciliation and Eucharist. Joe has more than 35 years of experience in ministry and has presented keynotes, presentations, and workshops in more than 100 dioceses in North America. Joe is a frequent presenter at national conferences including the Los Angeles Religious Education Congress, the Mid-Atlantic Congress, and the National Conference for Catechetical Leadership. He is the author of numerous books, including the best seller The Catechist’s Toolbox, A Church on the Move, Under the Influence of Jesus, and Called to Be Catholic—a bilingual, foundational supplemental program that helps young people know their faith and grow in their relationship with God. Joe is also the series editor for the Effective Catechetical Leader and blogs about his experiences in faith formation at www.catechistsjourney.com.

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