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: