Thursday, August 5, 2010

Dei Verbum And Inerrancy

Dei Verbum 11 is probably a more frequent topic of discussion here than folks are used to seeing elsewhere. The relevant part that is always coming up reads as follows:

Therefore, since everything asserted by the inspired authors or sacred writers must be held to be asserted by the Holy Spirit, it follows that the books of Scripture must be acknowledged as teaching solidly, faithfully and without error that truth which God wanted put into sacred writings for the sake of salvation.

How it was drafted and the attempts of modernists to insert heresy into the discussion of inerrancy, much to Pope Paul VI's dismay, is discussed here. The Scripture synod's hijinks with the text were addressed here and here.

The controversy relates to efforts to limit Scriptural inerrancy to matters of faith and morals by twisting the meaning of the "for the sake of salvation" bit at the end. It would be way too easy for people doing this to just read the freaking footnotes and see that the cited documents completely shut down the legitimacy of this heretical interpretation.

Fr. Brian Harrison has taken up this argument and done a good job with this article. Granted, he does focus a bit on the "just read the footnote" stuff, but he also gives history and analysis that I hadn't seen before from other elements and participants at the Council.

It's well worth your time.

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