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Category: Theology

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Ratzinger on biblical inerrancy: Dei Verbum, chapter 3

When we say that biblical inerrancy is “limited,” we need to be careful to define exactly how and in what way it is limited. St. John Henry Newman wrote that the Bible was inspired in “all matters of faith and...

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Biblical inerrancy for Catholics: Dei Verbum, chapter 3

In my previous post, I explored the revision process and debate that led to the final wording of Dei Verbum (DV) 11, which says that the Scriptures teach “without error the truth that God, for the sake of our salvation,...

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Are there any mistakes in the Bible? Dei Verbum, chapter 3

In part 1 of my analysis of the third chapter of the Vatican II document Dei Verbum (DV), I showed how the Church understands the creation of the Bible as a divine-human synergy. God is its Author insofar as he...

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Human Words, Divine Authority: Verbum Dei, chapter 3

The first chapter of Dei Verbum (DV) defines and explains faith and revelation, the second explains Tradition and how it grows, and the third explains Scripture and how to interpret it in light of both its human and divine qualities....

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How Tradition Grows: Dei Verbum, chapter 2

In the previous installment of my analysis of Dei Verbum (DV)’s second chapter, I explained how the Church defines Sacred Tradition, and how we are to understand its development and growth. In this article, I will explore how Tradition grows...

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Tradition’s main elements: Dei Verbum, chapter 2

In the first part of my analysis of the second chapter of Dei Verbum (DV), I explained that, according to the document, Scripture and Tradition are not two things but one (unum). But just what is Tradition anyway, and how...

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The unity of Scripture and Tradition: Dei Verbum, Chapter 2

The first chapter of Dei Verbum (DV)—which I wrote about here and here—is about revelation and faith. The second chapter is about Tradition, a topic that has been controversial since the Protestant Reformation and the Council of Trent in the...

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Faith is more than Assent: Dei Verbum, Chapter One

Whenever we talk about divine revelation, we must also talk about faith, for faith is the human response required by it (DV 5). As I explained in part 1, Dei Verbum shifted the Catholic understanding of revelation away from the...

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Gnosticism: When Is a Mystery Not a Mystery?

In my last essay, I took aim at Pelagianism, a heresy from Late Antiquity, which Pope Francis has frequently targeted in its perceived modern forms in his teaching. In this essay I will discuss Gnosticism, the other major heresy whose...

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Pelagianism: A Heresy for All Seasons

In the late fourth and early fifth centuries AD, a monk and theologian known to history as Pelagius advanced a novel understanding of the relationship between free will and grace. Pelagius, who hailed from somewhere in the British Isles and...

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God Reveals Himself: Dei Verbum, Chapter One

As this millennium approached, John Paul II called upon the whole Church to do an examination of conscience regarding the extent to which it had received and implemented the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council (Tertio Millennio Adveniente 36). He said that...

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