Busted Halo
googling god
The Busted Halo Question Box
Ask our spiritual experts virtually anything!
This is the place where you can ask all of those burning questions that you wouldn't dare ask in person. We will post questions here (using your byline only with permission); we guarantee an answer to everyone.

Have your own question? Then pitch it to us!

Caitlin Kennell Kim
Mary
Fr. Rick Malloy, SJ
General Questions
Fr. Tom Ryan, CSP
Ecumenical, Interfaith
Neela Kale
Culture, Moral Theology
Ann Naffziger, M.A., M.Div.
Bible
Mike Hayes
Swingman/Editor
 
facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmailfacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmail
Our readers asked:

Why do we believe in a book (the Bible) with things we would view as morally wrong? 

Ann Naffziger Answers:

Question:Why are we instructed to believe in a book that contains things we would view in today’s society as morally wrong? 

There is a distinction here between believing in the Bible and believing in the God that is revealed in the Bible through Jesus Christ. As Catholics, we affirm that the Bible contains sacred scripture, which was written under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, but that “in sacred scripture, God speaks through human beings in human fashion.” (Dei Verbum, Vatican II)

The Bible was written and compiled over more than a one thousand-year period with influences from cultures very foreign to our own. Human culture and societies have developed and changed since then. So although slavery and the treatment of women as property rather than persons is abhorrent to us in United States and many other parts of the world in the year 2013, it must be understood that such institutions were simply accepted as part of the culture of the biblical writers of their day. They were writing “as human beings, in human fashion,” and recognizing this reminds us we aren’t asked to put blind faith in accepting everything in the Bible literally. Rather, the Church instructs us that the goal of scripture is “that we may come to know the ineffable loving kindness of God.” The God who is life-giving, who does not tread upon our free will, who relates to us each as unique individuals and worthy of dignity, is the God we are invited to believe in.

 
facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmailfacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmail
The Author : Ann Naffziger
Ann Naffziger is a scripture instructor and spiritual director in the San Francisco Bay area. She has has written articles on spirituality and theology for various national magazines and edited several books on the Hebrew Scriptures.
See more articles by (103).
Please note that the editorial staff reserves the right to not post comments it deems to be inappropriate and/or malicious in nature, as well as edit comments for length, clarity and fairness.
powered by the Paulists