Traditional Catholics/The Bible
QUESTION: Dear Griff,
I took a Moral Theology class in college and the professor I had said that the bible was made up and they are just stories and they didn't really happen. He said they were written to teach a lesson. He also said that Jesus didn't really perform miracles. And that when they say He turned the water into wine that they are really talking about the wine as a spiritual lesson and that none of the miracles actually happened.
Having heard this from him has disheartened and depressed me.
What are your thoughts about this?
ANSWER: Welcome to the world of what Vatican II has wrought. Even if the college at which you attended did not claim to be Catholic, the fall of virtually all formerly Catholic colleges has propegated even to the others as well. You would not have this at what pitifully few traditional Catholic colleges exist, such as St. Mary's Acadamy and College in St. Mary's, Kansas. But what you have seen shows how bad things truly are. That such rank drivel could be taught in the name of either "Catholic" or "Higher" Education is truly shocking and horrible, and (I hope and pray), utterly unconvincing to any such as yourself who sat in it, realizing that there is no way anyone could ever go along with such denials unless he were of truly bad faith. There is a huge irony in trying to learn "Moral Theology" from a professor so utterly lacking in morals as to be able to teach what he obviously cannot seriously believe any more than I do.
---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------
QUESTION: Dear Griff,
Thank you for your reply to my question. I did attend a Catholic college and it shocked me that he said this in his class.
So my next question is: Did Jesus perform miracles? and were the verses in the bible true? Also.. From the last sentence you wrote in your reply I wasn't sure if you were stating that you don't believe in Jesus and the bible?
And something that has come to my mind more than a couple times is wondering why God was portrayed to punish people in he Old Testament?
It is quite clear that the miracles are historical, along with all other details contained in Scripture and the early Fathers. Something like this (Christianity) could never have gotten off the ground if miracle stories had to be invented later, or any other New Testament details. Nonbelievers just spout all that nonsense about all of Scripture being written so long after the facts as to be totally unreliable because they cannot face what it means for Christian history to have unfolded precisely as documented. A Christ who worked miracles is a Christ who will face them after they die, and the thought of that is intolerable to them because there is some sin in their life they refuse to give up, something that means more to them than God or doing what is right and honorable.
The people who claim that "oh, they just wrote that Bible stuff centuries later, making it all up, adding miracles and claims that some 'historical Jesus,' if any actually existed at that time or any other, would never have expected," and the like know they are lying. They actually claim the Bible supports their outrageous claims, but the plain sense is that Jesus was born of a virgin, gathered disciples, preached in Galilee, worked miracles, founded the Church, went to Jerusalem, cleansed the Temple, was falsely tried and crucified, and rose from the dead, and then ascended into Heaven, promising to come back one day to judge all on the earth. These accounts were written and read by contemporaries of these events, as is amply documented, and had they not been true they would have been laughed to scorn.
By any usual historic standard, these miracles and so forth all happened. The only way anyone can reach any other conclusion is to rule out all miracles "a priori." In that case, one is left with an awful lot of things that defy explanation, such as why the holy martyrs would endure the cruel tortures they did instead of copping out saying "well, it was all very interesting but obviously not something worth losing one's life over," or why it grew to such proportions despite such heavy persecution, or even for that matter why the persecution in the first place.
As for the Old Testament, God was protecting His own from those who would attack or destroy them. The ancient times were barbarous (as things are rapidly becoming in many parts of the world today), but the rise of the ancient Greek and Roman nations brought some basic level civilization to the planet, upon which (together with the civilizing influence of the Jewish Nation and its laws) the whole of Christian revelation has built its extraordinary edifice of truth and beauty and morality and the very highest and most noble ideals, and the fulfillment of them in the lives of the saints.