“Catholic Church no longer swears by truth of the Bible,” part 1 of 3

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…laying aside the commandment of God,
you hold the tradition of men…

—Mark 7:8

Back in 2005 AD an article was published that reported that the “Catholic Church no longer swears by truth of the Bible.”
Let us consider the report:

THE hierarchy of the Roman Catholic Church has published a teaching document instructing the faithful that some parts of the Bible are not actually true.

…laying aside the commandment of God,
you hold the tradition of men…

—Mark 7:8

Back in 2005 AD an article was published that reported that the “Catholic Church no longer swears by truth of the Bible.”
Let us consider the report:

THE hierarchy of the Roman Catholic Church has published a teaching document instructing the faithful that some parts of the Bible are not actually true.
The Catholic bishops of England, Wales and Scotland are warning their five million worshippers, as well as any others drawn to the study of scripture, that they should not expect “total accuracy” from the Bible.
“We should not expect to find in Scripture full scientific accuracy or complete historical precision,” they say in The Gift of Scripture.

But the first 11 chapters of Genesis, in which two different and at times conflicting stories of creation are told, are among those that this country’s Catholic bishops insist cannot be “historical”. At most, they say, they may contain “historical traces”.[fn] Ruth Gledhill, “Catholic Church no longer swears by truth of the Bible,” The Sunday Times, October 5, 2005[/fn]

Let us pause here for a moment as the claims of “two different and at times conflicting stories of creation” is a ubiquitously promulgated talking point and when you still have people asking whence Cain got his wife it ought be dealt with—FYI: I dealt with the issue of Cain’s wife in the essay Confused About Creation.

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Now, I can only imagine that the issue pertains to the creation of humans as this is that which is focused upon in Genesis chapter 2. And that is the very point; it is focused upon in ch. 2. That is, Genesis ch. 1 and 2 are written much like any news story—and I am surprised that The Times Online’s “Religion Correspondent” would miss this fact. This is because a reporter tends to write a succinct paragraph or few sentences at the beginning of an article which lays out the issue and facts so that you can get a grasp of the issue in a few words. They will then draw out the details in the rest of the article.

Note the relevant portions of ch. 1 namely, portions of vss. 26-28,

Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness…” So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. Then God blessed them.

Ch. 1 gives a succinct report of the first six days of creation. Ch. 2 begins by concluding the report by stating, in vss. 1-3,

Thus the heavens and the earth, and all the host of them, were finished. And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done…

This, by the way, is a scientific prediction of the First Law of Thermodynamics—see The First Commandment of Thermodynamics. Thus, the six days are succinctly described and the seventh wraps them up—end of story.

So next comes an introduction to that which will follow, vss. 4-6,

This is the history of the heavens and the earth when they were created…before any plant of the field was in the earth and before any herb of the field had grown. For the LORD God had not caused it to rain on the earth, and there was no man to till the ground…

Thus, what is being introduced is “the history of the heavens…” and note the qualifier “before any plant…before any herb…there was no man to till the ground.”
Thus, the reporter, as it were, is letting you know that they are harkening back to a portion of the succinct story just told. To what portion is reference made now? To the creation of man in particular, vss. 7-8,

And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being…The LORD God planted a garden eastward in Eden, and there He put the man whom He had formed.

Thus, this is giving some of the details as to what was meant in the succinct ch. 1 when it is stated that “God created man in His own image,” etc.