In an article alluded to an earlier post (Beneath Even Debating?) the TimesOnline specifies those claims of the Bible which the Catholic bishops of England have decided are untrue and those which are true. It's a very interesting list, raising the question of what criteria the bishops' decisions were based upon.
Here's the list:
Genesis ii, 21-22: So the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and while he slept he took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh; and the rib which the Lord God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man.
Genesis iii, 16: God said to the woman [after she was beguiled by the serpent]: "I will greatly multiply your pain in childbearing; in pain you shall bring forth children, yet your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you."
Matthew xxvii, 25: The words of the crowd: "His blood be on us and on our children."
Revelation xix,20: And the beast was captured, and with it the false prophet who in its presence had worked the signs by which he deceived those who had received the mark of the beast and those who worshipped its image. These two were thrown alive into the lake of fire that burns with brimstone."
Exodus iii, 14: God reveals himself to Moses as: "I am who I am."
Leviticus xxvi,12: "I will be your God, and you shall be my people."
Exodus xx,1-17: The Ten Commandments
Matthew v,7: The Sermon on the Mount
Mark viii,29: Peter declares Jesus to be the Christ
Luke i: The Virgin Birth
John xx,28: Proof of bodily resurrection
We wonder how the bishops decided that the Genesis passages which were adjudged untrue were, in fact, not true. It would also be worth knowing what the bishops mean when they say that the passage is not true. Do they mean that it is not true in any sense or do they simply mean that it's not literally true? The column seems to suggest the latter, but it's not clear.
The passage from Matthew seems to offend simply because it has been used to rationalize anti-semitism which the bishops apparently think is reason enough to declare it false. If so, they're resorting to emotional rather than scholarly reasons for making their judgment. The Revelation passage is apparently deemed false because it seems too fantastic, but then why do the Virgin birth and bodily resurrection of Christ pass the test?
Perhaps the sages of the Church had good reasons for their choices, but they seem to have decided on the basis of their own sense of credulity, almost as though they were playing a game of theological eenie, meenie. We hope not.