The Evangelization Station

Best Catholic Links


Search this Site


Home


Contact


Feedback


Mailing List


Pray for Pope Francis


Scroll down for topics


100+ Important Documents in United States History


Anti-Catholicism


Apostolic Fathers of the Church


Articles Worth Your Time


 Biographies & Writings of Notable Catholics


Catholic Apologetics


Catholic Calendar


Catholic News Commentary by Michael Voris, S.T.B.


Catholic Perspectives


Catholic Social Teaching


Christology


Church Around the World


Small animated flag of The Holy See (State of the Vatican City) graphic for a white background

Church Contacts


  Church Documents


Church History


Church Law


Church Teaching


Demonology


Doctors of the Church


Ecumenism


Eschatology

(Death, Heaven, Purgatory, Hell)


Essays on Science


Evangelization


Fathers of the Church


Free Catholic Pamphlets


 Heresies and Falsehoods


How to Vote Catholic


Let There Be Light

Q & A on the Catholic Faith


Links to Churches and Religions


Links to Newspapers, Radio and Television


Links to Recommended Sites


Links to Specialized Agencies


Links to specialized Catholic News services


Liturgy

General Instruction of the Roman Missal


Mariology


Marriage & the Family


Modern Martyrs

Mexican Martyrdom


Moral Theology

****

Pope John Paul II's

Theology of the Body


Movie Reviews (USCCB)


New Age


Occult


Parish Bulletin Inserts


Political Issues


Prayer and Devotions


Pro-Life

****

Hope after Abortion

Project Rachel

****

Help & Information for Men

****


Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults


Sacraments


Scripture


Spirituality


The Golden Legend


Vatican


Vocation Links & Articles

 


What the Cardinals believe...


World Religions


Pope John Paul II

In Memoriam


John Paul II

Beatification


Pope Benedict XVI

In Celebration



Visits to this site

Question 95: I have read in articles written by Catholics, where they describe the Genesis account as a myth.  Is the Genesis account of creation considered a myth by the Catholic Church? 
 

Answer: The Holy See's Pontifical Biblical Commission examined the question of the “Historical Character of the First Three Chapters of Genesis” and issued the following statement, “Whether we may, in spite of the character and historic form of the book of Genesis, of the close connection of the first three chapters with one another and with those which follow, of the manifold testimony of the Scriptures both of the Old and the New Testament, of the almost unanimous opinion of the Fathers, and of the traditional view which – transmitted also by the Jewish people-has always been held by the Church, teach that the three aforesaid chapters do not contain the narrative of things which actually happened, a narrative which corresponds to objective reality and historic truth; and whether we may teach that these chapters contain fables derived from mythologies and cosmologies belonging to older nations, but purified from all polytheistic error and accommodated to monotheistic teaching by the sacred author or that they contain allegories and symbols destitute of any foundation in objective reality but presented under the garb of history for the purpose of inculcating religious and philosophical truth; or, finally, that they contain legends partly historical and partly fictitious, freely handled for the instruction and edification of souls.”

 

Answer: In the negative to each part. June 30, 1909

 

    The ruling by The Pontifical Biblical Commission has not been abrogated during the ensuing period. The bottom line is that the Catholic Church teaches that the Genesis account is NOT myth.

 

    Genesis is usually thought of as divisible by two-the first eleven chapters are pre-history: with the appearance of Abram, who was to be Abraham and ends with the death of Joseph. The second book, Exodus, is all of Moses and the movement of the Israelites out of Egypt and into the desert.

    But the first eleven chapters themselves are further divisible. They fall into three parts. Chapter 1 has the Creation of the Universe, Chapters 2 and 3 tell of Adam and Eve and the Fall. Chapters 4-11 tell, in a series of stories, of the moral and social chaos ushered in by the Fall. The main concern is with the first three chapters. The first, on the week of creation was written last. Scholars seem agreed in dating it at or near the end of the Babylonian Captivity (597 - 535 B.C.). About this time it is thought that Genesis as we now have it was compiled: This Prologue Chapter, beginning, like the Prologue to John's Gospel with "In the beginning," was seen as necessary to set the Pentateuch in a wider frame. Chapters 2 and 3, and most of the remainder of Genesis, had been written three of four centuries earlier, possibly under King Solomon.

    For the orthodox Jew and for the Christian, the authority of the Creation story comes from its being Scripture, the inspired word of God. For the Christian there is something more. Christ made it his own by quoting Genesis 2:24 - "Therefore a man leaves his father and mother and cleaves to his wife, and they become one flesh." Indeed he gives it greater authority than it gives itself. For, merely reading the passage, we would assume that we are to take the words as spoken by the writer, or possibly by Adam. But Christ says that God said them (Matt. 19:4-5)-"He who made them from the beginning made them male and female and said..."

    Does everything in an inspired book come to us with the authority of God who cannot deceive? Certainly there are things in these books which are simply not so, things which contradict each other. Yet God wanted them written. He submitted himself to human limitations, man's ignorance in particular, but this submission did not cut across his own purpose. But what was his purpose in wanting books written? For many of them, or for sections in them, the answer may be that he wanted them written because he wanted them recorded, that is preserved; and he wanted them preserved that we might all be able to follow the movement of mankind on its way to Christ: these are the stages through which men passed, the ideas men had as their minds grew towards the fullness of revelation.  

 


 

 

webmaster  www.evangelizationstation.com

Copyright © 2004 Victor Claveau. All Rights Reserved