Literalists believe that it is word for word the word of God and must be taken literally in all ways.
- This means that the Bible cannot contain any mistakes. Everything in it is true.
- In some way it was God that wrote the Bible, not humans.
- If the Bible seems to contradict itself, there must be some reason for this.
- If the Bible seems to contradict science, then scientists must be wrong.
Fundamentalists are very similar to literalists, but they believe that we can interpret the words a bit.
- All the Bible was directly inspired by God and so cannot contain errors.
- The Genesis story is correct, but the word for ‘day’ might mean ‘a period of time’.
- For example fundamentalists believe that the world was created in six days and that Adam and Eve were the first humans.
Conservatives believe that the Bible is inspired by God but written by human writers.
- It is God’s message in human words.
- Some of the personal beliefs and interests of the writers has come into their books.
- The Bible is not a science book – there is no problem in believing in evolution and seeing the creation story in Genesis as poetic.
- Conservatives look for truths in the message of the Bible. Some of these are that God created the world, spoke through the prophets, came to earth in Jesus, who died and rose from the dead and so on.
Liberals believe that the writers of the Bible were inspired like any good writer.
- The Bible contains spiritual truths not literal truths.
- The Bible can help people to come closer to God in some way because the writers are sharing their experiences of God in some way.
- Many parts of the Bible are symbolic and poetic.
- There is a big range of beliefs among liberals.
- For example, some may believe all Jesus’ miracles are symbolic – others may believe that the healing ones happened, but things like the walking on water did not
Sources of authority
- The Bible
- The Creed
- The Magasterium
1. God the Father
2. God the Son
3. God the Holy Spirit
God the Father
- God the Father created everything and keeps everything in the universe going
- Thinking of God as the Father helps Christians to remember that God loves them and looks after them.
God the Son
- God the Son is God, come down to the world as a human.
- Jesus was part of a human family while he was on earth but already existed as a part of the Trinity.
- The birth of God as a human is called the ‘Incarnation’.
- Jesus was both fully God and fully human – how this happened is a mystery we humans cannot understand.
- Belief in God the Son helps Christians to remember that God knows what it is like to be human and so we can turn to Him as a friend.
- Jesus lived a life on earth, teaching and preaching and performing miracles to help those in nee.d
- Jesus was killed on a cross – crucifixion.
- Three days later Christians believe that Jesus rose from the dead – the resurrection.
- Christians believe that Jesus’ death and resurrection saved the world from sin (salvation).
God the Holy Spirit
- The Holy Spirit was present at the creation of the world.
- He entered the life of the Church at Pentecost, nine days after Jesus’ Ascension.
- The Holy Spirit is symbolised as many things, such as a dove (peace), wind (power), fire (purification) and water (life-giving). Each of these symbols teaches us something about what the Holy Spirit is like.
- Christians believe the Holy Spirit is present in the world.
- They pray that the Holy Spirit will help and inspire them.
- In John’s Gospel Jesus calls the Holy Spirit the ‘Paraclete’ – which means ‘guide and comforter’.
The first Pope
- Jesus annointed Peter to be the first pope
- This was 40 days after Jesus died
- Jesus promised him that: he will be the rock on which his Church is built, you will unlock the keys to heaven, anything that you say- goes (papal infalibility)
- Penetecost happened 50 days after Jesus died
- The holy spirit came to them and they started speaking in tounges
- Peter went to Rome to try to get the emperor to convert Rome to Catholicism but he said "NO"
- Peter was crucified upside down on a cross because he felt so guilty that he denied Jesus he didn't deserve to die the same way as him.