Catholics sometimes joke about how little they know about the Bible ("Hey, what is that? A book? Neat. Do you read it?" etc., etc.). As comedian Jim Gaffigan (a Catholic) jokes in one of his routines: "I don't know much about the Bible myself. I haven't read it--because I don't have to, 'cause I'm Catholic." So perhaps, just perhaps, we can also laugh lightly about this story (from CNA):
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) is facing criticism for repeatedly attributing an incorrect quotation to the Book of Isaiah that concerns ministering to creation, Cybercast News Service reports.
The speaker has used the quotation at least five times, often in reference to environmental concerns.
The falsely-attributed quotation most recently appeared in her April 22 Earth Day news release, in which Speaker Pelosi said, “The Bible tells us in the Old Testament, 'To minister to the needs of God's creation is an act of worship. To ignore those needs is to dishonor the God who made us.' On this Earth Day, and every day, let us pledge to our children, and our children's children, that they will have clean air to breathe, clean water to drink, and the opportunity to experience the wonders of nature.”
Biblical scholars, however, are at a loss as to the source of Pelosi’s quotation.
But that's only because the quotation doesn't exist. Otherwise, not a problem! (Hey, I think it's actually from 2 Hallucinations 6:66...)
And then there is this story, as reported by FOX News:
In his upcoming biography of Jesus, "Basic Instinct" director Paul Verhoeven will make the shocking claim that Christ probably was the son of Mary and a Roman soldier who raped her during the Jewish uprising in Galilee.
An Amsterdam publishing house said Wednesday it will publish the Dutch filmmaker's biography of Jesus, "Jesus of Nazareth: A Realistic Portrait," in September. ...
In addition to suggesting that the Virgin Mary may have been a rape victim, the book will also say that Christ was not betrayed by Judas Iscariot, one of the 12 original apostles of Jesus, as the New Testament states.
And--surprise, surprise!—we are informed that Verhoeven is a Catholic.
Over the years, Verhoeven, who is Catholic and holds a doctorate in mathematics and physics from the University of Leiden, was a regular attendee of the Jesus Seminar, which was co-founded by the late religion scholar Robert W. Funk. The seminar called into question miracles and statements attributed to Jesus.
A Catholic who denies the Virgin Birth. I think there is a term for such a person. Hmmm...I have it here somewhere. Oh, yes: heretic. In this case, a heretic who makes really rotten films about strippers. It reminds me of this actual Bible verse: "A fool takes no pleasure in understanding, but only in expressing his opinion." (Prov 18:2). By the way, Verhoeven's main thesis is not original; it has already been published in the book, The Jesus Dynasty (Simon and Schuster, 2006), by James Tabor, and has been around for a while (since the '60s?). Ben Witherington III has written a couple of lengthy responses here and here.
Finally, I'd be remiss if I didn't point out a few articles for those Catholics (and non-Catholics) who want to learn more about the Bible:
• Approaching the Sacred Scriptures | Scott Hahn and Curtis Mitch
• How To Read The Bible | Peter Kreeft
• The Bible Gap: Spanning the Distance Between Scripture and Theology | Fr. Benedict Ashley, O.P.
• The Divine Authority of Scripture vs. the "Hermeneutic of Suspicion" | James Hitchcock
• Going Deeper Into the Old Testament: An Interview with Aidan Nichols, O.P., author of Lovely Like Jerusalem | Carl E. Olson
• God, The Author of Scripture | Preface to God and His Image: An Outline of Biblical Theology | Fr. Dominique Barthélemy, O.P.
• The Pattern of Revelation: A Contentious Issue | From Lovely Like Jerusalem | Aidan Nichols, O.P.
• Origen and Allegory | Introduction to History and Spirit: The Understanding of Scripture According to Origen | Henri de Lubac
• Introduction to The Meaning of Tradition | Yves Congar, O.P.
• Enter Modernism | Philip Trower
• Singing the Song of Songs | Blaise Armnijon, S.J.