How literal do you take Scripture? The bible is a conglomeration of grammatical and literary nuance that manifests itself in some of the following: Simile Metaphor Parable Anthropomorphism Poetry Metonymy Synecdoche Paradox Litotes Hyperbole Ellipsis ...I can go on. I've read a number of posts, in various threads, where the word "all" is debated. Does "all" always mean all (as in every single person or thing), or could it mean all of a group? The answer is yes to both; it all depends on the larger context of the passage. When Jesus is referred to as the Lamb of God or the Bread of Life, are we to suppose he is a woolly four legged animal or an actual loaf of bread? Of course not. But if we interpret a given word on face value, without considering all the variables in the passage/chapter/book, we run the risk of being just as foolish as someone suggesting Jesus is actually a sheep. So, what interpretive steps do you take to understand a given text? I have my own hermeneutical principles to share, but I'll wait until this thread plays out a bit (if it does).