The BIBLE: Literal or Figurative, or BOTH?

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by righteousdude2, Jun 26, 2014.

  1. righteousdude2

    righteousdude2
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    I came across this article, and would appreciate your input as to how you view the Bible.

    SEE:https://www.christiancourier.com/articles/694-how-do-i-distinguish-the-literal-from-the-figurative

    For example, the stories of Noah; Jericho's walls falling; Sodom and Gomorrah; Jonah being swallowed by a whale or hell .... are they literal or figurative and how do you apporach the subject regarding what is and isn't to be seen one way verses the other?

    In my way of reading and teaching, these stories are in fact historical events being accounted for by the books author!

    Still, I've encountered many people who question the validity of such stories .... so, how do you respond to their arguments/questions!

    Again, let me say that when questioned, I tell them that for me, if God said, that settles it! But, I've heard many today, compromising the issues, and their faith [beliefs] to make the church more user friendly and less about a wrathful God. In other words, "Hell and brimstone" is no longer allowed, nor is God's wrath and judgement allowed. It turns people off. So, they preach and teach the stories as being parables and lessons!
     
    #1 righteousdude2, Jun 26, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 26, 2014
  2. just-want-peace

    just-want-peace
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    IMHO, if a passage is to be understood any way other than literal, it will be so noted! For instance, the "story" being prefaced by "it is like----", or "this is a parable of---" or some such.

    In the case of ambiguity, I'll just take it literal until something scriptural makes me change my mind.

    May be simplistic, but it sure is less conflicting than trying to correlate mans opinion with His!
     
  3. Yeshua1

    Yeshua1
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    A conservative Christian would see that the Bible is to be understand in literal terms, unless there is a valid genre in the passage being discussed, so intepret it on a literal basis, but also taking i, always some type of figurative languagento account when its a metaphor/simile/allogory/parable style!

    A liberal Christian will tend to see anything that seems to be a miracle or something very unusually as ALWAYS meaning a spiritual meaning

    Example...

    Jonh and the whale is to be seen as a historical account of a prophet who literally was swallows by a large sea animal, while liberals see it as a myth telling us God wsants to love and save non jewish peoples also!
     
  4. preachinjesus

    preachinjesus
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    A thoroughgoing hermeneutic is one that recognizes genric differences often lead to differing approaches to a text.

    There are parts of the Bible clearly not meant to be taken literally. There are parts of the Bible clearly not meant to be taken allegorically.

    There are more than two options here as well.
     
  5. righteousdude2

    righteousdude2
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    Thanks.....

    I like that feedback! It isn't simplistic, it is just the way it is!
     
  6. righteousdude2

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    Great response ....

    I never thought of that. Thanks a lot!
     
  7. corndogggy

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    With this logic, Jesus literally has feet of brass, is surrounded by 7 golden candlesticks, white hair, eyes of fire, holds 7 stars in his hand, and has a sword sticking out of his mouth that he can actually fight with, wearing clothes dripping with blood, wears many crowns on his head this whole time, and has a tattoo of sorts on his thigh.

    Revelation 1:12-16, 2:16, 19:12-13, 16
     
  8. Alcott

    Alcott
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    Jesus did not make any such preface when he told his disciples "Beware the yeast of the Pharisees," and they thought he was talking about literal yeast and literal bread.
     
  9. quantumfaith

    quantumfaith
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    Came across the following article, perhaps it is not "directly" related to the conversation of "literal or allegorical", but at least tangentially. I found the article interesting and thought provoking and I do not not "know enough" to completely digest it, having not been a seminarian.

    https://bible.org/article/mark-226-and-problem-abiathar
     
  10. Yeshua1

    Yeshua1
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    That is true, but the basic assumption is that inless it fits into another spefic kind of genre, should be seen as being read/understood in a literal fashion!
     
  11. thisnumbersdisconnected

    thisnumbersdisconnected
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    Even the allegorical and figurative passages should be taken as literal in the context of the lesson they teach. It is in that sense the entire Bible is to be taken literally.
     

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