The importance of a literal interpretation

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by stilllearning, Jul 24, 2009.

  1. stilllearning

    stilllearning
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    Normally I let things slide, and “live and let live”, when it comes to off the wall ideas, I hear people propagate.

    But for the sake of any young Christians that may be on this site, let me make it clear;
    The traditional way of interpreting the Bible, is “literal”.
    --------------------------------------------------
    I am bringing this up, because recently, on another thread, someone made the statement, “I believe the 1000 year millennium is symbolic of the Church age”.

    This is regularly spoken of, on Calvinist sites(and it may have already been said here);
    But young Christians, who still believe that the Bible “says what it means and means what it says”, may be discouraged by this statement.
    --------------------------------------------------
    The Bible says........
    Revelation 20:1-7
    V.1 ¶ And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand.
    V.2 And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years,
    V.3 And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season.
    V.4 And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and [I saw] the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received [his] mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.
    V.5 But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This [is] the first resurrection.
    V.6 Blessed and holy [is] he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.
    V.7 And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison,

    --------------------------------------------------
    The Bible also says........
    2 Peter 3:8
    “But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day [is] with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.”

    But that does not take away from the clear cut statements, made throughout the rest of God’s Word, about the future.
     
  2. Jim1999

    Jim1999
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    A literal translation of scripture may be the wrong meaning of scripture. Symbollic language is used throughtout and if taken literally we will be off the wall in understanding.

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  3. Jerome

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    "Texts of Scripture are rapped and tapped, poked and smitten by preachers who are endeavouring to call attention to them and are at the same time misrepresenting them. How often is a text explained away, or expounded into confusion, or spiritualized into nonsense! Scripture probably suffers more from the hands of its friends than its foes." --Charles Spurgeon
     
  4. Brian Bosse

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    Hello Still Learning,

    I can't help but think of Tevye in The Fiddler on the Roof singing, "Tradition, tradition, tradition!" I subscribe to the idea that literature should be interpreted according to its genre. Historical narrative is interpreted according to historical narrative and not peotry. Poetry is to be interpreted as poetry and not as a didactic passage. Apocalyptic literature should be interpreted as such.

    Statemements such as "the Bible says what it means and means what it says" do not adequately capture the depth of the hermenutical challenge. To quote someone famous, "I am the vine, and you are the branches." I agree that the Bible says here what it means, and means what it says. The question still remains as to what this means. You are going to have a hard time convincing me that this means Jesus is some type of vitis rotundifolia.

    Sincerely,

    Brian
     
  5. preachinjesus

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    Part of the problem is that even the authors of Scripture didn't interpret every passage literally (whatever that means.) Even Baptists don't interpret every passage literally.

    There are some areas where allegory is key. Often some passages can be interpretted in varying methods.

    oh, and an amillenial view of eschatology has been accepted church teaching for thousands of years. Cheerio!
     
  6. OldRegular

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    stilllearning

    What is a Roman Catholic doing on a Forum restricted to Baptists? If you believe in literal interpretation of Scripture I assume you believe in and participate in the Eucharist [or Mass] routinely in compliance with John 6:53ff!
     
  7. Carico

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    First of all, it's extremely refreshing and unfortunately rare to hear someone say that one must believe the bible literally, which actually means literally, believe the bible. Yes, the bible must be taken literally.

    However, future prophesies are intended to be vague because man would likely try to alter them if God told us specifically what will happen when. So books like Revelation, Isaiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, etc. when discussing end times is absolutely open to interpretation because the description of future prophecies is symbolic.
     
  8. Revmitchell

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    What do you mean by "open to interpretation?
     
  9. stilllearning

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    Hello Jim1999

    You said.......
    Of course, a lot of error has been taught, by teaching something that was figurative or a parable, as literal; But that is not what I am talking about.

    There are those, who will spiritualize what ever Scripture they want, to make it fit into there presuppositions or the Doctrinal stand of what ever man or group they may be following.

    And there are others, who out of sheer unbelief, will; e.g. Teach that the account of Jonah, was just a parable. etc.
     
  10. stilllearning

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    Hi Brian Bosse

    Nice to hear from you.

    You said.......
    I was not talking about “tradition”, but a “traditional view” of the Faith, and God’s Word.
    (In opposition to a neo-orthodox view!)
    Regardless of what the vast majority of Christendom may be saying, things are not getting better; We are not getting wiser, nor drawing closer to the LORD.
    So, “I try to subscribe”, to a more traditional view, of the Faith.

    You also said......
    This may be true, of “literature”; But the Bible is much, much more than literature.
    (It is God’s Word, preserved for us, exactly the way the LORD intended.)
    Therefore it should not be looked at, though the distorted view, of today understanding.

    As for my statement.......
    This is a statement of faith; My faith in a preserved Bible.
    As to the meaning of, "I am the vine, and you are the branches."
    (Jesus is our only source of Spiritual life or understanding!)


    Looking forward, to speaking to you again.
     
  11. stilllearning

    stilllearning
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    Hello preachinjesus

    You said........
    I hope you didn’t mean that. The Bible has only “one” author. The LORD.
    And through “verbal inspiration”, chosen men were used, to write down what God told them to.
    Just because we can see the writing style of each writer, does not mean, that they used there own words.

    You also said........
    Of course not; And as I have already said, that is not what I was talking about.
    Oh, by the way; Literally means: “In a literal manner; word for word”


    As for the “amillenial view”; We will save eschatology, for another thread.
     
  12. OldRegular

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    stilllearning

    Can I assume you will eventually answer the above question!
     
  13. Amy.G

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    OR, stillearning is a Baptist.
     
  14. OldRegular

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    Then he needs to respond to my question. He is the one insisting on literal interpretation.
     
  15. Revmitchell

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    J.I.Packer

    Source



    All of these attacks on a literal understanding of scripture are woefully ignorant at best and intellectually dishonest at worst. The latter being the case most often.


    [0ff topic]Why does anyone think that anyone else "needs" to respond to any question they may have. How arrogant.[/off topic]
     
    #15 Revmitchell, Jul 25, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 25, 2009
  16. Allan

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    He is not 'bound' to answer anything you might ask, post, or pm.

    His status shows to be Baptist and if you have proof otherwise then pm the Administraters with such.
     
  17. OldRegular

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    My question is directly related to the OP. stillearning should answer if he can. If he can't perhaps you or Allan can answer since you both have jumped in. Do you interpret the passage from John 6:53ff literally and if so do you participate in the Holy Eucharist? If you are unwilling to answer then you should keep your smart remarks to yourself and let stillearning answer.

    mitchell {I don't believe in the title Rev.}

    I have always found your posts, especially those on politics, to be reasonable so I will ignore your inane insult in the following statement:

    All of these attacks on a literal understanding of scripture are woefully ignorant at best and intellectually dishonest at worst. The latter being the case most often.

    Well I really won't ignore it. I expect I am as smart and learned as you and I find the insistence of dispensationalists on literal interpretation to be intellectually dishonest since they rarely define what they mean by literal. In fact Ryrie insists on taking Scripture at face value. Just what does that mean in dispensational circles?
     
  18. OldRegular

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    Allan

    I have recently begun to ignore your insults. I will continue since you tell me I am not obligated.
     
  19. Revmitchell

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    This question is based on ignorance or dishonesty. I will let you project that but there is no other alternative.

    Then do not use it. It holds no special meaning and I could care less. It is simply a username.

    But you didn't ignore it. You commented on it thus your declaration of ignoring it is not true.

    And here is an example of what I was speaking to. Did you read the Packer piece? Once you actually gain an understanding of the literal interpretation of scripture you will be embarrassed by all your comments whether you agree with it or not.
     
  20. OldRegular

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    That is an ignorant or dishonest assumption on your part. You choose whichever fits best!
     

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