Does the history of known fiction debunk the "Interpret the bible" arguments?
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17-11-2014, 06:51 PM
Does the history of known fiction debunk the "Interpret the bible" arguments?
I found this interesting article after a thought occurred.
http://sciencenordic.com/origin-fiction

The thought was that you cannot interpret the bible in any possible way other than its literal meaning. This is because regardless of what the context of the bible or how it has been translated, or regardless of how language and the meanings of words have changed over the years and then translated into other words that have definition changes over the years, no one can make the sound claim that involves the word interpret and bible in the same sentence.

I highly recommend reading the page as is interesting and will allow me to now have to copy/paste everything to make the argument on this page.

Quote:New research reveals how our ancestors came up with the idea to tell tall tales in books.

“In the Middle Ages, books were perceived as exclusive and authoritative. People automatically assumed that whatever was written in a book had to be true,” says Professor Lars Boje Mortensen of the Institute of History and Civilization at the University of Southern Denmark.

“Most people only knew the Bible, which was believed to tell the truth about the world. Because of this, it came as a big surprise when books full of fabrications first started to appear in the 12th century.”

The preliminary research that Mortensen and his colleagues have carried out has been published in the book Medieval Narratives between History and Fiction.


People in the 5th century and before it, had absolutely no concept of symbolic meanings when it came to books. The kind of writing that involved hidden meanings and more advanced poetry that we have today simply did not exist.

If we combine that with the fact that the bible has obviously and irrefutably been edited and had additions added on to it centuries and even today still has had its scripture modified by the imagination and tasteless deceptive writings of others, there is no possible way a you are interpreting it wrong argument should be able to be used.

Take for example that argument that the bible knew all along what Atoms are, that the earth was round and the universe was billions of years old. If you wish to link me to a page that will help me refute that debate better I would love it, but that is just another example of how religion is just like Ingsoc of 1984 topic I made a long while back, making comparisons of Christianity and Ingsoc from 1984.

All it takes is for the Christian Church to change anything they want in the bible. It can be anything they want as long as Jesus name stays the same and Christians will blindly and immediately 100% believe those are not only NOT changes, but they have been there the whole time.

I guarantee if you were to find a 700 year old bible and compare it to today, it would be almost nothing alike. It would not just be the language, it would be much of it's contents as well and how it portrays itself in many of its' areas.

People back then had no concept of fiction or hidden messages or interpreting things differently. Books were the most literal and serious thing in the entire world. To not take it literal in the most literal sense would probably either get you burned as a heretic, pagan or get you excommunicated and banished from your home.

Just look at what happened with Giordano Bruno! He said one thing that went against what was in the bible itself and the church had him tortured for years, enslaved and then burned to death. Now today, Christians claim that it said the universe is infinite all the time and try to make fail arguments about how it was all science fault that people believed all the wrong things back then.

..So, to close, the bible is Literal, There is no interpreting to be made. To say so is Heresy against your religion.


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17-11-2014, 07:27 PM
RE: Does the history of known fiction debunk the "Interpret the bible" arguments?
I'm not sure how valid the ideas in this topic really are... even down to the end, considering King Arthur. King Arthur tales were ongoing oral traditions for many years and he was a legendary figure; to many he still was considered true. The witten down initial version of him were taking what those songs entailed just like other mythos. In that case, I wouldn't even count that as a shift into a real fiction writing.

You could say there was a period of time in Catholic controlled regions that brought down thoughts on writings to be only factual based... but prior texts don't really refelct a thinking so stricly literal.

When you look at the plethora of Greek philosophical and Dramatic writings, these and elements of them weren't accepted as true. The myths and Odyssey were considered true... but Plato's writings involve 100% intended metaphors and deeper meanings within his ideas such as writing of the allegory of the cave. Or the guys who have ideas of humans being like rolling balls that are looking for a other half to complete ourselves. It is writing that is laced with interpretive and metaphoric meaning.

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17-11-2014, 07:38 PM
RE: Does the history of known fiction debunk the "Interpret the bible" arguments?
allow me to shorten the OP

primitive people are dumb and stupidity is hereditary and evolution has yet to wipe it out from the gene pool due to prevalent healthcare ensuring unnecessary traits gets passed on
and no one lived happily ever after THE END Drinking Beverage
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17-11-2014, 09:01 PM
RE: Does the history of known fiction debunk the "Interpret the bible" arguments?
Quote:We can only understand something as fiction if an ‘invisible contract’ has been formed between author and reader beforehand. A contract that says: ‘this is only make-believe’.
Lars Boje Mortensen

It would've been interesting if they elaborated on what the signs of this invisible contract are. I think many can figure out the bible, in Genesis as soon as it uses mythological animals like talking serpents and magical objects like the Tree of Knowledge of good and evil, you can disregard it.

It's too bad so many people go right on believing it when it clearly demonstrates it is telling pure myth in Genesis.

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17-11-2014, 09:03 PM
RE: Does the history of known fiction debunk the "Interpret the bible" arguments?
(17-11-2014 09:01 PM)TheInquisition Wrote:  
Quote:We can only understand something as fiction if an ‘invisible contract’ has been formed between author and reader beforehand. A contract that says: ‘this is only make-believe’.
Lars Boje Mortensen

It would've been interesting if they elaborated on what the signs of this invisible contract are. I think many can figure out the bible, in Genesis as soon as it uses mythological animals like talking serpents and magical objects like the Tree of Knowledge of good and evil, you can disregard it.

It's too bad so many people go right on believing it when it clearly demonstrates it is telling pure myth in Genesis.
Taking metaphors as literal can be dangerous or even deadly.
Pretty sure he's talking about 'suspension of disbelief'

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17-11-2014, 09:59 PM
RE: Does the history of known fiction debunk the "Interpret the bible" arguments?
I posed the question earlier tonight, which word of god do you believe in ? The before version of King James or the after version ?

Or maybe you believe King James is god, because that book is King James's word.

You have 30,000 versions to choose from or would you rather go with the original, oh wait, there isn't one.

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17-11-2014, 10:01 PM
RE: Does the history of known fiction debunk the "Interpret the bible" arguments?
I think the portrayal of Apollo in The Iliad is particularly striking. AT least he isn't a wimp pussy like jesus.

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17-11-2014, 10:02 PM
RE: Does the history of known fiction debunk the "Interpret the bible" arguments?
(17-11-2014 07:38 PM)Ace Wrote:  allow me to shorten the OP

primitive people are dumb and stupidity is hereditary and evolution has yet to wipe it out from the gene pool due to prevalent healthcare ensuring unnecessary traits gets passed on
and no one lived happily ever after THE END Drinking Beverage

That....has absolutely nothing to do with what I said in the least. Did you even read the same post?

Let me shorten it in bullet points for you.
  • Fictional stories did not exist in books in the ways they do now.
  • Everyone believed that if it was in a book, it was a literal account for what the book was about.
  • Because of this, everything that anyone ever wrote in the bible was a literal text, since fiction and metaphoracal writting was basically non existent.
  • Therefor, since people today do not realize this, this could be the reason why people think we should "interpret" the bible in some way.
  • However, since the original text was not written in a metaphorical way, we cannot do this.
  • Therefor, any argument revolving around interpreting the bible "or most other holy books" cannot be made as they are literal.


I said nothing about people in history being stupid, nor did I mention anything about genetics or evolution. This is not ambiguity, this is flat out lying and making up your own argument and trying to pass it off as my own, hoping no one read what I actually wrote. Hence the +1 from DLJ you got was from him not reading my full wall o' text.


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17-11-2014, 10:11 PM
RE: Does the history of known fiction debunk the "Interpret the bible" arguments?
My first problem with this is that there was an entire genre of Jewish literature which was considered fictional. A sort of wisdom literature which we have divided into parables and proverbs. A good example of this would be the book of Job.
Another point is that many of the church fathers took non literal interpretations on the Bible.

Of course one could say that fiction as pure fiction did not exist. Even though the stories were not literally true, they were considered true in terms of the lessons they taught.

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17-11-2014, 10:30 PM
RE: Does the history of known fiction debunk the "Interpret the bible" arguments?
(17-11-2014 10:02 PM)Shadow Fox Wrote:  
(17-11-2014 07:38 PM)Ace Wrote:  allow me to shorten the OP

primitive people are dumb and stupidity is hereditary and evolution has yet to wipe it out from the gene pool due to prevalent healthcare ensuring unnecessary traits gets passed on
and no one lived happily ever after THE END Drinking Beverage

That....has absolutely nothing to do with what I said in the least. Did you even read the same post?

Let me shorten it in bullet points for you.
  • Fictional stories did not exist in books in the ways they do now.
  • Everyone believed that if it was in a book, it was a literal account for what the book was about.
  • Because of this, everything that anyone ever wrote in the bible was a literal text, since fiction and metaphoracal writting was basically non existent.
  • Therefor, since people today do not realize this, this could be the reason why people think we should "interpret" the bible in some way.
  • However, since the original text was not written in a metaphorical way, we cannot do this.
  • Therefor, any argument revolving around interpreting the bible "or most other holy books" cannot be made as they are literal.


I said nothing about people in history being stupid, nor did I mention anything about genetics or evolution. This is not ambiguity, this is flat out lying and making up your own argument and trying to pass it off as my own, hoping no one read what I actually wrote. Hence the +1 from DLJ you got was from him not reading my full wall o' text.
Those bullet points hurt my eyes.
It would be nice if books meant as fiction were labeled as such, but that's not the case as far as I know.
How in the world do you know they never intended the whole thing to be metaphorical? Myths and legends were used as teaching tools to express a particular societies values, laws, way of life and community. It Was meant to hold together, have a connection with a particular people and their place in that society. Heroes were pretty much role models for people to aspire to and all the hero's challenges and failures became theirs as well, to quote the Sasquatch Squad, "what would Perseus do?"
These were shared stories that everyone was taught and were familiar with, all this was before writing, a vocal tradition and when systems of writing were established these stories were written to give a sense of permanents and those vocal traditions didn't disappear when books were made. They continued since by large most society's of the time were illiterate and these stories were needed to keep the public informed of their shared history. Myth evolves, it changes and could be argued every generation. I wonder though, having something permanent on a book, largely yes they have been edited throughout the years, it would be a mistake to go back to the origins of a society and try to capture the way of life back then, for instance with the Christian, hell any religion far removed from that particular culture varying thousands of miles away or the other side of the world 1,000 to 2,000 yrs in the past.

Granted books were rare and people largely took things on "faith" since so many were illiterate and couldn't read for themselves.
(I might of went off tangent, but maybe after generations those metaphors became literal which is a much more interesting question for me.)

"I don't have to have faith, I have experience." Joseph Campbell
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