The Bible - not 100% literal
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31-12-2011, 03:06 AM (This post was last modified: 05-01-2012 10:50 AM by kingschosen.)
The Bible - not 100% literal
****This is an explanation as to why I, a Christian, do not believe in a 100% literal Bible****

The Bible is not meant to be read 100% literally. Yep, I said it. There are many factors that have to be considered when reading and interpreting the Bible: context, audience, translation, history, symbolism, metaphors, numerology, poetic language, story language.

But, you have to either believe literally or not. You can't pick and choose.

Not so fast there, scooter. First, we need to talk about the concept of "inspired".

But, if the Bible is inspired by God then it should not have any fallacies.

Dang it, son, sit down!

With it being inspired it is also inerrant.

But, that means the Bible is errant then because there is inspired text that contradicts known science.

Listen here, not gonna tell you again... be quiet.

Let me explain:

1) Inspired - words from God via text conveyed as lessons, commandments, stories, literal history, or visions
2) Inerrant - the inspired text is without error in regards to the context of the inspired text

So, what does this mean? Well, it means that there are certain parts in the Bible that aren't conveyed as literal, tangible facts. God teaches us with inspired text; which means the types of teachings He uses varies.

Bullsh...

*BAM*

What? Oh, he'll be fine. It's just a flesh wound.

But, it's true. God uses different means of teaching. Did Jesus teach 100% literally? No, he taught in parables and metaphors, right? Why? Because it was a way to convey His message to His audience so that they could easily understand what He was saying. Was His teaching errant? Or not inspired? No, of course not, according to Christians. So then, if Jesus, who is God, teaches this way, then why is it so hard to accept that YHWH, who is God, taught any differently?

Uhhhhhhhhghhhhghhh.......

*BAMBAMBAM*

Okay, yeah, he's dead.

Look at the Genesis creation story, though. What is this? Without going into too much detail (this is a whole new topic), the creation story was cosmology; something that was easily understood at the time. This story was inspired. It was conveyed in a way the people of the time could understand. It was so that they could understand God's plan and God's covenant with humanity and how God set the universe in motion.

Does this make it inerrant or not inspired? No! It's a story; a parable of such that holds no scientific value because it is not science.

Look at Revelation. Is this to be taken literally? No. This is prophetic language, symbolism, and numerology. In the same vein as parables and stories, these cannot be taken literally because they aren't suppose to be taken literally; just like Jesus' parables weren't considered literal facts. They are there to teach; to help us understand.

This does not affect the divine inspiration or infallibility of the Bible. It just puts it into perspective.

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31-12-2011, 03:28 AM
RE: The Bible - not 100% literal
I respect your beliefs man I do. I also understand what it is to believe something that is completely insane.

But riddle me this. Where within the old or new testament does it state that the reader is supposed to take things with a grain of salt so to speak?
I know that if a good person reads the bible they will invariably only find te good to be held within, same can be said about a bad person. But where within does it state that this is supposed to be the way?
So far as I understood it, the bible old and new was the culmination of gods word. As told by regular people who may or may not have existed...
Why would god even need to dumb things down to a metaphorical level?
Why wouldn't god just be like "yo, I made evolution and pants so get use to it. Took me a bit but don't hate I don't see you all inventing life." why would god play games like this by leaving his word up for debate?

I'm tired. I am also watching an idiot abroad and my mind ain't all here. I will return.

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31-12-2011, 03:34 AM
RE: The Bible - not 100% literal
(31-12-2011 03:28 AM)lucradis Wrote:  I respect your beliefs man I do. I also understand what it is to believe something that is completely insane.

But riddle me this. Where within the old or new testament does it state that the reader is supposed to take things with a grain of salt so to speak?
I know that if a good person reads the bible they will invariably only find te good to be held within, same can be said about a bad person. But where within does it state that this is supposed to be the way?
So far as I understood it, the bible old and new was the culmination of gods word. As told by regular people who may or may not have existed...
Why would god even need to dumb things down to a metaphorical level?
Why wouldn't god just be like "yo, I made evolution and pants so get use to it. Took me a bit but don't hate I don't see you all inventing life." why would god play games like this by leaving his word up for debate?

I'm tired. I am also watching an idiot abroad and my mind ain't all here. I will return.

It's because they had no concept or understanding of science. Even if He did tell them the exact science of it, it would WHOOSH over them. He had to "speak their language".

I mean, what if God started telling you about the quantum level of the 11th dimension and its letheriogilogical neurouniconology. Would you have any clue what He was talking about?

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31-12-2011, 03:38 AM
RE: The Bible - not 100% literal
(31-12-2011 03:34 AM)kingschosen Wrote:  I mean, what if God started telling you about the quantum level of the 11th dimension and its letheriogilogical neurouniconology. Would you have any clue what He was talking about?
Dunno...
I never heard such a thing.

Interesting viewpoint btw...

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31-12-2011, 08:06 AM
RE: The Bible - not 100% literal
(31-12-2011 03:34 AM)kingschosen Wrote:  It's because they had no concept or understanding of science. Even if He did tell them the exact science of it, it would WHOOSH over them. He had to "speak their language".

I mean, what if God started telling you about the quantum level of the 11th dimension and its letheriogilogical neurouniconology. Would you have any clue what He was talking about?

KC - Obviously I don't buy in on your god, but I have to at least pose the question...

Why did god invest himself in a bunch of neolithic nomads - to the point of "choosing" a specific tribe over all others of his creation (since they all started with Adam - or Noah depending...) [Tangent alert] Why did god have to mark Cain for his sin so that others wouldn't harm him? Who were all those people he came across after his murder? Brothers and sisters? Lots of incest in that bible story...

So here we have an omnipotent, infallible (chuckle, chuckle) god that has been interacting on regular basis, revealing himself through "prophets" and spokespeople in dribs and drabs - (Don't kill - except for all those on that lengthy list I gave you to kill), but then stops revealing after Jesus and says it's all on you stupid mortals to figure it out? Sorry, if god is as great as you all claim him to be, I'd expect more.

As A Knight's Tale reveals - We here have looked at god and surmised: "You have been weighed, you have been measured, and you have been found wanting." Wink

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31-12-2011, 08:23 AM
RE: The Bible - not 100% literal
(31-12-2011 03:28 AM)lucradis Wrote:  But riddle me this. Where within the old or new testament does it state that the reader is supposed to take things with a grain of salt so to speak?

Ecclesiastes concludes with "Fear God, keep his commandments; for that is the whole of the matter."

You can put that on my tombstone - that I "Fear God and keep his commandments." Which is to say, the Bible is a piece of identity; so to be square with YHWH ya gotta have the whole perspective.

Which is the line above. YHWH knew what he was working with. Big Grin

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31-12-2011, 08:41 AM
RE: The Bible - not 100% literal
(31-12-2011 03:34 AM)kingschosen Wrote:  It's because they had no concept or understanding of science. Even if He did tell them the exact science of it, it would WHOOSH over them. He had to "speak their language".

I mean, what if God started telling you about the quantum level of the 11th dimension and its letheriogilogical neurouniconology. Would you have any clue what He was talking about?

There are many things in the Bible that no one understands - why would reality be specially excepted? No, I've heard your interpretation many times, and it is not consistent with either reason or faith.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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31-12-2011, 08:42 AM
RE: The Bible - not 100% literal
But but but he's god. So like why wouldn't he just make them understand? Was he lazy? Or not powerful enough to make people understand his gibberish? And if for some reason he was not able to clarify shit in the past what's to stop the guy from doing so now and saving some lives?
It seems silly to just be like... Well I already tried explaining it once to a generation of morons, so screw these guys if they can't figure it out.

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31-12-2011, 08:43 AM
RE: The Bible - not 100% literal
Why would god explain things in terms only the Israelites could understand, but nothing for people like us living in an age where we have a much better grasp of science? That hardly seems fair to us!
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31-12-2011, 09:03 AM
RE: The Bible - not 100% literal
(31-12-2011 03:06 AM)kingschosen Wrote:  The Bible is not meant to be read 100% literally. Yep, I said it. There are many factors that have to be considered when reading and interpreting the Bible: context, audience, translation, history, symbolism, metaphors, numerology, poetic language, story language.

I have to go back to this...

You've made a value judgement because you don't like the stuff that's in it. But the Bible itself does not purport to be a book that YOU get to decide what is literal and what it not. Once you have to start rationalizing and explaining the book, you have diminished the Almighty by taking over for God to explain who he REALLY is because he's not the god we see in the bible and he didn't mean to say what's written, but if you do enough mental masturbation, you'll figure it out.

As to Revelation, just saying it's a whack book doesn't get you off the hook for the fact that it is there and to the original readers it meant something real and palatable as diatribe against the Roman Empire. The fact that people have twisted it over the centuries to "prove" their own agenda shows how unreliable this jumble of writings is, and if it's unreliable, why would a "reliable" god choose to use it to communicate? I'd think a truly loving being would want people to understand what he really means instead of every person who reads it having their own opinion.

No, I'm not really going to let you off the hook for saying the Bible is not meant to be read 100% literally, because I can find plenty of Christians who would 100% disagree with you. Of course, it's going to be hard to find them because I've just blocked about 50 of them from my FB this morning. Big Grin
So you're going to have to come up with a more convincing argument than just, "Look at how whacky some of the stuff is so obviously it's not meant to be 100% literal, just the stuff I decide that the Holy Spirit has told me to believe."

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