Look, people, when the Bible says that someone did something in a historical narrative, believe it. If it says that it is poetry or in parable form , take the message from the parable or poem literally. Historical artifacts have proven a great deal of the Bible time and time again. It has no contradictions, and I challenge someone to find me one. Plus it was written down by men from God, so it is perfect in every way.
There are no less than several hundred blatant contradictions in the Bible (e.g. no one can see the face of God vs. I have seen the face of God). Just because the Bible is rife with contradictions, errors and inanities doesn't mean it is not the inspired word of God. It just means God is extremely inconsistent.
Th bible is 100% true!!!!! There are no contradictions. The Bible was written by man and inspired by God. That means there are no mistakes. Everything written in the Bible can be used to live a good lifestyle today. The people who think its out of date is wrong. At first glance it seems out of date, but trust me.. It's not. If you read "letter" by "letter", some things won't make sense, that's why I was planning on saying no. But if you interpret and actually think about the Bible and get the message, IT ALL MAKES SENSE! Christians on here, please do not make the name of Christians suffer, because you think "the BIble is so contradictory".
2 Peter 1:20, "Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation."
You believe in the Bible. The Bible says that you should not interpret the words, but rather that they are pure. If you interpret and do not take it literally, then you are creating your own religion and live in a fantasy world.
parables are real stories or examples that GOD uses to teach us a heavenly meaning. The bible should be taken literally GOD never contradicts himself at any point and time. His word is always true and it should be taken as 100% fact. If u find someone who is a true Christian and not someone who puts up a face, you would see how large of an impact GOD truly has. I have never been happier.
If it says it, why not assume it means it? This claim of figurative speech in the Bible is just used by those too lazy to logically examine its merits, or the riddles of the Bible. Rather than trying to figure out why the Bible says certain things, they just write off what they don't want to accept as figurative.
Obviously some parts are parables or prophecies or visions, but it's generally easy to tell where these are. We've known for centuries which books are considered the "Minor Prophets" and "Major Prophets" and the Bible is pretty good about saying when a vision or dream is occurring. It's pretty obvious when Joseph or a Genesis figure is having a dream, for example, or when Jesus is telling a parable. And yes, some events serve as metaphors for later ones, for example Moses' life was used by God to imitate the later coming of Jesus in some ways. That doesn't mean Moses' life didn't occur, just that it served to demonstrate a later one.
Ultimately, if the Bible presents it as real, one should accept it as real and take the Bible at face value. This claim the Bible shouldn't be taken literally is based on the presumption that the Bible is an untrue storybook by those with no trust in it, who assume it's wrong from the beginning without giving it a chance to prove itself in the first place.
God tells us clearly that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.
We can not assume Scripture means anything more that what it is telling us plainly.
We can not try to interpret Scripture--we read Scripture and learn from it.
If we are trying to interpret Scripture, we are in fact claiming to be smarter than God who gave us the Scriptures for our learning.
The Bible should be followed, interpreted and incorporated into everyone's daily lives. If people started to follow scripture more closely, I feel that there would be less world problems, and more people being friends with one another. We have so many problems in the world, and some can be solved with religion.
2 Tim 3:16
All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness.
The Bible has many evidences that lend to its veracity and authenticity as "God-Breathed"; that it is 'Divine' rather than 'Human' in origin...In all its parts, including when God wants persons to include their thoughts, emotions and personal emotions. For example, when the apostle Paul says, "(I say, not the Lord)"...This is also God-Breathed or Inspired. God's active purpose - that is God has done nothing but reveal over and over in may ways that He superintended the writing down of His heart, mind and will utilizing the different personalities and writing styles of each writer....After all, this is the same God and person who said, "let their be light" and the worlds jumped into existence.
I don't really want to vote yes because to me this isn't so black and white/yes or no question. I believe the true way to answer this question, is to go through the whole entire bible and make a list of what it literal and what is not. I think we can agree that the bible isn't one way or the other. Even the most "serious" Christians would agree with me(I think). You can't take it either way because of metaphors, parables, symbolism, what have you, and there is actual truth in their. I'm not strong for yes or no.
The bible is said to be the words of God. This means we should take this very seriously more serious than any other piece of information (a.k.a literally). A Christian must prima facie take the bible literally. Any valid reason which tries to say otherwise is wrong.
axiom: Bible is the word of God
This is how a TRUE Christian should think
When the bible was first written by man it was designed to control the masses. The masses therefore had to understand what the bible actually was talking about and being metaphorical is a poor way to get a message across, especial when many people were uneducated. The Bile read properly is the biggest source of Atheism.
I find it amusing that Christians often don't read the Bible properly or choose chunks of the Bible to read but ignore the rest. To be consistent one should follow the Bible to the "LETTER" rather than making random interpretations based on your own emotional beliefs. If you want to be a Christian, then you should follow the Bible to the "letter". Isn't that the word from God? Did God ever say "Please don't take the Bible literally and please make your own interpretations."? So by default, Christians should follow it to the "letter" and seek to become more consistent with their beliefs. This is not an English class, your interpretation and critical thinking is not needed. As a Christian, you are here to follow whatever God wants you to do. You should believe in the absolute morality offered to you in the Bible. E.g. Homosexuality is a sin, punishable by death.
The Bible is literally true in the context of that it produces Gods desired effect. With that said the Bible itself clearly is a collection of factual history, genealogies, wisdoms, parables, poems and prophesies.
But i think the thrust of the question concerns fantastical stories such as Creation in 6 days, Noah's Ark, Jonah and the whale etc. Yes, those are true stories.
If you are a Christian then the Bible needs to be interpreted literally. If you discount parts of it than the whole thing falls apart and you can't call yourself a Christian. By literally I mean properly according to its genre. Of course visions and parables may not be happened as stated but when it says this is what happened, that is what it means. For instant Genesis actually happened as stated. Should History be interpreted literally?
Either it's all literal or none of it is. If you're going to be picking and choosing which parts to take literally and which to call "guidelines" then why bother reading the bible at all? Why bother telling other people to read it if it's open to interpretation? Why not just write your own book of literal teaching so folks can just read it and judge for themselves? If any part of the bible is open to interpretation then it cannot be quoted as fact. Fact is literal, 2+2=4 is not open to interpretation.
Well the bible was created and opens a new wide range of opinions. It was done on prupose for different interpretations how you will take on board the scriptures of the bible. The bible yes was made thoussands and thousand s of years ago with things that are hard to bhelive but faith keeps you believing
When things done in the Bible are considered unethical in modern society, such as killing the children of a prostitute or God killing a man for not donating all of his money, Christians who refuse to say some things are just wrong in the Bible end up chalking it up to "you should interpret it, it's figurative language."
That's ridiculous. If that is to be taken figuratively, then can I not take figuratively Jesus making a blind man see as Jesus converting a Gentile? Can I not take figuratively Jesus feeding so many people with unending food as Jesus being extremely generous? Can I not take figuratively each and every miracle Christ has ever done and turn it into something any normal person can do by simply saying "this actually means this"?
Who are you to say what is and what is not to be taken figuratively or literally...
The Bible, and more specifically the teachings of Christ, are intended to guide people in all places and times. Thus, the vague points and generalities found in the Bible need to be adapted to the place and time of the reader. The actual practice of "Love thy neighbor" is a bit different now than it was just 20 years ago. And it will continue to change.
As far as the miraculous stories told in the Bible, why should they not be taken literally? The Bible does not say that they are fables, but it is written as actual accounts of what has happened over the eons between God and man. Just because these things could never occur in nature, (for example, Noah being swallowed by a whale,) does not mean that these things do not happen supernaturally. The Bible contains a record of Gods love and oftentimes, miraculous dealings with mankind.
Although I have heard many good arguments to the contrary, I must say that the Bible should be interpreted literally. If you take a look at some of the Bibles that use modern language, it is easier to come to this conclusion. The Bible is a book, written by man, but about the word of God. Christianity is based on faith, and along with faith in God, must come faith in the word of God.
Figurative interpretations of the Bible provide an welcomed opportunity for liberal people to excuse their lifestyles and belief systems that conflict with traditional values and doctrines. It also waters down the gospel message that the Bible was authored to provide. The point of the Bible is to make God's intentions for mankind clear. If everything has to be interpreted because it is figurative then the Bible's clear message becomes much more cloudy.
I say no, the bible isn't meant to be read and taken literally. Not everything in there is "GODS" word, IT IS THE INTERPRETATION FROM EACH MAN OF WHAT OCCURED AND OR WHAT GOD SAID. So if this is written with interpretation, what do you think is going to happen now. We are talking millions of years ago and today's Christians are suppose to read it and live by it. Christians today also believe that he "GOD" AKA "YAHWEH" doesn't speak anymore. They are waiting for the next dimension to occur before they hear him. Are you nuts??? Listen to him today and now and follow what he is telling you today!! His Words speak louder than anything in today's world. I use this as example: it was a lovely Sunday afternoon and my son and I were headed to the race track approximately 3 hours away alone. Prior to us leaving and unknowingly to me, my husband placed my sons car seat in the middle of my car, and then at 12:19pm he text me to buckle up and be safe. He never does that. At 2:30pm I was in an auto accident. When he got to the hostipal he explained to me that our son is okay because of the measures he had taken due to a "WORD" he had received from Yahweh. He was told 2 days prior that our son would be taken from us. But he wasn't because of the way my husband positioned the car seat in my car. My son walked away with a smile and no marks. That is the power of YAHWEH. He doesn't want people to read the bible, he wants them to listen to him now in the flesh.
The sad part today is that in the bible, it used to have YAHWEH name in the old Testament listed 6,519 times and due to interpretations and people not WANTING to offend anyone else, it has been removed and replaced with "LORD". How is that Fair? Truly read the bible and you will see and hear the conflicting stories of what actually happened.
It would be beneficial to all if it could be taken literally because a lot of confusion could be cleared up. But, the wording of the Bible itself suggests that it wasn't meant to be taken that way. That the Bible is not so straightforward. Yes, this leaves some part of the Bible open to interpretation, but I think that the basics are clear. Be good, do good and you will receive HIS blessings.
Everyone who experiences a car crash recalls it differently, everyone who watches a movie gets something different out of it, and the Bible is no different. Everyone interprets the text in a way that relates to their life and understanding of life, and no one is around to decode the language of the age in which the text was written. Even if we could interpret the book as it is supposed to be interpreted, some of the things written in it will not apply to the world of today, and thus the practices would clash with various laws.
The bible was written so many years ago that it would be hard to really take every situation literally. The bible should really serve as an example to peoples lives. We do not live in the same kind of times that the bible were writing in and it can be hard to really incorporate the examples lain out in the bible to today's times, since the times are so drastically different.
The Bible contains many parables and stories that we don't know if they ever happened or not. Being eaten by a fish for 3 days and thrown back up on the shore probably never happened. It can not be verified by science and supernatural occurrences are often explained by smoke and mirrors. I believe the Bible is an allegory and not to be taken literally.
Jesus used many parables and comparisons to reach people's hearts. Not all of them were to be taken literally. The fiery Gehenna, for example is used to symbolize eternal destruction. The number 6 is used in reference to imperfection and the number 7 to symbolize that which is complete. Intense study of the scriptures by those seeking the truth has produced an understanding that the earth will stand to time indefinite and that humans will populate it forever, and even live forever in perfect health and beauty. There is no fiery hell of torture and there is not a soul that survives the death of the body. These and many other Bible truths show how sometimes scriptures are meant to be taken symbolically.
The Bible has many good tenets, such as dictating morals (such as the preservation of life, remaining honest, and being open). However, while its stories can be read for inspiration and to solidify the faith of its followers, it should not be interpreted literally. This is because by doing so, you shut your mind off from other options. If events like the 40 days of flooding or the world only being 6000 years old actually occurred, there should be evidence of this rather that solely relying on the writings of any one book. Without opening your mind, you're unable to respond as well to different situations in life.
The Bible should not be interpreted literally because it is by design a guide for life, not a reference for daily living. The Bible was written in a time when concepts of dealing with social and moral issues were vastly different from the mannerisms of today. The literal interpretation of the Bible can result in the breaking of current civil laws as religious zealots believe they are following the commands of a higher authority, wrongly.
The bible should not be interpreted literally because it's a matter of faith, not fact. It was not written in English, much less modern English. It's gone through a lot of revisions, translations, and interpretations before King James ordered the one most used today. Subtleties get lost in translation, and that's not taking into account people who made deliberate revisions to further their own agendas.
The Bible is a collection of stories written by human beings. This disparate group of individuals who wrote down these stories based on the events and beliefs in their times certainly had personal agendas. As such, any of the stories they presented can not possibly be considered to be having pure motives. Also, there is extensive scientific proof that the world was not created in seven days, and is certainly significantly older than the 15,000 or so years claimed by the Bible. With scientific evidence galore it is certainly irrational to continue to read the Bible literally.
Because by extent if women are the closest to gods, we must not take them literally, for they shall smite us on a wrong answer. If man were to take things to literally, they would not be able to get beyond text in thought. Therefore if a man is reduced to being smited, and one minded, the eternal string of women smiting will continue, so one must avoid taking the bible to literally, for our man sake.
The Bible was written by human beings. They wrote from things they witnessed and from stories they had heard. There is no solid basis for believing that the Bible is literal. Science has already disproved some of the items in the Bible. The writers of the Bible may not have necessarily meant that the world was made in seven days or that Adam and Eve populated the world. These could be interpreted as stories to explain how God made the world.
It isn't reasonable to accept events in the Bible as written because most often the writing was done years or even hundreds of years after the events. Even when two people witness the same events simultaneously, they often have very different views on what actually happened. There is no way I can describe what happened during WW1 because I wasn't born yet and didn't witness any of the events. When I read about it, I should always take the writings with a grain of salt.
There are too many contradictions between science and religion and in today's developing society, it is obvious how everything has become so scientifically forward. Had there been literal biblical interpretation since day one, maybe there wouldn't be so much of a problem over accepting everything written in it but there are many people who believe in seeing hardcore facts and research in order to help them accept the truth that trying to believe in the 'unseen' versus accepting things that are tangible is harder for them. Science won over religion in one of the most controversial debates at the Royal Society meetings in London over Charles Darwin's idea of evolution back in the 1800s. But now if we chose to have strict interpretation of the Bible, we would all have to become 'backward'.
How did Jesus teach? Parables. Why would we expect anything else from the rest of God's message? Besides, it makes so much more sense when we don't try to make it fit literally with what we know about history. Quite simply, it doesn't fit with history, science, philosophy. It doesn't make sense literally. So we are left to either abandon our understanding of this world, and reject all that humanity has come to learn and accomplish, or to speculate that maybe, just maybe, it didn't happen like the Bible says.
God knows everyone is different, everyone sees the world differently, believes differently, worships differently, and one way to accommodate everyone without writing ten thousand Bibles is to give the message as allegory, allowing each person to shine their own light of understanding and find a way that the message fits them in their life and perspective.
The bible was written thousands of years ago by mere men who at the time had a very limited understanding of science, geography and a lot of the information that today would be considered common knowledge to preschoolers. There is no compelling evidence to support any of the events or characters in the bible.
I do not think that all Christians should interpret the Bible literally as sometimes in the bible the time-lengths for things are only guesswork e.g. The world was created in six days and how Jesus fasted for forty days and forty nights in the desert which would be almost impossible, most people thousands of years ago would not have been able to count so they just made up a number. Also Christians think that the bible “is the word of God” actually most of the bible is not from God it is from people writing about others, Psalms, letters, Parables, laws, history, poetry or stories. The Bible has also been translated from a different language over thousands of years so some things we think it says might not be accurate to what really happened.
I believe the bible has wonderful messages inspired by God but written by people no different than you and I. There are many examples, even in modern times, of words/messages being distorted or misunderstood. A literal interpretation of the bible locks you in to what is written with little to no room for interpretation. This did not work well for the church as seen, for example, when the church persecuted those who did not believe in a geocentric solar system. The church had it wrong...Because of a literal interpretation of the bible. Science has proven the age of the Earth...But...A literal interpretation of the bible locks you into a too short of a time span. In the end, what is important is believing in the message of God and the teachings of Jesus.
This is because events may be exaggerated to prove and sustain a point. It is more important to understand the meaning of what is written in the Bible rather than memorize the words. It is inspiration and a guide to show people the right path. The smarter person will always realize what is hidden underneath.
The way the question is asked makes it sound as if the bible is just one book when, in fact, it is a collection of different books, of different genres, bound together. In order to even begin thinking about how to interpret any passage from the bible, you would have to first consider what theologian Keith Ward names the first principle of biblical interpretation and that is the principle of contextualisation. Are we talking about a set of laws, a proverb, a hymn, a story, a dream, a vision, a prophecy, a letter, or is it perhaps an allegory? Once that has been established, then we can move on to consider other factors. I voted 'no' because, on aggregate, the bible cannot be read literally and retain any sort of integrity (it would not stand to any sort of serious challenge, be valid, relevant or make any sense at all!)
1.The flood story was copied from the Epic of Gilgamesh 2.The Catch of Fish has much ties to Pythagoreanism which holds 153 a holy number 3.Dionysus changed water into wine while attending a wedding (as did Jesus). The Bible even says the Jews have extensively worshiped and integrated foreign religions into their own faith. Examples would include the Israelites worshiping a golden calf while leaving Egypt, King Solomon worshiping pagan Gods at the behest of his wives, Ezekiel being led by Yahweh to the city gate where they saw Israeli women mourning for Tammuz (Mesopotamian God who has similarities to Jesus). Also to take into fact that the Jews lived for centuries under control of pagans and most likely as all people's do when they interact, is to integrate technology, languages, ideas/philosophy (including religion). The Bible has many good stories that should hold a more allegorical value to humanity. If you did take it literally you would have to accept that one day God would one be telling one group of people to commit genocide and the next day to tell them to love and accept each other. As well that a man was swallowed by a giant fish for 3 days and survived unharmed. The Bible is useful to solving problems but has deep influences of paganism such as Mystery Cults. By a long shot the Bible should not be taken literally but rather be read for it's morals and lessons from the stories that make it up.
I do not think the Bible should be taken literally, for example I find it highly unlikely that anyone ever walked on water or that two of every animal in the world were placed on a massive boat in preparation for a great flood, the idea is just absurd. I do however believe that the purpose of these stories was more important and that was to provide guidance and advice to all, ultimately it doesn't matter whether these events happened it's the underlying messages that count. Whether it is true or not I do not think anyone can argue that these messages interpreted by rational people can forge very successful lives. That is the true purpose of the bible.
Galatians 4:24 Which things are an allegory: for these are the two covenants; the one from the mount Sinai, which gendereth to bondage, which is Agar. The word Allegory means : the expression by means of symbolic fictional figures and actions of truths or generalizations about human existence; also : an instance (as in a story or painting) of such expression.
In some instances yes, I think the Bible should be taken literally (i.e. Love one another, do not worship false god's, that sort of thing). But in other cases, no it shouldn't be. See, if you believe we should be taking the whole Bible literally, then Jesus wasn't the promised Messiah. What was the Messiah supposed to accomplish? Well, for one thing he was supposed to sit on the throne of David, and He was supposed to rule with and iron sceptre and glorify God's chosen people, the Jews. Did any of that happen? No... But we view these prophecies as not LITERAL. We see them as SPIRITUAL prophecies.
So, to some extent, yes. The Bible should be taken literally. However, it's that fine line between knowing whether something should be taken literally or not that I get confused on. If we believe that some of the prophecies were not supposed to be fulfilled literally (and weren't), then how can we be so sure that the second coming will be fulfilled literally?
Anyone have any idea?
The Bible is not a valid historical source as it contradicts certain scientifically proven facts. It is proven that the world was not created in seven days and that man evolved from other organisms, not from Adam and Eve. There many other examples that prove the Bible is simply a set of fictional stories written by people and it is only loosely based on facts.
A lot of people would die. I'll just put it that way. A lot of women would be killed because of their marriage to man as non-virgins. There are MANY contradictions in the Bible. How are we supposed to love our neighbors and leave the judging to God when we judge homosexuals for being sinful?
I'm Christian, but I will never follow the Bible literally. I believe that the Bible is a test. We have to overcome the contradictions and get the main moral: do not judge and be respecting of others.
The Bible depicts Earth as a 6000-10000 year old planet but there is plenty of proof that it is much older than that. If everything that happened in the Bible were true there would be a lot more evidence of an Earth covering flood and events like that. Also how can you argue the dinosaurs and fossil fuels, carbon dating may often be wrong but the fact that many YEC people believe it is millions of years off? That's not even logical.
The earth did not precede the sun, the blood of a dead bird sprinkled on a live one will not cure leprosy, and there are not, and never have been more jewish people on earth than stars in the sky. It's a myth. Just like the koran and the other emotionally based explanations for our origins.
I think we should not take the Bible literally because, it isn't God's book, it was written by man, interpreted by man, and thus abused by man. I believe God is love. And we do exactly the opposite. Furthermore I think the Bible is very controversial. Just take a look to one of God's supposed laws, "love each other as I love you" or "throw the stone the one who didn't sin" - if that's true, why does He judge others? Why did He kill innocent egipcians children? Should the Bible be interpreted literally? No.
Many many people will die, the rest enslaved (except for the powerful few). Science would be seen as the work of the devil and witch hunts would surely follow. Many people would be reading different parts at a time that contradict each other e.g. Genesis chapter 1 and 2; and people would believe that T-rexs are vegetarians (no sin before man ate the tree of knowledge which now all of his children must be born in sin for a decision they never made, and must pay for a piece of fruit that they never ate). I mean come on, if someone's dad ate an apple, we wouldn't make his child pay for it so why would God make the child and the child's child pay if he is all good?
If the Bibel were to be interpreted literally, then that would mean snakes can talk. It would also mean that we should kill people for things we constantly do, or things that very few people do, or that people do uncommonly, such as working on Sabbath (Saurday or Sunday depending on your religion), two men lying together, etc.
First off, the Bible uses plentiful amounts of symbolism, so it's just a representation. For example, the Bible states, "If your eye makes you sin, pluck it out. If your arm makes you sin, cut it off." Do you really think that cutting your arm and plucking your eye out are going to prevent you from sinning? That is just a message that means to avoid the temptations of sin. Second, the Bible is not intended to be a history textbook, it is used to teach morals and right vs. wrong. Even Theologians have determined that the Bible does not have a large emphasis on history, mainly on what it tries to convey: right and wrong.
I believe in the Bible and it's message, but a lot of the Bible is History and testimonies of our forefathers and other biblical characters! People are much to quick to want to Interpret the Bible, and Interpretations belong to GOD. There is also a warning of corruption on the part of the forefathers, it would take two lifetimes to discover all the hidden meanings, I have found some, the knowledge was supposed to have been passed down, unfortunately it was not in a lot of cases. Being honest here. I have read in it and then been ashamed of some behavior I had done previously, because it was pointed out to my own conscience basically! We can have God without religion and a church, I just read that church. In the Greek I think it was. Means people! Most religion is where the corruption is, using our own Holy Book against us, or trying! Why can't it be read in a coming together of people without it being interpreted! I personally disagree with most of the religions on one point or another by what I have read myself, but I believe all faiths are trying to find the truth, just each has a different take on what each story read is, that is where the fellowship comes in, sharing discussing with no judgment, as soon as someone makes a commitment to a particular establishment, the discussions stop and there mind is converted to what that establishment interprets and then minds seem to get closed and the happy fellowship with any others outside that belief stops! We all have common sense to know what is obvious but some things are not so obvious as to be agreed upon so why impose your view on others as correct! Why fight over it, which is not love! There are many mysteries in the WORD, and may not corrupted, as I said THE LORD GOD is smarter and he would have known beforehand and hidden things. But our behavior is controllable. Sometimes with practice as I well know. I use it as a tool to better myself and as a warning of the consequences of bad behavior. A self-improvement tool. Some try to use it as a weapon against others. The command was to read in it and observe his word. We have an obligation to look out for each other and all the less fortunate in the world and not to behave in an unloving way toward each other, example, Nationalism is racism, and elitism, greed, covetousness, and these are the things being warned about, common sense. The Bible is a good reminder if you read it frequently. It also seems to me the witnesses are the ones in the Bible giving testimony. It seems to be a court case going on and we are to observe and take a warning. I believe, based on knowing how corrupt this system is, that yes it has most likely been tampered with, but GOD is smarter than man, his message is plain and simple do no harm and do good, we all know how to do that! We can speak out about the atrocities going on in this world and not be violent! To say there are no mistakes or corruptions would seem to be unwise, since it has been a fact that it has been changed many times and by some shady characters. I believe that originally it was correct; GOD is a spirit and gives us his spirit to know! Love is the way, if you don't have money to help anyone, you can give them a kind word or a smile!
May The LORD have mercy on all of us.
If we took the Bible literally, we would not only regularly sacrifice animals, but we would sell our daughters into slavery and stone homosexuals in the streets. So much of it is irrelevant today and lost in infinite language translations that it is completely different from the original text. The Bible was also written by humanity, so it contains flaws and contradictions. The Bible's overall message is clear, but it's not a history or science textbook, so don't use it as such. Follow the one basic rule Jesus gave: Do unto others as you should have them do unto you. You'll be fine.
I was born and raised a Catholic in Catholic school. In my study of theology, it was made clear to me that Catholics believe in interpreting Scripture by using the literary devices (such as source criticism, form criticism, etc.). However, people of different branches of Christianity (such as Lutheranism) may believe otherwise. For example, Catholics are supposed to take the story of Adam and Eve symbolically to an extent, whereas Lutherans take it literally (according to my Lutheran friend).
When the psalmist writes, “I shall not be moved”, does he mean that literally? I don’t think so. The interpretation of the Bible should be through a contextual reading of it that is consistent with what the author intends to communicate. It does not mean we interpret it anyway we want.
There are 4 levels of exegesis (critical explanation of a text) and the literal interpretation is the most basic and simplistic. To get to the meaning of what is written, one must delve deeper. Jesus taught in parables - was he simply recounting stories to be taken literally? No, he wanted people to reflect and think about the deeper meaning. In fact, the parables were most likely stories of events that never occurred. Recall that Jesus was a Jew and in His day they had a long history of NOT taking their holy writing literally as they sought to discern the deeper meaning behind them. If Jesus didn't take the scriptures literally -- and never asked anyone to -- then why would Christians today?
There is no way that "an eye for an eye" should be taken literally. Homosexuality is, as it should be, becoming widely accepted. Being gay is not immoral. Two years ago, the state of Texas rewrote their textbooks and decided that Thomas Jefferson was not influential enough to be included in the curriculum, as he coined the term separation of church and state. According to the New York Times, "In recent years, board members [in Texas] have been locked in an ideological battle between a bloc of conservatives who question Darwin’s theory of evolution and believe the Founding Fathers were guided by Christian principles, and a handful of Democrats and moderate Republicans who have fought to preserve the teaching of Darwinism and the separation of church and state". UGH! it's 2012. I am a Christian, but was raised to treat all people equally. That may be in the Bible, but then again, the Bible is so contradictory, who knows?
I don't propose to be a biblical scholar, and I've never read the Bible from front to cover. I do consider myself to be a Christian. That being said, I may be wrong, but here's what I think... I feel the Bible is a collection of writings only "inspired" by God. I do not believe God said to any of the authors, "be sure to write this down word for word!" There are too many contradictions within. There is no way of validating every single claimed fact. The texts are written by "man"... and we all know that humans are flawed. The translations between languages can be varied or misinterpreted. Different religions over time have picked and chosen what to include or exclude. Now, I'm not saying that the Bible should not be read/used... it is a good tool for the purpose of learning morals and advice on how to lead a positive and decent life.
Does literal interpretation of a false book that contradicts itself get you anywhere? No. You have to remember the Bible was written by humans as a holiness code for ancient society. Should something that is in the context and idiom of the ancient world be used centuries later? No. Religion is like an unreliable, lying person who no one trusts saying he found a black cat in a dark room.
The Bible is a collection of works authored by individuals over the span of about 1600 years. It contains many contradictory sentiments. For instance, is God a god of peace (Rom 15:33) or a god of war (Exo 15:3)? It contains irrelevant directives (Lev 19:19 Don't wear cloth of made of two types of material.). It contains appalling directives (Deut 17:2-7 Kill those of a different religion than Christianity). So no, it should NOT be taken literally, if at all. And if you counter with the statement that my examples here were somehow taken out of context...well then you are also making the case against a literal interpretation.
If you take it completely literally, you end up with a bunch of stuff that contradicts itself. Obviously, that can't be right.
If the bible was meant to be taken literally then Jesus wouldn't speak in parables.. and many other reasons.
The Bible should be read with an open mind to try to learn of the morals and customs people should live their lives as seen by examples given in the Bible, they should not be taken literally and believed to be 100% fact. Besides have you seen what happens to people who believe everything in the Bible? they turn into complete dumbasses
While I do not have experience in Biblical exegesis, I do not believe the non-historical parts were intended to be taken literally. For instance, the exodus of the Jews and the resurrection of Jesus should be taken literally because they are chronicles of observed events, whereas the Genesis Creation story is more of an allegory as it was divinely relayed to the writer of the Biblical book and not an observed event...
According to the Bible, the Earth is only one thousand years old. According to radiometric dating and fossils, this is simply untrue. The Bible is meant to be a source of how to live, not a history of the world, necessarily. This way, people can be religious and still listen to scientific reasoning.
The Bible and Christianity in general teach good values that many elitist nonreligious individuals could stand to learn from. The problem is that Christians that demand that every word in the Bible is to be taken literally are essentially saying that science is false. It is impossible to part a sea and no one can come back from the dead. These are just facts. The Bible shouldn't be taken literally, or logically thinking individuals can't take it seriously.
No, I disagree that the Bible should be interpreted literally, because it has conflicting sayings which contradict each other. So, if one was to take the Bible literally, what statement should be believed? The Bible states "an eye for an eye", but it also states "turn the other cheek". These statements contradict each other. One means to seek revenge, the other means to let things go. If the Bible were to be interpreted literally, we'd have to either pick one, or the other. I don't see how you can both seek an eye for an eye, and turn the other cheek. I think the Bible is meant to teach lessons, and for people to interpret it in their own way.
The Christian Bible is a collection of texts written by early Christians and compiled by the early church. It was meant to act as a point of reference for Christians. Unlike the 10 commandments for example, it was not however directly dictated by God and therefore cannot be considered infallible or taken literally.
The Bible cannot be taken literally, because of the many changes. Hundreds of years ago, religious people decided which Gospels should be used, while others were left out. Wording has been changed. A good example is the King James version of the Bible that was reinterpreted for the benefit of an English King.
The Bible should not be interpreted literally. It was written by man, and even if it comes from the supposed "word of God", that word was still transcribed by the brain of man. We will never know what changed in the translation. It is unwise to base any fact on what is basically fictional stories written by man.
People who are religious will always find justification for their actions in the teachings of their religion. No religious person wants to feel that he or she is violating their own beliefs. How the Bible is read is not important. Understanding that it is a work of literature means it can be enjoyed without having to subscribe to anything written within.
I cannot take the bible literally when clearly it reeks of misogyny and an ancient belief system that no longer applies to our modern world. To take the bible literally would be a very frightening thing since the old testament is full of such barbaric practices. The Bible is open to a lot of differnt interpretation because it is a book of mythology and parables. How can you truly believe that a person can survive in the stomach of a whale?
The Bible is a collection of ancient mythology. The people who wrote it had little scientific understanding, and came up with magical explanations for things. Some of the stories have some basis in fact, but by the time they were recorded hundreds of years later, they had grown into legends. The Bible contains some wisdom and useful advice, but it should definitely not be taken literally.