I've heard a lot lately that most Christians in these modern times only believe that the stories in the bible are only parables to teach us how to live our lives. I don't believe that. I believe that with all of the details included in most of these stories, the bible really was intended to be taken literally. The details thrown in are to make you think everything actually happened as it was written.

There are so many details to every story. The measurements and construction of Noah's ark, The begetting of generations, the exact materials and measurements of temples...these are just a few small examples. If these stories were not intended literally, why are these here?
again..The details thrown in are to make you think everything actually happened as it was written.

I think the reason most Christians say that these stories are only parables is because of the violence and hatred in the old testament. I understand that Christians put most of their focus in the new testament because it tells of their savior. But to completely disown the old testament is ignorant. Is Jesus not the son of god? the two testaments go hand in hand. It explains history of the land before Jesus walked the earth. It also explains the tyranny of their newly found Messiah's father. would you put your faith in Hitler's son if he said he was sent by his dad to save you? ...even though this is a dramatized question, it works as a good analogy.

While we are talking about the interpretation of the old testament, wouldn't it make more sense to be Jewish? I mean, it is the original belief that God himself set forward and Jewish people are considered His chosen people. If the creator of the universe tells you one thing, why would you believe a man that tells you differently? There is a reason Jesus was crucified. he was a blasphemer according to God's original laws. He was killed for claiming to be the messiah. Those Jewish people who believed him are catholic and Catholicism broke into separate branches of protestants. I really cant see how those Jewish people who believed him could not see what was going on. Then again, the bible even contradicts itself when it comes to the messiah. So how could you know this was actually the chosen savior?

anyway, I think that whoever wrote the bible wanted to make it pretty clear that it was intended to be taken literally. And the people who DO take it literally are the ones who you have to look out for. Extremists in any group are a bad thing.

The Bible says that not one interpretation is private, but I think you certainly should draw the line somewhere when it comes to a book that you are putting you're absolute faith in.

Views: 66

Tags: Bible, Literally, Sects, interpretations

Comment by Diana Agorio on October 2, 2010 at 1:19am
I will keep this simple, without a lot of names and dates; but, there are some ways of knowing how ancient people understood the Old Testament. First, you need to separate the Law from the stories. The stories were myths and legends and ancient people don't seem to have usually taken those stories literally. During the Hellenistic period, an interpretation of myths and legends, called Euhemerism, gave the stories a more literal bent. Euhemerism recast stories of gods as stories of men, who became gods when they died. Many of the characters in the stories of the Old Testament were originally Canaanite gods.

With the Jewish law, there was a big disagreement between the Sadducees and the Pharisees about how to interpret the Law. Sadducees insisted on literal interpretation and the Pharisees were for interpretation, based on their oral traditions, rather than literal enforcement. The Sadducees were in power for awhile under the Hasmoneans, with pretty disastrous results. There enforcement of literal interpretations of the law and strong arm rule made them extremely unpopular. Everyone was so happy when they were ousted from power that a holiday was declared. The Pharisees regained power and they defined the later Rabbinic Judaism.
Comment by Diana Agorio on October 2, 2010 at 1:32am
I forgot to answer your question: no, I don't think the Old Testament authors intended for either the stories or the law to be interpreted literally. It was not traditional in West Asian culture for law to be enforced literally. For example, there is no evidence of the Code of Hammurabi ever being used in actual cases. Judges were secular, and they referred to former cases to help them make decisions; but, they were pretty free to make up their own minds and negotiate settlements. It was only during the Hellenistic period that there is much evidence of priests being in charge of legal systems and theocratic law being in use.
Comment by Jon Heim on October 2, 2010 at 1:44am
Thanks for the input, I didn't know about the Sadducees and the Pharisees.
Comment by V John Merc on October 2, 2010 at 2:11am
Diana, Thanks, I'll keep a note on that information. Based on your argument, you have a great deal of knowledge in Judaism, the Old Testament, and Jewish History. By the way, what is that Holiday? (The ousting of the Sadducee?)

// I believe that with all of the details included in most of these stories, the bible really was intended to be taken literally. //

Anyway, in regards to the post; Just like how Diana laid out an example of literal application of the Jewish/Christian Holy book, there will be a significant divide among the believers because the Bible itself does not say anything of a command to believers that they must practice every interpretation literally. The bible is not an instruction book, it's a collection of stories, dreams, poetry, and pseudo-historical writings with mostly vague meanings. -Unlike the Qur'an, which was meant to be taken literally, and is a set of orders given by allah to pbuh.

So to say, if there are groups of believers of the Jewish (Tanakh/Old Testament) or Christian (Old & New testament) Bible, that say "we must take these literally" -most of the time, they'll be told they're wrong;

adjacent to this, if there are muslim sects who say that, "we shouldn't take the Qur'an Literally", they in turn will be told they're wrong.
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I think the only absolute "Order" in the (Christian side) of the bible is not to take away or Add anything in context to the bible, which are these:

Behold, I come quickly: blessed is he that keepeth the sayings of the prophecy of this book. -Revelations of John, 22:07

and

And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book. -Revelations of John, 22:19

// I think the reason most Christians say that these stories are only parables is because of the violence and hatred in the old testament. I understand that Christians put most of their focus in the new testament because it tells of their savior. But to completely disown the old testament is ignorant. //

>>There's only one (that I know of) a Christian sect that never uses the Old testament. It's Marcionism. Otherwise, all other christians, including pseudo-christians (Catholics), uses the old testament; their view: The New Testament is nothing without the old testament. It makes sense, their messiah derives from it anyway. (Mark 10: 18-19)

// Those Jewish people who believed him are catholic //

>> No, those Jewish people who believed Jesus were called Christians. Those who believed in the Roman Emperor Constantine's newly imposed religion called Catholicism, are called Catholics.

// anyway, I think that whoever wrote the bible wanted to make it pretty clear that it was intended to be taken literally. And the people who DO take it literally are the ones who you have to look out for. Extremists in any group are a bad thing. //
>> Okay, I was going to ask if you're an atheist of a believer. But that confirms you're not. It's a good choice though to ask atheists about religions and gods.

Indeed, those who take it literally are extremists. That's why muslims who correctly follow the path of their religion are extremists... but to be fair, Bible's violence is aggressive Genocide (Herem), and the Qur'an, it's mostly defensive violence.
Comment by V John Merc on October 2, 2010 at 2:59am
(Correction on me)
// Okay, I was going to ask if you're an atheist of a believer //

I mean, "Okay, I was going to ask if you're an atheist OR a believer"
Comment by Jon Heim on October 2, 2010 at 5:09am
Fred - 2 Peter 1:20 "no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation."
Comment by Jon Heim on October 2, 2010 at 5:30am
"There's only one (that I know of) a Christian sect that never uses the Old testament."

I was sort of thinking of a more general sense. Not necessarily in a group, and not necessarily "never".

"Those who believed in the Roman Emperor Constantine's newly imposed religion called Catholicism"

I'll be the first to admit I don't know a damn thing about Catholicism lol.
Comment by Jon Heim on October 2, 2010 at 5:39am
actually....is it fact that constantine's religion was the first brand of Catholicism? Could there be others before him? I thought he was only responsible for making it the law of the time.

if he wasn't the first, would the original Christians be considered catholic then?
Comment by Jon Heim on October 2, 2010 at 5:42am
pastors today... its hard to say where their interpretations are coming from. possibly influenced by their education, family and own understandings. or....just what is popular among the community.
Comment by Jon Heim on October 2, 2010 at 6:45am
It goes to show that no one can tell you that you are interpreting the bible incorrectly.

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