I suppose I beleive that they are not used to forming there own opinions. Or maybe it's because they were tought at a very young age that the bible is the word of god and shouldn't be misinterpreted.

(I hope she doesnt mind that I use this...) Our very own Diana Agorio had this to say:

"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.

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."

I agree with these statements. also, I find it even more obvous after arguing with a pentecostal glossolalia-er. 

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Thanks, good point!

good to know about that point> "the Old Testament" and the stories or the law.

Do you mean by the stories of law in the book of Ezra?

or that the people and priests entered into a covenant to keep the law and separate themselves from all other peoples.

Most individuals continue their personal family traditions without considering whether to question or focus about what is printed.  The murders, incest, wars, adultery authorized by a god in the OT and the contradictions in the so-called 'gospels' and the mistranslations of words such as 'young woman' being changed to 'virgin'.....these and much more should convince a 'thinking' individual that this is all magician-in-the-sky 'hogwash'.
It comes out of the Reformation. The reformist churches needed a singular way to read the bible because even in the 16th century people understood that you could read a text to mean anything. They generally agreed on the principle of sensus literalis, that a literal reading is the ideal way to read scripture.

Some archeologists have found evidence that indicates the Jews did indeed create their own history by writing about Moses, Abraham, etc. Whether the average jew at the time knew it was all made up, or whether they were deceived is another story though.

But many, if not a majority of practicing Jews seem to take the bible literally today. In addition, Jesus confirms two of the outrageous stories of the Old Testament, indicating that the Jews of His time took the OT literally as well:  

Matt 24:37: "But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be."

Matt 12:40: "For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth."


So Jesus himself not only validates the accounts of Noah and Jonah, but acts as though they were literal events. Nothing He says indicates they were only parables or symbolism. If you're a christian and you don't take the OT stories literally, then you're at odds with Christ himself.


The writer of Hebrews also goes in depth in Heb. 7 rambling on about Melchizedek, whom Abraham gave some spoils of war to as a 'tithe'. The writer was trying to bring a parallel between Melchizedek and Christ. If the Abraham story was just a myth, why would the writer go to so much trouble comparing an extremely minor character in Genesis with Christ?


While a Jew today may have more doctrinal leeway to think that the OT is just legends, a dedicated christian would be very hard pressed and would have to perform many mental gymnastics to get around Jesus, Paul, and other NT writers' literal perception of the OT.

Yes, Discern, and the messianic claim of Jesus is meaningless if one doesn't consider the covenants of Abraham, Moses, and Israel to be literal events.


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