Taking the Bible literally

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    Andres Ortiz

    The Bible is an amazing resource for the Christian faith, but what I want to know is how can people take each word in the Bible literally?

    For example, there are 2 different stories of creation in Genesis. The first one is where God makes all the plants and animals and stuff, then humans. In the Second one God makes Adam, then all the animals and finally Eve.

    If we take the Bible literally (word for word) then we have obviously run into a big problem. It is impossible for both of those accounts of creation to have happened. Either the animals came first or they didn’t. It is logically impossible to have it both ways.

    I think what it is showing us is that it is the overall lessons and themes that are important, not how it happened exactly. Themes such as when God made the earth he said it was good, we are made in his image, etc….

    How can we treat the Bible as a science book when clearly it is not? <img src=” title=”Confused” />


    Andres Ortiz

    Do you think they take it literally because people want stuff laid out 100% for them so that interpretation is not needed? Taking the Bible literally would practially eliminate the need for interpretation.

    Taking the Bible literally would not allow our minds and hearts to grow to the extent that it does when we use the Bible as a resource to our Christian faith.

    Kind of like how when reading a novel, we try to look for the meaning, not only in the words written, but also in what the author was trying to say. If we take things on surface level only, we miss a lot.


    Andres Ortiz

    [quote:1p658b76]Kind of like how when reading a novel, we try to look for the meaning, not only in the words written, but also in what the author was trying to say. If we take things on surface level only, we miss a lot.[/quote:1p658b76]

    See, I think that’s one of the issues with Bible literalism – those types of people do not really consider what the author was saying or the context of the times and history.

    I think they think the Bible was dictated by God to the human writer like Muslims think of the Qur’an, but that is not the case. Scripture is [b:1p658b76]inspired[/b:1p658b76] by God, not dictated. God [b:1p658b76]and[/b:1p658b76] the human author [b:1p658b76]both[/b:1p658b76] have a hand in what was written. This is why it is the themes and lessons and concepts that are important to extract from Scripture, not the fine details of how many “days” it took to create the earth.


    Andres Ortiz

    Yeah, good point. By focusing on too many “minor details” in the Bible you might miss the overall point of the passage.



    Saint Augustine took the Bible literally, and noted that the time between Daniel’s prophesied Messiah and Christ’s coming didn’t jibe. But wisely and with God-given discernment, he didn’t doubt. A retired Scotland Yard detective solved the mystery by having the Greenwich Observatory back-engineer a Jewish calendar, and counting the time by the shorter Jewish canonical year. The time matched that of Christ’s coming.

    Augustine also noted discrepancies in the timetable of Noah’s time. This was wonderfully resolved by explorer David Fasold in his book, [u:24g9lzjl]The Ark of Noah[/u:24g9lzjl] in the chapter titled “The Shem Shuffle.” It’s O.K. to have questions. They will be answered if you keep “asking, seeking, knocking” as Christ counseled. It’s not wise to doubt.

    So with Genesis. The real problem with modern translations of Genesis is that they aren’t technical enough. The language of creation is exacting, possibly even referring to the Van Allen Belt, yet it is morphed into a kind of overall gloss.

    Nothing could be more scientific than God’s creating Adam from the stuff of the Earth; putting him to sleep under anesthesia of some kind; cloning the Woman from his tissue; and possibly gene-tweaking or refining the Woman as the language suggests. What faith those of old must have had to believe that could possibly be true. Modern scientific mtDNA permutation studies show we came from one common mother, nicknamed “Eve.” Good science is good religion.

    By your reckoning we have two accounts of all published technical papers, including legal and medical papers. There is the synopsis, and the expository body of the piece. The ancient Suzereinty Treaties were also in this dual format. The Suzereinty Treaties underly the format further developed in the whole of Genesis. There is one Genesis creation account in two parts.

    Preterists want to make Bible prophecy so limited and abstract that it would make the warnings of John’s Apocalypse, which closely parallel the grave tidings of the Book of Daniel, meaningless. There is multiple fulfillment in the Bible which points to the ultimate fulfillment, just as types of Christ point to the Messiah. Our Lady of the Rosary’s appearance at Fatima, Portugal, in 1917 literally fulfills Apocalypse 12, with the Woman clothed with the Sun appearing in the sky. Know the signs of the time and keep the faith as did Augustine. “Look up, your redemption draws nigh.”


    Andres Ortiz

    I’m not entirely sure you understand what I was trying to say in my original post. I was mostly referring to Evangelicals and Fundamentalists who take the Bible word for word – that the Earth was made in 7 of our days (not billions of years) etc. – that kind of thing.

    I’m not denying that there is an element of science in the Bible, but it really is not a step-by-step explanation of how some chemical reactions are exothermic and some are endothermic (for example) published by Houghton-Mifflin.



    “Seven Years of Starlight and Time” is a great net essay on Creation Physics, showing the principle of [b:3ucjgqw4]time dilation[/b:3ucjgqw4]. The seven days were literally seven days, but in a unique way, like a pie slice that is wide at one end being the billion years side of the “day” and the “day” we perceive at the other.

    The literalist adherence to a twenty-four hour day is strange, as the Jewish canonical year of 350 days and other so-called “short count” calendars, like the Mayan, show the Earth’s rotation was markedly different in the past.

    It’s absurd to claim the “day” was literally twenty-four hours as that’s not biblical. See? You’re right in that instance. But check out the physics in “Seven Years of Starlight and Time.” And in any event, a day with the Lord is like a thousand years; and a thousand years is like a day with God. Time dilation is correct, and clockwatcher days of twenty-four hours simply isn’t biblical.


    They don’t seem too willing to Take John chapter 6 literaly for some reason[/b]

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