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Christians: How do you determine what parts of the bible to take literally?

#1FingerpuppetPosted 6/2/2013 7:19:48 PM
And, on the converse, how do you determine what is allegory?
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#2DarkContractorPosted 6/2/2013 7:21:34 PM
whatever would be falsified if it was taken literally
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#3Polish_CrusaderPosted 6/2/2013 8:25:19 PM
I take all of it literally. the only people who dont r the ones that dont really belive the bible.
#4rick alveradoPosted 6/2/2013 8:44:37 PM
Well, this question isn't directed at present me, but past me can answer it. Or multiple past mes.

Elementary School Me: It's all literal. Other then stuff that specifically isn't, like parables. What kind of question is that?

Junior High Me: Well, I know of it doesn't seem to make sense, like how they could fit all of those animals on the ark, but maybe they had really advanced tech before the flood, so they could have it bigger on the inside than the outside, like the TARDIS. Anyway, it's literal, but they just left details like that out, because it wasn't pertinent.

High School Me: Well, you have to look at various things, like the writing style, and the purpose of the book in question. And it becomes more complicated for those of us who don't know the original Hebrew and Greek.

Present Me: Personally I like Junior High Me. He knew things didn't make sense, and tried to squeeze them into place, just like when he tried coming up with fixes to plot holes in Star Trek. Wait, but how does he know about the TARDIS? I didn't know anything about Doctor Who back then.

Junior High Me: We used the TARDIS to get here to answer these questions. Although personally I think the use of time travel for something so trivial is completely irresponsible and...

Present Me: Yes, yes, yes. Anyway, Junior High Me is the most interesting, but I think my ideas in high school were the best for deciding. Well, from a Christian perspective. From a secular perspective obviously you're going to want to compare to other texts from the time, but that's a whole other topic.
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#5DarkContractorPosted 6/2/2013 8:49:32 PM
From: Polish_Crusader | #003
I take all of it literally. the only people who dont r the ones that dont really belive the bible.




I just want you to think about something. I believe Genesis is metaphorical. As a Christian, I believed it was literal. These are the most unlikely of flip flops, for an atheist to dismiss the literalism of Genesis he is making things a lot harder on himself than they otherwise would be. I just want you to think. Why would I, an atheist, who I think I've made it clear through my time on here I heavily believe the Bible is a crock of ****, would think Genesis is metaphorical? Nothing is easier to falsify than the literal Genesis imo, completely with traditional theology of original sin and everything. Why would I give that up, if I didn't have a valid reason? I mean I'm not trying to 'save' anything here, I think I'd be trying to 'save' the Bible (well, save an argument against it) if I took it literally.
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"If God exists why did I stub my toe this morning?" - Me "Well If God doesnt exist how do we bacon CHECKMATE ATHEISTS" - TheRealJiraiya
#6OrangeWizardPosted 6/2/2013 8:52:23 PM
From: Polish_Crusader | #003
the only people who dont r the ones that dont really belive the bible.


This is what atheists often say.

"YOU HAVE TO BE A YEC AND STONE HOMOSEXUALS AND RUDE CHILDREN IF YOU REALLY BELIEVED IN THE BIBLE!"

Everyone takes the bible "literally". The kicker is just that some people differ on what's literal or not, hence the topic title.

My answer: Context clues.

The only things that aren't literal are things that say "And Jesus spoke to them an illustration" or "And ____ received a vision: "
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Trolling and making valid arguments are not mutually exclusive
#7SirThinkALotPosted 6/2/2013 9:25:42 PM
The short answer is through study and learning.

The long answer: Bear in mind that 'the' Bible is not, and never was a single book. Its a collection of 66 books(at least in the standard Protestant canon), written by various authors over a period of about a thousand years. And the type of 'genre' of books covers just about everything from poetry, legal documents, biographies, historical annals, legends, collections of sayings, letters, both to churches as well as to individuals, apocalyptic writing, and so on. As such theres no real 'set' method of understanding what is meant literally and what isnt. Rather each book, and sometimes individual passages of books need to be analyzed on their own terms, taking into consideration the author, the historical context, the type of writing, the context within the writing and various other factors.
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#8Fingerpuppet(Topic Creator)Posted 6/2/2013 11:00:47 PM
OrangeWizard posted...
From: Polish_Crusader | #003
the only people who dont r the ones that dont really belive the bible.


This is what atheists often say.

"YOU HAVE TO BE A YEC AND STONE HOMOSEXUALS AND RUDE CHILDREN IF YOU REALLY BELIEVED IN THE BIBLE!"

Everyone takes the bible "literally". The kicker is just that some people differ on what's literal or not, hence the topic title.

My answer: Context clues.

The only things that aren't literal are things that say "And Jesus spoke to them an illustration" or "And ____ received a vision: "


Can you elaborate on those context clues and provide examples?
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"Not knowing something is one thing, refusing to know about it while pretending that you do is something I'd call stupidity." -Faust_8
#9OrangeWizardPosted 6/2/2013 11:15:54 PM
For example, most of the teachings of Jesus are parables because he explicitly called them out as parables.
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Trolling and making valid arguments are not mutually exclusive
#10Wandering__HeroPosted 6/3/2013 1:19:53 AM
Polish_Crusader posted...
I take all of it literally. the only people who dont r the ones that dont really belive the bible.


But LastManStanding, you don't seem to take the "Do not bear false witness" part litereally, and you have little regard for your Christian brothers.

Or can you tell us where you saw those Jews who couldn't say Jesus's name?
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