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22

In the strictest sense, I would doubt anyone is truly a literalist. For example, when Jesus says that he is the door, it would be a difficult position to hold that Jesus literally is made of wood and swings on hinges. What most people mean, on the other hand, when they speak of belief that the Bible is "literally true", is merely that what is claimed in ...


17

An extremely simple argument for this sense is to consider the following two questions: Q1. Does the epistle of Romans assume and rely on an essentially literal* interpretation of the fall of man (cf. Genesis 1-3)? Q2. How foundational is the epistle of Romans to a Christian understanding of the gospel? It may be possible to argue these points to a ...


16

I don't think its meant to be interpreted literally. I take it as "Do everything you possibly can to avoid sinning." relevant example: I have a co-worker of refuses to go to the beach since he would be tempted to engage in lust-related activities. Whether you agree with my coworker's interpretation and level of devotion to the literal word is not my point. ...


16

The simple answer is "sometimes". Some of the bible is literal and some of it is metaphoric. The key to discerning what is and is not literal is context. Most of the Old Testament is written as a historical narrative. This context indicates that it is a literal record of history. Revelation on the other hand is written in a prophetic context, indicating ...


15

If it is a scientific certainty that a tree create one and only one ring per year, then this would be problematic. However, as you can read on Wikipedia, this is not always the case: Alternating poor and favorable conditions, such as mid summer droughts, can result in several rings forming in a given year. Wikipedia So, it would only take ...


13

Based on the wording of your question, I assume you want a literalist/young earth creationist perspective. This isn't the only perspective in Christianity. Plenty believe in evolution, or one form of Old Earth Creationism or another. The last portion of this answer, on particular, will likely be jumped on by the OEC and Evolutionist crowds, as it's ...


12

The meaning is pretty obvious in context. Ps 137 is a lament for Jerusalem after the Babylonians have invaded and destroyed it. Verses 7-9 make it explicit: 7 Remember, LORD, what the Edomites did on the day Jerusalem fell. “Tear it down,” they cried, “tear it down to its foundations!” 8 Daughter Babylon, doomed to destruction, ...


12

By the mechanism of the inspiration of the Holy Spirit - that is the supernatural power of God. The human authors of the Bible wrote under the direct inspiration of the Spirit, writing exactly and precisely what God wanted them to write in their native language. They willed to submit to God and his will was done, so neither the author's will nor God's was ...


12

You have asked at least three distinct questions in your question... I'm going to answer the one that I think is the most directly answerable, and hope that it satisfies the others as well. Why does the Bible need to be interpreted? Every written work must be interpreted. When most people I know ask questions like this, what they're really asking is, "Why ...


9

This question is wide in scope because the Bible is a relatively big book and is very diverse within itself. You may need to deal with each one case by case. But here are some tips. In general, just apply the normal rules of reading as you would with any piece of literature. If an interpretation feels stretched, then it most likely is. Read the passage ...


8

Nobody takes the Bible 100% literally. Nobody should, because the Bible is not intended to be taken 100% literally. Even the most cursory examination will reveal parts of it that are clearly metaphors. I once saw picture drawn of a woman in which all the metaphors used for a woman in the Song of Songs (e.g. "your breasts are like two fawns") were taken ...


8

The three uses of Law in Reformed1 and Lutheran2 theology explains this very well. One very important purpose of Law is to let us see our own unrighteousness, so that we could understand how dependent we are on the grace of God. It was clear from the Old Testament that people couldn't strictly follow the Law of God. Here Jesus makes it even clearer. ...


7

The basic idea behind the practice of magic is to use supernatural means to acquire power or knowledge not normally available. While opinions definitely differ from one branch of Christianity to another with regard to whether magic is literally real, the basic principle that makes it offensive is the idea that a person is trying to subvert the natural order ...


7

The Bible also opposes idolatry, even though the prophets say that an idol is nothing but a thing made out of wood and precious metal. as Psalm 135 says: The idols of the nations are silver and gold, made by the hands of men. 16 They have mouths, but cannot speak, eyes, but they cannot see; 17 they have ears, but cannot hear, nor is ...


6

Genesis 1 never calls humans or human bodies "perfect", it does near the end of the chapter call all of creation "very good." We also have no indication from scripture about increasing amounts of genetic imperfections as humanity survived though the ages, so that might infer that we are trying to read into the scripture something it never set out for or was ...


5

I think a full answer to your question requires clarifying a few main points. In what sense is the Bible inerrant? Some say that literally every word in the Bible was dictated by God to man. This in itself implies the mechanism by which God made the Bible inerrant. However, I don't necessarily hold this view. To me, it is much more accurate to use the ...


5

Well, for sure is never really possible, but let me give this a shot. There is no difference between the two words in Greek—just like the English translations you provided. Both use the generic Greek term for house, "oikos." However, it's important to note that the second quotation (Mt. 21) is itself a quotation from Isaiah 56:7. In Hebrew, the word for ...


5

The historical answer to this question has been that Noah's three sons - Shem, Ham, and Japeth - represent the three major races - the Whites, the Blacks, and the Asians. Here, for example, is a reference showing this understanding. Hal Lindsay's Late Great Planet Earth also made reference to this common myth that Noah's son's were the progenitors of the ...


5

Here's one answer (emphasis added): In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Professor William Henry Green and theologian Benjamin B. Warfield noted gaps and omissions in the Genesis genealogies. This suggested the creation was conceivably older than the 6,000-year timeframe proposed by Ussher and Lightfoot. Today many Bible scholars believe ...


4

There is a story of a saint whose eyes kept getting him into trouble with lust and fornication, so he blinded himself (I will have to find the reference, but good luck to anyone who wants to try!) 'Eye' and 'Hand' are firstly metaphorical, the eye being the means by which we see and know, eye may refer to knowledge, so primarily it means to cast off ...


4

Too often parts of the Bible are taken literally when in their context they are figurative. It is necessary to look at these verses in context; in reference to this specific "teaching moment" we read (emphasis mine): 34 Jesus spoke all these things to the crowd in parables; he did not say anything to them without using a parable. 35 So was ...


4

Saul seems to have promised wealth to the family, or at least excempt the father from taxes. Now the Israelites had been saying, “Do you see how this man keeps coming out? He comes out to defy Israel. The king will give great wealth to the man who kills him. He will also give him his daughter in marriage and will exempt his family from taxes in Israel.” ...


4

When I was a literalist, I believe my take was simply that the text does not demand that it was chronological (and having studied Hebrew since, one does have to admit that the use of the word "wa" similarly does not demand chronology, only some form of relationship between the two). So, if the narrative is taken as, 16 Saul needs a musician and is told ...


4

This understanding, I believe, grows out of an overly literal reading of the word "die" in Genesis 2 (see related question here: What is the specific meaning of "die" in Genesis 2?). Couple this with an overly-literal reading of Romans 5:12, which says that death entered the world (not just humanity) at the same time, we come to the belief that ...


4

What you’re describing is the basic attitude of many Protestant churches and particularly the reformers and Puritans. However many of these would not think your ‘Word of Faith’ movement has a similar sincere attitude. For example her is a quote from John Owen, a leading Calvinist in the 17th century. Those who are called by the state of their flocks to ...


4

Assuming your date for creation and delta to the flood are correct, one way is to say the tree was not uprooted or killed by the flood. Perhaps it went dormant, as in winter. (If that fails, there's always supernatural preservation.) After all, the dove brought back the olive branch as the sign that things were growing again shortly after the flood. So ...


4

It depends on the literalist. A Young Earth Creationist would directly challenge the scientific method used to define the speed of light and therefore the light year. Other literalists might shrug and say who can know the mind of God. (Romans 11:34) Also, when arguing the age of the universe old/young universe proponents often argue that it is a cumulative ...


4

"God is not controlled by laws of science" I don't know whether you can share this idea with me or not. The truth is, science cannot explain everything. Simple things like dreams, thoughts, feelings and emotions cannot be explained by science. Science can only understand the things that human can see, touch, feel and hear. I don't think the law of science as ...


4

The Issue is the Authority of Scripture and How We Should Read It Not all YEC think alike, but some of the most compelling arguments I've heard regarding this have to do with why it's desirable to someone to make the account metaphorical. If one is just trying to make the Biblical account harmonize with the latest naturalistic theories concerning the age of ...



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