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Old 11-07-2018, 11:47 PM   #1
2coolforschool
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Default Is the Bible meant to be interpreted literally?

Or is the message conveyed more important?
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Old 11-08-2018, 12:01 AM   #2
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WARNING: Slippery Slope Ahead
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Old 11-08-2018, 12:04 AM   #3
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Depending on the scenario/passsage both. A lot of times in the Old Testament those are historical counts that literally happened. However, I think in God sovereignty he uses those actual historical accounts to speak metaphorically. Good example of this would be Abraham sacrificing Isaac his only son on the alter. This story is meant to be taken literally. Issac being imperfect could never actually completely atone for sin like Christ. Abraham was faithful and trusted God but god stopped him at last minute and as the story goes sacrificed his one and only begotten son instead. So yes literal story of an historical event but metaphorical as well. God paints a picture a lot of times in the Old Testament by his sovereign hand in this way. Jesus spoke in parable those obviously aren’t meant to be taken literally. Hope that helps.
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Old 11-08-2018, 12:17 AM   #4
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Are we to not use our brains to call into question whether Jonah actually got swallowed by a whale, or that we all descended from Adam and Eve. That’s what I meant to be getting at.
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Old 11-08-2018, 12:22 AM   #5
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it is the sovereign word of God. every word in that book is truth. cafeteria "christians" feel free to bash, if you wish. the bible is explicit in describing "believers" that believe in vain, as well as mockers and scoffers.

i believe it ALL entirely, in my mind and in my heart.
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Old 11-08-2018, 12:27 AM   #6
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Sounds like your real question is if miracles really happen. Story of Adam and Eve is 100% true like the rest of Gods Word. If you don’t believe all of it you never will fully comprehend the message being conveyed that is of utmost importance.
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Old 11-08-2018, 12:33 AM   #7
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To those of us, who believe.....
No explanation, is necessary.....
To those of you, who do not.....
No explanation, is possible....
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Old 11-08-2018, 12:50 AM   #8
Ruggedhunts45
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It’s okay to not believe or to have doubts. Message at bible study every Monday night, prayer = God help my unbelief. At the end of the day mature Christians still have doubts at times especially concerning Gods Will. Keep seeking God and hope you find real answers your looking for!
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Old 11-08-2018, 01:24 AM   #9
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I'm an outfield kinda guy, not much of one to take someone translation then have it taught to me as doctrine. As I study the scripture, I take the message being conveyed then see how it applies to me and those around me, and how the general population may or may not be affected.
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Old 11-08-2018, 07:01 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sailor View Post
To those of us, who believe.....
No explanation, is necessary.....
To those of you, who do not.....
No explanation, is possible....
I like this. Can I use it?
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Old 11-08-2018, 07:05 AM   #11
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I believe them to be true. God can do anything. The laws of physics and time space compression to not apply to him.
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Old 11-08-2018, 07:09 AM   #12
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Did God not give us a brain as well as a heart? I’m not one to believe that science/logic can account for anything and everything either, but Jesus spoke in parables that weren’t to be taken literally. Also, if man had his hand in it, how can the Bible be infallible? Because the Holy Spirit guided those that decided which books were to be canonized? Hell, it wasn’t until the Reformation before people realized how corrupt the Church was.

Last edited by 2coolforschool; 11-08-2018 at 07:18 AM.
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Old 11-08-2018, 07:12 AM   #13
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Crossing the bridge of faith is a long journey.
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Old 11-08-2018, 07:19 AM   #14
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Default Is the Bible meant to be interpreted literally?

God knows your heart and God knows whether you are brought closer to Him through a literal or interpretive belief in the Bible. Any imperfections are not in the message He has for us but in how we put that message into action and how we treat others based on it.

Mankind has fought to control what “God means” for thousands of years, and hundreds of thousands if not millions have been killed over this question. Just take a half step outside all of that, and instead of listening to what others say you should believe, give God an opportunity to tell you Himself.


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Old 11-08-2018, 07:19 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sailor View Post
To those of us, who believe.....
No explanation, is necessary.....
To those of you, who do not.....
No explanation, is possible....
Well said!!
I had a preacher tell his congregation one time .
Which part of “Thou Shall Not don’t you understand”

Gods word is infallible, and the only reason the lawyers fought so hard to get The 10 commandments out of all public places is because they were irritated because they couldn’t find one loop hole in them..
be blessed
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Old 11-08-2018, 07:22 AM   #16
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One example is creation...in the translation 'days' can stand for 24 hours or unspecified period of time. You get both sides & not sure why it's bickered about. It's all faith based. If you are going to believe in your heart Jesus was born of a virgin mother, died on the cross for your sins & resurrected 3 days later, ascended into heaven then you most likely believe in creation.

If you are not a believer, then days or time shouldn't even matter. Creation isn't a reality to you. Much less arguing about the story of Christ.
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Old 11-08-2018, 07:24 AM   #17
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I have always believed it is all literal truth. ( of course a parable is a parable etc ). But a guy I know believes the world is flat because the Bible said ( Im paraphrasing ) during some battle the leader prayed to delay nightfall so he could finish the battle, so it says God "stopped the sun". So that supposedly means the sun revolves around us, not that we are spinning. ( to delay sundown you would need to stop earth, not the sun ).

Because he takes the Bible literally word for word. Despite translations etc...it is my opinion that because many words are not even directly translatable, there is no way we can literally interpret it word for word in our language. Is the message the same, absolutely.
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Old 11-08-2018, 07:41 AM   #18
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I watched Ancient Aliens for a while as it was funny to see the off the wall theories that are out there as to how we got here.
The one that really turned me off was when they explained that the moon is actually hollow and no other planet in our universe has a moon as big and as close to the earth as our moon is, and that the only way possible for that to happen was the aliens towed it into place so it would orbit around our planet.
One question I'd have for those ancient astronaut believers is not if they exist or not, but WHO MADE THE ALIENS IF IT WASN'T GOD?
They say that alien craft crashed into our planet and bodies were recovered (Roswell).....Again who made them? and if they put us here, why did they die? Someone created them!
"God created the HEAVENS and the EARTH" as mentioned in Genesis.....So by faith, I believe what the Bible says.
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Old 11-08-2018, 07:46 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by miket View Post
I have always believed it is all literal truth. ( of course a parable is a parable etc ). But a guy I know believes the world is flat because the Bible said ( Im paraphrasing ) during some battle the leader prayed to delay nightfall so he could finish the battle, so it says God "stopped the sun". So that supposedly means the sun revolves around us, not that we are spinning. ( to delay sundown you would need to stop earth, not the sun ).
I follow a guy on YouTube who debunks flat earth videos. Lately a lot of them are by people who believe the Bible states the earth is flat like you mentioned above. One of these individuals also claims any animal not mentioned in the Bible is fake; great white sharks are all CGI, gorillas are people in suits, zebras are painted donkeys, etc.
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Old 11-08-2018, 07:49 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CEO View Post
I follow a guy on YouTube who debunks flat earth videos. Lately a lot of them are by people who believe the Bible states the earth is flat like you mentioned above. One of these individuals also claims any animal not mentioned in the Bible is fake; great white sharks are all CGI, gorillas are people in suits, zebras are painted donkeys, etc.


Wow. So they miss out on Shark Week every year. That’s no way to live.
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Old 11-08-2018, 08:00 AM   #21
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20 posts in and there is already some great responses
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Old 11-08-2018, 08:05 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sailor View Post
To those of us, who believe.....
No explanation, is necessary.....
To those of you, who do not.....
No explanation, is possible....
^^^This is The Gospel Truth^^^
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Old 11-08-2018, 08:18 AM   #23
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I believe that the Bible expresses things in ways that humans with finite minds can comprehend. For instance: I believe in Creation; I believe in days; I believe in God; but, I don't have to believe that an Infinite Being's DAYS are necessarily the same 24-hour length that I am accustomed to. In other words, seven DAYS to an Infinite Being could actually be millions of years to me.
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Old 11-08-2018, 08:26 AM   #24
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The Bible is the perfect word of God, it’s message is the narrative if Gods love for his creation and his willingness to save us from our own sin through the cross and his power to save us from death through the resurrection. One need only confess Jesus as Lord and believe with your heart.

As far as the things that “science” says aren’t possible, if you believe that God is creator and powerful enough to speak creation in to existence than to think he is limited in any aspect is absurd, however if you don’t believe he is powerful enough to speak creation then why would you believe he has the power to forgive sins, die on a cross and be brought back to life.

We want to understand a God who exist outside of time and natural law, but we don’t have the brain capacity to even comprehend eternity in itself let alone a being outside of it.


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Old 11-08-2018, 08:28 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sailor View Post
To those of us, who believe.....
No explanation, is necessary.....
To those of you, who do not.....
No explanation, is possible....
Yessssssssss...
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Old 11-08-2018, 08:36 AM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tradtiger View Post
I believe that the Bible expresses things in ways that humans with finite minds can comprehend. For instance: I believe in Creation; I believe in days; I believe in God; but, I don't have to believe that an Infinite Being's DAYS are necessarily the same 24-hour length that I am accustomed to. In other words, seven DAYS to an Infinite Being could actually be millions of years to me.
2Peter 3:8 But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.
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Old 11-08-2018, 09:06 AM   #27
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The Bible is comprised of 60+ books of varying genres written by multiple authors spanning several generations. Asking whether or not it’s true is akin to walking into a library and asking if everything is true. I’d encourage you to consider the context of a specific passage but to also try and discern between “salvation issues” and those issues that probably aren’t. Did Noah actually live to be 950 years old? I don’t think we’ll ever know, but I don’t believe my salvation is dependent on that belief as much as it is on how I love the person that voted differently than I did, for example.


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Old 11-08-2018, 09:22 AM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TigerFootball View Post
The Bible is comprised of 60+ books of varying genres written by multiple authors spanning several generations. Asking whether or not it’s true is akin to walking into a library and asking if everything is true. I’d encourage you to consider the context of a specific passage but to also try and discern between “salvation issues” and those issues that probably aren’t. Did Noah actually live to be 950 years old? I don’t think we’ll ever know, but I don’t believe my salvation is dependent on that belief as much as it is on how I love the person that voted differently than I did, for example.


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This is the most succinct answer regarding this question and other similar to it.

I believe as Christians we have to answer these difficult questions rather than hide behind the curtain of faith. If you don’t have questions like this, then you aren’t reading The Word with an intent to understand
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Old 11-08-2018, 09:34 AM   #29
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there is One single author to the bible. One only. the rest, like us, are just the pencil in His Mighty hand.

dont tell me that man has tampered with God's message to this world. man aint that clever, and he dang sure aint that tough.

man has touched GOD's message? baloney.
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Old 11-08-2018, 09:58 AM   #30
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I have always considered myself to take the Bible literally in all things. However if I really did that I'd be missing my right eye and my right hand...

"If your right eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to depart into hell"

A lot of it comes down to context and the overall point that is being made.
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Old 11-08-2018, 02:48 PM   #31
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I think literal and figurative interpretations are both valid and should be applied contextually. Easier said than done sometimes, I know.

I believe Jonah was literally swallowed by a 'big fish' and that Noah built a really big boat and put male and female animals in it after their own kind. I figuratively believe Jesus is the gate, John 10:9.

I may not have been tested and tried as Job was, but I like to think that I am beyond questioning God's existence and essence at this point in life. When interpretation isn't clear, I trust that God will provide clarity when it's time.






"Many mistakenly believe that Christian belief, because it involves faith, is unsupported by reason and evidence and that becoming a Christian requires checking your intellect at the door and accepting Christian truth claims unquestioningly. But anyone who has truly studied Christian theology and apologetics — I hadn't during my skeptical days — understands that Christianity rests on a powerful body of evidence and that reason and intellect are its allies, not its enemies.

Before you cavalierly assume that there are unanswerable contradictions or unfathomable paradoxes, before you reject Christian theology out of hand because you witness Christian hypocrisy, before you dismiss the Bible as merely a wonderful piece of literature with some instructive moral stories, do yourself the favor of reading it for yourself. And read what other believing, conservative scholars and theologians have written on the subject.

You will come away enriched beyond your greatest expectations and no longer able to say that Christianity is for dummies — or ducks the tough questions. Debunking the stereotype of the Christian as a nonthinker and that Christianity discourages intellectual examination, Ravi says, "We are fashioned by God to be thinking and emotional creatures. The emotions should follow reason, and not the other way around.""
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Old 11-08-2018, 03:17 PM   #32
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I happen to believe that every word in the Bible is true. But, more importantly, the entire Bible is truth.

I believe that our culture should be viewed through the lens of the Bible, rather than the Bible through the lens of culture. What our culture practices or believes to be right or wrong has no impact on the truths set forth in the Bible. The truths of that 'ancient book' are still so, despite what our culture says, believes, practices, or teaches.
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Old 11-08-2018, 03:37 PM   #33
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I'm a believer, but I don't think everything in the Bible can be taken literally. I don't think If my son disobeys me, i should have to stone my son to death to purge evil from the earth. Was Adam and eve the first and only people God created, or just the first? If they were the only, was cains wife also his sister? After Cain killed able and was sent to wander in the Land of Nod, who was he scared of? He was afraid if "they" found out he killed his brother, "they" would kill him. Who are "they"? Where did "they" come from?
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Old 11-08-2018, 03:58 PM   #34
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Its all about faith in Jesus. For me, it doesn't matter whether every single story or event in the bible is verifiable with science and therefore "true". That is beside the point. I have chosen to have faith in Jesus and that's enough for me. Faith is a choice, especially in hard times.

Not sure if its been mentioned here or not, but to the OP, you may want to read "The Case for Christ." Should have some scientific answers for you.
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Old 11-08-2018, 04:01 PM   #35
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Jesus said to him, “Because you have seen Me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”

John 20:29
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Old 11-08-2018, 04:33 PM   #36
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I always liked this.

The Middle of the Bible


Did you know that:

1)Psalm 118 is the middle chapter of the entire Bible?

2)Psalm 117,
before Psalm 118 is the shortest chapter in the Bible?

3)Psalm 119,
after Psalm 118 is the longest chapter in the Bible?

4)The Bible has 594 chapters before Psalm 118 and 594 chapters after Psalm 118?

5)If you add up all the chapters except Psalm 118, you get a total of 1188 chapters.

6)1188 or Psalm 118 verse 8 is the middle verse of the entire Bible?
Should the central verse not have a fairly important message?

"It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in man." - Psalm 118:8

Is this central verse not also the central theme of the entire Bible?

(Or for you legalists who look up Psalm 118 and find out it has 29 verses, perhaps verses 14 and 15 are the center of the Bible)

"The Lord is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation. Shouts of joy and victory resound in the tents of the righteous."
Psalm 118:14,15

Last edited by Bassdeer; 11-08-2018 at 04:35 PM.
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Old 11-08-2018, 04:48 PM   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2coolforschool View Post
Are we to not use our brains to call into question whether Jonah actually got swallowed by a whale, or that we all descended from Adam and Eve. That’s what I meant to be getting at.
Jonah and the whale. I'm not sure if its literal or figurative.

Adam and Eve I believe is literal.

Why do I doubt Jonah and the whale yet believe Peter walked on water?

Heres an wiki on Adam and Eve and the Eve Chromosome

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mitochondrial_Eve
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Old 11-08-2018, 05:10 PM   #38
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Is the structure of an atom detailed in the Bible?
No, but mud, dust, soil, being knit together are all mentioned and if I’m going to find that as an approximate reference to matter made of atoms the building blocks of life then I’ve agreed that the Bible requires interpretation, compels us to promote deeper thinking and a search for more detailed truth to better understand Creation and it’s mysteries.
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Old 11-08-2018, 06:33 PM   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bassdeer View Post
I like this. Can I use it?
Feel free, to pass it on.....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bro. Bill View Post
Well said!!
I had a preacher tell his congregation one time .
Which part of “Thou Shall Not don’t you understand”

Gods word is infallible, and the only reason the lawyers fought so hard to get The 10 commandments out of all public places is because they were irritated because they couldn’t find one loop hole in them..
be blessed
Thank you sir... Means a lot coming from you.......
Sometimes, Sunday School, stays with you...
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Old 11-08-2018, 08:19 PM   #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobcat View Post
Is the structure of an atom detailed in the Bible?
No, but mud, dust, soil, being knit together are all mentioned and if I’m going to find that as an approximate reference to matter made of atoms the building blocks of life then I’ve agreed that the Bible requires interpretation, compels us to promote deeper thinking and a search for more detailed truth to better understand Creation and it’s mysteries.
For me this addressed in Colossians 1:16 “For by Him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, ....”

I believe the Bible is Gods word. It’s described as God-breathed & inspired. Great topic
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Old 11-08-2018, 08:33 PM   #41
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Originally Posted by Artos View Post
One example is creation...in the translation 'days' can stand for 24 hours or unspecified period of time. You get both sides & not sure why it's bickered about. It's all faith based. If you are going to believe in your heart Jesus was born of a virgin mother, died on the cross for your sins & resurrected 3 days later, ascended into heaven then you most likely believe in creation.

If you are not a believer, then days or time shouldn't even matter. Creation isn't a reality to you. Much less arguing about the story of Christ.
Wouldn’t it be a lot more direct to write “one million years” or “one thousand years”

I’m not much of a philosopher; I don’t seek symbolism in anything.
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Old 11-09-2018, 08:30 AM   #42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2coolforschool View Post
Or is the message conveyed more important?
Yes, literally.
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Old 11-09-2018, 10:10 AM   #43
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I'm impressed that this thread has stayed so civil. Kudos, TBH!

My feeble mind's take on it? Every word in the Bible is true.

Every Christian believes God created the Earth and heavens as well as raised Christ from the dead. Think about those two feats for a minute - the power God has. If he can do those two things, surely he can:
* Create whatever and however much he wants in one 24 hour period.
* Make old testament people live into their 900s.
* Make a 100 year old woman birth and nurse a child.
* have a man live in a big fish 3 days
* allow his son to waterki with no skis or boat.
* Feed 5000 with a kid's lunchable (example from Mark Driscoll).

If he wanted, he could have Marvin the Martian destroy the world with an illudium Q-36 Explosive Space Modual.

Regarding digging your eye out, stoning an adulterer, or cutting off your own hand, there are over 600 'laws' in the Old Testament. And they were to be followed. That is, until Jesus was crucified, buried, and raised from the dead three days later. From that day on, we have been freed of Old Testament law. Hallelujah!
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Old 11-09-2018, 12:52 PM   #44
TimH
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I'm impressed that this thread has stayed so civil. Kudos, TBH!

My feeble mind's take on it? Every word in the Bible is true.

Every Christian believes God created the Earth and heavens as well as raised Christ from the dead. Think about those two feats for a minute - the power God has. If he can do those two things, surely he can:
* Create whatever and however much he wants in one 24 hour period.
* Make old testament people live into their 900s.
* Make a 100 year old woman birth and nurse a child.
* have a man live in a big fish 3 days
* allow his son to waterki with no skis or boat.
* Feed 5000 with a kid's lunchable (example from Mark Driscoll).

If he wanted, he could have Marvin the Martian destroy the world with an illudium Q-36 Explosive Space Modual.

Regarding digging your eye out, stoning an adulterer, or cutting off your own hand, there are over 600 'laws' in the Old Testament. And they were to be followed. That is, until Jesus was crucified, buried, and raised from the dead three days later. From that day on, we have been freed of Old Testament law. Hallelujah!
Hallelujah from me too!
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Old 11-09-2018, 01:24 PM   #45
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In the beginning was the WORD. The WORD was with GOD and the WORD WAS GOD. The WORD was made flesh and came to live among men. Jesus was the WORD in a carnal form. There is none perfect except him.

Yes the WORD is literally true.
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Old 11-09-2018, 01:29 PM   #46
GarGuy
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Originally Posted by Tex_Cattleman View Post
I'm impressed that this thread has stayed so civil. Kudos, TBH!

My feeble mind's take on it? Every word in the Bible is true.

Every Christian believes God created the Earth and heavens as well as raised Christ from the dead. Think about those two feats for a minute - the power God has. If he can do those two things, surely he can:
* Create whatever and however much he wants in one 24 hour period.
* Make old testament people live into their 900s.
* Make a 100 year old woman birth and nurse a child.
* have a man live in a big fish 3 days
* allow his son to waterki with no skis or boat.
* Feed 5000 with a kid's lunchable (example from Mark Driscoll).

If he wanted, he could have Marvin the Martian destroy the world with an illudium Q-36 Explosive Space Modual.

Regarding digging your eye out, stoning an adulterer, or cutting off your own hand, there are over 600 'laws' in the Old Testament. And they were to be followed. That is, until Jesus was crucified, buried, and raised from the dead three days later. From that day on, we have been freed of Old Testament law. Hallelujah!
Very good!
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Old 11-09-2018, 01:40 PM   #47
castlegaphunter
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To those of us, who believe.....
No explanation, is necessary.....
To those of you, who do not.....
No explanation, is possible....
Sound logic...
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Old 11-09-2018, 01:43 PM   #48
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Getting caught up in whether or not events actually occurred is nonsense. Much of the bible is symbolic. Meaning, to tell a story that has greater impact on generations down the road. It's what you get out of the bible that is important. It's not a history lesson.
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Old 11-09-2018, 02:12 PM   #49
Tex_Cattleman
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Originally Posted by castlegaphunter View Post
Getting caught up in whether or not events actually occurred is nonsense. Much of the bible is symbolic. Meaning, to tell a story that has greater impact on generations down the road. It's what you get out of the bible that is important. It's not a history lesson.
Help me understand what in the Bible is symbolic, other than parables, which we know are meant to illustrate a lesson.

Please don't take this as a 'challenge'. I'm nothing but a forever student of the gospel and simply taking this opportunity to learn.
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Old 11-09-2018, 02:36 PM   #50
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Default Is the Bible meant to be interpreted literally?

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Or is the message conveyed more important?

A very good question for those who value skepticism and reason. Hopefully you realize you’re unlikely to find a definitive answer here....or possibly anywhere else.

First, it depends on which of the thousands of versions of Christianity you’re talking about.

If you are genuinely interested in the subject, I would start by watching the debate between Bart Ehrman and Mike Licona on the subject of the historical reliability of the Gospels. It’s on YouTube. Then watch some more debates between scholars on this and related Biblical subjects and see where your skepticism takes you. It is very interesting listening to theists and non-theists or Christian fundamentalists and non-fundamentalists debate such issues.

As for me, I’ve not seen any compelling evidence that would convince me to take it literally. Quite the opposite, actually.
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