Skip to comments.Should We Take the Bible Literally or Figuratively?
Posted on 04/18/2007 11:20:10 AM PDT by Salvation
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You would do well to actually read my response to you first, before you smugly claim my concession. There is little evidence that you did this.
Tell me, by what precedent, and by what authority, did the Apostles act as they did in Acts 15 at the Council of Jerusalem? They had no precedent whatsoever, as they were directly running counter to the Jewish law in their pronouncements. The authority came from God, as they prayed for it and were responsible for exercising it as the power was granted to them by Christ.
And so it is with this issue of the Sabbath. Clearly, they were changing the day of worship in common to Sunday, in spite of the Jewish precedent. Nevertheless, they had the authority to do so (see Matthew 16:18 and Matthew 18:18). The instance where this decision occured is not recorded in Scripture, or do you actually suppose that *every* decision of the Apostles for the 70 years of their existence on earth (to the death of St. John) is recorded from Acts to Revelation? Nevertheless, Acts 20:7, at least, makes it clear that St. Paul had no objection to worship on Sunday, and there is ample evidence that, by the early second Century, it had become a universal practice.
Your position seems to be that if something is not specifically recorded in the New Testament, then is didn’t happen. That is a remarkably odd position to take: that *all* of the history, teaching and development of the Church in the Apostolic Era (AD33 to AD 100) was fully documented between Acts 1:1 and Revelation 22:21, which take up a scant 127 pages in my RSV-CE Bible!
My mileage most definitely varies with that, and I and my fellow Catholics understand how the Tradition and magisterial teaching of the Church fill-in the gaps. You complain that there is no direct order from God to change worship days, and, because you can cite no real authority other than yourself to interpret Scripture, you cannot even see how Acts 20:7 and other passages point to decisions made by the Church that were themselves not recorded in the New Testament, but flew under the radar of Scriptural testimony. To take your logic to extremes, one could suppose that the Apostle John never died, since the fact of his death is not recorded in Scripture. I’ll leave it to you to see the flaws inherent in that argument, and extrapolate the lessons adhering to that onto your favorite topic: Sunday worship vs. sabbath worship.
Out of over 30,000 verses, you guys have picked a handful to base your relgion on and made up the rest (that you call tradition)...
Rev 3:21 To him that shall overcome, I will give to sit with me in my throne: as I also have overcome and am set down with my Father in his throne.
1Jo 4:4 You are of God, little children, and have overcome him. Because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.
1Jo 2:14 I write unto you, babes, because you have known the Father. I write unto you, young men, because you are strong, and the word of God abideth in you, and you have overcome the wicked one.
1Jo 5:13 These things I write to you that you may know that you have eternal life: you who believe in the name of the Son of God.
Your argument is not with me...It's with God...He wrote these things...
Rom 4:7 Saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered.
Joh 6:37 All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.
Sure, there will be a judgement of the sheep and goats...And there are scores of scriptures which show that that verse does not apply to Christians...
Catholics make the claim that 'all' the bible applies to Christians....Who told you that??? Did your church tell you that??? You didn't get it from the bible...
I have asked many here within the reference of these passages how they think that theyll fare when faced with placement with either the sheep or the goats.
Apparently you haven't asked me because I have no problem answering that question, with scripture...
Mat 25:31 And when the Son of man shall come in his majesty, and all the angels with him, then shall he sit upon the seat of his majesty. Mat 25:32 And all nations shall be gathered together before him: and he shall separate them one from another, as the shepherd separateth the sheep from the goats: Mat 25:33 And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on his left.
The answer is; this is not a judgement for Christians...We have already overcome...We as Christians will be there with Jesus Christ and WE will be judging these people along with Jesus Christ...
Joh 12:48 He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day.
This judgement is for people that have rejected Jesus...I won't be there getting judged...
1Co 6:2 Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? and if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters?
I'd suggest you put down the catechism and pick up a bible...You'll be amazed at what you find in there...Not the least, your salvation...
Anagogical...Ahhh...One of them 10 dollar words...
The scriptures are not anagogical to those filled with, and led by the Holy Spirit...
The 'real' senses to the scripture are historical, spiritual (practical) and prophetic...
This is a great post. It is a very profitable way of reading and studying the Bible and one that I am familiar with. Beginning back in 1961, I was taught to read and study the Bible this way. Over those years I have also benefitted by tapes made by Scripture scholars. Also, the use of good Biblical commentaries is a big help.
I think that this approach—the four senses of Scripture—helps a person to become very familiar with Scripture passages because in this form of study, it is easier to internalize them.
Earlier on this thread, a post to me commented that I showed evidence of a “reverse snobbery”. It just happens that for me, to learn and grow Scripturally, using the senses of God’s holy word, is much more attainable and within my reach than knowing a lot about ancient literature, history, philosophy and world religions in order to understand Sacred Scripture.
As for the “moral sense” of the four senses; I find that is when lectio divina is very helpful (what does this passage say to me?).
Again—thanks for your simple and clear explanation.
Its a good thing those liberal German Protestants discovered how primitive and exclusively allegorical the Bible is. What would Catholics have done without them?
Keep about the business of bringing the Word of Christ to the world. You know, what Jesus charged us to do.
My advice is to drop the nineteenth century German liberal Protestant higher criticism, unless you want to be a church of only high-@$$ed, mis"educated" intellectuals.
No wonder the Hispanics are becoming Pentecostals.
Both.. as you do with any book with metaphors in it..
Taking it as one or the other misses the point of the whole book..
Knowing which is metaphor and which is literal is not always easy.. sometimes very easy..
No one in the world has ever, does now, or will ever, interpret the every single word of the Bible as being of the same sense as "the fire is hot."
There are four senses of Scripture: literal, allegorical, anagogical, and moral.
Actually, the four senses are peshat, derash, remez (my personal favorite), and sod. When did I ever deny the multiple senses of scripture? I have no memory of ever doing this. What I have said is that the Torah contains real, literal history, including all those things out side our contemporary experience and which violate the contemporary theories of science. Believing the stories actually happened, exactly as written, in no way whatsoever means that there are not multiple messages in the Torah.
Just as many Catholics and Eastern Orthodox confuse Biblical inerrancy with sola scriptura (when they are two different things), so an insistence on the literal historical accuracy of the Biblical text in no way whatsoever limits Biblical truth to only the literal surface sense, though this is another favorite arguments/red herrings of anti-literalists.
And they say self-esteem has to be earned...
Since you have clearly demonstrated that you arent going to believe anything I say...
I’ve been trying to engage you in an actual conversation. You have been answered numerous times on this thread... and you have ignored the answers. Sorry, FRiend, it is you who are staked on a position that will accept no input.
God bless you.
Good job on answering him. It’s really not worth it — he is a one-issue person == Seventh Day Adventist.
You are absolutely correct. He was three days and three nights in the Heart of the Earth. He had even told us this would be his only sign [Matthew 12:40]. Scripture indeed confirms it [Mark 9:31] "He shall rise the third day!" This must be at least 48 hours but no more than 72. [Matthew 27:63] "After three days I will rise again!" This must be at least 72 hours. [John 2:19-21] "In three days I will raise it up!" Again, this must be at least 48 hours but not one second more than 72. [Mark 8:31] "After three days, rise again!" This also must be at least 72 hours..... so as He himself said. "My "ONLY" sign to a wicked generation.... "Three days and Three nights"....72 hours! [Matthew 12:40]
That He was removed from the Cross on the eve of the Sabbath (setting of the sun on the day before Saturday) as recorded and the women came to prepare His Body after the Sabbath (rising of the sun on Sunday) as recorded and found the tomb empty.
So I would take it you are denying the words of scripture in the fact that there were two Sabbaths crucifixion week....with a non Sabbath day in between for the purchase of the spices? [John 19:31][Mark 16:1][Luke 23:56]
The only way the women could rest the Sabbath (Thursday) [Mark 16:1], purchase and prepare spices (Friday)[Luke 23:56] and rest again for the Saturday Sabbath would be a three full day entombment(72 hours). This unfortunately does not allow for the mythological 36 hour entombment of the Roman Catholic Tradition.
I'm sorry. Your post is "exhibit #1" in why Christ gave us His Church to help us understand His Word.
And my post shows the #1 reason why your Church should be exposed for pulling the wool over the eyes of mankind for 1700 years.... offering nothing but false doctrine and the traditions of fallible men.
You should consider yourself very fortunate that you have now been exposed to the truth and can begin your investigation into other silly traditions of your false organization!
Please allow me to publicly apologize for the tone of my last post to you. I continue to be grateful to you for your prayers and encouragement during the recent sad event in my household. Please forgive my most ungracious language after your kindness.
This is no excuse, but please try to understand how long and how deeply I have been defending Biblical inerrancy and how this issue eventually drove me out of the Catholic Church. I cannot help but be frutrated and angry when the Church which can believe in so many miracles has turned against the literal truth of the Bible when there is absolutely no reason to do this.
Again, I ask your forgiveness and, though there is no excuse for my rough words to you, a certain degree of your understanding as well.
Have a wonderful weekend.
Actually, we have the whole Bible; unadulterated since we put it together. We don’t have an adulterated Scripture, with nips and tucks here and there to eliminate the things that Martin Luther didn’t like.
By definition, you have a partial faith, since you only have a partial Bible. And it is astounding beyond belief to read the words of those here and elsewhere who claim infallibility in their own personal made-up by gosh doctrine, which differs substantially from all those others who also claim infallibility but the one source who can actually claim doctrinal infallibility, you all reject.
To claim that the Judgement doesn’t apply to you seems merely to be a rationalization whereby one can skip past the requirements of eternal life with God. And then to say that the entire Word of God doesn’t apply to Christians appears ludicrous.
Well, go ahead and wave your hall pass around. You don’t get judged? My Bible, and the One Holy and Apostolic Church of Christ say that you do.
Don’t know what Holy Scripture you live by, but it is fascinating to see unrelated passages strung together and even more fascinating to see what you consider proof or conclusive evidence. Methinks that you’re reading whatever portions of the Bible that you do read in order to find loopholes. Didn’t that Pharisees do that with Scripture as well?
By rejecting His Church, I’d say that you were rejecting Him. So, if you don’t belong to the Church of Christ, where do you belong? The Church of Iscool!!! Has a certain ring about it, doesn’t it? Maybe not a ring - more like a millstone.
When the Church was splintered through the devices of satan by folks like Zwingli and Luther, and the whole idea of personal interpretation arose in order to help try to diminish the influence of the Church of Christ here on Earth, this is exactly what the devil’s intent was.
It appeals to the arrogant and the proud - to imagine that each individual would have the same or even greater power than the Church to create and alter one’s own personal doctrine. How does your personal beliefs differ from, say, Benny Hinn, or Jimmy Swaggart, or Ted Haggard? In some ways, little, in some ways substantal.
But the fact there are substantial differences lead to the conclusion that they’re all wrong. The can only be one right. The only entity that Jesus left on earth is His Church. The Bible is a byproduct of that Church. That entity is the only one authorized to interpret Scripture.
Else we’ll have millions of different interpretations. And all of them wrong to one degree or another.