UCTAA churchlight

Site Search via Google

Discussion 2 on Meditation 176
Literal and figurative interpretation of the Bible.

by JT

To add to this discussion (or any other,) please use the Contact form. This discussion has been continued.

The Bible takes much of its colour from whoever is reading it, and it provides a text to support almost every shade of opinion. Robertson Davies

Thank you for your comments, Barbara.

You do make an important point about literal and figurative interpretation of the Bible.

It is not really Bible study that allows us to differentiate between the literal and the figurative in the Bible, it is just common sense. And implicit in Meditation 176 is a criticism of those who give the bible an overly literal interpretation.

The Bible is full of metaphors, similes and parables. Yet those who read the Bible literally are incapable of seeing them. And the metaphors begin with the very first story in the Bible - that of creation in Genesis. Arguably, the first five books of the Bible are completely metaphorical. Beyond that - well, possibly some actual history manages to sneak in on occasion.

And I guarantee you that even though you state "We understand when our Lord is speaking literally or when He is speaking figuratively," your "We" does not include all Christians. In fact, which parts of the Bible are seen as literal and which parts are seen as figurative are matters of much dispute between Christian denominations and between Christian individuals.