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Is Literal Bible Belief Possible?

Hi everyone,

my question is this, is it possible to be a literal believer in the Bible. When I say this I mean can Christians believe that events like the flooding and Noah's Ark, parting of the sea, origin of the earth etc to be literal, historical facts? I can understand the "spiritual" nature of Biblical stories i.e. that biblical stories cannot be understood without spiritual insight. The consequence of thinking like that is that the bible may be largely metaphorical, can only be understood with deeper insight and knowledge.

I don't believe that thinking of the bible in this way takes away from the central message of the bible and in fact think that insistence on a literal interpretation of the bible only ends up in endless argument and quarrel. Would like to hear what people think of this.

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I wouldn't say that Tasma. A grand example to disagree with that assertion are Berean Christians. My point? Faith and reason go hand in hand or better put there's reason within faith, and faith without reason

is blind faith e.g. them Jim Jones and co.

What do i mean by reason within faith? Take faith as a constant, they didn't question that faith, as it was absolute (a la Bible/Scriptures and its content) but rather reasoned what they heard on the pulpit if it aligned with what was in the Scriptures.

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Ok so when our critical reasoning contradicts the Biblical stories we must shelf our reasonable and accept by faith. My question now must be , why? If someone else came up with a religious book and assured you it's authentically God word will you also accept it fully. Obviously reading and believing in the Bible may have an impact on how a person lives his life. But that's exactly my point, it's more of a spiritual thing, something that affects our thoughts, our feelings etc. This same things can be achieved without literal belief in the Bible. Is it possible that the need to believe in the Bible is the reason some CHOOSE not to examine it critically?

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Bible Words Is Good, even Best

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how was God once human??

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Interesting concept. God was once a man. If this was true alot of things could be explained then.

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@ poster, the bibl is God's word, and our God also has human feelings(or once was human),so i think it'ld be downright inconsistent for a man(as God once was) to continously communicate in purely parables, proverbs and other figures of speech that require superknowledge to decipher.no.

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@ poster, the bibl is God's word, and our God also has human feelings(or once was human),so i think it'ld be downright inconsistent for a man(as God once was) to continously communicate in purely parables, proverbs and other figures of speech that require superknowledge to decipher.no.

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I was trying to summarise a notion that I find thought-provoking: all of nature should also be taken as a testimony.

Not necessarily. Several parts of the Bible are meant to be read as allegorical descriptions, rather than "as is" facts. It then becomes important to not assert that one must always be a strict literalist in ones reading of the Bible, as that - to get back to the point raised in my first post - is not only impossible, but also causes one to miss the import of those allegorical tales.

I should make clear that it wouldn't be disbelieving the Bible; it would, instead, be, in my opinion, a wise approach to reading and interpretation of Judeo-Christian scriptures.

I get it. The point, though, is that to make every facet of the story work, the shackles of strict literalism have to be loosened. This, of course, as I said before, iis just one such example.

No, according to every available findings and evidence of and in the sciences, and animal and plants cultures.

As far as scientific theories and history go, there is none that can possibly be used to support sudden geocentricism.

It's also not just about the explanation being more incredible than the event, it's the characterisation of the deity behind it as well. In fact, at this point, my argument isn't so much that miracles can't happen, but that it seems odd to suggest a literal reading of an event that, though miraculous, it's after effects of it were also miraculously removed.

I suspect that they do matter in their own way. In my opinion, the validation or falsification of any of those things may help to indicate or confirm how a particular part of the Bible should be read.

I guess it depends on how you see faith. Either as Luther stated it, something that "must trample under foot all reason, sense, and understanding," or in Acquinas's sense, something that can "possibly be supported by reason." Or indeed some other subset of the two.

Thank you for being cordial too.

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I'm not quite sure what you're trying to say here.

my interpretation of the bible, I'm saying I believe the bible! 2 different things. My interpretation might be wrong sometimes becos I'm human just like everyone else, but that doesn't nullify the truth that the scriptures explicitly state. If the bible says this is what happened, then that is what happened. Period.

For example is says Judas hung, it also says he fell and his bowels split. I don't care how it happened or for my interpretation of how it happened but I believe and accept that it happened!

Get it?

Like I said this ground has been covered so many times, there are many proponents and opponents of numerous theories, each person will believe which theory they want. I don't see any use in repitition as I have nuthin new revelation to add to the already exsiting ones.

Look like I said you're still trying to look at these events from a scientific and rational point of view when the very purpose and definition of a miracle or supernatural event is that it defies explanation! I know you're saying the explanation should not be more incredible than the miracle itself but hey Christians don't need explanation and proof - that's where we differ. I could care less how or whether in the first place humans evolved or how the flood occured or if there's evidence of it beneath glaciers or if Nasa can/can't prove we're missing a day - becos all these matters very little.

Tasma summarized it very well here:

btw. thanks for being a gentleman in discussion, most other atheists here are verbally violent and unreasonable, dishonest and resort to insulting christianity. But not so you from what I've seen. Keep it up!

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The human mind can grasp higher concepts than is currently verified if not how did we progress? We progressed because we 'believed'. From our beliefs came the tools to verify these higher concepts. For example Leonardo Da Vinci designed heavier than air flying craft but was unable to realise his 'belief' in the concept because he did not have the tools. The bible may very well be in this league so instead of trying to ignore it we should work from a scientifically objective position and design tools that will prove or this prove the concepts/events within the bible.

It is the way of human progress to search for higher concepts can the bible not be an example?

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Another thing is that at our stage of development we may not have the tools to adequately verify the actuality or not of these recorded events.

why read or utilize the bible if it's beyond our intellect then. why pick up a quantum physics book if u haven't studied general physics yet??

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Am of the opinion dat d bible was written by men trying to describe sometins they had little or no knowledge of and had to describe experiences which they were ill equipped to appropriately describe especially with the level of development at dat time both scientifically n grammatically. This will explain why some reported accounts look a bit too fantastic for us far removed from the actual events.

Another thing is dat at our stage of development we may not have the tools to adequately verify the actuality or not of these recorded events.

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@ Dafid,

Assuming I believe God is capable of doing anything and apply this to literal belief of the Bible. That would mean that I believe God would allow THE book that sends his word to man to be full of contradictions and incredulous stories, also he would expect me to believe this stories even if there is no real evidence to support them. This post is not so much about whether God has done miraculous things in the past, but the fact that somehow there has been so much effort to make sure there is no physical evidence to back the miracles. I wonder why this is so. The only way to accept the Bible fully is simply to say "it doesn't make reasonable sense, I don't understand it, but it must all be true because the Bible says it and the Bible is God's word".

If that's the case then belief in the Bible can only be a spiritual thing and not something that one can back up with reason or logic.

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@ Topic (Tasma)

You are not the only one that is confused. The problem with the Bible is that the part you understand most is the part that confused you the most. The Bible with is various doctrine are meant to be beyond the grasp of human reason. You are expected to believe in the doctrines only by one’s heart and mind. You have no choice of even questioning the practicability of all the inconceivable dogmas.

You should ask your self:

Is the Bible the book which Jesus wrote as a scripture revealed by God?

Did Jesus order or desire at any time in his life to write anything on his behalf?

Was the Bible written during the life of Jesus?

Was the Bible written immediately after the departure of Jesus?

The answer to all four questions is NO.

That’s why it is called the WORLD BESTSELLER

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Right JeSoul,

I said a lot of the Biblical stories don't seem credible and you are saying that they simply must be accepted as they are. That one must apply enough faith to nollify the need for any critical, scientific analysis of any Biblical story. In that sense I'm not sure if we are really discussing the topic of the post reasonably. Why? Well because you have simply gotten us to the point that says believe everything in the Bible because it is the Bible and thus does not need to be explained reasonably.

I've always found that stand a bit curious, that stand means any other religious group may claim their ways are "the way" because their knowledge is divinely inspired and thus cannot be questioned by anyone. Funny enough if God created us with critical minds to help us survive in a changing natural environment, isn't it strangely worrying that He would actually want us to shelf our reasoning faculties when it comes to understanding him and his nature?

Thanks for the comments from everyone so far.

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Jesoul can u pls explain the 4-legged grasshopper??

Lev.11:20-23

20* ¶ 'All the winged insects that walk on all fours are detestable to you. 21* 'Yet these you may eat among all the winged insects which walk on all fours: those which have above their feet jointed legs with which to jump on the earth. 22* 'These of them you may eat: the locust in its kinds, and the devastating locust in its kinds, and the cricket in its kinds, and the grasshopper in its kinds. 23 'But all other winged insects which are four-footed are detestable to you.

does the moon give off it's own light??

Ezekiel 32:7

7 When I snuff you out, I will cover the heavens

and darken their stars;

I will cover the sun with a cloud,

and the moon will not give its light.

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plus every so-called "contradiction" in the bible is an illusion n can n has been refuted.

how sure are u of this. every??

except where the science contradicts or doesn't support the biblical account.

and why is this??

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In my opinion, it's virtually impossible to be a strict Biblcal literalist. I suspect even the Charles Johnsons of the Flat Earth Research Society fame would have conceded that much. I agree with what you: many sections in the Bible were meant to be taken allegorically as opposed to an historical fact. I believe those that take the Creation story and Noah's flood as historical portrayals not only miss the point of those stories, but also give ample fodder for the Bible and their gospel - redemption through Jesus - to be discarded wholesale.

My two pence, take it for what it's worth.

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Genesis 3:1:: King James Version (KJV) - “Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?”

“. . . And he (the serpent) said unto the woman . . .What Christians do not realise is that[b] There are no species of snake that can speak, and no species of reptile have a larynx in order to hold a conversation[/b].

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Lol. . . yes oh I am running away from a false pretender, whom I have seen in the past to waste the time of anyone who attempts to have a rational & honest discussion with him. When you're ready to engage honestly holla @me homeboy.

so how old is the earth??

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Ok JeSoul,

so what happens when scientific knowledge refutes something that is alleged to have happened in the Bible. If the Bible describes a flood that wiped out the earth and there is no evidence to back it up, do you just accept it? If the Bible says that a single family built a boat that carried two - male and female - of every animal on this earth does this really sound literally right to you. You may say that the scientific tools to check this details are faulty but remember that it's the same scientific principles that are used to built the car you drive, the computer you use, rocket ships that go to the moon.

Isn't it more likely that the Biblical stories are mythical but still bear a message. Again would love to hear your reply.

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ehen you have come with your wahala again. . . I'm answering an honest seeker, something you wouldn't know about. I have seen that its pointless answering your "questions" so I won't even bother with you.

why are u running away like maradonna.

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ehen you have come with ur wahala again. . . I'm answering an honest seeker, something you wouldn't know about. I have seen that its pointless answering ur "questions" so I won't even bother with you.

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The bible is the word of God and a history book

the bible has been discarded as an history or archaeological source. if the bible is the word of God, why are their different versions of the bible among christian denominations

if these events weren't meant to be read literally, then God would just be empty, making claims bout who He was but never able to back it up. It would just be a nice story book void of real power in changing people's lives.

do u read the laws of the old and new testament literally? yes or no?

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The bible is the word of God and a history book. To say you would only read it for its "spiritual" message would be to miss the whole point entirely by a mile.

God frequently establishes and proves His sovereignty by many miracles and events that occur in the bible, if these events weren't meant to be read literally, then God would just be empty, making claims bout who He was but never able to back it up. It would just be a nice story book void of real power in changing people's lives.

So you couldn't be more wrong when you said "I don't believe that thinking of the bible in this way takes away from the central message of the bible".

The central message of the bible is Jesus coming to die for sinful people. If this never actually happened then there is no message. Why is it so hard to believe those stories? like the crossing of the red sea? or the great flood? or the many miracles? These accounts teach us about the nature of God, that He is all-powerful and we're taught to teach these events to our children and so forth. So to answer your question:

Literal bible belief is not only possible, it is necessary to understand the message of the bible. Cheers!

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Is there anyone that can give some insight into the question asked? Thanks.

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