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  #61  
Old Feb 24, '12, 7:34 am
Lochias Lochias is offline
 
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Default Re: Do you take Bible literally?

Quote:
Originally Posted by edwest2 View Post
Then why is this subject brought up so frequently? I can think of only one primary reason: to deprive God of any supernatural power to do as He wills, especially in the Old Testament. God performs miracles in the present and they are disbelieved. Jesus specifically waited for Lazarus to die so that He could show those disbelieving what God can do:

http://bible.cc/john/11-42.htm




Peace,
Ed
I feel the need to bring this subject up hardly at all. Who is doing the bringing up of the subject? Who is denying that God is capable of miracles in any day or age? Catholics have the miracle of the Eucharist every week at Mass. This is such a large disconnect from the original subject that I'm having a hard time trying to figure out where you're coming from. How does not taking every part of the Bible as a literal re-telling of events discount God's power? Do you believe that every last page of the Bible must be explained as fact-for-fact, literal truth in order for miracles to happen?

Do you not trust the teaching authorities of the Church to best guide you in your studies of the Bible?
  #62  
Old Feb 24, '12, 9:04 am
Della Della is offline
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Default Re: Do you take Bible literally?

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Originally Posted by onlyvoice View Post
For one, it’s hilarious. Imagine God turning the light emanating from Him on and off like a light bulb. And to turn it on He would say, “Let there be light.” If you don’t find that funny, I do.

Now, if God’s light was turned off when He first made His presence on earth, when and why did He turn it off? Could you give one good reason why He would turn it off? What difference would it make if God just left the light on?

Also, if that light did indeed come from God’s emanation, why was there darkness again? Three times there was darkness on earth before the sun was made. Did God turn His emanated light off three times? But why would He do that?
I agree for "in him there is no darkness at all", although "his raiment is darkness", which merely means he is an eternal mystery to the finite mind.

I am much more inclined to think of the light as the creation of the larger universe and the darknesses described afterwards as pertaining only to the condition of the earth as God was forming it.
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  #63  
Old Feb 24, '12, 10:08 am
bogeydogg bogeydogg is online now
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Default Re: Do you take Bible literally?

Quote:
Originally Posted by onlyvoice View Post
For one, it’s hilarious. Imagine God turning the light emanating from Him on and off like a light bulb. And to turn it on He would say, “Let there be light.” If you don’t find that funny, I do.

Now, if God’s light was turned off when He first made His presence on earth, when and why did He turn it off? Could you give one good reason why He would turn it off? What difference would it make if God just left the light on?

Also, if that light did indeed come from God’s emanation, why was there darkness again? Three times there was darkness on earth before the sun was made. Did God turn His emanated light off three times? But why would He do that?
That is what the Bible teaches, if you don't believe it then it is you who need to explain. I personally think Moses was teaching the people the source of light is God Himself and not the Sun and thus Egyptian Sun worship was absurd. But that is very different than openly doubting the word of God.

God Bless
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  #64  
Old Feb 24, '12, 11:36 am
Della Della is offline
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Default Re: Do you take Bible literally?

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Originally Posted by bogeydogg View Post
That is what the Bible teaches, if you don't believe it then it is you who need to explain. I personally think Moses was teaching the people the source of light is God Himself and not the Sun and thus Egyptian Sun worship was absurd. But that is very different than openly doubting the word of God.

God Bless
I can think of nothing in Scripture that contradicts onlyvoice's post. Could you cite where his words do?

In any case, the question at hand is how is Scripture to be interpreted according to Church teaching. And that question has been answered.
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  #65  
Old Feb 24, '12, 6:13 pm
grannymh grannymh is offline
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Default Re: Do you take Bible literally?

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Originally Posted by Lochias View Post
Speaking for myself, because the exact nature of Adam and Eve, the Garden of Eden, ect. it's more or less unimportant next to the main purpose of Genesis: To describe the nature of God in regards to his creation, and most specifically to us, His children. I believe that God cares for us and will be merciful to us, and will justly punish our transgressions for our own benefit, regardless of whether or not the world was actually made in 7 days.
Emphasis mine.

The exact nature of Adam, in the first three chapters of Genesis, is extremely important because of Adam's relationship to the purpose of the New Testament.

Adam as the first human and then as the father of all humanity had the primary role of living in free submission to his Creator. Adam ignored this requirement when tempted by the devil, he let his trust in his Creator die in his heart. He preferred himself over and against God. By his act of disobedience, Adam scorned God.

None other than Jesus Christ, True Man and True God, could atone for Adam's fateful choice. The New Testament is the story of the salvific mission of Christ and the Catholic Church He founded.

Blessings,
granny

“The shepherds sing; and shall I silent be?”
From the poem "Christmas" by George Herbert
  #66  
Old Feb 25, '12, 8:23 am
Della Della is offline
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Default Re: Do you take Bible literally?

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Originally Posted by onlyvoice View Post
That’s right. “And there shall be no night there” (Rev. 22:5) in the place where He is present, but in Genesis there was “evening and morning” for three days.



If you will recall, the earth was already formed on that first day when God said “Let there be light.” The earth then was in a state of chaos, desolation and ruin (Hebrew tohu and bohu). But God could not have created the earth in such a chaotic state, and then straighten it out, because the Scripture tells us that “God is not the author of confusion” (1 Cor. 14:33) but of order and peace. Also, we read in Isaiah that when God created the earth, “he created it not in vain (not tohu), he formed it to be inhabited.”

So, to be consistent with Scripture, we have to understand Genesis as not a recounting of the original creation but of a re-creation, or a renewing to a former state. Notice that In the book of psalms, David was inspired to write this of the creation: “Thou sendest forth thy spirit, they are created: and thou renewest the face of the earth” (Psa. 104:30). Clearly, God only renewed an already existing earth in the Genesis account.

Upon a closer examination of Genesis, it does not really say when the original creation happened. For example, Genesis 1:1 is merely a general statement of fact – that it was God who was the Creator of “the heavens and the earth” in the beginning. Verse 2 then brings us to that time when the earth "was tohu and bohu." Here, we should note that the English word translated “was” is from the Hebrew word “hayah.” This word can be translated “became” as in Gen. 2:7., 9:15 and 19:26. In other words, the earth “became” chaotic. It had not always been that way. Something happened to the earth to cause it to become chaotic and desolate. It must have undergone massive and such widespread destruction that smoke, dust and debris in the atmosphere completely blocked the sun’s rays, putting the entire earth in total darkness.

That was the earth’s condition that God was looking at on that first day of creation. His first act in bringing it back to its former state was to thin the obstruction in the air enough to let light from the sun filter to earth. Then, on the fourth day of creation, God cleared the dust and smoke away so that the sun, moon and stars could be clearly seen.
It can be interpreted that way, but really there's no need for it. The days and nights are not literal 24 hr days but epochs, as the original Hebrew indicates. And in the process of forming anything there is going to be what appears to be chaos because that's the nature of making anything. I speak from personal experience when we demolished a rundown part of our 100 year old house to replace it with new construction. What a mess! But it was "organized confusion" not random--there was purpose in everything we had to do until we had the new house section completed. So, there doesn't have to be such an elaborate explanation for the creation of the universe and the earth nor is God's authority in question if the planet was not yet inhabitable for humans until it was made ready. This is why the Catholic Church doesn't interpret every word of the Bible literalistically--because it is not the right way to do it and because it creates more problems than it solves--having to invent all sorts of convoluted explanations for what doesn't need to be explained.
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  #67  
Old Feb 25, '12, 8:54 am
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StevenFrancis StevenFrancis is offline
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Default Re: Do you take Bible literally?

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Originally Posted by Bev17243 View Post
It seems like I came across number of people on this forum and in real life who proclaim that many events described in the Bible is just a story that has either never occured(and its just a fairly tale sort of a thing) or has allegorical meaning. So what about about Jesus healing the sick, raising the dead and turning water into wine? Curious to know everyone's opinion but I would think you can't pick and choose and believe that Jesus turned water into wine and raised the dead but not for example that Eziekiel go to heaven or that he saw angels, etc. Right?
The Bible is made up of different books from different authors, written over a 3 milennia period of time, and then to top that off it is written in many literal forms. It is not a single volume textbook prepared by a university to give us the history of the judeo christian peoples. It is a collection of books in many many literary forms. There is poetry, historical narrative, song, yes..some allegory (OT), and perhaps even a fable in one or two books. So here's the thing. It IS all true. It is all literal. There are some books or passages of books in the Old Testament which don't comport with extreme LITERALISM, whish is it's own whole seperate idea. What is being said to you is true. The prophets of the OT, are giving you, well, their visions as they came to them from God. Parts of Genesis, such as the creation and the fall of man had now witness, save for God, and his initial people. Did God create the universe? Yes. Did man fall to original sin in a world which was created in a state of perfection? Yes. Was Satan a snake who talked to Eve in her language? We don't know. Does it matter? What happened was absolutely real.

By the time we get to mid Genesis in the historical books, we're getting pretty firmly grounded in actual events as they are stated. There is nothing in Exodus or beyond which need be thought of even allegorically, aside from the poems/songs, the symbolism given to the prophets, and the story of Job, which may likely be a fable to establish a point, (but not necessarily).

It's best to simply accept that the whole is the word of God. As Mother Angelica says, it is how God thinks.

Now, when we get to the Gospels, the Acts, the letters of the Apostles, well, those are deeply historical books. There is no reason to doubt that there is a single event in the NT which didn't happen, just as written. Period. The NT (save for Revelation), which is a book of prophecy, is as clear a history of Jesus Christ, his followers, and then his Church as we have of any events from any source, for any events, at any time in ancient history. There are hundreds if not thousands of eye witnesses to all the events. There is corroboration, with only minor differences between the evangalists. The epistles (letters) are just that! Letters from the apostles to the Churches. The NT can be taken at face value without wondering "did this really happen?" It did. Miracles and all. I guess the only thing I keep open on historically are the opening events of Genesis, and frankly, I can't think of any better way for man to explain events that man didn't see without putting out a cumbersome science book. Genesis isn't a science book. When we find science that fits Genesis, (and we do, all the time), then it just lends more support to the accounts, which have no need to be historically accurate events. It is not their point. When we get to the people, after the fall, I suspect it is all truly, historically accurate, (including the destruction by the flood, the saving of Noah and his family, etc.). Why not? Nothing has proved against these accounts, just as they are, and every so often, science and archaeology find things which actually support the stories, as related. Just because life doesn't behave the same way now while we're experiencing the last phase before Christ returns, doesn't mean that it didn't behave that way before Christ, and certainly during the incarnation.

Just pray to the Holy Spirit for guidance and belief when reading scripture, and you'll hear God speaking to you, and always with something important to hear and know.

Thanks be to God.

:Your's in Christ,

Steven

The Psalms are poems/songs from the psalmists. Mostly King David.
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  #68  
Old Feb 25, '12, 1:00 pm
piejesu piejesu is offline
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Default Re: Do you take Bible literally?

I take everything Holy Mother Church teaches us about the Bible literally. One of which is the dogma concerning all of human kind having originated with one pair, Adam & Eve. Two of which is the dogma that original sin and the concupiscence we all struggle with daily, entered into our time and space through the fall, which the Church attributes to that same pair.
  #69  
Old Feb 25, '12, 3:10 pm
Lochias Lochias is offline
 
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Default Re: Do you take Bible literally?

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Originally Posted by grannymh View Post
Emphasis mine.

The exact nature of Adam, in the first three chapters of Genesis, is extremely important because of Adam's relationship to the purpose of the New Testament.

Adam as the first human and then as the father of all humanity had the primary role of living in free submission to his Creator. Adam ignored this requirement when tempted by the devil, he let his trust in his Creator die in his heart. He preferred himself over and against God. By his act of disobedience, Adam scorned God.

None other than Jesus Christ, True Man and True God, could atone for Adam's fateful choice. The New Testament is the story of the salvific mission of Christ and the Catholic Church He founded.

Blessings,
granny

“The shepherds sing; and shall I silent be?”
From the poem "Christmas" by George Herbert
I agree. The nature of Adam's disobedience is part of the relationship between God and his creation that I mentioned in my post (at least to my mind); I don't think I worded my post very clearly, though. Apologies.
  #70  
Old Feb 25, '12, 5:33 pm
petrel petrel is offline
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Default Re: Do you take Bible literally?

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Originally Posted by fred conty View Post
Suppose one guy played a joke on his friend and the friend said in reply, "I'm going to kill you for that." Should he would take that literally?

"Gone with the Wind" was a great movie. But was it an actual event with real persons? Or just based on real history? Should I take it literally for a fact?

The stories we tell to children about "Pumpkin eater" or "Humpty Dumpty", or ..... Should we take them as factual, literal?

But one thing everything written above does have, ...truth..., in some fashion, but most certainly not literal.

The Bible is 72 individual books written by different authors, in different literary forms, but they all have, ...truth.., in some fashion, but most certainly not all literal.

Just a thought.
All of the books of the Scripture are TRUE. They are all divinely inspired, Words spoken by God himself. They containe revealed truth which cannot be gained from other sources.
To infer that some of the books have no more authority, truth or credibility than fictional stories and children's fables is insulting at the very least and most likely heretical.

Not a single book of the Scripture is allegorical, although they may contain allegories to explain a point of truth.
  #71  
Old Feb 25, '12, 8:54 pm
Lochias Lochias is offline
 
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Default Re: Do you take Bible literally?

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Originally Posted by petrel View Post
All of the books of the Scripture are TRUE. They are all divinely inspired, Words spoken by God himself. They containe revealed truth which cannot be gained from other sources.
To infer that some of the books have no more authority, truth or credibility than fictional stories and children's fables is insulting at the very least and most likely heretical.

Not a single book of the Scripture is allegorical, although they may contain allegories to explain a point of truth.
Why do you think that powerful, God-given truths cannot be explained in allegory?
  #72  
Old Feb 27, '12, 3:46 am
patg patg is offline
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Default Re: Do you take Bible literally?

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Originally Posted by petrel View Post
All of the books of the Scripture are TRUE. They are all divinely inspired, Words spoken by God himself. They containe revealed truth which cannot be gained from other sources.
To infer that some of the books have no more authority, truth or credibility than fictional stories and children's fables is insulting at the very least and most likely heretical.

Not a single book of the Scripture is allegorical, although they may contain allegories to explain a point of truth.
What possible reason is there to think that fictional stories have no authority or truth?
Why do you think that fiction is not a valid vehicle for revelation? The church dogmatically thinks it is:

To search out the intention of the sacred writers, attention should be given, among other things, to "literary forms." For truth is set forth and expressed differently in texts which are variously historical, prophetic, poetic, or of other forms of discourse.
  #73  
Old Feb 27, '12, 5:54 am
grannymh grannymh is offline
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Default Re: Do you take Bible literally?

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Originally Posted by Lochias View Post
Why do you think that powerful, God-given truths cannot be explained in allegory?
Obviously Catholicism explains the God-given truths which flow from the first three Chapters of Genesis. Catechism of the Catholic Church, Second Edition, beginning with paragraph 355. http://www.scborromeo.org/ccc/para/355.htm

The glitch is that while Catholicism respects the use of allegory, its doctrines depend on the reality of two, sole, real, first human parents of humanity.
  #74  
Old Feb 27, '12, 6:27 am
grannymh grannymh is offline
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Default Re: Do you take Bible literally?

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What possible reason is there to think that fictional stories have no authority or truth?
Why do you think that fiction is not a valid vehicle for revelation? The church dogmatically thinks it is:

To search out the intention of the sacred writers, attention should be given, among other things, to "literary forms." For truth is set forth and expressed differently in texts which are variously historical, prophetic, poetic, or of other forms of discourse.
Regarding your post 78 about variously historical, prophetic, poetry or of other forms of discourse, there is no dogmatic emphasis on fiction or fictional stories per se. Also, the broad direction to give attention to "literary forms" is simply a broad direction to go beneath forms of discourse to search out the intention of the sacred writers. In other words, this quote describes an advisable method and not a particular dogma.

Emphasis mine.

Pardon me for being so nit-picking. But a lot of problems can occur when one misuses the word "dogmatically". There are enough problems already when one tries to find the reality in the first three chapters of Genesis.

Speaking of Genesis. And speaking of how to read the Catechism of the Catholic Church, Second Edition.

One needs to place individual paragraphs within the context of the entire Catechism. For example. When one is using a paragraph on "literary forms", one needs to check additional information which is in another part of the context. Using the index, glossary, table of contents, footnotes, cross-references in the margins, and common sense such as reading the initial paragraphs which explain how to use the Catechism, can be very enlightening.

Since you have been so patient with me as I ramble on, here is the Catechism paragraph 390 which directly pertains to the first three chapters of Genesis. The title is "How to read the account of the Fall" http://www.scborromeo.org/ccc/para/390.htm

Personally, I suggest starting with paragraph 355. http://www.scborromeo.org/ccc/para/355.htm
Its opening sentence is unbeatable.
  #75  
Old Feb 27, '12, 8:22 am
patg patg is offline
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Default Re: Do you take Bible literally?

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Originally Posted by grannymh View Post
Regarding your post 78 about variously historical, prophetic, poetry or of other forms of discourse, there is no dogmatic emphasis on fiction or fictional stories per se. Also, the broad direction to give attention to "literary forms" is simply a broad direction to go beneath forms of discourse to search out the intention of the sacred writers. In other words, this quote describes an advisable method and not a particular dogma.

Emphasis mine.

Pardon me for being so nit-picking. But a lot of problems can occur when one misuses the word "dogmatically". There are enough problems already when one tries to find the reality in the first three chapters of Genesis.

Speaking of Genesis. And speaking of how to read the Catechism of the Catholic Church, Second Edition.

One needs to place individual paragraphs within the context of the entire Catechism. For example. When one is using a paragraph on "literary forms", one needs to check additional information which is in another part of the context. Using the index, glossary, table of contents, footnotes, cross-references in the margins, and common sense such as reading the initial paragraphs which explain how to use the Catechism, can be very enlightening.

Since you have been so patient with me as I ramble on, here is the Catechism paragraph 390 which directly pertains to the first three chapters of Genesis. The title is "How to read the account of the Fall" http://www.scborromeo.org/ccc/para/390.htm

Personally, I suggest starting with paragraph 355. http://www.scborromeo.org/ccc/para/355.htm
Its opening sentence is unbeatable.
I don't agree. When I see the unqualified statement "For truth is set forth and expressed differently in texts which are variously historical, prophetic, poetic, or of other forms of discourse" in a document titled "Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation", things are pretty clear to me. I believe it is all true and also mostly didactic fiction.

Of course this just happens to be in direct support of my view of scripture (ala Raymond Brown/John Meier). In the 8 years I've been
discussing this topic in these forums, I have read (and posted) hundreds of "favorite references" but the bottom line hasn't changed - the church requires literalistic believe in only a tiny handful of scripture stories.
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