Not quite sure what you mean there.
- we take what the Scriptures say at face value.
Doesn’t “face value” mean “the meaning that first leaps to my mind”? Why would you take Scripture in that way?
Considered as ancient writings by people in a culture far removed from yours, Scripture is unlikely to mean the first thing you, a 21st-century person, think it means.
Considered as the Word of God, Scripture is likely to be speaking of things so far above your normal experience that the “face value” meaning is likely to be highly misleading.
For example: I am of the thought that the Bible was created literally in 6 24 hour days with God resting on the Sabbath again a literal 24 hour day.
Right. In this case, you believe that the word “day” in the English translation has its “literal” meaning in the sense I was defending–the meaning that the word “day” most often has.
But why? This is a text describing the creation of the world. It’s quite likely that “day” (really “yom”) might mean something special here.
Furthermore, there’s a difference between the meaning of the individual words and the meaning of the text as a whole. If I tell my kids a story, and I say, “the brave princess lifted her sword and killed the dragon,” the word “sword” has its most usual meaning–a thing made of metal with sharp edges and a handle, used in fighting. But I do not intend them to believe that at some moment in the past of our world a princess such as I describe existed and did the things I am describing.
In other words, the questions of whether the word should convey to us what the word normally does, and whether the text as a whole is to be taken as describing events that really happened in our world in the sense implied by the usual meaning of the words in our culture, are separate questions.
When Scriptures state that Jonah was swallowed by a big fish and was spewed out after 3 days I understand it as a literal representation of what exactly happened with Jonah.
Again, we aren’t talking about the meaning of individual words at that point but about the genre of the story.
Literal to me is something happened exactly as stated or written
But this is circular. You have to figure out what is being stated or written before that definition has any meaning.
Hope that helps…
It helps illustrate my point that the word is hopelessly complicated and that the way most Christians use it obscures rather than clarifying the issues, yes.