Because the figurative language denotes a spiritual place in time or space in which the fabric is relational love, and so it is, that with the use of the language of love, the Truth can be described in such a way that it threads all of Creation into a rooted design of which can only be understood with enlightened insight looking back - Christological illumination; thus proving that the Creator was the Author of this artistry.
You must not forget that the way people read scripture in the past was a literal account of reality, concerning Genesis. People actually believed that the earth was made in seven days. Should we discount their interpretation of scripture and say that scripture was misplaced with them until the current day?
The exegit understands that the Holy Spirit inspired these works. There were many reasons these accounts could have been written - layers upon layers of reasons, but such is the Divine Genius of our Creator, that He can provide for all, in all times. There can be practical reasons and spiritual reasons, but what we can guarantee, is that there is always meaning, because the Creator is the Meaning - He is.
Concerning oral tradition, how much of its context survived being handed down through history? Have you ever told the same story, exactly the way you said, twice?
People in Biblical times, and preceding, would have had far superior memories. Take the stories of Homer, for example, pre-dating Christianity - these were recited. This is so unbelievable to us now but these were actually learnt and recited. These cultures were story-telling cultures. It is probably true that many Biblical Jews knew their Scriptures inside-out. How and when to some degree doesn’t matter because prophecy is so very discernible from Holy Scripture that we know it contains the truth in whatever form. Such dedication for learning is hard to fathom because religion in the West is not studied with the same degree of meticulousness.
Israel existed in the same general locality of ancient Babylon? Do you say that nothing is transferred between cultures? I can’t honestly think that you believe Israel was so isolated that no interculturalism existed.
I think there seem to be similarities in some of the stories. And maybe ideas switched. But we know looking back that if we were to try and find the same rootedness in Babylonian stories, for the NT, we might find a little symbolic something but nothing of any magnitude. I think it more likely that stories were passed down through the generations, preceding the Babylonian Exile. Some say they were written during the priestly traditions after the Babylonian Exile, as celebrations of freedom.
I wasn’t speaking of evolution. I know that the spirit of life guides all things. But it takes time. Look over the past five hundred years at the melting pot of the world the united states. We don’t look like native americans.
I agree with you that the writings were divinely inspired but I also do know of human error. Look at some of the mistakes that have printed in bibles of the past. Do I say that the misprint is the exact divine experience? Or do I say that there was error in its printing? If the smallest of mistakes could be made then the largest mistakes could also be made. Yet, I still believe that the Scripture is the inspired word of God.
Some say that the Bible ‘contains’ the Word of the Creator. In terms of misprints, there would have to be examples. The starting point for any serious exegete will begin: “Now is this true?”, rather than, “Is this false?”. (I think St. Augustine said this). The Scribes who collated the Holy Scriptures and the scholars who interpreted them poured hour upon hour - this was their whole life - into making sure the interpretations were accurate. Again, this is hard to fathom, this level of meticulousness, but all was done in prayer and grace. These Scriptures were not just nice writings, these Holy Scriptures were venerated - in Dei Verbum, we are told that we are to hold such writings as sacred - because Scripture was and is the collective memory of a holy peoples, the prayer-filled roller-coaster journey through hundreds of years of passionate love expressed in relationship with a Creator who was experienced by people to be revealing Himself to them as the one and only Creator, and who seemed to guide them through rough waters - this journey was the very path that guided their suffering and ordeals into a purposeful narrative.
I agree with current exegesis. The bible was indeed interpreted and written in many different ways. I like the poetic aspect myself. Raises questions does not hinder my faith in God nor does faith make me feel guilty for raising such questions. Questions of that which I have not answered for myself yet. To tell you the truth sometimes I feel like a fundamentalist.
There is pure discovery to be had when it comes to applying methods. I only just got going before I didn’t feel the need to continue. The expression of the people in love with the Creator are of what the Hebrew Scriptures witness to. You don’t have to feel fundamentalist to believe in miracles and the Hebrew Scriptures are full of them. Whether allegorical, literal, poetry, praising song format, a psalm etc, etc…all we have to do is remember that all of it was a collectively lived prayer, because in the light of the Holy Spirit, all is prayer. I think of the relational love between us and the Creator starting from Genesis as a kind of song. A dance. A rhythm. Of love. All is prayer.