Scholar Says: “Don’t Take The Bible Literally”

Does this prove the Gospels aren’t factual? Please debunk this.

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Don’t have to. He alleges. He must “prove.”

Rather, focus on information which edifies your faith - not that which tears it apart. Remember that the world hates Christ - always has and always will.


The Catechism of the Catholic Church, regarding the bible

You may like to read all that is written there.

An excerpt
[125] The Gospels are the heart of all the Scriptures “because they are our principal source for the life and teaching of the Incarnate Word, our Savior”.98
We can distinguish three stages in the formation of the Gospels:

  1. The life and teaching of Jesus . The Church holds firmly that the four Gospels, "whose historicity she unhesitatingly affirms, faithfully hand on what Jesus, the Son of God, while he lived among men, really did and taught for their eternal salvation, until the day when he was taken up."99

  2. The oral tradition . "For, after the ascension of the Lord, the apostles handed on to their hearers what he had said and done, but with that fuller understanding which they, instructed by the glorious events of Christ and enlightened by the Spirit of truth, now enjoyed."100

  3. The written Gospels . "The sacred authors, in writing the four Gospels, selected certain of the many elements which had been handed on, either orally or already in written form; others they synthesized or explained with an eye to the situation of the churches, the while sustaining the form of preaching, but always in such a fashion that they have told us the honest truth about Jesus."101


God bless you @Trishie :slight_smile: :pray::prayer_beads:



God bless you abundantly


It doesn’t prove anything mostly because there is no proof or evidence to back it up. Unless you downloaded that commentary, which might have some evidence, the article is just talk.


The headline “don’t take the bible literally.” gives the game away imo, the academic is referring to the Gospels not the entire Bible.

Secondly this work is based on translating something written 500 yrs after Christ walked the earth! Why would one bishops subjective opinion 500 yrs later be suddenly deemed as accurate or the real truth.

Thirdly the commentary in my Didache bible seeks to elucidate the text but should not be read instead of the text!

Fourthly, was this academic spurred on by a deep seated concern that he should reveal the truth and save humanity from error…or was that actually the intent behind the teachings of Christ as written in the gospels!

I’d refer the reader to @Trishie post above.
God bless.

Scholar = scarredy cat bookworm :innocent:

Also remember the Telegraph is’nt exactly a Christian newspaper, they are biased

If you’re really interested in reading it for yourself, you can find it here.

To the point, though: what does it matter that one bishop reads the Gospels allegorically? That’s what the Alexandrian school was famous for doing! And, of course, while Alexandria was all about ‘allegory’, Antioch was all about literal interpretation!

So, the mere existence of an allegorical approach to the Gospels does not imply that a literal approach is unreasonable. And, the author should know this. If he doesn’t… well, then his grasp of Christian history is severely lacking…

@Hope1960, did you look at the dateline on that Telegraph news item? It’s now over a year old!

What Houghton says about the symbolical interpretation of the Bible in antiquity has been known for a very long time. Edwin Hatch goes into the subject at considerable length in his book The Influence of Greek Ideas and Usages upon the Christian Church, particularly in Lecture III, titled “Greek and Christian Exegesis” (pp. 50-85).

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my non-academic view is that having four gospels reassures us of having an open mind about their contents.

Based on a recommendation on EWTN radio, I picked up NT Wright’s book on the Resurrection, which is an analysis of the conflicting gospel accounts,etc. and the fundamental issue of the resurrection itself. It’s a very deep and thorough book. I’m just getting into it.

The “gospel” was spread by word of mouth long before versions were written, and certainly there could not have been a glimmer that they would be subjected to the likes of modern analysis. The point of which is that largely I think we’re supposed to take them at face value – or not, if someone feels that way.

I read the short article and I think it was not limited to the gospels, but even pulled in skepticism about the accounts in Genesis. I have veered into reading Jewish commentaries with the accompanying Hebrew text. There are ironies that are not prominent in the translations.

For example, while Genesis has long ago been divided into 50 chapters and then into numbered verses, the text itself has hints that the author wrote the scroll to divide it into 12 divisions - corresponding to the 12 tribes of Israel. Having said that, the commentary does not go into a deeper analysis of the implications of such a division in the text.

Another example, God dramatically reveals His name YHWH in the book of Exodus. But, even my non-academic eye can spot that YHWH is used in Genesis, long before Moses comes along, and the first person to use the sacred and unutterable Name is Eve. You can see this in the English translation because when Eve speaks the word for God is represented as LORD – all capitals, to reflect the original YHWH. The sages and scholars who studied this remarked that in the Bible there is no strict sense of time as we would like to assume it.

The Jewish approach to reconciling something like this would be to say that the NAME was revealed to Adam and Eve and it was also later revealed to Moses (this conclusion is my own and not one that I actually read in a commentary). In such an interpretation, there is no contradiction about when the sacred NAME was revealed.

The article referred to in the original comment is not a new opinion, as others have already pointed out, but I won’t leave until I add my 2 cents about that.

Scripture is written in many writing styles. Some not all is meant to be literal.

The crux of the Gospels are supposed to be literal.

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No argument there. Still there are styles of thought in the Gospels that aren’t exactly to be taken in a wooden and literal sense.

And what’s upsetting me is that this scholar says it isn’t. I read something else online that said the person he’s getting his information from wrote BEFORE our ECFs.

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That’s why we are to test what we’ve been given.

What do you mean?

You suspected what you read was wrong. How did you know that?

All of us are to do our best to learn the faith. THAT WAY we can effect the following

As Peter taught, we need to add to our faith 7 attributes continuously without stopping Note: education/knowledge is 2nd on the list. IOW it’s at the top of importance

If you mean that I suspect Houghton is wrong, that’s inaccurate. I fear he’s right.

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