What is metaphor and what is not?

I’ve discussed the bible on several occasions with different people, and it seems like every single person takes different stories or passages to be either literal, embellished, or complete metaphor. However, I’ve never been able to figure out the logic behind why people choose what to believe… so I’m just coming out and asking! How do you decide what in the bible is metaphor, embellished, or literal? What is your thought process and your standards in this matter? Thanks in advance to those who reply :smiley:

The parts of the bible that seem silly or evil when taken litterally are metaphors, everything else is 100% accurate.

It might be easier to take this on a case by case basis. What parts (scenes) of the Bible are you specifically troubled by?

For example: when Jesus talks about plucking out your eye when it causes you to sin, it is generally believed that he is not speaking literally. And many if not all of his descriptions of Heaven are metaphor or simile. Beyond that, I’d need some specifics.

Well said :slight_smile: My take is: “whatever I, personally, agree with is literally true, everything else is embellished, metaphorical or pertinent only to the age when it was written”. (This last one is frequently invoked when one uses some passages from the OT, which are unpalatable to these times.)

I didn’t want to limit the discussion to certain scripture, my question is more general. What would you see in scripture that would make you decide that it was not literal? It’s more of an opinion thing that I think most people like to admit, so I’d like to know how people work the logic to form their opinions on such things.

you have to know the time, place, idiom, culture, religion language - to make a decision on what is a metaphor and what is not.“Twenty three scadoo” meant something in the 1920’s but I have no idea what it means-it’s lost in time.Metaphors have different meanings depending what place you come from. Saying “a bum” for an American means a homeless person . In England it’s one butt.So the answer is-
study , research, archaeology comparison with similar cultures- studying literature of the times etc. It’s not easy That’s why scholarship is sooo very important.a little knowledge may be a dangerous thing but a lot of knowledge makes life a whole lot more understandable.hope this helps.!:thumbsup:

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