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If most of the Bible is written in parables then should the Word be taken literally?
When the dicisples speak of the mustard seeds and moving mountains, we know it is a parable to apply to everyday living. But many times people use the Bible literally to prove their point of view. How should we approach and understand the Bible and be true to the message?
There are several things to consider in trying to understand how to read the Bible. First, it is a collection of texts, not one text. And while it is surely inspired and therefore considered the word of God, each text was written by a human being who lived in a particular time and place. For instance, Paul told women to keep their heads covered in church. Why? Because removing one's head covering was that society's equivalent of kicking one's shoes off today.
The point of Paul's message was not that women should keep their heads covered. It was that worship should be approached in a spirit of respect. We've all heard of the spirit of the law vs. the letter of the law. Jesus himself expressed outrage at those who prided themselves on meticulous observance of the letter of the law while violating the spirit. He had no condemnation for those who were breaking the law, such as the prostitutes and the tax collectors (who in those days practiced extortion). For them, he had compassion. That, I think, is the example we're meant to follow. If reading the Bible literally leads us to anything less than love, it is time to reach past the letter of the law and discover the spirit.
Finally, how many people really do read the Bible literally in the first place? Christians sometimes claim to do so, but I've yet to meet one who rejects shellfish on Biblical grounds or who would consider marrying his brother's childless widow in order to preserve his brother's family line for inheritance purposes. Reading selected parts of the Bible literally and ignoring the rest makes no intellectual or spiritual sense. Far better to read for the deeper meanings. To study the Bible is more than to memorize verses out of context. It is to read deeply in a spirit of discovery.
I don't think it is a good idea to take the word literally because parables always have implied deep meanings.
Pray first for the leading of the Holy Spirit as you read. The Bible was written by over 40 authors from various walks of life writing in different styles and dialects. Some of it is to be taken literally and some, figuratively. Just as Jesus is wholly man and wholly God, the Bible is wholly written by men and at the same time wholly God-inspired. Only the Holy Spirit can guide you in understanding as you read. It sure doesn't hurt to have the assistance of a good preacher or Bible scholar though to help understand how to correctly divide the Word and understand the Bible in terms of context and culture.
what ever the situation or circumstances in our daily lives - The Word has the Power and therefore it is revealed to us to show(through his Holy Spirit) us that even if we have faith that of a mustard seed, The Power of Faith & Works - The Word is enough to move the Mountains(situations in our lives).
Another Scripture comes to my mind the New Testament - Philippians 4:13 "I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me"
I try and stand on the Promises of God and try an apply every day in all circumstances keeping in mind another Scripture from Hebrews 4:12 " For the word of God is living, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
There is certainly Answers to every Difficult Questions in our Lives - Holy Bible!
Life presents itself in layers. Enjoy the layers of meaning. If in following one layer you find peace go with it. Work on the Be Attitudes. Once so obtained use the new eyes they give to both read and feel the layers throughout. Often times the answers are literal and give frame to the layers. Sometimes the answers are in the layers. If Father had spoken plainly then his message wouldn't have survived. Study context, that will help.
The Bible was written by men. It was a human thing, inspired by God. It is a guide to live by and the way to reach Heaven at the time of our passing, if we follow its precepts. The parables were written so that ordinary people could understand from their individual walks of life. Although the Bible of the Christian faith was translated and re-written over the ages, its basic precepts and message is very clear and a guide to live by. i believe that if all the scriptures that were ever written were in the Bible, we would be confused as to the true meaning and how it applies to each individual, at times. What we have in the King James version of the Holy Bible is what is truly a great inspiration and road map to live by in our daily lives.
Hmmm...MOST of the Bible was not written in parables. Only 4 of the 66 books contain what are considered parables and they are only a portion of those books. Interestingly, the parable of the seed sown on 4 types of soil that Jesus later in the story interpreted for the disciples (Mt.13, Mk. 4 & Lk. 8) gives an example of how to interpret the other parables to get the spiritual point He was making as well as explaining what He was saying there.
Jesus taught us over and over again to do what filled our hearts with love. Anything that takes us away from God is not of God.
The bible should unite not divide - that is the approach we are meant to take. We are all brothers, sisters, united under one God.
Hallelujah! & Amen! We in the body of Christ having known the Works of our Father and our Lord Jesus it self have so many denominations! Why so? Are we not called by One Master to serve The Lord our God in one Accord? Why are there so many divisi
Rina: "Religion & Tradition" kills! It's so easy-Read Heb 8:10;Jn 14:26; Acts 2:2; Acts 2:42. We live under New Covenant & not under law.Until believers "study" for themselves, there will continue to be a church on every corner!
It is not the case that most of the Bible is written in parables. Jesus taught in them when He was speaking to the people, though not when to His immediate circle, but those passages constitute a tiny if important portion of scripture. The parable is a method of conveying a truth beyond its strict facts.
The Bible as a whole is exactly that itself. Look at it as a collection of stories, histories, moral fables, mythology, and formal literature, inspired by God, written by men, and canonized by human institutions. It is impossible to take it literally in the sense John Nelson Darby did. The Bible is the greatest work of western literature, an indispensable work of teaching and culture. That it cannot be viewed as literally, factually true takes nothing away from the deep truths it carries from generation to generation.
NO! The Scriptures should "never" be taken literally, but that what has happened in "religion!" That's why they believe in the "trinity;" three different persons or beings?
I am of Indian descent as well and maybe that's why it's so easy for me to do as John 4:24 say "...They that worship him "MUST" worship him in spirit and in truth." I don't know how others feel about this Scripture, but that is the "foundation" for "believing" and having "faith" in Jesus. If one does not have a "spiritual" relationship with Jesus, it is nothing!
Look at what Jesus has done for me!
One can "believe" there is a Jesus, but to "believe on the Gospel of Christ," is another story! I continue to tell "everyone" this is a Spiritual journey," and one "MUST" "Walk in the Spirit" and let the Holy Spirit "DO" everything! Let the Holy Spirit "... guide you into ALL truth...and he will show you things to come!" (John 16:13)
How easy! Believing and having faith, IN THE SPIRIT, which comes with benefits too numerous to mention! It sure beats what I was taught when in "religion!" "Do good, get good!" The Holy Spirit will convict you to "do good, get good" and you don't have to "work" as one does when making "New Year's Resolutions!" No more will-power, but Holy Spirit Power!
I know this doesn't make "literal" sense, but I speak with authority given by the Holy Spirit!
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