Biblical literalism - fundametnalists please answer

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  1. ptosis profile image79
    ptosisposted 6 years ago

    From wiki:  Biblical literalism (also called Biblicism, Biblical fundamentalism or Biblical_inerrancy) is the interpretation or translation of the explicit and primary sense of words in the Bible.

    Although I'm not religious, I believe the bible is the best seller of all time due to the fact that it can be read on many different levels with each rereading as a person matures.

    If God is ineffable and is beyond words then by defining the bible with the words it contains a form of limiting God? … ianity.htm

    1. Chris Neal profile image75
      Chris Nealposted 6 years agoin reply to this

      You could say that, but since man is not a purely spiritual being capable of mind-speak, a la some kind of Star Trek show, we need words.

      "Esoteric Christianity" aka Gnosticism, is not just contrary to Paul, but also contrary to what is written in the Gospels, the accounts of actual eyewitnesses.

      1. ptosis profile image79
        ptosisposted 6 years agoin reply to this

        Thanks for the answer - I am listening to a mp3 TTC on Judeo-Christian-Islamic Mysticism and Just wanted more feedback.

        1. Chris Neal profile image75
          Chris Nealposted 6 years agoin reply to this

          Christianity is inherently mystical. The God who lives in your heart. Jesus, fully God and fully Man. The God who died and raised from the dead. But it's possible to take the mysticism too far, sometimes to the point of making mystical experiences themselves the object of worship (i.e. the Holy Rollers.)

      2. Paul Wingert profile image72
        Paul Wingertposted 6 years agoin reply to this

        Of course eyewitnesses are the worst kind of evidence. Any court judge or lawyer can tell you that. Nothing was written about Jesus till about 30 years after he died and what he actually said or meant is just speculative. I believe that Jesus actually existed but as far as being the son of a god, or a miracle worker; someone had fun with some serious exaggerations.

        1. Chris Neal profile image75
          Chris Nealposted 6 years agoin reply to this

          Perhaps. Of course in court they call multiple witnesses (when possible) because even though details will differ, the main thrust being corroborated by multiple witnesses lends credibility. That's why there are four Gospels.

          Ancient cultures depended a lot on memory, so someone needed to be able to remember details for long periods of time. The fact that the first Gospel didn't appear for 20-30 years doesn't mean people weren't talking about Him. The Apostles were out proselytizing people, telling the same stories that were written down.

        2. Jerami profile image68
          Jeramiposted 6 years agoin reply to this

          You can't honestly say that nothing was written about Jesus until 30 years pass after his death.

            You Can say that the church in 326 didn't choose to include any letters which were written before 62 AD.

            There are many questions as to why only these which were included in the bible were, while all the others were not???

        3. ptosis profile image79
          ptosisposted 6 years agoin reply to this

          It's true that if had a hit&run accident with 30 witnesses - the car would be 30 colors. But city life is an overload for the senses and we all tune out stuff - just so we can hear ourselves think.

          But back then - the bards who repeated stories could recite them  word for word for HOURS.

          Just because we don't have evidence about the very first document there are pointers that the four gospels came from the Q source and the Book of Thomas the Contender is just a bunch of quotes from Jesus. This stuff has been discovered in the last 80 years. Who knows what other lost documents will be found in the future- and not be burned as fire tinder!

          (it's a sad statement of life - the books were found in good condition and then destroyed almost completely into rags in the process of people trying to make money off these ancient documents)

      3. profile image0
        Emile Rposted 6 years agoin reply to this

        That's somewhat funny, Chris. Since so many of the more vocal Christians (yourself included) do claim  a form of secret knowledge. Why are there so many sects? Except that you believe you've been shown  a 'truth' that others sadly can't see.

        The OP is right. Imo. The true power of the text has historically been because it can't be pinned down to a single understanding. As each person grows in knowledge and maturity, their understanding broadens and changes. As humanity has grown this broadening has resulted in sects mushrooming out.

        So, your argument that it is contrary to Paul's teachings looks suspect. None of you will ever come together because of your'secret' understanding revealed to you by none other than The Holy Spirit itself. Aren't all of your claims, in some way, claims of gnosticism?

        1. ptosis profile image79
          ptosisposted 6 years agoin reply to this

          When I was young I wanted to learn how to "go into a trance" or self hypnosis but could never be able to force myself enough to relax and let go.

          The revelations cannot be self-starting but are eurekas that happened to a person such as when a researcher is working on a problem and he dreams up (literally) a solution because our brain waves are different when sleeping.

          I guess the revelations are always all around us like electromagnetic waves and we just have to be tuned like a radio to receive the messages. This tuning is probably looked upon by the working world as goofing off because tuning requires us to stop and smell the flowers - a de-tuning from the everyday mundane worries and trifles of life. Need time to be alone and not think at all.

          I'm into quantum physics,(not the math! NO!) and I roll it in my head to wrap my brain around some ideas. What I do is 'how to explain' to a person 5k years ago. I wouldn't use the silly names of the quarks such as up,down & charm - but make a story allegory.

          That's how I look at the stories and the experiences of people who cannot relate what happened to them in words. Like poetry, the single individual words  examination will not produce a meaning but together, read in a calm and open state of mind, a picture forms in your mind's eye and - eureka - you say "Oh, I see".  It takes more than one reading to get to that "Oh".

          And there can be different "oh"'s with different readings each time.

        2. Chris Neal profile image75
          Chris Nealposted 6 years agoin reply to this

          I don't claim secret knowledge. I don't know anything that can't be known by anybody.

          What I claim, and have always claimed, is that although it is by the Holy Spirit, or by God, that I was touched and therefore became a Christian, there is nothing secret about this. There are no initiations, no higher planes. It's a gift, and it's what you choose to do with it that determines where you go. But there is nothing secret about what I know, lots of people know it and anyone can know it. I'm certainly not shy about telling people.

          1. profile image0
            Emile Rposted 6 years agoin reply to this

            The way I see it, you do. You claim your understanding is by the guidance of the Holy Spirit. That's secret knowledge, since I'm not getting that out of anything, other Christians get something different and every other religion claims to be guided in a different direction.

            I would disagree. What you 'know' is unique to you. It is secret, in that words can't adequately describe what you 'know'. As is with others who claim belief through experiences.

            1. Chris Neal profile image75
              Chris Nealposted 6 years agoin reply to this

              I understand what you're saying. Most of what I know is from reading the Bible. That's not secret knowledge. The existence of God was revealed to me by the Holy Spirit, and God continues to touch me like that, but I haven't received any mystical teachings like Mohammed being taken up to heaven and given the secret teachings of Allah.

              Hope no one tries to kill me.

              I've kind of focused on the supernatural experiences I've had lately, and maybe that's a mistake. Because I do read the Bible and history books and analyses of both history and the Bible and the vast majority of what I talk about is from those and my own thinking about them. I'm not special, there's no "deep wisdom" I can impart to anybody. I'm just a guy.

              1. profile image0
                Emile Rposted 6 years agoin reply to this

                OK, well that makes sense. I've read where you said 'God said this or that', so I thought you were implying the Holy Spirit was guiding your understanding of the Bible. My bad. smile

                1. Chris Neal profile image75
                  Chris Nealposted 6 years agoin reply to this

                  Not at all. You're not the only one who was pointing this out, I was just slow on the uptake. Sometimes you can really lose sight of the forest for the trees, and I didn't realize that my constant talking about my own supernatural experiences might not be making clear to people that I'm not saying God said anything in particular to me except, "I exist." I was actually a little surprised at how quickly things seemed to turn.

                  I thank you for pointing this out to me and making me take a step back.

              2. Disappearinghead profile image76
                Disappearingheadposted 6 years agoin reply to this

                I've no doubt that when I read the bible I see instances where people were guided by the HS. However it is a well worn out phrase. Today anyone who stands up in the Church and speaks claims the HS has spoken to them. But if I disagree with what is being said from my intellectual, experiential and/or gut feeling point of view, what do we say then?

                How can anyone say they are being instructed or guided by the HS? How do they know except as a statement of faith? To one man the HS speaks, to another a thought has come to them from their subconscious which was processing ideas in the background.

                For example, I see people on this forum talk about Satan and demons with absolute conviction, and if pressed, I'm sure many would say God spoke to them about these things. But from my studies of the bible and history, I am absolutely convinced these things do not exist.

                Thus whenever anyone says the HS said this or that, I will never accept the claim face value.

                1. ptosis profile image79
                  ptosisposted 6 years agoin reply to this

                  It's that why with everybody's consciousness.

                  Nobody can read somebody's mind or experience the same as the other person.
                  Unless you're in the movie where can enter into Malkovich's mind. If was so funny when Malkovich enters his own mind and everybody is him saying "Malkovich" over and over again.

                2. Chris Neal profile image75
                  Chris Nealposted 6 years agoin reply to this

                  I don't blame you. In fact, I've said that anyone who hasn't experienced the Holy Spirit can get funny looks even from other Christians. God gave us brains and He expects us to use them.

                  I have realized that I lost sight of what I was really trying to say. The majority of what I say is from the Bible. I have no "special revelations" from God, I do not claim the prophets role for myself. I wrote a hub about my (limited) supernatural experiences and I started telling people they should read it because I too often ran into people who assumed they knew what I was saying without bothering to verify. I allowed my own frustration to overtake my common sense and ability to put myself into another person's shoes. I have been one of the people who say they believe in the devil and demons, and I do. But I do based on the Bible, not special revelation.


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