Hello everyone. Some people believe they should try to take every word of the Bible literally, even when it contradicts itself. Perhaps this is because they fear that allowing themselves to understand it at any other level might somehow risk destroying its essential truthfulness and trustworthiness. However, the Bible is a library of books, written in many different genres, including history, paradox, prophecy, poetry, myth, story, riddle, parable etc, each of which needs to be understood in its own way. This means that seeing them all as being “literally” true, closes our minds from exploring their rich psychological, emotional and spiritual depths…
True or false?
* For God does speak – now one way, now another – though no one perceives it. In a dream, in a vision of the night, when deep sleep falls on people as they slumber in their beds, he may speak in their ears and terrify them with warnings (Job 33:14-16).
* …let the wise listen and add to their learning, and let the discerning get guidance – for understanding proverbs and parables, the sayings and riddles of the wise (Proverbs 1:5-6).
God breathed inspiration
Into the hearts and minds
Of those who wrote the scriptures.
Their books describe mysterious events,
Angelic visitations, evil spirits,
Miracles and visions,
Dreams and nightmares,
Prophecies and revelations.
Their authors sing psalms to us,
Recite poetry and proverbs,
Describe how God’s messages were acted out,
Relate the stories and parables they heard,
And share with us ancient legends
From the dawn of time.
Like all writers
They employ symbol and simile,
Icon and imagery,
Paradox and metaphor,
Allegory and archetype
To express abstract concepts
Reaching far beyond the superficial facts
Of past events.
So if their words aren’t literally true,
Does that mean they must be wholly false?