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Author Topic:   The Bible is literally true, but each detail is not.
Taz
Member (Idle past 1149 days)
Posts: 5069
From: Zerus
Joined: 07-18-2006


Message 1 of 88 (472384)
06-22-2008 1:14 AM


Over the years, I have seen many arguments regarding the literalness of the Bible. On the one side, people are arguing that every detail of the bible must be taken literally in order for the Bible to the true word of God. On the other side, people are arguing that if some details of the Bible can be brought into question, the veracity of other details in the Bible could also be brought into question.

In this thread, I offer a compromise. What if the Bible is literally true and yet the details can be less than literal?

It helps to think of it this way. Every once in a while, you'd read a headline in the sports section that says something like Team A Gets Annihilated by Team B. No one actually believes there was some kind of social sanctioned mass murder. And yet, it is literally true that one team got pounced by another.

Case in point. Perhaps the same thinking should be brought to claims such as that there was a global flood that covered the highest peaks of mountains and wiped out living creature on Earth except those that survived on Noah's Ark. It could have been literally true that there was a flood that, to the people living at the time, wiped out what they knew of the world, but the details about covering the highest peaks and wiping out all but a few creatures saved on the ark could be less than literally true.

What do you think?

Over the years, I have seen many arguments regarding the literalness of the Bible. On the one side, people are arguing that every detail of the bible must be taken literally in order for the Bible to the the true word of God. On the other side, people are arguing that if some details of the Bible can be brought into question, the veracity of other details in the Bible could also be brought into question.

In this thread, I offer a compromise. What if the Bible is literally true and yet the details can be less than literal?

It helps to think of it this way. Every once in a while, you'd read a headline in the sports section that says something like Team A Gets Annihilated by Team B. You'd have to be a special kind of idiot to believe that there was some kind of social sanctioned mass murder. And yet, it is literally true that one team got pounced by another.

Case in point. You'd have to be a special person to believe that there was a global flood that covered the highest peaks of mountains and wiped out living creature on Earth except those that survived on Noah's Ark. And yet, it could have been literally true that there was a flood that, to the people living at the time, wiped out what they knew of the world.

What do you think?

Edited by Taz, : No reason given.

Edited by Admin, : Moderator modifications.


I'm trying to see things your way, but I can't put my head that far up my ass.
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Admin
Director
Posts: 12556
From: EvC Forum
Joined: 06-14-2002


Message 2 of 88 (472547)
06-23-2008 8:14 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by Taz
06-22-2008 1:14 AM


Needs to be toned down where it makes assessments of intelligence for those holding certain views.


--Percy
EvC Forum Director

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Taz
Member (Idle past 1149 days)
Posts: 5069
From: Zerus
Joined: 07-18-2006


Message 3 of 88 (472562)
06-23-2008 10:10 AM
Reply to: Message 2 by Admin
06-23-2008 8:14 AM


I fixed it.
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Admin
Director
Posts: 12556
From: EvC Forum
Joined: 06-14-2002


Message 4 of 88 (472573)
06-23-2008 11:07 AM
Reply to: Message 3 by Taz
06-23-2008 10:10 AM


I hid your version and substituted another. If my modifications are okay just let me know and I'll promote this.

If they're not okay then make another edit and let me know when you're done.


--Percy
EvC Forum Director

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Taz
Member (Idle past 1149 days)
Posts: 5069
From: Zerus
Joined: 07-18-2006


Message 5 of 88 (472582)
06-23-2008 12:05 PM
Reply to: Message 4 by Admin
06-23-2008 11:07 AM


I suppose your version is ok. I just don't understand why you'd have a problem with using the "special i*io*" description for the sports example, that is unless you believe some people actually do believe there was a mass murder involve. Anyway, your version is good, too. Beam it up, Scotty!


I'm trying to see things your way, but I can't put my head that far up my ass.
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AdminNosy
Administrator
Posts: 4754
From: Vancouver, BC, Canada
Joined: 11-11-2003


Message 6 of 88 (472595)
06-23-2008 1:15 PM


Thread moved here from the Proposed New Topics forum.
  
bluescat48
Member (Idle past 2047 days)
Posts: 2347
From: United States
Joined: 10-06-2007


Message 7 of 88 (472598)
06-23-2008 1:50 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Taz
06-22-2008 1:14 AM


Biblical Literality
In this thread, I offer a compromise. What if the Bible is literally true and yet the details can be less than literal?

This is somewhat what I have held for years. The stories are based on actual occurrences but as with any story passed on from word of mouth to another and to another et cetera, by the time It gets written down it bares little resemblance to the original story.


There is no better love between 2 people than mutual respect for each other WT Young, 2002

Who gave anyone the authority to call me an authority on anything. WT Young, 1969


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dbs944
Junior Member (Idle past 1668 days)
Posts: 10
Joined: 06-18-2008


Message 8 of 88 (472602)
06-23-2008 2:12 PM
Reply to: Message 7 by bluescat48
06-23-2008 1:50 PM


Re: Biblical Literality
So now, among the many versions of the Bible, will there be the Highlighted Versions? Green means it is exactly true, yellow means it basically true and red means it is somewhat true? Who decides which is which? There are a lot of questionable sections in the Bible. When the Bible says to kill disrespectful children, gays or those who work on the Sabbath, what color should the verses be?

Edited by dbs944, : No reason given.


The Bible has to be true - no one could make all that up.
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New Cat's Eye
Inactive Member


Message 9 of 88 (472605)
06-23-2008 2:17 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Taz
06-22-2008 1:14 AM


Is it really literal
What if the Bible is literally true and yet the details can be less than literal?

Seems like a contradiction to me....

It helps to think of it this way. Every once in a while, you'd read a headline in the sports section that says something like Team A Gets Annihilated by Team B. No one actually believes there was some kind of social sanctioned mass murder. And yet, it is literally true that one team got pounced by another.

But what the headline literally says is that there was a mass murder. You have to "interpret" the headline to get the real meaning. But in that interpretation, you are no longer reading it literally.

So no, the headline is not literally true.

Case in point. Perhaps the same thinking should be brought to claims such as that there was a global flood that covered the highest peaks of mountains and wiped out living creature on Earth except those that survived on Noah's Ark. It could have been literally true that there was a flood that, to the people living at the time, wiped out what they knew of the world, but the details about covering the highest peaks and wiping out all but a few creatures saved on the ark could be less than literally true.

Specifically about the Flud though, doesn't the Bible say that all the creatures that were not on the ark died. Like, it can't be referring to anything but the entire planet.

But less specifically, my point is that in interpreting the scripture you're no longer reading it literally.


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Jester4kicks
Junior Member (Idle past 3353 days)
Posts: 33
Joined: 06-17-2008


Message 10 of 88 (472606)
06-23-2008 2:18 PM
Reply to: Message 8 by dbs944
06-23-2008 2:12 PM


Re: Biblical Literality
This is fundamental problem with using the bible.

If it's literal and absolute... it's horrifying.

If it is ANYTHING less, it's worthless. Bottom line, the authority of the bible resides on the belief that it is the word of god. Ok... then what gives anyone to right to decide when god was being literal versus when he was being metaphorical? ANY interpretation is just completely subjective.


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Taz
Member (Idle past 1149 days)
Posts: 5069
From: Zerus
Joined: 07-18-2006


Message 11 of 88 (472609)
06-23-2008 2:35 PM
Reply to: Message 9 by New Cat's Eye
06-23-2008 2:17 PM


Re: Is it really literal
CS writes:

So no, the headline is not literally true.


It depends on how you use the word "literally". Do you or do you not agree that if you read a headline that says team A is annihilated by team B, you'd think that it is literally true that team A got pounced by team B?


I'm trying to see things your way, but I can't put my head that far up my ass.
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New Cat's Eye
Inactive Member


Message 12 of 88 (472611)
06-23-2008 2:45 PM
Reply to: Message 11 by Taz
06-23-2008 2:35 PM


Re: Is it really literal
It depends on how you use the word "literally".

I think it means that the actual definition of the word is used rather than some interpretation.

Do you or do you not agree that if you read a headline that says team A is annihilated by team B, you'd think that it is literally true that team A got pounced by team B?

It is literally true that team B won the game. But what the headline literally says is the mass murder thing.

When you interpret the word annihilated to mean pounced, you're no longer reading the headline literaly.l What it literally says is mass murder.


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Percy
Member
Posts: 17560
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 2.3


Message 13 of 88 (472616)
06-23-2008 3:54 PM
Reply to: Message 12 by New Cat's Eye
06-23-2008 2:45 PM


Re: Is it really literal
Catholic Scientist writes:

When you interpret the word annihilated to mean pounced, you're no longer reading the headline literally.

Point well taken, but in this case a dictionary definition of precisely the intended meaning exists. Definition 1c of annihilate from Answers.com: To defeat decisively; vanquish.

But your point still holds, just not for this particular example, though you could argue that once you're forced to choose among multiple valid definitions that you're making an interpretation.

--Percy


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New Cat's Eye
Inactive Member


Message 14 of 88 (472618)
06-23-2008 4:03 PM
Reply to: Message 13 by Percy
06-23-2008 3:54 PM


Re: Is it really literal
Catholic Scientist writes:

When you interpret the word annihilated to mean pounced, you're no longer reading the headline literally.

Point well taken, but in this case a dictionary definition of precisely the intended meaning exists. Definition 1c of annihilate from Answers.com: To defeat decisively; vanquish.

Yeah, I realized that "annihilated" didn't necessarily mean mass murder, but it wasn't really important to my point.

But your point still holds, just not for this particular example, though you could argue that once you're forced to choose among multiple valid definitions that you're making an interpretation.

I think as long as you're using a valid literal definition, then you could still be reading it literally. But to interpret makes your reading no longer literal is the point.


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Deftil
Member (Idle past 2312 days)
Posts: 128
From: Virginia, USA
Joined: 04-19-2008


Message 15 of 88 (472623)
06-23-2008 4:49 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Taz
06-22-2008 1:14 AM


I agree with what Catholic Scientist said.

Taz writes:

It helps to think of it this way. Every once in a while, you'd read a headline in the sports section that says something like Team A Gets Annihilated by Team B. No one actually believes there was some kind of social sanctioned mass murder. And yet, it is literally true that one team got pounced by another.

I disagree. I'd say that it's literally true that one team beat another, not literally true that one team "pounced" another.

Taz writes:

Case in point. Perhaps the same thinking should be brought to claims such as that there was a global flood that covered the highest peaks of mountains and wiped out living creature on Earth except those that survived on Noah's Ark. It could have been literally true that there was a flood that, to the people living at the time, wiped out what they knew of the world, but the details about covering the highest peaks and wiping out all but a few creatures saved on the ark could be less than literally true.

It sounds to me like you are trying to say that the Bible is metaphorically true, or symbollically true. But you claim to be saying that it is literally true at the same time. It really does sound like a contradiction to me. If some parts are indeed "less than literally true", then the Bible can't be said to be entirely literally true.

I agree with dbs944's comments. If some parts get to be less than literally true, while the Bible as a whole is still considered to be literally true, who gets to decide which parts can be totally true and which can by symbollically true, without negating the Bible's literal truth in whole? Wouldn't it all be pretty arbitrary?

And how can you make claims about the truth of anything in the Bible that haven't been independently confimred anyway? Isn't that also arbitrary? Isn't deciding to view the Bible the way you've outlined in this thread arbitrary? How could you know it's correct? Is it logical, or is it just an attempt to reconcile religious beliefs that are less than completely logical?

*Note - This post is literally true, but all the points made in it aren't.


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