Understanding through Discussion


Welcome! You are not logged in. [ Login ]
EvC Forum active members: 88 (8890 total)
Current session began: 
Page Loaded: 02-18-2019 1:33 AM
209 online now:
DrJones*, PaulK, Pressie, Tanypteryx (4 members, 205 visitors)
Chatting now:  Chat room empty
Newest Member: WookieeB
Post Volume:
Total: 847,623 Year: 2,660/19,786 Month: 742/1,918 Week: 29/301 Day: 1/28 Hour: 0/1


Thread  Details

Email This Thread
Newer Topic | Older Topic
  
Prev123
4
567Next
Author Topic:   Where does literalism end and interpretation begin?
Faith
Inactive Member


Message 46 of 96 (293267)
03-08-2006 11:31 AM
Reply to: Message 29 by Heathen
03-07-2006 2:21 PM


Faith writes:
someone who reads the Bible as it presents itself, literal where it presents itself as literal, parable where it presents as parable, metaphor where metaphor and so on -- according to what its writers intended. There is really very little controversy about how the Bible presents itself.

quote:
Ok... So for instance.. why do so few (any?)christians live be levitican laws? these laws were given by God, no?

Because we understand the Old Testament in the light of the New Testament, and the NT tells us that those laws no longer apply to us. They served their purpose for the Israelites and all were representations of the Messiah Jesus, who has come.

For the rest of your post, I don't understand how my remarks about the early chapters of Genesis and the book of Jonah being dismissed as literal got you to the question about the meaning of "heart" but I think I'll leave that to you and robinrohan who is saying more or less what I would say anyway.

This message has been edited by Faith, 03-08-2006 11:44 AM


This message is a reply to:
 Message 29 by Heathen, posted 03-07-2006 2:21 PM Heathen has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 49 by Heathen, posted 03-08-2006 11:44 AM Faith has responded

  
Faith
Inactive Member


Message 47 of 96 (293271)
03-08-2006 11:41 AM
Reply to: Message 30 by nwr
03-07-2006 2:51 PM


So for instance, the first chapters of Genesis and the book of Jonah are treated as parables or metaphors, not because there is any clue in the Bible itself that anything other than literal history was intended, but just because the critic can't accept what it actually says.

No, that's absurd.

The Adam & Eve story, the Noah story, the Jonah story all read as fables. If there were neon lights saying "fable" it wouldn't any clearer than it already is. If they were to read such stories in anything other than the Bible, people would have no difficulty in recognizing these as fables.

On a plain straightforward reading of the Bible, these stories would be accepted as fables, not as literal history.

This merely proves what I said. It is because of the CONTENT of the stories that you reject them as literal historical accounts. You just can't abide talking snakes as a possible reality, or a huge fish swallowing a man, or -- actually what's so fabulous about a man building a gigantic ship and taking animals aboard? Whatever, as I said, you just can't accept what it actually says and therefore to you it MUST be a fable.

In fact, most of us believers do read it as history. Once you accept that it is God's word, such things are no longer determined by our own limited imaginations but become keys to an entirely new world our imaginations can't encompass.

The reason that some people take these stories as literal, is that they have been indoctrinated into the non-biblical theology of original sin, and they find it difficult to make a case for original sin if the stories are fables.

Funny how willing people are to psychoanalyze people they don't understand. No, this is NOT the reason people take the stories as literal. And there are a lot of us. At the very least you have it backwards. You can't get to the idea of original sin UNLESS you take them as literal, but that just means that the people who don't take them as literal don't get to the idea of original sin.

No indoctrination in my case anyway. I got my beliefs from reading many books, before I belonged to any church. No, I believed the Bible was God's word early on because I believe in the supernatural power of God. That's how most of us believe in it.

This message has been edited by Faith, 03-08-2006 11:43 AM


This message is a reply to:
 Message 30 by nwr, posted 03-07-2006 2:51 PM nwr has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 59 by nwr, posted 03-08-2006 5:02 PM Faith has responded

  
jar
Member
Posts: 30934
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004


Message 48 of 96 (293272)
03-08-2006 11:44 AM
Reply to: Message 45 by Faith
03-08-2006 11:25 AM


Re: Clues in the Bible?
Funny how the deep many-layered meanings of the literal text are always so disappointingly reduced to something trite and boring by the anti-literalist.

jar said "So in the case of the Creation myths found in Genesis, if you accept what the Bible says, it is obvision[sic, should have been obvious] that the Creation myths are meant to teach lessons about man's relationship with GOD, GOD's relationship with what is created, why snakes don't have legs, why women suffer during childbirth, why we have a seven day week with a day off and why man has to till the soil and work for a living."

I am surprised that you consider GOD's relationsip with man and man's relationship with GOD to be trite and boring.

The preconceived notion is that it's not God's word, so therefore you don't have to take any pains to understand what He meant, you are free to believe it means something as boringly trite as you apparently believe.

I don't know where you got that idea. Perhaps you can point out where I began with a preconceived notion.

In fact, it is just the opposite. My position, and it is one held by many if not most Christian Churches, was derived from long study of the Bible and of the record GOD actually left us, the world we live in.


Aslan is not a Tame Lion
This message is a reply to:
 Message 45 by Faith, posted 03-08-2006 11:25 AM Faith has not yet responded

  
Heathen
Member (Idle past 59 days)
Posts: 1042
From: Brizzle
Joined: 09-20-2005


Message 49 of 96 (293273)
03-08-2006 11:44 AM
Reply to: Message 46 by Faith
03-08-2006 11:31 AM


faith writes:

NT tells us that those laws no longer apply to us.


Where does it say this?

faith writes:

I don't understand how my remarks about the early chapters of Genesis and the book of Jonah being dismissed as literal got you to the question about the meaning of "heart"


they didnt, it was in my opening post.

This message has been edited by Creavolution, 03-08-2006 11:51 AM


This message is a reply to:
 Message 46 by Faith, posted 03-08-2006 11:31 AM Faith has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 51 by Faith, posted 03-08-2006 1:04 PM Heathen has responded

  
Heathen
Member (Idle past 59 days)
Posts: 1042
From: Brizzle
Joined: 09-20-2005


Message 50 of 96 (293277)
03-08-2006 11:51 AM
Reply to: Message 44 by robinrohan
03-08-2006 11:11 AM


Re: Problems with the OP
robin writes:

In the case of "heart," you decide what best fits the context


'You' decide.... in the case of 'Heart' we can probobly agree to the intended meaning. but it is not so clear cut in other areas.
Who decides then? who is right?

robin writes:

We can as well call it literal


Literal with repect to modern understanding of the word or literal with respect to ancient understnding of the word?
This message is a reply to:
 Message 44 by robinrohan, posted 03-08-2006 11:11 AM robinrohan has not yet responded

  
Faith
Inactive Member


Message 51 of 96 (293293)
03-08-2006 1:04 PM
Reply to: Message 49 by Heathen
03-08-2006 11:44 AM


faith writes:
NT tells us that those laws no longer apply to us.
======
Where does it say this?

Many places, mostly a cumulative understanding of the whole in context. It says it for one example where God shows Peter that the Old Testament food requirements no longer apply; it says it in all Paul's discussions of freedom from the Law; it says it wherever it discusses Old Testament "types" of the Messiah; it says it in Jesus' affirmation that He came to fulfill the Law, in the overall context.

faith writes:
I don't understand how my remarks about the early chapters of Genesis and the book of Jonah being dismissed as literal got you to the question about the meaning of "heart"
============
they didnt, it was in my opening post.

Well, you put it in your post to me where one would normally expect an answer to those remarks to be.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 49 by Heathen, posted 03-08-2006 11:44 AM Heathen has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 52 by Heathen, posted 03-08-2006 1:25 PM Faith has responded

  
Heathen
Member (Idle past 59 days)
Posts: 1042
From: Brizzle
Joined: 09-20-2005


Message 52 of 96 (293303)
03-08-2006 1:25 PM
Reply to: Message 51 by Faith
03-08-2006 1:04 PM


faith writes:

it says it in all Paul's discussions of freedom from the Law; it says it wherever it discusses Old Testament "types" of the Messiah; it says it in Jesus' affirmation that He came to fulfill the Law, in the overall context.


So Paul has authority to override God in respect to the Law?
Could you point me towards passages/verses? I am genuinely interested to read where levitical laws are rendered obsolete.
Does this mean that levitican teaching with regard to homosexuality is also overidden?
"Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination." Lev 18:22

faith writes:

Well, you put it in your post to me where one would normally expect an answer to those remarks to be.


I was simply continuing the thread on topic wrt the opening post.
This message is a reply to:
 Message 51 by Faith, posted 03-08-2006 1:04 PM Faith has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 53 by Faith, posted 03-08-2006 2:09 PM Heathen has responded

  
Faith
Inactive Member


Message 53 of 96 (293323)
03-08-2006 2:09 PM
Reply to: Message 52 by Heathen
03-08-2006 1:25 PM


Paul is God's representative in the writing of what I believe to be God's inspired word. Nothing is overridden. It all has meaning in its proper place.

You can read the threads that have already dealt with the question you raise about the Law. There have been many.

The moral law (the ten commandments which include condemnation of sexual sin including homosexual sin) are not abrogated as the ceremonial laws are (the sacrifices, priestly conduct, food laws, feasts and fasts and other observances, etc), but they are also fulfilled in Christ, fulfilled so that all of our moral sins, including homosexual sin, are forgiven and not held against us at the Judgment, but ONLY if we have given ourselves to him. The moral law continues to judge those outside of Christ.

This message has been edited by Faith, 03-08-2006 02:26 PM


This message is a reply to:
 Message 52 by Heathen, posted 03-08-2006 1:25 PM Heathen has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 57 by Heathen, posted 03-08-2006 3:36 PM Faith has responded
 Message 61 by ReverendDG, posted 03-08-2006 5:21 PM Faith has responded

  
robinrohan
Inactive Member


Message 54 of 96 (293336)
03-08-2006 2:33 PM
Reply to: Message 40 by Heathen
03-08-2006 10:45 AM


Re: Problems with the OP
Uhm... it means "Stop" no confusion there.
You can of course read the highway code to find out what to do after you stop.. it's quite clear and unequivocal

Does it mean "always stop" or "stop under normal circumstances"? If the latter, what constitutes abnormal circumstances? If we turn to the highway code, we will find that we have to interpret the explanations. There is no end to this. You can never cover all your bases.

So your question "Where does literalism end and interpretation begin?"
is misleading. All reading is interpretation. That's why lawyers are always finding loopholes in carefully written contracts which require "interpretation."

But "literalism" and "interpretation" are not opposed, as your question suggests.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 40 by Heathen, posted 03-08-2006 10:45 AM Heathen has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 55 by Heathen, posted 03-08-2006 3:22 PM robinrohan has responded
 Message 56 by Heathen, posted 03-08-2006 3:30 PM robinrohan has not yet responded

  
Heathen
Member (Idle past 59 days)
Posts: 1042
From: Brizzle
Joined: 09-20-2005


Message 55 of 96 (293359)
03-08-2006 3:22 PM
Reply to: Message 54 by robinrohan
03-08-2006 2:33 PM


Re: Problems with the OP
Ok... I concede my choice of words could possibly have been better...
But semantics aside, do you at least get the point of the question? Do you understand what it is I am trying to find out here?

Where is the cutoff point at which the word begins to lose it's original meaning, (if such a thing can be known), and begins to reflect more, the personality of the reader/interpreter?

robin writes:

All reading is interpretation


So, You are saying a biblical literalist must interpret what is written in the bible? to what extent?

what sets an allegorical tale apart from a supposed truth?
there are certainly different people who interpret the bible differently, and have differing views on what is metaphor and what is truth.

Simply saying "once upon a time" does not necessarily mark a story as a fable.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 54 by robinrohan, posted 03-08-2006 2:33 PM robinrohan has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 60 by robinrohan, posted 03-08-2006 5:03 PM Heathen has responded

  
Heathen
Member (Idle past 59 days)
Posts: 1042
From: Brizzle
Joined: 09-20-2005


Message 56 of 96 (293360)
03-08-2006 3:30 PM
Reply to: Message 54 by robinrohan
03-08-2006 2:33 PM


Re: Problems with the OP
robin writes:

If we turn to the highway code, we will find that we have to interpret the explanations


How do you interpret a 'stop' sign?

I believe the highway code is very clear on how to behave on the road. so as to avoid precisely the mis-interpretation we see with the bible.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 54 by robinrohan, posted 03-08-2006 2:33 PM robinrohan has not yet responded

  
Heathen
Member (Idle past 59 days)
Posts: 1042
From: Brizzle
Joined: 09-20-2005


Message 57 of 96 (293362)
03-08-2006 3:36 PM
Reply to: Message 53 by Faith
03-08-2006 2:09 PM


faith writes:

the ten commandments which include condemnation of sexual sin including homosexual sin


I'm not aware the ten commandments have anything to say about homosexuality
This message is a reply to:
 Message 53 by Faith, posted 03-08-2006 2:09 PM Faith has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 58 by 1.61803, posted 03-08-2006 4:44 PM Heathen has not yet responded
 Message 63 by Faith, posted 03-08-2006 6:16 PM Heathen has responded

  
1.61803
Member
Posts: 2811
From: Lone Star State USA
Joined: 02-19-2004
Member Rating: 4.8


Message 58 of 96 (293388)
03-08-2006 4:44 PM
Reply to: Message 57 by Heathen
03-08-2006 3:36 PM


creavolution writes:

I'm not aware the ten commandments have anything to say about homosexuality

Sure it does that bit about, thou shall not covet thy neighbors ass nor his wife. :eek:

This message has been edited by 1.61803, 03-08-2006 04:45 PM


This message is a reply to:
 Message 57 by Heathen, posted 03-08-2006 3:36 PM Heathen has not yet responded

  
nwr
Member
Posts: 5584
From: Geneva, Illinois
Joined: 08-08-2005


Message 59 of 96 (293394)
03-08-2006 5:02 PM
Reply to: Message 47 by Faith
03-08-2006 11:41 AM


Fable or history
This merely proves what I said. It is because of the CONTENT of the stories that you reject them as literal historical accounts.

Lets see:
  • magical trees;
  • it makes no sense for God to create the tree of knowledge of good and evil, if Adam was not supposed to eat of that tree;
  • the talking serpent;
  • God lied ("thou shalt surely die") and the serpent told the truth;
  • the flaming sword that turned every way - surely the creator could just have the tree of life die and its fruit shrivel up and become useless;

    You just can't abide talking snakes as a possible reality, ...

    As history, it makes no sense whatsoever. As a fable it makes perfect sense (a "Just So" story on the human condition and what distinguishes us from other animals).

    Faith's idea of God: a liar and incompetent bungling fool.
    My idea of God: one who gave us brains and intended us to use them.


    This message is a reply to:
     Message 47 by Faith, posted 03-08-2006 11:41 AM Faith has responded

    Replies to this message:
     Message 65 by Faith, posted 03-08-2006 6:21 PM nwr has not yet responded

      
  • robinrohan
    Inactive Member


    Message 60 of 96 (293395)
    03-08-2006 5:03 PM
    Reply to: Message 55 by Heathen
    03-08-2006 3:22 PM


    Re: Problems with the OP
    So, You are saying a biblical literalist must interpret what is written in the bible?

    To read is to interpret. What interpretation involves is a judgement about the meaning based on certain assumptions and whatever evidence there is. The assumptions are necessary because all the bases are never covered.

    The unbeliever may dismiss any part of the Bible that suggests some supernatural event. But then, so may a believer such as Thomas Jefferson the Deist.

    But suppose we are not prepared to dismiss any part only on the view that the supernatural cannot be. Suppose we are or may be willing to accept supernatural events. If we are in this position, one way to decide is by noting if there are certain phrases that say that something is like something else--i.e., a parable.

    Simply saying "once upon a time" does not necessarily mark a story as a fable.

    "once upon a time" suggests an unidentified time and place. That is a stylistic feature of myth. There may be other features, but I'm not sure what they are. Identifying these myth-like features could be another way to try to distinguish between myth and history if one was not willing to dismiss a story just because it contained supernatural elements.

    This myth-like feature--"once upon a time"--is missing from the New Testament but may be present in some of the Old Testament books.


    This message is a reply to:
     Message 55 by Heathen, posted 03-08-2006 3:22 PM Heathen has responded

    Replies to this message:
     Message 62 by Heathen, posted 03-08-2006 5:49 PM robinrohan has responded

      
    Prev123
    4
    567Next
    Newer Topic | Older Topic
    Jump to:


    Copyright 2001-2018 by EvC Forum, All Rights Reserved

    ™ Version 4.0 Beta
    Innovative software from Qwixotic © 2019