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Liberty News ForumLNF Forums HereReligion Forum › Was the bible meant to be read literally or as a "poem".
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Hot Topic (More than 10 Replies) Was the bible meant to be read literally or as a "poem". (Read 771 times)
BowHunter
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Was the bible meant to be read literally or as a "poem".
Oct 24th, 2017 at 4:22am
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Running Deer wrote on Oct 23rd, 2017 at 7:40pm:
We don't know where the Big Bang came from, or if it even makes sense to say that it came from anything at all.  Because natural laws were created at the same time as the universe, it may be impossible to figure out the answer.

That said, there is absolutely zero evidence that a literal reading of Genesis is correct and mountains of evidence that it is not.  This is only a problem to Christians who are silly enough to interpret a 3000-year old epic poem as the literal history of the universe.  Most Christians no longer do, and it's not clear if most Christians ever did.


I am answering to the highlighted section.

There is quite a difference between saying that something is no longer seen as a literal truth by some people and saying that it was meant to be seen that way from the very start, which is what the author of that prose implies, even if he didn't quite come out and outright said it.

Initially the bible was meant as a tool to impose a religious order and facilitate the control of the ruling class over their subjects. As such it wouldn't have been seen as a list of allegories or metaphors that as everyone knows, are ambiguous even with best of intentions, not to mention that most of the people back then wouldn't have known what to make of these so called "metaphors". NO, the bible was definitely meant to be read literally and followed as precisely as possible. Sure, some parts are so silly that people likely stopped questioning their factuality a long time ago but still, it was seen as blasphemous to even imply that these parts were inaccurate.

Much later, almost now in comparison to the stretch of time elapsed in fact, the bible apologists were given two choices, either denying the scientific truth that contradicted those parts or taking the "biblical truth" on some nebulous non literal level that could still be compatible with the sciences, RD is right that the smarter ones took the second route but he definitely wrong when he implies that that is because that was how the bible was meant to be read to begin with.

The implication is beyond idiotic in fact, that is that people would have written the bible to be understood in a way that wouldn't be discovered until thousands of years after their deaths.

That's the problem with RD, he's so used to opposing things that once in a while he opposes common sense itself.
  

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Re: Was the bible meant to be read literally or as a "poem".
Reply #1 - Oct 24th, 2017 at 1:05pm
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BowHunter wrote on Oct 24th, 2017 at 4:22am:
Initially the bible was meant as a tool to impose a religious order and facilitate the control of the ruling class over their subjects.


If by 'bible' you're specifically referencing the post First Council of Nicea canon then I would agree.  However I don't support a 1st century version of your point.




  

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Re: Was the bible meant to be read literally or as a "poem".
Reply #2 - Oct 24th, 2017 at 7:20pm
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Its creative writing
  

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Re: Was the bible meant to be read literally or as a "poem".
Reply #3 - Oct 24th, 2017 at 7:45pm
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BowHunter wrote on Oct 24th, 2017 at 4:22am:
There is quite a difference between saying that something is no longer seen as a literal truth by some people and saying that it was meant to be seen that way from the very start, which is what the author of that prose implies, even if he didn't quite come out and outright said it.


The Creation story almost certainly didn't have one author but developed over time, was edited, redacted, and fit its final written form.  It's extraordinarily unlikely that it had one author, so we can't attribute authorial intent in the same way we can for Moby Dick.  Some of the authors might have meant the Creation story literally, others figuratively, and others didn't care as long as the money kept flowing in.

Likewise, some hearers probably always took it literally, some figuratively, and some didn't care as long as the king's troops stayed out of his fields.  I should note that I asked the first Orthodox Jew I ever met whether he took Genesis literally, and he replied, "I've never thought about it."

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Initially the bible was meant as a tool to impose a religious order and facilitate the control of the ruling class over their subjects.


True of some portions of the Bible, definitely not true of others.  The Torah absolutely so, the Epistles of Paul not at all.

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Much later, almost now in comparison to the stretch of time elapsed in fact, the bible apologists were given two choices, either denying the scientific truth that contradicted those parts or taking the "biblical truth" on some nebulous non literal level that could still be compatible with the sciences, RD is right that the smarter ones took the second route but he definitely wrong when he implies that that is because that was how the bible was meant to be read to begin with.


If I'm definitely wrong, feel free to provide evidence.  Note that many early Christians took Genesis figuratively 1500 years before science took off.  It's also worth noting that numerous passages of the Bible are clearly not meant literally, such as songs, poetry, prophecy, parables, etc.
  

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Re: Was the bible meant to be read literally or as a "poem".
Reply #4 - Oct 25th, 2017 at 1:54pm
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Excellent post BowHunter. One thing though that Christians have a hard time with, especially nowadays when everything is so heated and divided, is the fact that this is just the way it was. Anyone who says such things must be some kind of evildoer trying to oppress Christians, etc. Or when we say the NT was just a bunch of made up stories that changed significantly over time. They think somehow their religion is under attack. Not true. It's just the way things work. Copyists make mistakes, sometimes agendas are inserted so meanings are changed, but roughly none of it was done for some evil purpose.
  
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Re: Was the bible meant to be read literally or as a "poem".
Reply #5 - Oct 25th, 2017 at 4:44pm
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Muckster wrote on Oct 25th, 2017 at 1:54pm:
Copyists make mistakes, sometimes agendas are inserted so meanings are changed, but roughly none of it was done for some evil purpose.



In 325AD Pagan Emperor Constantine commissioned, paid for and approved the texts for church use.

The texts that were to become the bible were copied AND edited for hundreds of years prior to the Council of Trent ~1545AD
  

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Re: Was the bible meant to be read literally or as a "poem".
Reply #6 - Oct 25th, 2017 at 8:00pm
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Fiddler wrote on Oct 25th, 2017 at 4:44pm:
In 325AD Pagan Emperor Constantine commissioned, paid for and approved the texts for church use.


This is completely wrong.  We have solid evidence that all of the common 66 biblical books were written well before 200 A.D., and probably all were written before 150 A.D.  (The Revelation might be slightly later.)  The 27 New Testament books had already been universally accepted by Christians without Constantine's input.  As for the Old Testament, we have the Dead Sea Scrolls, which show the text of the Old Testament books was set hundreds of years before Constantine was born.

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The texts that were to become the bible were copied AND edited for hundreds of years prior to the Council of Trent ~1545AD


True, to some extent, but if you're implying the editing was ongoing between Constantine and the Council of Trent, that's not right at all.  We have the Dead Sea Scrolls that show the Old Testament has not changed in 2000 years.  We also have the Vulgate, a complete translation of the Bible into Latin, from just before 400 A.D., which shows that the New Testament hasn't changed since then.  That was slightly after Constantine, but it's significant evidence that the text was not continuously edited until the Council of Trent.

Now, there was editing and redaction of the Bible texts, but it was long, long before Constantine.  Much of the Old Testament was likely assembled 500-600 B.C. in Babylon; the New Testament 60-150 A.D.
  

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Re: Was the bible meant to be read literally or as a "poem".
Reply #7 - Feb 4th, 2018 at 2:34pm
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Not that it matters but the first Bible was printed in the 15th century by the Gutzenburg press. I posted this elsewhere but do not recall  where. Embarrassed
  

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Re: Was the bible meant to be read literally or as a "poem".
Reply #8 - Feb 4th, 2018 at 2:40pm
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I posted this elsewhere but do not recall where  The Bible was first printed in the 15th century by the Gutzenburg press. Hope this is not a double post.
  

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Re: Was the bible meant to be read literally or as a "poem".
Reply #9 - Feb 4th, 2018 at 2:41pm
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just_me wrote on Feb 4th, 2018 at 2:40pm:
I posted this elsewhere but do not recall where  The Bible was first printed in the 15th century by the Gutzenburg press. Hope this is not a double post.

Now my other post shows up. Embarrassed
  

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