1. Welcome to Religious Forums, a friendly forum to discuss all religions in a friendly surrounding.

    Your voice is missing! You will need to register to get access to the following site features:
    • Reply to discussions and create your own threads.
    • Our modern chat room. No add-ons or extensions required, just login and start chatting!
    • Access to private conversations with other members.

    We hope to see you as a part of our community soon!

Featured Why is the literalness of the Bible so important?

Discussion in 'Religious Debates' started by Jainarayan, Mar 22, 2019.

  1. Saint Frankenstein

    Saint Frankenstein ᛘᛁᛏᚾᛁᚴᚼᛏ᛫ᛋᚢᚾ
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2012
    Messages:
    26,955
    Ratings:
    +12,760
    Religion:
    Germanic Folk Revival
    That's really an Evangelical Protestant thing. There's some super-fundie Catholics, I suppose, who also take it literally but that wouldn't be the norm.

    I think literalism spoils the spiritual message. It shouldn't really matter if those stories or people were historical. What matters is how the stories impact you and their meaning to your relationship to the Divine. People underestimate the power of myth, and they sadly think something being a myth means it isn't real or is an insult.
     
    • Winner Winner x 3
  2. Jainarayan

    Jainarayan ॐ नमो भगवते वासुदेवाय
    Staff Member Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2011
    Messages:
    19,032
    Ratings:
    +7,130
    Religion:
    Hinduism, Vaishnava
    Yeah, the words 'myth', 'mythology' and 'mythological' have gotten a bum rap. I feel compelled to parenthetically note that my use of 'myth' is referring to a body of stories, not that they're fairy tales.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  3. WalterTrull

    WalterTrull Godfella

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2017
    Messages:
    2,295
    Ratings:
    +889
    Had me there for a minute until I realized the typo.
    Didn't figure you meant:
    "thete in British. (θiːt) a member of the lowest order of freeman in ancient Athens."
     
    • Informative Informative x 1
  4. Audie

    Audie Veteran Member

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2018
    Messages:
    10,463
    Ratings:
    +4,988
    Religion:
    None
    Which one is not a fairy tale?
     
  5. WalterTrull

    WalterTrull Godfella

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2017
    Messages:
    2,295
    Ratings:
    +889
    Not sure if you're arguing pro or con. Could be a sarcastic pro.
     
  6. viole

    viole Metaphysical Naturalist
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2014
    Messages:
    8,588
    Ratings:
    +3,788
    Religion:
    Gnostic Atheism
    Cool. For a second I thought that those resurrection stories of Jesus were literal.

    Ciao

    - viole
     
  7. Jumi

    Jumi Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2014
    Messages:
    9,881
    Ratings:
    +5,447
    Religion:
    Secular theist (none)
    The problem with this is that most people had little or no idea of scripture until the printing press and protestant reformation. Before that, literalism wasn't such a big issue. Even the church at the time thought that the Bible mustn't be too widespread for various reasons.

    Some of the parts of the Bible are clearly talking about mystical experiences, some are ethical or cultural normative moral allegories. Some are a warehouse of cultural understandings of the time. People often get confused whether they're believers or not on them.
     
  8. DavidMcCann

    DavidMcCann Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2014
    Messages:
    2,549
    Ratings:
    +1,425
    Religion:
    Hellenic Polytheist
    In Antiquity there were a few Christians who took everything literally, but they were largely squashed by the authority of the Fathers. Augustine wrote on the subject, saying that only the religious teachings were inspired: when Biblical writers wrote about history, geography, or astronomy they were on their own. And yes, he specifically mentioned the 6 days of creation in that category.

    Literalism came in again with Protestantism, but it's hard to see why. As I've said before, one wonders whether those who believe that Adam and Eve were real people also believe that of the Good Samaritan. Perhaps they would be less confused if we spoke of parables rather than myths, but somehow I doubt it.
     
    • Informative Informative x 1
  9. pcarl

    pcarl Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2005
    Messages:
    3,176
    Ratings:
    +1,270
    Religion:
    Catholic
    A number of Jesus' parables.

    There is no language with which to express what is believed. Stories are remembered through the generations.
     
  10. Quintessence

    Quintessence Tale Weaver
    Staff Member Premium Member

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2011
    Messages:
    19,486
    Ratings:
    +12,344
    Religion:
    Druidry

    Curiously, if mythology has gotten a bum rap, fairy tales are even worse off. They are spoken of as things that are unworthy of time or consideration in spite of the fact that they are repositories of cultural lore just as much as religious mythologies are. Many fairy tales contain remnants of oral religions or folk wisdom that have long since been lost or corrupted. Some Pagans - not myself - take to trying to sort all of this out, but it's something of a vain effort since all we have to work with are literary (and highly Christianized) versions of what were once oral traditions.

    At any rate, it's my understanding that Biblical literalism is a thing specific to particular movements within Christianity as a whole and fairly modern. I couldn't tell you which ones, as I haven't made a study of such things and don't really remember. How important it is depends on the tradition. Hard to say how popular it really is, but it wouldn't surprise me of it is that minority that others like to ogle at and poke fun at. For my part, I largely ignore it. Mythological literalism of any sort is a rather bankrupt approach to mythos.
     
    • Informative Informative x 1
  11. PureX

    PureX Veteran Member

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2006
    Messages:
    10,945
    Ratings:
    +3,685
    Religion:
    Philosophical Taoist/Christian
    In a word, "authority". The Bible must be absolutely correct and unassailable if I am going to proclaim my interpretation of it as being absolutely correct and unassailable.

    That's the big payoff for the 'magically inerrant Bible': that one's interpretation of it then also becomes magically inerrant.

    Hey, don't argue with me, argue with GOD.

    See what I mean?
     
    #31 PureX, Mar 22, 2019
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2019
    • Winner Winner x 1
  12. Jainarayan

    Jainarayan ॐ नमो भगवते वासुदेवाय
    Staff Member Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2011
    Messages:
    19,032
    Ratings:
    +7,130
    Religion:
    Hinduism, Vaishnava
    I'm referring to the term fairy tale used pejoratively. See the comments below.

    Exactly. I think I’m kind of defensive about the terms myth and mythology for the reasons you said.
     
  13. 12jtartar

    12jtartar Active Member
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    May 18, 2015
    Messages:
    578
    Ratings:
    +111
    Religion:
    Christian
    Jainarayan,
    There are two ways to consider literal. The Bible is literal as to the message written from our Creator!!!
    The words were written in several different languages, and, especially in Hebrew and Aramaic, you cannot take literally, in many cases. The reason for this is because Hebrew, just like English, was living language, and was changing lol the time.
    If a Bible translator tried to write the Bible using literal words of today, we would not be able to tell what it was saying, we would never get a correct message. The Bible must be translated in the exact meaning that the words had at the time of writing. This is very difficult today, and takes much, much study. This is one, very correctly called a Bible Scholar. Today, we do not need to understand the old Hebrew, we have many scholars who have proven to be trustworthy. Each different translation should be compared with other translations, if you want the truth.
    The Almighty God Jehovah has even promised to make sure that the Bible will be accurate throughout all generations, Psalms 12:6,7, Isaiah 40:8, 1Peter 1:25. There are mistakes in all Bibles, but they can easily be found by comparing different translations.
    Agape!!!
     
  14. Jainarayan

    Jainarayan ॐ नमो भगवते वासुदेवाय
    Staff Member Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2011
    Messages:
    19,032
    Ratings:
    +7,130
    Religion:
    Hinduism, Vaishnava
    Yes, I see. It’s the appeal to authority.
     
  15. Sky Rivers

    Sky Rivers Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2019
    Messages:
    290
    Ratings:
    +79
    Religion:
    Christian
    1. The talking snake doesn’t bother me at all, since humans (and likely all creatures) spoke in one tongue (or could each be understood). The snake lost his voice later (extra-Biblical account).

    2. I believe he was a literal snake and the entire account was literal. I’ve no reason to doubt.

    3. My literal approach takes great faith, not less.

    4. It’s not just another book of morals for me so I don’t have such a confusion over it.
     
    • Informative Informative x 1
  16. Audie

    Audie Veteran Member

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2018
    Messages:
    10,463
    Ratings:
    +4,988
    Religion:
    None
    Thats the kind of obscurantist non answer
    that I kinda expected.
     
  17. PureX

    PureX Veteran Member

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2006
    Messages:
    10,945
    Ratings:
    +3,685
    Religion:
    Philosophical Taoist/Christian
    To the materialists, none of this matters at all. Because none of it is "real". Only the material universe is real, to them. So that only science finds any "real" relevance to truth. Everything else is just pointless fantasy.
     
  18. Jainarayan

    Jainarayan ॐ नमो भगवते वासुदेवाय
    Staff Member Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2011
    Messages:
    19,032
    Ratings:
    +7,130
    Religion:
    Hinduism, Vaishnava
    Using this as an example is it possible that the Ancient Hebrew word for ‘day’ could have actually meant “a very long time”? I’ve seen interpretations of “until Heaven and Earth pass away” as meaning that. Some languages seem to be more concrete than others. Or it takes an in depth knowledge of the culture to know what was meant.
     
  19. PureX

    PureX Veteran Member

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2006
    Messages:
    10,945
    Ratings:
    +3,685
    Religion:
    Philosophical Taoist/Christian
    Except that the more convinced you are that you are right, the less faith you actually need to maintain it. It's important to understand and recognize the difference between faith, pretense, and hubris.
     
    • Winner Winner x 2
  20. Augustus

    Augustus the Unreasonable

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2014
    Messages:
    9,240
    Ratings:
    +7,930
    Religion:
    none
    Not sure it's too hard.

    Allegorical readings are more intellectually demanding, and usually have to be taught. Protestantism opened up the Bible to the masses, often reading alone.

    Literalism is the easiest to understand and is exactly what you would expect from less well educated people reading without instruction.
     
    • Informative Informative x 2
    • Like Like x 1
Loading...