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Is Scripture to be taken literally or is it open to interpretation?

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posted on Aug, 28 2008 @ 09:38 AM
reply to post by miriam0566

Exactly why would God prevent man from editing and manipulating mans own work?

The manipulation in the texts can easily be seen even today, read the KJV versus the ILV and you can plainly see the amount of manipulation and editing that has gone into the bible.

Remember the Bible was written by man, and edited by man. The bible is not written by God. The bible is a rattified document created by committe.

posted on Aug, 28 2008 @ 09:47 AM
reply to post by whatukno

As well as, not to forget about the books that used to be a part of the Bible.

posted on Aug, 28 2008 @ 09:49 AM
reply to post by Misfit

That is correct, there are books of the bible that were included before the 15th century that are no longer included in the biblical texts.

posted on Aug, 28 2008 @ 12:20 PM
reply to post by miriam0566

sorry miriam, but its a known fact.

you cant argue with fact, man wrote the bible, man changed the bible, which is exactly why we have the holy spirit as i said. the spirit guides us.

posted on Aug, 28 2008 @ 12:41 PM
There are pieces of scripture, The Gospel of St Thomas, for example, that have never been in The Bible but are someone's interpretation of Jesus' life and teachings.
Someone, somewhere, decided that it didn't quite fit into their own interpretation of Jesus's life so it was omitted from The Bible.
Who is to say that it was not the most accurate version and interpretation?
I don't know but I suppose that is a discussion for another thread.

I think the 'hell' example offered by Miriam is one of the best examples that confuses me.
Some people quote a particular verse / chapter of The Bible and will say that it is meant literal; fire and brimstone stuff.
Someone else will quote the same passage and state that it is meant as a metaphor and that it really shouldn't be taken literally and that it means something else, (usually their own interpretation or that of their own particular denomination).

Which is correct?

I understand that The Bible may consist of actual facts and metaphors, but determinig which is down to individual or denominational interpretation.
This leads to confusion when Scripture is offered as evidence in debate.

Creationism V's Evolution.
At times scripture is offered as literal, definitive proof that evolution is hogwash.
This can sometimes be disproved.
Other people sometimes offer interpretations of Scripture to support their theory / opinion.
It is not consistent and leads to much confusion and arguement.

All the varying answers so far offered have convinced me of one thing; there is no consensus of opinion of if, how or when biblical scripture is intended to be taken literally or not.

As such this leads to the next question:

Should The Bible only be considered as a valid source when discussing matters of theological or spiritual matters?

I assure everyone that this is not an attempt at ridiculing, dismissing or belittlleing Christians and their beliefs but a genuine attempt at understanding their viewpoint.

[edit on 28/8/08 by Freeborn]

posted on Aug, 28 2008 @ 02:04 PM
reply to post by Freeborn

Since you brought up the Gospel of Thomas, I'm going to assume people will come along and slam it - so just to let everyone know I'm going to defend it, that it is real words spoken by Jesus/Yeshua. It's important because we are discussing if things are to be taken literally or open to interpretation.

The first thing it says is that these are the "secret" words spoken by the living Jesus. You have to ask yourself - why would it have been necessary to go underground and discuss things? Why wouldn't the Church want people to read Thomas? What is in this Gospel the Church didn't want you to see?

Lol - how far down the rabbit hole do you folks really want to go? This whole thread is about perceptions and the things that guide our realizations.

[edit on 28-8-2008 by Myrtales Instinct]

posted on Aug, 28 2008 @ 02:15 PM
reply to post by Myrtales Instinct

i defend the gospel of thomas as well, it was decided for us long ago what was going to be in the bible, just because it isnt in the bible does not mean it isnt scripture.

i say lets go down that rabbit hole as far as we can. anything less would a slap in the face to our saviour.

posted on Aug, 28 2008 @ 02:18 PM

for anyone that wants to, here is some links to writing not found in the bible.

posted on Aug, 28 2008 @ 02:58 PM
reply to post by Freeborn

Hi again.

...Someone else will quote the same passage and state that it is meant as a metaphor and that it really shouldn't be taken literally and that it means something else, (usually their own interpretation or that of their own particular denomination).

This is the heart of the matter. It relates to the science of hermeneutics, the principles and methodology of Biblical interpretation. As mentioned previously knowledge of the backgrounds to the books, their literary genres and original languages are a starting point, and as such require study. If you are serious about getting to the bottom of how to approach the Bible you could start with the following:

Why some books were included and others left out:

The New Testament Documents: are they Reliable? by FF Bruce (available online here) - chapter III in particular

Nothing but the Truth (available here)

Hermeneutics Specifically

Knowing Scripture by RC Sproul (available here)

You might possibly also find overviews of the Bible helpful, such as 'Ultimate Questions' (available here) and 'The Milk of the Word' (available here), although I agree with your approach that nothing can substitute getting to the bottom of these issues through trying to grasp for yourself what the Bible says.

There is room for different interpretations in many areas and different ways of doing things at the end of the day. While many look at the Church and perceive division they miss the very real unity that exists around the basic principles of the faith, and unites people from every nation and language.

Even the apostles were keen to encourage people not to get bogged down with the detail (quote to follow). For example, whether the fire in hell is literal or metaphoric, the issue is: how does a person attain a certain destiny of eternal life with their Maker in Heaven?

According to the Bible everything hangs around the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ, and a person's relationship to that event. If a person misses this supreme theme of the Scriptures, other subjects - that may well be fascinating - end up being red herrings. It's only when a reader has grasped this central message that they can profitably pour over the detail.

...Even though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them. He said, "Peace to you!" Then He said to Thomas, "Put your finger here and observe my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into My side. Don't be an unbeliever, but a believer." Thomas responded to Him, "My Lord and My God!" Jesus said, "Because you have seen Me, you have believed. Those who believe without seeing are blessed."

Jesus performed many other signs in the presence of His disciples that are not written in this book. But these are written so that you may believe Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and by believing you may have life in His name.

John 20:26b-31

posted on Aug, 28 2008 @ 05:05 PM
reply to post by pause4thought

Thanks for the links p4t, I suspect it may take me some time to read through them all, and probably quite a bit longer to fully understand what I will have read and to form an opinion.

[edit on 28/8/08 by Freeborn]

posted on Aug, 28 2008 @ 07:01 PM
What astonishes me is that at one time the Old Testament was taken as the literal word of God. Then as attitudes and modernity happened; the new fashionable Bible was adopted by the clerics and the Old Testament was abandoned as the word of God.

Perhaps it's just me but when a HOLY book is changed and amended at the whim of committees and councils of clerics, academic theologians and kings; it's kind of hard to take very seriously.

And who's to say the scribes that were intrusted with reproducing the Bible weren't jacking with some of the language creating a cosmic mind ****?

"Hey Brian, check this out....LOL, ain't it a hoot?"

[edit on 28-8-2008 by whaaa]

posted on Aug, 29 2008 @ 12:54 AM

Originally posted by pureevil81
fair enough, but what about " where their worm does not die " ?

i was so busy in other threads i forgot to answer this. sorry

in mark 9, jesus is quoting a specific scripture.

isa 66:24 And they shall go forth, and look upon the carcases of the men that have transgressed against me: for their worm shall not die, neither shall their fire be quenched; and they shall be an abhorring unto all flesh.

notice here that we are talking about "carcases", not someone whos alive but dead.

the worms and the fire show 2 separate ways to dispose of corpses, worms which eat the body (like in a grave) and fire or cremation. both clearly show an idea of destruction, not torment. the fact that these are everlasting show that there is no more chances for these individuals, since they knowingly reject god.

this is also in harmony with the fact that gehenna was a dump to destroy not torment like i showed earlier

posted on Aug, 29 2008 @ 07:49 AM
reply to post by Myrtales Instinct

I really don't know what is in The Gospel Of St Thomas other than it has a more gnostic content and that someone decided that it should be omitted from The Bible. I did read it once, but that was many years ago and I'm afraid the memory begins to fade with age!

Now if it was erronous for a man / men to omit a work from The Bible then isn't it fair to admit that the same man / men may, just may, have been equally mistaken by admitting something into The Bible.
If true does this in turn question the validity of The Bible as a whole?

posted on Aug, 29 2008 @ 08:30 AM
im not ignoring this discussion about the bible being by men or by god.

just debating whether to start another thread on it, because its a question that keeps coming up

posted on Aug, 29 2008 @ 09:08 AM
reply to post by miriam0566

I appreciate your contributions and those of every one who has posted.

It is not just a question of if The Bible is of man or God or even both
I just struggle with the inconsistency with which it is quoted and to the reliability of it being used as a source.

It seems there is no common consensus, not even amongst Christians themselves.
Is it meant for literal or metaphorical interpretation?
Who decides when it is intended to be intepreted literally or metaphorically as different denominations / individual interpretations differ.

If legitimate texts about Jesus, his life and his teachings were omitted from The Bible then it is fair to accept the possibility, just the possibility, that illegitimate texts were included thus casting doubt on the validity of the whole work when used as a source to support an arguement, at least when proposing that The Bible is the definative word of God 'himself'.

Confused? You will be!

It is these contradictions, when allayed with an overwhelming sense of righteousness that can, I repeat can, lead to confusion from Atheists and Agnostics when discussing religious / theological related issues when The Bible and Scripture is offered as proof and evidence.

Still, to more important matters, I'm off to the pub very soon to partake in at least a gallon and half, probably two gallon, of the finest British Bitter it is possible to partake in.


[edit on 29/8/08 by Freeborn]

posted on Aug, 29 2008 @ 11:29 AM
reply to post by Freeborn

I don't think it questions the validity of the Bible as a whole. I think they let us have what they wanted us to have. They controlled the content and gained from it. The Church built their wealth and status through control. Jesus came, so that man could now have access to God on a one on one basis. Thomas shows you don't need the middle man, and there is no gain in that. When people realize that, organized religion loses control. There are only two things, which are deliberately left a mystery in the Bible and they both revolve around the Holy Spirit. One is found in Daniel and the other in Revelations.

In Revelations, seven thunders utter their voice and John is about to write but he's told not to write what he heard. But it says in the days when the last trumphet is about to sound - the mystery of God will be revealed. Daniel sees something to and he's told to seal it up. But whatever he heard and saw results in many people overcoming, wearing white and shining.

There seems to be so much confusion because not enough people are spirit filled. Spirit brings wisdom and understanding. Spirit testifies to it'self. It's the ultimate proof, that Jesus is who he says he is and all the texts must mesh together for them to stand on two legs. Thomas shows the power of the living God and is crucial to the Cannon.

[edit on 29-8-2008 by Myrtales Instinct]

posted on Aug, 29 2008 @ 01:41 PM
reply to post by miriam0566

i give up, these discussions do nothing but get me kinda mad, so no more.

one persons opinion is just that, some people just stick to their opinion no mateer what kind of crap they have to dig up.

posted on Aug, 29 2008 @ 06:05 PM
reply to post by Freeborn

the scripture that G-D gave to moses and the prophets is true---what so called scholars and translaters have added or taken away is not true.
a copy of bullinger's companion bible would give you the truth-----there has been so much interference with the hebrew and greek by so called experts that it is impossible for me or others to explain it all or for you to understand what i would try to tell you.
suffice it to say that mostly what is important enough for all of us simple ones to understand has gotten thru to those that seek after G-D for salvation--------the changing from human to Divine---life with out end---forever as a member of G-D's family.

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