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How many Christians here take all things in the bible literally?

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posted on Aug, 18 2011 @ 05:51 PM
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Originally posted by Southern Guardian
When it comes to the bible however, there are many many things that I do not agree with and that I do not believe in.


Me too. I don't believe that some passages are accurate, and the further back you go in the Bible the less the accuracy. Personally I feel after much study that the NT is very accurate whereas the OT is not.


Originally posted by Southern Guardian
I had an interesting discussion with a co-worker the other day about this idea of evolution, of the earth being created in 6 days, of the bibles views on slavery, and she told me that these things written in the bible are not to be taken literally. I was taken aback alittle as she was a devout Christian from my time spent working with her. I knew there were others who do not take the bible literally, Bill O'Reilly in one show in a debate with another political analyst insisted that the bible not be taken literally as well.


Let's have a look:



1In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.

2And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.

3And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.

4And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness.

5And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.


The first sentence says God created the heaven and earth, but it does not say in a day. It does not say how long it took, it could have been hundreds of thousands of years. It's not until the 3rd line that He brings light to the world, and it doesn't say He "created" light then, it could very well be that the sun already existed, the earth was shrouded in cloud cover and He parted it at that time and allowed light to strike the surface. By line 5 He has established light and darkness and thus the cycle of a "day" was begun. Again, there's no indication here that all of the above happened in a day, only that everything was created by God, and then light/ darkness was established as the daily cycle. When people say they take this "literally", my question is "whose interpretation are you taking literally?" Because by my interpretation you can take this chapter literally and still have an ancient earth.


Originally posted by Josonic
You can't be a Christian and not take everything in the Bible literally.


Sure you can. The writings regarding Christ are not nearly as old as the OT writings, and there were multiple authors that wrote the stories of His life separately but with strong cohesion. There are also the writings of the secular writer Josephus which corroborate the NT stories. These writings are all solid and convincing. The OT is another matter, certainly much of it is factual as proven through archaology but there are passages that just do not jive with the God described in the NT. Leviticus is the most egregious example, and while apologists try to explain it away as God offering laws for the Jews to live by because they needed those laws, personally I cannot reconcile the pure and perfect God that I believe in with someone telling Jews how to stamp an awl through their slave's ear to mark him/ her as their property. There's no need to dismiss the entire Bible or one's faith because of a few problematic passages though.



edit on 18-8-2011 by SavedOne because: typo




posted on Aug, 18 2011 @ 05:54 PM
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The bible, i believe, carries many symbols, and metaphors. In a sense of taken the bible literally, i say yes in every way. Look at it from both angles all the time, for God can show you many things, through the passage, in the bible. The more you read it, not sure about anyone else, but sometimes i get different feelings, and just think in different ways, depending on the mind-state.

Though, you brought up the words evolution, and creation. I believe there will soon be a deception, globally. The deception will be, this Nibiru Dark Sun, and the planet few planets around it, either sometime before they arrive, or when they do, it will be "known" that these Reptillians were our God, in fact this is not true. They will show up, portraying Omnipotent God, mocking him with there technology, causing them to appear as if they are performing miracles, thus much of the population will fall victim to these evil plot against the one and only True God.

Too wrap it up, there is no need to be fearful in these times of tyranny, for God has power of all things, including life. Trust in God, to make it through the day, that's what i do, now i believe we are all the same, yo it's me Semanynammai, no the jist, now i should probably stop cause the holy spirit turned this in to a rap, we're taken back to a place we once knew, now they call them Nibiru, the crocs from the stars, soon, everyone will know who they are.

There is no peace with violence, an obvious deception. Heard the term war is peace? You hear it a lot, but who hears the lie?

Thank you for your time friends.



posted on Aug, 18 2011 @ 06:20 PM
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Originally posted by Southern Guardian
I'd call myself a christian to an extent in that I do believe in God, and I do believe that there is more to this life of ours than simply dying and dissappearing into a black void of nothingness. When it comes to the bible however, there are many many things that I do not agree with and that I do not believe in. I had an interesting discussion with a co-worker the other day about this idea of evolution, of the earth being created in 6 days, of the bibles views on slavery, and she told me that these things written in the bible are not to be taken literally. I was taken aback alittle as she was a devout Christian from my time spent working with her. I knew there were others who do not take the bible literally, Bill O'Reilly in one show in a debate with another political analyst insisted that the bible not be taken literally as well.

How do some ATSers who are Christians feel about this? This is a special case when it comes to creationism and evolution, or the origins of life as we know it, are there those of you who do not take the bible literally? I do believe in evolution, I just think it's just one of Gods great inventions, and I recognize that there are many christians who are not necessarily creationists. Do you as a Christian take the bible literally?



Not everything in the bible is to be applied literally. Consider the following:


MT 5:27 "You have heard that it was said, `Do not commit adultery.' But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell.


None of us would have any body parts left if we applied this literally. The above passage is an example of Jesus telling us how we need to take sin very seriously. It is not about self mutilation.

The book of Genesis was written more than 3000 years ago, it was written to an audience of ancient Hebrews in layman's terms. If it were to be written today, it could possibly contain more scientific detail that we can now grasp.



posted on Aug, 18 2011 @ 06:25 PM
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reply to post by sonofliberty1776
 


What prophecy? The Rapture that was supposed to happen in May or the one that was supposed to happen in 1997?



posted on Aug, 18 2011 @ 06:32 PM
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reply to post by Josonic
 


You can't be a Christian and not take everything in the Bible literally. I say this as an ex-Christian, now atheist.

Interesting. I am also an ex-Christian, now atheist and I would ask why would you assume that a Christian has to take everything in the Bible literally?



posted on Aug, 18 2011 @ 06:35 PM
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Originally posted by Zeer0
reply to post by sonofliberty1776
 


What prophecy? The Rapture that was supposed to happen in May or the one that was supposed to happen in 1997?
Care to show me where those dates are in the Bible? They are not there. Even Jesus said he did not know the date of his return, only the father knows.



posted on Aug, 18 2011 @ 06:39 PM
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How many? Here? If I had to guess, well, 69 feels good.



posted on Aug, 18 2011 @ 06:50 PM
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reply to post by sonofliberty1776
 


Thats pretty much failed logic right there. So people have been saying the return of Jesus was inevitble for the longest time and even the Messiah says he doesnt know. What part of that makes sense?



edit on 18-8-2011 by Zeer0 because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 18 2011 @ 06:57 PM
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Originally posted by Josonic

Originally posted by schuyler
Did you know, for example, that in many seminaries the conclusion is that Jesus was a charaismatic guy with a message--and that's all?


As I've said before, you can't believe Jesus is not the Messiah if you are a Christian, if you follow some of the bible and don't believe Jesus is the Messiah that means you are Jewish, Mormon, or something completely else but NOT CHRISTIAN. For Christs sake its in the word you're using (Christian).


I don't really care what YOU'VE said before. This is not about you. The question was about Christians in general, not about your personal interpretation of what you think a Christian ought to believe.

Sonofliberty also mentioned the "great apostasy." What really is great about this is that neither one of you guys get to set policy nor enforce your own interpretation on a couple of billion people. There is some solace in that. The answer to the OP's question, however, is still that most Christians of any education at all do NOT take the Bible literally. Fortunately.
edit on 8/18/2011 by schuyler because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 18 2011 @ 06:58 PM
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Originally posted by Zeer0
reply to post by sonofliberty1776
 


Thats pretty much failed logic right there. So people have been saying the return of Jesus was inevitble for the longest time and even the Messiah says he doesnt know. What part of that makes sense?



edit on 18-8-2011 by Zeer0 because: (no reason given)
He does not know THE DATE of his return. Only the father does. Matthew 24 is all about the stage being set prior to his return.



posted on Aug, 19 2011 @ 03:14 AM
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I believe in Adam and Eve, the flood, the OT and the NT. We don't know how long a day to the LORD is though.
edit on 19-8-2011 by 547000 because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 19 2011 @ 12:02 PM
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How about staying on topic instead of quoting the Bible and displaying your ignorance? Do you really thing God made the Earth in 4004BC on October 23rd? Really? Do you really believe the Earth was completely flooded with water and that Noah got all those animals in the Ark? Really? Every single one?

The question on the floor is: How many Christians take all things in the Bible literally? It's not about what YOU think Christians OUGHT to believe.

The answer is: About one third.

Also, there is a high inverse correlation between this belief and education. If you have a high school diploma or less, 42% believe the Bible literally. If you are a college graduate, 20% do. If you have education beyond a bachelor's degree, 11% do.

Think about that. The more ignorant you are, the more likely you are to believe the Bible is literally true.

While some of you continue to rant about this, I have provided the answer to the question. Of course, this poll applies to Americans only, but I got as close as I could.

You are welcome.



posted on Aug, 19 2011 @ 12:06 PM
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reply to post by schuyler
 


Interesting. The more education one would have and it seems they still believe the bible is the "inspired word of god". Perhaps lots of philosophy majors?



posted on Aug, 19 2011 @ 01:44 PM
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"Also, there is a high inverse correlation between this belief and education. If you have a high school diploma or less, 42% believe the Bible literally. If you are a college graduate, 20% do. If you have education beyond a bachelor's degree, 11% do.

Think about that. The more ignorant you are, the more likely you are to believe the Bible is literally true. "

Your conclusion is wrong. A less educated person is not necessarily more ignorant. And I would add that a more educated person is not necessarily more "enlightened". A person's exposure level to alternative lifestyles usually increases by going to university, better paying jobs, city living etc. One then gets sucked into more "cherry picking" of scripture, using this excuse to justify their lifestyles by denying parts of Gods word that no longer fits into their life.

It could very well be that these higher educated individuals may be judged as the most ignorant in the end.



posted on Aug, 19 2011 @ 04:30 PM
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To further clarify the answer to the actual question being posed here, it turns out the number of people who take the Bible literally is declining. Gallup asked the question seven times between 1976 and 1984 yielding an average of 38%. Gallup asked the same question nine times since 1991 where the average had declined to 31%. In 1996 a single Gallup poll asking 1002 people the question came up with a figure of 28%.

Generally speaking a poll of 1,000 people in the US is sufficient for a statistically valid sample. The confidence level used is 95%, which means there is a 1 in 20 chance that the results do not reflect reality. he figures are "good within +/- 3%.

Interestingly, age has very little to do with it. the percentage of literal believers is 29% for the 18-29 crowd and 35% for the 65+ crowd. It's also no surprise that the east and west coast offer smaller numbers than the midwest and south, following liberal and conservative trend lines. However, the numbers aren't as huge as they are for education.

Of course we do not have the benefit of polls from the more distant past, but given the knwledge that religious freedom was less in the past, where religious fealty was often forced under pain of death, there can be no doubt that the overall trend of people believeing in a literal interpretation of the Bible is definitely on a downward trend.

Also, as religious diversity increases in this country (whether from Islam or Wiccan), conflict within congregations increases and fundamentalism among fundamentalists retrenches. You've seen some evidence for that here as people substitute Biblical quotes for actual dialog.



posted on Aug, 19 2011 @ 04:41 PM
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In a spirit of full inquiry I looked for corroborating evidence, not wanting to trust Gallup as an only source. And I found it. It turns out that the Pew Charitable Trust also has extensive surveys on religion. To the same question, Pew reports 33% of the overall population believes in a literal interpretaion. Pew is much more inclusive. The breakdown is 62% for historically Black churches, 59% in Evangelical churches, and 50% for Muslims. On the other extreme Buddhists are at 8% and Mainline protestant churches are at 22%.

Pew does measure education, but does so in terms of religious affiliation, not in terms of a particular belief. All in all the Pew data doevetails nicely with the Gallup data. they do not contradict each other. So all in all you now have a fairly complete answer to your question, OP. the answer is "a third or so and falling steadily.'

Cheers!



posted on Aug, 21 2011 @ 06:44 PM
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I have not yet taken a class in Bible history, which I would like to do. That said, here are my thoughts on the matter.

The Old Testament includes writings which were--and still are--made up of Jewish history and philosophy.

It's important to remember that most parts of the New Testament were not written down until many years after Jesus ascended. Before that it was simply passed on through oral tradition. As anyone knows, this leaves a lot of room for people to edit, change, embroider, exaggerate, or in other ways adulterate the original text to suit their particular point of view. Insofar as different gospels do sometimes tell the same story we can feel pretty sure we are close to the original meaning and intent.

I was interested to learn that Christian healing was not limited to Jesus and his disciples, but was widely practiced by Christians up until about 300 years after the resurrection. Then it stopped. It was at this point that the Emperor Constantine absorbed the church to make it the state religion and moved its headquarters to Rome.

Since Constantine, there have been numerous emperors, kings and religious hierarchs who have cut, edited, revised, eliminated or in other ways tampered with the original texts.

The King James version of the Bible, for instance (which many Christians now insist is the only valid translation) was authorized by James I of England in the mid 1600s. This was part of his plan to make the British Empire Protestant. I personally find the KJV very beautiful, but I also refer to other translations as well.

To sum it up, the Holy Bible has frequently been used as a political football by emperors and kings and religious leaders, all of whom put their own personal spin on it for their own purposes.

I consider myself a Christian, but cannot in good conscience claim that it is all literally true.



posted on Aug, 25 2011 @ 01:40 AM
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I don't get it...

If the so called christians don't follow by the letter the bible but their own point of view of moral standards (after all they choose and pick the parts of bible that they think is acceptable using as a guide what is good and bad in their point of view) and named each piece of text to be followed literally and others as for "interpretations".

What is the point of the bible after all? They don't need it if their moral standards usually are much better than that book because just the act of follow or not parts of the book is enough evidence to show they don't need it. They don't a book to justify their actions... just tell in their own words the reasons to do or not to do something; and don't use a piece of paper to justify/back up their actions.

That is the reason for people like that book so much... Quoting something from the bible is easier than to try to explain in their own words why they took some actions... just put the blame in god and get a free card to not need to explain.

Like when we try talk with a children and we need ask without mercy an endless "why did you that?" over and over again before they give a real answer and not a half baked excuse for some action.



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