Sunday, September 27, 2009


I was once one of those who took the Bible literally. Pretty quickly I realized that I could not do so with any amount of integrity. I found passages that contradicted each other, and so I could justify those that directly override another passage, but then I get left with those that just plain contradict each other. (oh, gee, really, some of you want examples - sure now you throw that at me [sarcasm] I may have to come up with those for you)

But at the end of the day it was the passage from Mark 9 that talks about if your hand causes you to sin, or your leg, or your eye, then you need to remove it. Quite simply, "THAT SUCKS!" I would be a totally blind, crippled, eviscerated person by now - well, I would be quite dead by any measure.

I had to think more seriously about taking things literally. I still learn and think there is something to the surface presented, but that the power of Scripture (The Bible) is in fact that it comes together as an entire document, and find depth in each passage.

Happy reading!

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At September 27, 2009, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If one insist that the Bible not be taken "literally" since metaphor and hyperbole, ie., Mk. 9, etc. preclude such, then perhaps for the sake of consistency one must not be to literal when dealing with what the Bible says about love, mercy, grace, etc. Perhaps the answer is to read Scripture with with respect to the plain intent of the text in its immediate context, to apply it to our lives with respect for the witness of Scripture as a whole and to not seek to smooth, ease or explain away those places where the challenge of Scripture is difficult to accept or the application is so sharply pointed as to be uncomfortable.

At September 27, 2009, Blogger David said...

Helpful thought. Would you be willing to leave your name as well?

At September 28, 2009, Anonymous George said...

I like to ask literalists about the Song of Solomon. It seems inevitably they will speak of it as an allegory of Christ's wooing of the church.

At September 30, 2009, Blogger Daniel Wilcox said...

Yeah, I've had a somewhat similar journey. Once as a teen, I said I wouldn't believe in the Bible if even one comma wasn't inspired by God, then discovered that punctuation wasn't added to the biblical text until about the 14th century. And I struggled with sentences like the one in the Psalms that says we are blessed if we bash babies heads against the rocks, that the sun wasn't created until the fourth day, Etc.

Keith Ward, the Oxford professor and theologian, recently wrote a book dealing with this that I thought showed much insight (though I didn't agree with all of his conclusions),
*What the Bible Really Teaches*

Daniel Wilcox


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