Musings on…. Bible as Literal Work


[this is long and not finished but wanted to just throw it out there]

Was wondering what literal meant and if i read the bible literally. Here’s what I found:


Main Entry: 1lit·er·al

Pronunciation: ˈli-t(ə-)rəl

Function: adjective

Etymology: Middle English, from Middle French, from Medieval Latin litteralis, from Latin, of a letter, from littera letter

Date: 14th century

1 a : according with the letter of the scriptures b : adhering to fact or to the ordinary construction or primary meaning of a term or expression : actual <liberty in the literal sense is impossible — B. N. Cardozo> c : free from exaggeration or embellishment <the literal truth> d : characterized by a concern mainly with facts <a very literal man>

2 : of, relating to, or expressed in letters

3 : reproduced word for word : exact, verbatim <a literal translation>

— lit·er·al·i·ty ˌli-tə-ˈra-lə-tē noun

— lit·er·al·ness ˈli-t(ə-)rəl-nəs noun



Main Entry: lit·er·al·ly

Pronunciation: ˈli-tə-rə-lē, ˈli-trə-lē, ˈli-tər-lē

Function: adverb

Date: 1533

1 : in a literal sense or manner : actually <took the remark literally> <was literally insane>

2 : in effect : virtually <will literally turn the world upside down to combat cruelty or injustice — Norman Cousins>

usage Since some people take sense 2 to be the opposite of sense 1, it has been frequently criticized as a misuse. Instead, the use is pure hyperbole intended to gain emphasis, but it often appears in contexts where no additional emphasis is necessary.


With that said, I would like to go thru the bible and see if I take it literally. I think I do.

as for the first 5 books, i think i take them literally. I believe God made the heavens and earth and all its habitants in 7…24 hour days. [well, 6]

i believe in the flood, i believe in Abraham, moses, noah.. all the cast members were real people. I believe they lived as long as they did, also.

I believe Joseph could interpret dreams and I believe God gave people dreams of the future.

I believe in the account of Moses, the burning bush, the plagues and the parting waters. Who am I to define what God can and cannot do.

I believe God gave Moses all the laws: ceremonial, civil and moral.

The view of Reformed or Covenant Theology is similar to the Roman Catholic view in holding that Mosaic Law continues under the New Covenant, while declaring that parts of it have “expired” and are no longer applicable. TheWestminster Confession of Faith (1646) divides the Mosaic laws into three categories: moral, civil, and ceremonial. In the view of theWestminster Divines, only the moral laws of the Mosaic Law, which include the Ten Commandments and the commands repeated in the New Testament, directly apply to Christians today. Ceremonial laws, in this view, include the regulations pertaining to ceremonial cleanliness, festivals, diet, and the Levitical priesthood.

I DO not believe that if we took the old testament laws literally we would still own slaves or not shave our sideburns.

we can not take the OT literal and not NT. So statements in the NT, like Peters dream that all things are considered clean, should be taken literally. We should believe them.

Why not take the levitical laws literally? That doesn’t mean they are still in effect today. But they were truth.

Christ came to fulfill the law and with his sinless life, death, torn veil and resurrection, we no longer need to fulfill it.

in Deut. the laws should have been taken literal. And the Israelites should have kept them. But they didn’t.

I love Deut 14, the clean and unclean animals chapter. God wanted the Israelites to be consecrated, set apart and holy to Him. God could look upon the unholy and did not want His people to be like the nations around them. God declared what was holy to Him and what He commanded of His people.  How is to say that is not literal?

I think the Jews, who believe and follow the first 5 books, still are under the law, trying to fulfill all the laws given to them. They have not the  grace of the Lord Christ Jesus, meaning someone atoned for their sin and made them clean.

What do they do now that animal sacrifices are done away with?

Job: Literal story,  Job existed. God allowed  everything to be taken so that the devil could see Job was a righteous man. I really don’t want to be a Job.

Psalms: Songs written by men. literally. They are truth in the mind and heart of the one who wrote them.

Proverbs: Are they actual promises of God or advice given by people who have been there? If they were promises they would have all came true….because God cannot lie…..

Do the lips of an adulteress drip honey? Literally? or is it a simile or metaphor?


Songs of Solomon:


The historical books, Joshua to 2 Chronicles, seem pretty self explanatory. History of Israel.

God wanted his people to wipe out the pagan nations inhabiting the promised land. Israel did not do that. Hence, trouble abounds for many, many generations.

I believe Israel whined and complained about a great many things, never satisfied by what God had given them.

I believe God really did give them judges to rule over them.

I believe in the story of Ruth. Besides they had to have story to get the line/seed of Jesus.

Samuel, Kings and Chronicles are true, I believe in David, Solomon, Saul and Goliath. [Do you remember the claymation stories of David and Goliath?]

I got to the story of Jephthah in Judges where he ‘supposedly’ offers his daughter as a burnt offering to the Lord.

Did it really happen? Commentaries are mixed on the subject. Because of the wording… i believe he did. Was it right? no, but that doesn’t make a story false.

wow, i can not believe made it too 900 plus words……

so read it if you have time and comment if you like!

2 responses »

  1. Is there anything in Scripture, that you would question whether or not it is true?
    ~No, but i think taking it as literal and believing God wrote it is two different things, esp when dealing with parables, and hard to digest stories

  2. Reading for literalness you must also consider the type of literature it is. The newspaper is read differently than a book of poems. The description of end times is understood differently than either prose or poetry. Jesus considered the scriptures to be the word of God and He was in a position to know. Passages we have trouble with still have a veil between them and our eyes. For now we see through a glass darkly.

    Song of Solomon 4:2 “Your teeth are like a flock of shorn ewes…read literally would also mean that she had bleating gums. That interpretation spoils the beauty and the poetry.

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