Is anything in the Bible symbolic and not literal?
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(All quotations from the King James Version unless stated otherwise).
The Bible claims to be written by inspiration of God and the evidence, both internal integrity and fulfilled prophecy, support that claim. The book is unique; there is no other book like it. None of the historical facts in it has ever been proved to be wrong.
Jesus Christ, the focus of both Old and New Testaments is a fact of history. Without his death and resurrection Christianity would not have happened. It was propagated by reason and not by the sword in the first century. It prospered because people were prepared to suffer persecution and die for the message it proclaimed. The general apostasy of the Christian church in the 4th century and the evils done in the name of Christ have caused many to turn away, but the fault lies not in the Bible itself but in the way men misrepresent it.
The Bible is a mixture of literal narrative (which is to be taken literally); literal prophecy (which is to be taken literally); prophetic symbology (some of which is explained in order to give keys for that which is not); proverbs which use metaphors and similes etc; poetry and songs (which use figurative language); parables (which use common experiences to teach spiritual lessons); direct teaching on morality (which is to be taken literally) etc.
The Bible uses a variety of literary means to teach us why we are here, why we die, what death is, how we can be saved from death, what God is like, what his purpose is with the earth, how he has dealt with his creation in the past and how he intends to deal with it in the future.
It has all the hallmarks of a Creator’s handbook written for the benefit of his creation.
We need to ignore the opinions of others and read it for ourselves.
It is not difficult to separate the literal from the non-literal.
Our future life depends upon understanding it.
Here are links to information which will help you with this question:
The Miracle of the Bible: www.thisisyourbible.com/library/show/149
The Divine Origin of the Bible: www.thisisyourbible.com/library/show/160
If you want to come to grips with what the Bible really teaches, why not take the free Bible study course on www.thisisyourbible.com? You may take this course either online or by regular mail.
This course will give you a background in the major themes of the Bible from Genesis to Revelation. As with everything we offer, there is no cost to you other than your time and effort. You will also have a personal tutor to whom you may pose questions either from the course itself or those questions which come to you as you read the Bible.
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I hope you have found this helpful.
God bless you,