Literal reading of the Bible.


I have recently read a blog post about how the Bible ought not to be read literally.
I guess the consensus in the west is not to read it literally, whereas in the east, understandably, they lean towards literal understanding of the Bible.

The article is by a Swedenborgian theologan:

I don't know whether the rampant literal reading leanings are some sort of dogma or just culture?

I really can't contradict scientific knowledge, can't accept the amount of bloodshed in the Old Testament and the eternal punishment in Holocaust inspired places for otherwise decent and moral human beings for choosing the wrong version of God.


  • The way God reveals Himself and at the same time reveals the human nature are given symbolically. For instance: Everything was created in six days and on the seventh He rested. The Jews worked six days and rested on the Sabbath. So here we have God working six days but in reality in know everything was created over a longer period than this. Why would God say only six days? The focas here would really be is He is the creator and His work was good which means He is good and that these are attributes accorded to Him. The Sabbath has a lot to do with the Law and when Christ came and broke the Sabbath by disobeying it in helping the sick, He revealed the fulfillment of the law which is God's love.
    God's love is pure so for us to have this love in our nature God's love has to go to our hearts.

    Would God reveal His nature to us that we could belief any other way than He has done it? Could He say to the Jews your people came from apes? Or would He say your people came from the earth (dust) and that He had given man a supporter in women. These reveal a nature. A nature of something is not the same as what appears on the outside but more to do with forces at work and characteristics.
    We see those in the spiritual sense and the truth of them as revealed to the church.
    If God created everything, then He would know about death, renewal, how everything works, but the differculty would be in how does He reveal any information to people many centuries ago and be believed? He has done it spiritually. Why? Because He is spirit. And if we are to be with Him in any sense, our nature has to be on the spiritual level as well.
    If God took on the role of scientist and explained to the Jews what everything was about. We probably would not have Him and know His love and the life of the human race would of being very much at war with not the hope and faith of salvation meaning the dying of the world and for us to be united with God at the end.

  • So I can for all intents and purposes believe that the Bible is not very literal without being excommunicated.

  • You can believe literal, simile, parable, metaphor, symbolic and all have their place.
  • And some of it personal account (witness), so there can be a different account like those who gathered in groups and received the bread and fish.Two people giving a different number as to how many people were there. So in this instance, what is more important? It is the message and that there was alot of people following Jesus which is symbolic anyway.
  • There was more to the message about sorry about that.
  • edited March 2018

    I hope our youth can remain unfooled by this new push for unliteral and purely allegorical reading of scripture. The seeds of the antichrist is pushing for the abrogation of scripture to abrogate the faith as a whole. This is a small but dangerous step regardless of some early fathers advocating this position on certain chapters of scripture. The consensus of the fathers is clear. 

    The church has always taught that especially the account of creation is real and historical which must also be seen allegorically. Historical and allegorical reading go hand in hand. 

    Whether a day in scripture was an actual day this can be discussed and meditated upon definitely. But the account did happen lest we insult God in this grand deception.

    We have been warned by current and ancient fathers about this trend. Allegorical readings alone mean nothing if there is a denial of their historicity

    Through the blood of Our Lord we are saved and He came because the fall of Adam put us all in this predicament. The fall which is real and historical. Yes the account isnt detailed but that is no reason to deny it in its entirety simply because we are frustrated by its lack of overt revelation in details. Let us be humbled by this mystery and not become puffed and deny it.

    St Paul teaches us

    Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:

     For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.

    St Ephraim the syrian teaches on Creation and its reality

    “No one should think that the Creation of Six Days is an allegory; it is likewise impermissible to say that what seems, according to the account, to have been created in the course of six days, was created in a single instant, and likewise that certain names presented in this account either signify nothing, or signify something else. On the contrary, one must know that just as the heaven and the earth which were created in the beginning are actually the heaven and the earth and not something else understood under the names of heaven and earth, so also everything else that is spoken of as being created and brought into order after the creation of heaven and earth is not empty names, but the very essence of the created natures corresponds to the force of these names.”

    I hope our Church continues to uphold the truth faith unblemished. Scrtpute is not to be feared but embrassed. If we over intellectulatize and begin to trust our own judgement of things we will fall away and be mocked by the demons of dellusion.

    Love your bibles. Read them daily along with the patristic teaching beside it and meditations/contemplations cementing its spiritual meaning.

  • @Joshuaa
    So I guess you don't read the thing literally I believe.

    But how can you believe that many of those things are literal truth?
    The creation account you mentioned, well, which one is it? The one in Genesis 1 or 2? If you want to go the literal way, then then they are incompatible with each other. See the order of creation.

    Do you think that your God was a merciless killer? How can you reconcile this with what you deem to be the nature of God.
  • RaafatAbualazm said:

    "So I guess you don't read the thing literally I believe." 

    "Do you think that your God was a merciless killer? How can you reconcile this with what you deem to be the nature of God."

    Excuse me but I ask that you please show some respect. We do not refer to the word of God as a "thing." I do not like your choice of words and find them to be offensive. Please show some respect. 

    It includes all the questions you have been asking about on these forums and answers them within a few pages. It is also written from a Coptic Orthodox perspective.

  • @Amoussa1

    Sorry I didn't mean to be disrespectful or anything like it.

    I meant the book, the book is a thing. I didn't mean to downgrade it or anything else.

    The Quote about God is about exalting the being, that I can't of him as such. And literal reading of the scripture prevents me from saying that.

    As for the book, is it available in PDF, or EPUB?
    I live in Egypt, so I really cannot get it hardcover or even let anyone know about, and financial situations you know of.

  • The book will not be available in soft copy until the summer. However, in the meantime, i recommend listening to this sermon by a bishop of our Coptic church who serves in the U.S.

Sign In or Register to comment.