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Author Topic: Literal Interpretation Versus Allegorical or Spiritual Interpretation  (Read 37231 times)

Simon

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Re: Literal Interpretation Versus Allegorical or Spiritual Interpretation
« Reply #105 on: October 06, 2012, 03:46:35 PM »

John,
    That doesn't seem to make any sense. You're saying they don't take the 1000 years spiritually because the original authors couldn't understand it that way. But they take singing mountains spiritually because the original authors could have understood it that way?   :o

To me, that's completely confused. It's like the Historical approach is based on simply deciding for yourself. Singing mountains not literal yes. 1000 years not literal, no. Based on what? It's still confused and unsound, and that's this literal approach in a nutshell. They don't even follow their own man made rules. If they did, the 1000 years could be as symbolic as the singing mountains.


John

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Re: Literal Interpretation Versus Allegorical or Spiritual Interpretation
« Reply #106 on: October 06, 2012, 10:00:14 PM »
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That doesn't seem to make any sense. You're saying they don't take the 1000 years spiritually because the original authors couldn't understand it that way.

I didn't say anything about 1000 years being spiritual or literal. What I did say was that the Literalist will always seek the literal sense first, unless the literal simply cannot be made to make sense, and even then the literal is still the preferred interpretation. It is assumed that the original hearers would have interpreted a 1000 year period as literal and not have decided 1000 years is really some indefinite length of time. Thus, the Literalist would feel they are on sure footing in interpreting 1000 years as simply 1000 year period.

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But they take singing mountains spiritually because the original authors could have understood it that way?

Do mountains sing? The Literalist is not against interpretations that include hyperbole and poetic language, such as hills jumping for joy and trees clapping their hands. The hearer would not have assumed anything differently either. Do you suppose a person 2,000 years ago would have expected mountains to sing? Not likely. This is not the issue with the Literal approach, rather it is the pulling of symbolic interpretations out of thin air rather than using the Bible's own interpretation of what these types and figures actually represent. So, it is possible for the Literalist to consider the singing mountain just to be a stylistic approach rather than seek a symbolic meaning for singing mountains (where mountains represent kingdoms and the kingdom might be Christ's - and the singing originates with the believers who make up that kingdom).

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To me, that's completely confused. It's like the Historical approach is based on simply deciding for yourself.

Indeed, the "deciding for yourself" part of your reply is exactly the critical rejoinder the Literalist makes when faced with the allegorical approach. They will claim that they, by using the literal meaning of words in almost every case, have retained the authors original meaning. But those who turn mountains into kingdoms and trees into believers or sea into hell or 1000 into the fullness of time - are simply making the Bible say anything they want. And this critique would be true IF that was the methodology being employed, but it is not. The Bible explains its own symbols and it is the job of the believer to understand what God intended by His use of these symbols and types. We don't get to just "decide for yourself", rather we must arrive at the interpretation that God wants. And God did not leave us clueless - He provides answer to those who are willing to find them (that is why 1000 years in certain context is not literal - because the context does not support the literal interpretation).

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Singing mountains not literal yes. 1000 years not literal, no. Based on what?

Based on the context. If we read about the marriage supper of the lamb, we do not conclude that lambs are having dinner. If we read about a beast that has two horns like a lamb but spoke as a dragon we do not think of a talking lamb, these are types. When we read that Christ is typified as a Lamb, then we have the anti-type, and can apply that knowledge to the types. Offering a lamb for a burnt sacrifice is important because the type has something to say about Christ and the role He would play. This is because the Scriptures always point to Christ - the Bible is not focused on lambs, trees, and mountains but it is focused on the things these represent.

When Matthew 3 says that every tree that does not bear good fruit will be cut down and be thrown into the fire, is this God's instruction for horticulturists? Is the Bible concerned with the disposition of 'bad trees'? Why did Jesus curse the fig tree that was fruitless in Matthew 21? Is Jesus just not happy that a tree is not producing fruit? Or does the fig tree represent something else, something that He has planted but after many years has come to the end of its usefulness and was to be destroyed?

Can you tell a mountain to get up and throw itself into the sea? Matthew 21 has Jesus telling the disciples that if you tell the mountain to do just that "it will happen". Literal or figurative? If figurative what does the mountain and sea represent?

The Bible is completely full of symbolic language and if you are going to understand what God is talking about you are going to have to learn that language.

john
Si hoc signum legere potes, operis boni in rebus Latinus alacribus et fructuosis potiri potes!

David Knoles

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Re: Literal Interpretation Versus Allegorical or Spiritual Interpretation
« Reply #107 on: January 09, 2013, 08:15:54 AM »
I didn't say anything about 1000 years being spiritual or literal. What I did say was that the Literalist will always seek the literal sense first, unless the literal simply cannot be made to make sense, and even then the literal is still the preferred interpretation.


What could be wrong with that? That's all I hear here, that we should take the word of God literally. The earth was literally made in 6 days, the flood was literally water standing up like a wall, Adam and eve were literal people, but now when it doesn't run according to your philosophy, you say we shouldn't take it literal first? 

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It is assumed that the original hearers would have interpreted a 1000 year period as literal and not have decided 1000 years is really some indefinite length of time. Thus, the Literalist would feel they are on sure footing in interpreting 1000 years as simply 1000 year period.

Or maybe because they accept 1000 years as 1000 years? And again, what is wrong with that?



bannination

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Re: Literal Interpretation Versus Allegorical or Spiritual Interpretation
« Reply #108 on: February 03, 2013, 02:53:33 PM »
>>>
The question I have is when do we take a passage of Scripture as allegory?  When the context indicates it or when we "feel" led by the Spirit? 
<<<

Neither! We take a passage allegorically when the Bible, "taken as a whole," illustrates that God has designed the passage to be taken allegorically. Scripture interprets scripture and God is the ultimate arbitrator. For example, when God says in Mark chapter 16 that the sign of those who believe is that they will take up serpents and not be hurt--There is absolutely nothing in the "context" that would lead us to believe anything but that the sign of a Christian is that they will go around picking up literal snakes without harm. It is only by comparing this scripture with all of scripture, letting the bible interpret itself, that we learn from the "whole" of scripture that the serpents that we have no fear of, and who are subject unto the believer, is that old serpent Satan, and his minions (luke 10:17-19; Revelation 20:2; etc). Scripture is not understood in the vacuum of its context alone, but in relationship to the "whole Bible alone" and in its entirety.

..and just feeling led by the Spirit couldn't settle anything. Anyone can say they feel led by the Spirit, but the proof is in the pudding (metaphorically speaking). Whether one "thinks" he is led by the Spirit or not has no bearing on the truth of the allegorical methodology inspired by God. I go back to the example that serves this issue well. You have the Bereans on one hand, and the Pharisees on another. They both "appear" on the outside as Godly men, and they both study the scriptures. But the Bereans come to the real truth of what they study of the word, while the Pharisees "think" that such ideas are nonsense, and they are opposed to Christianity. What's the difference? The difference is that the Spirit of God was moving the Bereans towards truth, and it was not moving the Pharisees. q.e.d., those who have the Spirit of God receive truth, and those who do not, fight against it while all the while thinking and believing that they do God service.


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>>>
The argument that "the elect will know when" is very subjective, and possibly arrogant.
<<<

That's your "subjective" opinion of course, which you are entitled to. But it is an opinion that I do not share. I don't think it's subjective at all. The elect will know by their careful study of the scriptures, RIGHTLY dividing the word of truth, that they will have no need to be ashamed. While others don't have the time for such nonsense. i.e., Christ told the Scribes and Pharisees to search the scriptures because they spoke of Him. Do you think that they did? No, because they were the ones who were truly arrogant and they thought they knew everything!

1st Corinthians 2:13-14
  • "Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.
  • But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned."

That the elect will know when, is not subjective, nor arrogant, it is expected. The Spirit within us is not an idle Spirit, as some may think. It is a teaching Spirit. That's not my speculation, it's God's word. If we don't study to show ourselves approved, workmen, we can hardly blame the Spirit.

I think it is "imperative" that we have a Spirit of humility before we can even learn anything of the spiritual (allegorical) truths of scripture. Not the false humility of smooth words and speeches about how we're all Christians. But the true humility of a broken and contrite heart. What I think is really "arrogant" is professing Christians who think they know everything, and who insist that those who speak of the Spiritual nature of scripture are indulging in private interpretations, or are akin to false prophets. That's what I find very "subjective and arrogant." So I guess it's a matter of one's perspective or point of view.


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>>>
There have been great men in church history, elect of God, who have disagreed.
<<<

Sure. Disagreements have nothing to do with whether a person's hermeneutic is sound or unsound. No one is infallible but God. People who feel the exact same way that I do about methodology will occasionally come to different conclusions than I do about scripture. That's the natural course of human beings. It doesn't make us enemies, or adversaries. This debate isn't about a difference of opinion, it's about methodology and what constitutes sound hermeneutics.

On the other hand, unfortunately there are those professing Christians who have no conscience, and absolutely no desire to do the will of God, and no inclination to be under the authority of the word. So obviously, they are not led by the Spirit. Since the Spirit doesn't fight against itself. And yet they call themselves Christians also. They are not defined by their not taking scripture allegorically, they are defined by their obstinate heart, prideful disposition, and haughty spirit. These aren't the great men of church history who have disagreed. They are adversaries to the truth.


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>>>
What are the rules of proper Biblical interpretation?  Thanks for your replies...
<<<

..for starters:

  • Approach the scriptures with all readiness of mind.
  • Accept that the Bible is it's own dictionary.
  • All Passages must be harmonized.
  • Anything taken out of context is pretext.
  • Never assume to know the mind of God, search it out in scripture.
  • The Bible is the ultimate authority which we must "surrender" to.
  • No scripture is of any private interpretation.
  • Inconsistency is the hallmark of error.
  • Interpretations must be considered in the "light" of the "whole" Bible.
  • No scripture can contradict another scripture.
  • If the Bible doesn't say it, God didn't say it!
nosce te ipsum"
 
Peace,
Tony Warren
"I acknowledged my sin unto thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the Lord; and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin. Selah. -Psalms 32:5"

Seems to me that you have broken your own rules, you certainly interpreted the snakes passages to your own liking, not what it actually says, can't God's word stand on it's own without your interpretation?  It's certainly an interpretation because someone else may have their own interpretation.  Who is the winner?  Who is right? 

Where did these rules come from that you have made?  These rules aren't found in the bible. 

and God says, you must harmonize all passages?   Seems to me your changing the bible, you're saying look, *this* is how your should interpret the bible.  How is that an honest way to study anything?






Tony Warren

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Re: Literal Interpretation Versus Allegorical or Spiritual Interpretation
« Reply #109 on: February 04, 2013, 02:40:25 AM »
>>>
Seems to me that you have broken your own rules, you certainly interpreted the snakes passages to your own liking, not what it actually says,
<<<

Not at all, actually God interpreted snakes to symbolize the spirit Satan, not I. I guess you don't like his interpretation of snakes?

Revelation 12:9
  • "And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him."

Revelation 20:2
  • "And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years,"

...even from the beginning in the garden of Eden. So you are quite incorrect.


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>>>
...can't God's word stand on it's own without your interpretation?
<<<

Yes. That's why it says the Devil is the Serpent without any help from me. Because God's interpretation stands on its own. We can merely bear witness to it.


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>>>
It's certainly an interpretation because someone else may have their own interpretation.
<<<

Is that the criterea? Certainly not. Interpretations belong to God. Bible interpretations are not subject to man's personal opinions or private rulings on what scripture means. Just as God defines righteousness, law and sin, so God defines sheep, wolves and serpents. I can't say a wolf is interpreted as Russia anymore than I can say a Serpent is interpreted as a can of beans. Interpretations belong to God. If it did not, no one could know what scripture actually meant and we'd all go our own personal ways in understanding.


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>>>
 Who is the winner?  Who is right?
<<<

Winner? This isn't a contest, so I'm not out to win. The only winners here are those who receive the truth that the Holy scriptures are the unadulterated word of God, and thus not subject to private interpretations of man. It is the ultimate authority over understanding.

As for who is right? He who follows God's word rather than attempts to lead it. He who keeps God's word, word for word, and doesn't adulterate it with private interpretations and personal opinions.


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>>>
Where did these rules come from that you have made?
<<<

If I have made them, then it would follow that they come from me?

I gleaned them from the Holy scriptures.


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>>>
 These rules aren't found in the bible.
<<<

•Approach the scriptures with all readiness of mind.
•Accept that the Bible is it's own dictionary.
•All Passages must be harmonized.
•Anything taken out of context is pretext.
•Never assume to know the mind of God, search it out in scripture.
•The Bible is the ultimate authority which we must "surrender" to.
•No scripture is of any private interpretation.
•Inconsistency is the hallmark of error.
•Interpretations must be considered in the "light" of the "whole" Bible.
•No scripture can contradict another scripture.
•If the Bible doesn't say it, God didn't say it!

Yup, pretty much they are. I thought I'd look some up and break it down for you, but then I thought I wouldn't.


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>>>
and God says, you must harmonize all passages?
<<<

Yeah, that's what the Bereans did, and because they harmonized what the Apostle Paul said with what the Bible said,

Acts 17:11-12
  • "These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.
  • Therefore many of them believed; also of honourable women which were Greeks, and of men, not a few."

But of course, these were more noble or honest with themselves.


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>>>
  Seems to me your changing the bible, you're saying look, *this* is how your should interpret the bible.  How is that an honest way to study anything?
<<<

You'll have to figure that out for yourself, God willing.



"nosce te ipsum"
 
Peace,
Tony Warren
"i acknowledged my sin unto thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the Lord; and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin. Selah. -Psalms 32:5"

Dustin

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Re: Literal Interpretation Versus Allegorical or Spiritual Interpretation
« Reply #110 on: May 27, 2013, 05:39:42 AM »
Quote
Quote
>>>
  Seems to me your changing the bible, you're saying look, *this* is how your should interpret the bible.  How is that an honest way to study anything?
<<<

You'll have to figure that out for yourself, God willing.


 Bannination,
   Tony is right. That is the only way you can interpret correctly. How else except letting the scripture interpret? Will you interpret yourself without the scripture? Isn't that private interpretation? And if Christ used  Literal Interpretation and Allegorical or Spiritual Interpretation, why do you think it improper? Isn't that rather an example for us?

 1 Corinthians 10:4
 "And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ."

Would you argue with Christ on his understanding of a spiritual rock?
 

Reformer

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Re: Literal Interpretation Versus Allegorical or Spiritual Interpretation
« Reply #111 on: May 27, 2013, 07:54:41 AM »
Quote
>>>
 These rules aren't found in the bible.
<<<

•Approach the scriptures with all readiness of mind.
•Accept that the Bible is it's own dictionary.
•All Passages must be harmonized.
•Anything taken out of context is pretext.
•Never assume to know the mind of God, search it out in scripture.
•The Bible is the ultimate authority which we must "surrender" to.
•No scripture is of any private interpretation.
•Inconsistency is the hallmark of error.
•Interpretations must be considered in the "light" of the "whole" Bible.
•No scripture can contradict another scripture.
•If the Bible doesn't say it, God didn't say it!

Yup, pretty much they are. I thought I'd look some up and break it down for you ...but then I thought I wouldn't.

L O L  )laugh(

 Yeah, pretty much a waste of goods brain cells. Besides, he can always look them up himself. But some people just never learn!




David Knoles

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Re: Literal Interpretation Versus Allegorical or Spiritual Interpretation
« Reply #112 on: June 10, 2013, 11:02:08 AM »
Quote

 Bannination,
   Tony is right. That is the only way you can interpret correctly. How else except letting the scripture interpret?

I thought you guys don't believe in miracles? And if that is the case, then scripture cannot interpret scripture, man has to step in and do it. Some do it right, and some spiritualize.

Bunyan

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Re: Literal Interpretation Versus Allegorical or Spiritual Interpretation
« Reply #113 on: July 29, 2013, 04:32:06 AM »
Bannination,
   Tony is right. That is the only way you can interpret correctly. How else except letting the scripture interpret?

I thought you guys don't believe in miracles? And if that is the case, then scripture cannot interpret scripture, man has to step in and do it. Some do it right, and some spiritualize.


And some follow the Bible. 3 ways to do it, the right way in your own eyes, spiritualizing everything, or follow the Bible. And only one way will lead you to truth.
"The law says, 'do this,' and it is never done. Grace
says, 'believe in this,' and everything is already done
."
- Martin Luther

David Knoles

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Re: Literal Interpretation Versus Allegorical or Spiritual Interpretation
« Reply #114 on: September 03, 2013, 09:53:15 AM »
Bannination,
   Tony is right. That is the only way you can interpret correctly. How else except letting the scripture interpret?

I thought you guys don't believe in miracles? And if that is the case, then scripture cannot interpret scripture, man has to step in and do it. Some do it right, and some spiritualize.


And some follow the Bible. 3 ways to do it, the right way in your own eyes, spiritualizing everything, or follow the Bible. And only one way will lead you to truth.

Exactly who are you talking to? Apparently, not me because you're not addressing my post. The right way is not spiritualizing everything, it's to accept what God literally says, very literally. He says he died on the cross, accept it. Don't spiritualize it. He says He rose after 3 days, accept it, don't spiritualize it away. He says they live and reign with him a thousand years. Accept it, don't spiritualize it away. Few of you understand that. Some do, but not many.

David Knoles

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Re: Literal Interpretation Versus Allegorical or Spiritual Interpretation
« Reply #115 on: September 05, 2013, 09:49:19 AM »
And some follow the Bible. 3 ways to do it, the right way in your own eyes, spiritualizing everything, or follow the Bible. And only one way will lead you to truth.

 I agree one hundred percent. Thus the Olive Tree represents national Israel and how there shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from that nation (Jacob). Read it. That's what it says.

Erik Diamond

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Re: Literal Interpretation Versus Allegorical or Spiritual Interpretation
« Reply #116 on: September 05, 2013, 12:45:12 PM »
Quote
Thus the Olive Tree represents national Israel and how there shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from that nation (Jacob). Read it. That's what it says.

No, it does not. Your position have already proved wrong recently:

http://www.mountainretreatorg.net/yabbse/index.php?topic=2921.msg31433#msg31433

Erik
"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts." (Isaiah 55:8-9)

Cecil

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Re: Literal Interpretation Versus Allegorical or Spiritual Interpretation
« Reply #117 on: October 05, 2013, 09:45:48 AM »
The context of the scripture determines if the thought presented is literal or allegorical. Bible writers under inspiration employed the usage of both. The Bible book of Revelations also employ the use of both forms of writing. Some of the things therein mentioned are literal and some of the mentioned are allegorical. (Revelations 1:1) (Genesis 37:5-11)

Melanie

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Re: Literal Interpretation Versus Allegorical or Spiritual Interpretation
« Reply #118 on: February 12, 2019, 10:49:08 AM »

 


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