Reading the Bible

Asked by Someone

Should I take everything in the Bible literally?

Do you have to agree with everything literally? If you mean everything the Bible says, well no, because it’s not all meant literally.

When Jesus told the story of the good Samaritan, I take it that he wasn’t being literal - he was telling a made-up story to make a point. When you read the Bible, you need just as much common sense as you do anywhere else. Read it as it was meant to be read.

Well, you may ask, how do I know how it was meant to be read? The same way you know with anything else. If it’s written in a non-linear, expressive style (like Psalms) its probably meant to be read as poetry. If its written with dates and careful identification of people and a clear narrative line (like, say, 1 and 2 Kings, or the gospels) it’s probably meant to be read as history.

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