Posted: Oct 10, 2010 5:38 am
by quas
TimONeill wrote:Because to interpret everything in the Bible literally leads to having to believe things that are demonstrably not the case. If we know for a fact that the Earth is not flat, then interpreting passages that seem to say it is literally leads the interpreter to have to deny reality.

Of course we know now that the Earth isn't flat. Why would the Church Fathers have any reason to suspect that the Earth isn't flat?

As for why some things which are clearly absurd - like people walking on water or raising people from the dead - are interpreted figuratively when geocentric passages aren't, that seems to be because those things can be seen as single instance suspensions of normality - ie miracles.

And yes, I know that doesn't make much sense but it does make marginally more sense than outright literalism.

It still doesn't make any more sense, not even a teensy-weensy bit more.

If we use the "single instance" cop-out, then we could say," One time, at Garden of Eden, the devil disguised himself as a serpent..." That perfectly explains why all the other snakes couldn't talk to human, because the devil didn't disguise himself as a snake anymore. Because it was one time event too, we could also say that the Jonah incident really happened, after all the Bible didn't record anyone else besides Jonah surviving for 3 days inside a whale's stomach. And the flood, that was a one time event too. What?! It's not like there is a second flood after that? Don't get me started on the parting of the Red/Reed Sea...

There must be another reason that would enable Christians to differentiate between what's really literal and what's not.