Aug 8, 2011

No David Lose, that is not what the Bible is

David Lose of The PuffHo penned a half-apologetic, half-admonishing piece citing four (wonder if it is somehow related to the 4 trillion in cuts the S&P raters were seeking) good reasons why The Bible should not be read literally.

He is of course, full of shit! Get your hazmat suit on and let's find out why.
Nowhere does the Bible claim to be inerrant
So? The stupidity of that statement would be obvious if you paused and asked: if it instead claimed that it was inerrant, would we then take it  literally? Or would we still have to see how it corresponds to reality? Surely one or more of the ten plagues have to be taken literally; after all what exactly is raining frogs a metaphor for? For raining cats and dogs? The Bible is errant, and saying that it literally does not claim that, is a red herring. It certainly is not a reason to not take it literally.
Reading the Bible literally distorts its witness
Which is laughable, and the most common apology offered by its defenders. See if you can follow the logic in that witless statement: because the author looks bad when we take it literally, and the author under no circumstance must look bad (why?), we should not interpret the Bible literally. This is like saying that we should not take "well over 90 percent of what Planned Parenthood does is abortion" as a factual statement, because it makes Jon Kyle look bad for saying it. Then Otherwise there is the small matter of a book literally distorting a person. Lose does not understand what literally means. Literally.
Most Christians across history have not read the Bible literally
Since when has what "most people" do determined the truth? A sizable number Christians in the US, for example, believe that God created man in his present form, and the Earth is only thousands of years old. When that view changes to "most people" do we then accept their claims?

Besides, most Christians would also tell you that the Bible is inerrant. Across history. Now what, David?
Reading the Bible literally undermines a chief confession of the Bible about God
This is a variation of his second point. And just as bogus. The Bible was authored by male authors known and unknown, 66 or so of them. Their selection into the eternal almanac was made by a committee, also male. If it undermines the chief confession that God is not all that cool a dude, but a chauvinistic dictator and a borderline misogynist, then I think that is A Good Thing.

Here's the thing, David. First establish how one determines which parts of the Bible are to be taken literally, and which ones are just metaphors, and be sure to point out what those metaphors stand for literally, then we can revisit this.

In the meantime, I have a better suggestion. Take the Bible literally or allegorically, based on the context. Bear in mind that it was penned in the bronze age. When in doubt, check with Reality. So for example, when they say Jesus was born of a virgin, impregnated by a supernatural entity, take that to be literal, because that is what bronze age goat herders were saying was the literal truth.

But also take it to be a crock of shit.

Not literally, of course! 

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