The Bible as “Gospel” Truth

Many think it was all written in metaphor and allegory; many say it was all truthful, in every word.

I believe that, as usual, neither camp is correct. Rarely (if ever) is anything 100% one way or the other. That really is one of the beautiful things in the world: diversity. But where humans are concerned, it is even more so. A wonderful thing about being human: consistency is an iffy proposition.

So, how does one determine which part is reality and which is allegory?

Most people use a preconceived notion to help them make this determination. That is all right if you are only looking to bolster your own opinions and interpretations. A better way to gain comprehension, is to better understand the people and culture of the period.

Jesus and the patriarchs did not have to preface their tales with disclaimers, footnotes, or supplemental materials. By their shared culture, their stories were designed so the listening audience knew at once whether the tale was factual or metaphor. They were all experiencing the same culture and worldview. And it seems to me that without their background, we are at a loss to discern which were which.

As the world Jesus came from was destroyed so soon after his time, little was carried forward to succeeding generations of the worldview they held. And all we have to aid in that regard is their writings… but are they metaphor or fact? A catch-22 is ever there was one.

One way through the maze is sift through the data and piece together a worldview for them by their contacts with others. Certainly, it will not be complete, but it will be a foundation. From this we should be able to align tales and stories that fit that worldview. Incrementally, we could gain some understanding of their world.

But if we let our own worldview guide this search – as it seems is the usual case – the result will probably be fruitless.

Another aspect is the difference in language… the last thing one picks up is the colloquialisms. And these quite often make no sense in relation to the rest of the language usage, being culture-based.

So all these stories are much the same thing. You can “sort-of” make sense of them but you miss the full impact.

So, a lot of the Bible could be Gospel, if we could only understand it’s true meaning.

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