It would have been immensely useful if the bible had made it excruciatingly clear what parts were mythical, which parts were poetry and which parts were parables just included to flesh out a moral lesson, like the story problems in a math book. All that could be together in one section entitled Just for Fun
. Then the factual stuff collected together in a completely different section, entitled Just The Facts
like an addendum or even a separate book entirely.
It would only have taken one more meeting of the Roman committee that decided what would go in and what was heresy or apocryphal or whatever. That right there could have eliminated a lot of controversy, persecution, schisms, torture and even religious wars over the years.
The fact that we have at least three entirely different and strongly held Christian perspectives on this being represented right now on this site is not encouraging. Correct me if I am wrong but:
Lukvance says most of the bible, both OT and NT is made up stories
. The bible should not be taken literally and we should concentrate more on what his church currently teaches. Although what this church teaches is at least in part based on the bible. Which is made up stories, except the Trinity, the Virgin Mary, and the miracles Jesus did. And Satan. And demons. And angels. That's all true.
Jst says that the OT is mostly symbolic
, made up stories, except for maybe parts of Genesis, but the NT is to be taken as mostly literal
, except the parts that would be silly to try to do, like give all your money away. However, some parts deemed to be silly by other Christians are to be taken very, very literally-- like not getting blood transfusions, not saluting flags, not fighting in wars and not celebrating holidays. You have to believe that Armageddon as described in Revelations, is literally just around the corner, 5, 15 or maybe 500 years away.
And then there is skeptic who maintains that all of the bible, OT and NT alike has a factual, literal basis.
Anytime the world does not match what the bible says, well, that just means the world is lying to you. The science is lying to you. The scientists are lying to you. The research is lying to you. The microscope and telescope are lying to you. The numbers are lying to you. Your eyes are lying to you.
Humans lived with dinosaurs. All fossils are the same age and were buried all mixed up during Noah's Flood. Any information that suggests anything else, including sedimentary rocks, eroded mountains, tree rings, DNA, mutating disease germs, seafloor spreading, light from distant stars, animal cloning, plate tectonics, island biogeography= lies, lies, lies. Because everything in the bible is true, true, true.
I am still waiting for any of these Christians to give me a rule or guideline for knowing what parts are literature
and what parts are literal
. (Cute huh?)