• The Bible: Literal or Allegorical?

    I live in America and in this country and around the world there are a lot of Christians who take their religion very seriously… and literally. I have met Christians who actually believe that evolution was made up by scientists to steal grant money. These Christians insist that Adam was created by God in human form and that God snapped a rib out of Adam to form Eve. I once appeared on a radio show where the host insisted that the story of The Tower of Babel was absolutely literal and that it accurately explains why people have different languages. The funny thing is that whenever I address these ridiculous claims, other Christians accuse me of making strawman arguments and insist that no Christian is stupid enough to take those passages of the Bible literally. Instead, they tell me that those passages were obviously allegorical and that I must be a moron for taking them so literally. So which is it? Is the Bible to be taken literally or allegorically?

    Here it is folks: Every Christian takes the Bible literally; it is just a matter of how literally. When God creates the sun on the four day, despite the fact that we mark days by the Earth’s revolution around the sun, some Christians take that literally and some don’t. But when we talk about God impregnating a married virgin girl and giving birth to a man/God, pretty much every Christian takes that shit one hundred percent literally.

    When Jesus died on the cross and there were earthquakes and zombies, some Christians believe that literally happened despite the fact that there is no historian of that time reported on it. Many Christians will however admit that this was just a style of storytelling aimed at highlighting the importance of what was going on. But when we talk about Jesus rising from the dead after three days, that shit pretty much every Christian takes literally. Lots of zombies equals allegorical, but one zombie… that is absolutely literal.

    It is all just a matter of degrees. How far down the crazy trail are Christians willing to go. Some Christians are merely content to take the virgin birth and resurrection literally, while others will vehemently defend the talking snake. President of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, Dr. Russell Moore, gave a talk at the 2015 Religion Newswriters Association conference where he admitted that Christians believe strange things and he made no apologies for it. When a woman told him that she thought it was strange that his was advocating for a Christian view of sexuality, he responding by saying, “Well, I understand that, but you need to know that we believe stranger things than that. We believe a previously dead man is going to show up in the sky on a horse.”

    So yeah, the reality is that Christians do in fact view the crazy parts of the Bible literally… pretty much all of them. It is just a question of degrees. Almost no one is arguing that the virgin birth was merely an allegory and almost no one is arguing that the resurrection was metaphorical. You may find some random person who identifies as Christian making those arguments somewhere, but that is just not what is taught in the vast majority of churches around the world or in the United States.

    Personally, I think those who take the crazier stories in the Bible literally are being more intellectually honest about it. They have swallowed the whole thing and accept it despite the ridiculousness of it all. Those Christians who are quick to point out the obviously ridiculousness of these stories and yet will defend the virgin birth and resurrection are just being hypocritical. They think they are above the craziness, but the reality is that they are not all that different from their more literal-minded fellow Christians.

    I’m just going to come out and say it because it really does need to be said. The Bible is fiction! None of it is real. The story of Exodus is not real. It isn’t based on anything real. It is one hundred percent fiction. The birth, death, and resurrection of Jesus… also not real! It is one hundred percent pure fiction. From Genesis to Revelations, the whole of the Bible is fiction. If you want to gleam some kind of wisdom from it, that’s great. I get that. I get my wisdom from Star Wars. I know it is fiction even though I haven’t traveled back a long time ago to a galaxy far far away and personally verified that Darth Vader doesn’t exist. I don’t really care one way or another. I get wisdom from the story. If you want to find your wisdom from the ancient fictional stories of the Bible, have at it. But at least recognize that they are one hundred percent not true.

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    Category: Arguments Against ReligionAtheismBeliefBibleChristianityfeatured


    Article by: Staks Rosch

    Staks Rosch is a writer for the Skeptic Ink Network & Huffington Post, and is also a freelance writer for Publishers Weekly. Currently he serves as the head of the Philadelphia Coalition of Reason and is a stay-at-home dad.


    1. You are correct.
      It is 100% fiction.

      The Bible does not tell exaggerated anecdotes of real events.
      High winds didn’t push back the Red Sea.
      The Flood myth is not a misremembered story of a real flood.
      The Jesus myth is not an exaggeration of a real wandering wonder-working rabbi.

      I don’t know what causes people — even atheists and skeptics — to try to legitimatize Bible stories. They don’t have that impulse to find a rational underpinning for Norse myths or tales of the Hindu gods.
      Sometimes I think that these “rationalizers” are just trying to rescue the Bible from being a total loss.

      1. Maybe because we can relate to it, as Christianism on all its forms is the dominant faith in the Western world.

        As for the Bible, a divinely-inspired book would have far more (at the very least on geography) than the stuff knew by Bronze Age people. And it would have updates, not the same 2000 year-old BS, that makes so little sense on this epoch.

    2. I am an atheist who has been studying the Bible as allegory for more than a decade. I have no doubts as to the allegoric nature of the Bible, but I am also convinced that this allegory has been employed to preserve a secret history. Naturally, I am dismissed as a nut by nearly everyone, even though all my findings are completely plausible and help to resolve a number of mysteries that conventional scholarship has been unable to adequately explain. For example, my theory provides an explanation as to how Christian Gnosticism came into being and it can also explain why there is no literal mention of ancient Sumer in the Bible. My goal at this point is simply to get atheists, who accept the idea that the Bible is allegory, to think about taking the next step and attempting to systematically decipher this allegory.

    3. The concept of religion and its name first started with some few fanatics only to exploit the common peace loving and working class people. They were all called by the name Jews and later connected with the Jewish religion. And later christianity, islam, protestants, etc.. only to exploit common people and to give prolonged trouble to the people worldwide. That is why chriest started telling the untruths about Jewis religion and they tried killed him because they know that they were already cheating the common people and they do not want them to be exposed and also they should have no one as competitor. Christ actually did not die in the cross. Due to application of medicated water (antiseptic) over his face during the time just after he was nailed at the cross he had escaped from death. He was really in the state of coma and later he recovered from his coma when his body was brought by his relatives and placed at rest in the underground.

      After he recovered from coma and he told his intention to leave jeruselam once for with all with his family. Few followers were socked to hear this and thought that they may not be left with any way of survival in jeruselam and then got an idea that Christ came back to life after three days from death. They got it right and that was the start of the religion christianity. Christ never bothered about anything and he simply escaped to India, I suppose, with his family members. Then what happened to one of his follower Thomas. When the other followers already devised the plot to completely exploit the death (not really) – the absence of chirst, he could not believe it and started revolting against others. At that time what did christ do was he had just showed his face-presence to that idotic Thomas and left jeruselam and the country as well for ever. This very much excited Thomas and he only totally believed the totally untruth drama that christ came back to life after death and he saw it and he surely belived that christ is nothing but God. With that all excited state he started his journey to India and started propagating all the untruths of christianity as the only truth to the common people and finally got killed near Chennai and buried. There was no such concept of religion in India and it was only name Bharat and Dravida were there in the regions south of Himalaya. Again this name India was given by the ruthless invaders from outside Bharat to only exploit the common and peace loving people and destroy their age old natural culture. In fact the Hindu religion was very much unknown to Indian before 2000 years!!!!!!!!!…….

      After hearing and seeing all the dramas of jews and Christianity the so called allha or kulla thought that the he can also very well exploit the ordinary people by telling that he is the only messenger of God and whatever nonsense he says all from the so called unknown God. Islam is the most stupidest religion in this whole world in my opinion…………

      According to the so called above religions if you carry out very very few good things and all too many nonsenses written in tora, bible and kuran (writing in all these do not have any kind of scientific basis) you will be received by angels and get so many virgins and all the awkward unbelievable stuffs and eternal enjoyment in the unknown and unbelievable heaven. But the basic qualification required to go heaven is first you have to die and when you die you have to leave the body here only. So where is the question of enjoyment!!!!!!!!!…..all the virgins!!!!!!!!!………..and angels etc…..???????????

    4. Stak Rosch criticises biblical literalists on the grounds that we measure days by the Earth’s revolution round the sun (actually that’s a year; a day is the time it takes for the earth to rotate on its own axis). Scientists tell us the age of the solar system is about 5 billion years and earth about 4 billion years; also that the universe is about 13 billion years old. By Rosch’s own logic this must be nonsense because there was no way of measuring a year [or day] before the sun and moon were created, so how can we know how long the universe has existed.
      Things are never as simple as they seem!?!?!

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