Use of figures of speech in the Bible ...

How do forum participants view the topic of the use of figures of speech in the Bible?
Are there figures of speech used in Scripture or is all meant literally ?
Does the use of figures of speech serve a particular purpose in Scripture?
How does on distinguish between what is expressed in a literal way and what is expressed by the use of a figure of speech?
Who determines what is meant literally and what is part of a figure of speech - the author/writer? or the reader?
Is it important to recognize figures of speech in Scripture? If so, why is it important?

«1

Comments

  • Dave_LDave_L Posts: 2,174
    edited October 2

    @Wolfgang said:
    How do forum participants view the topic of the use of figures of speech in the Bible?
    Are there figures of speech used in Scripture or is all meant literally ?
    Does the use of figures of speech serve a particular purpose in Scripture?
    How does on distinguish between what is expressed in a literal way and what is expressed by the use of a figure of speech?
    Who determines what is meant literally and what is part of a figure of speech - the author/writer? or the reader?
    Is it important to recognize figures of speech in Scripture? If so, why is it important?

    I for one do not believe "literal whenever possible" does justice to scripture. It results in automatically forcing literal interpretations on passages not necessarily intended to be taken literally.

    I think this is especially true in the book of Revelation where the symbol becomes confused with reality. An example would be looking for the symbol to literally appear instead of what the symbol represents.

    Post edited by Dave_L on
  • GaoLuGaoLu Posts: 1,367
    Literal unless clearly figurative. Figures of speech are very effective ways to clearly communicate meaning and beautifully used often in prophecy and poetry. We don’t have to guess which is which. I’m most cases discerning isn’t difficult at all—the author tells us or the context is makes discerning crystal clear. In cases where individuals reject the literal meaning they resort to appealing for figurative meaning—nearly always with some willynilly interpretation.
  • C_M_C_M_ Posts: 2,580

    Figures of speech in the Bible is very important in reading and understanding its content. The writers of the Bible attempt to communicate infinite ideas in finite human language, they employed figures of speech, like parables, hyperbole, simile, metaphor, and symbolism. But even this figurative language conveys clear, literal truth. For example:

    • Apocalyptic books like Daniel, Zechariah, Ezekiel, and Revelation, which employ figures and symbols, must be studied carefully to discover the literal truth they convey.

    • The same applies to the parables. They are stories used to illustrate spiritual truth. Though the details regarding people, events, times, and places in the parables may not be actually historical, the spiritual truths they convey are always literal and real.

    Poetic features. This refers not to poetry per se but to the figures of speech in the passage. Such poetic qualities add richness, depth, and literary quality, as well as emotional impact, to the passage. They perk up the interest of the reader. One should ask:

    • What role do they play?
    • Are they unique to this passage?
    • Where else are they found?

    Broyles lists the more common figures of speech:

    1. Simile: an explicit comparison (X is like Y: "Now the appearance of the glory of the Lord was like a devouring fire on the top of the mountain in the sight of the people of Israel," Exod. 24:17).
    2. Metaphor: an implicit comparison (X = Y; "The Lord is my shepherd," Ps. 23:1)
    3. Synecdoche: stating a part but referring to the whole (x-X; "May the LORD cut off all flattering lips [i.e., wicked people]," Ps. 12:3) or vice versa (X-x).
    4. Metonymy: referring to something by naming an associated item ("The LORD has established his throne [i.e., royal rule] in the heavens, and his kingdom rules over all" Ps. 103:19).
    5. Personification: attributing human qualities to what is not human (e.g., "Lady Wisdom" and "Lady Folly" in Proverbs 8-9).
    6. Anthropomorphism: attributing human qualities to God (e.g., "the arm of the Lord," Isa. 51:9).
    7. Hyperbole: overstatement ("every night I flood my bed with tears," Ps. 6:6)
    8. Irony: saying one thing but intending the opposite, usually with sarcasm ("Come to Bethel—and transgress," Amos 4:4).

    I hope this is the beginning of a better understanding of the Word. CM

    SOURCE:
    -- Craig C. Broyles, "Interpreting the Old Testament: Principles and Steps," in Interpreting the Old Testament: A Guide for Exegesis, ed. Craig C. Broyles (Grand Rapids: Baker, 2001), 13.

  • WolfgangWolfgang Posts: 1,260

    @Dave_L said:
    I for one do not believe "literal whenever possible" does justice to scripture. It results in automatically forcing literal interpretations on passages not necessarily intended to be taken literally.

    What then is a proper and safe rule by which to determine if a passage is meant to be understood literally or if a passage involved a figure of speech?
    Does it perhaps depend on the "whenever possible" ... by what is determined what is "possible"?

    I think this is especially true in the book of Revelation where the symbol becomes confused with reality. An example would be looking for the symbol to literally appear instead of what the symbol represents.

    I would say that an interpretation leading to such an expectation most likely be the result of not recognizing the use of a figure of speech in a passage and then falsely understanding it in a literal sense. Obviously, such an interpretation would be incorrect and any expectations and/or actions based on such false interpretation would subsequently be false as well.

    Thus, I agree with you that it is very important to have a knowledge of figures of speech and to know how to correctly recognize them when there are figures used in a passage in order to correctly understand what Scripture reveals.

  • Dave_LDave_L Posts: 2,174
    edited October 3

    Normally what I do is let things lay until I find out what Jesus and the NT writes say about the topic. For instance, Jesus defines the Kingdom of God as spiritual. Also saying it comes without observation. He says it is within you, and one must be born again to see it. This totally removes Dispensationalism and Premillennialism from the book of Revelation as being viable interpretations. It leaves only Amillennialism as a rule of thumb for interpreting the book, especially chapter 20 where John mentions the 1000 years symbol.

    Post edited by Dave_L on
  • C_M_C_M_ Posts: 2,580

    The Bible is its own expositor. The Book of Revelation can be understood. CM

  • Dave_LDave_L Posts: 2,174

    @C_M_ said:
    The Bible is its own expositor. The Book of Revelation can be understood. CM

    Revelation is like a giant Rorschach test for every religious crackpot out there - since the 1800s. We need to anchor it in Jesus' description of the spiritual kingdom and renounce all physical kingdom attempts to interpret it.

  • WolfgangWolfgang Posts: 1,260

    @GaoLu said:
    Literal unless clearly figurative.

    And how do you determine when some passage involves a figure of speech?

    Figures of speech are very effective ways to clearly communicate meaning and beautifully used often in prophecy and poetry. We don’t have to guess which is which. I’m most cases discerning isn’t difficult at all—the author tells us or the context is makes discerning crystal clear.

    I would agree that guessing is not the way to determine whether an author/writer has meant something literally or has employed figures of speech.

    I am not so sure about the matter of "in most cases discerning is not difficult at all" ... especially so, when people aren't even aware what kinds of figures of speech there are or what particular figure of speech is used in a certain passage. In addition, some readers may claim that something is meant literally because they think that it is literally possible while someone else will realize that the expression is not literally possible and therefore must involve the use of a figure of speech (e.g. "stars falling from heaven")

    In cases where individuals reject the literal meaning they resort to appealing for figurative meaning—nearly always with some willynilly interpretation.

    Not necessarily ... sometimes people claim a literal meaning where what is stated is actually not literally possible ... and usually then they try and support their idea by saying "well, for God it is possible" ...

    It seems to me that figures of speech are clearly defined and are linguistic and grammatical means of putting emphasis on something in a passage or expression and there is no guesswork about it needed in the first place.

  • C_M_C_M_ Posts: 2,580
    edited October 3

    @Dave_L said:
    Normally what I do is let things lay until I find out what Jesus and the NT writes say about the topic. For instance, Jesus defines the Kingdom of God as spiritual. Also saying it comes without observation. He says it is within you, and one must be born again to see it. This totally removes Dispensationalism and Premillennialism from the book of Revelation as being viable interpretations. It leaves only Amillennialism as a rule of thumb for interpreting the book, especially chapter 20 where John mentions the 1000 years symbol.

    Because I am hyperlinked challenged, a quick review may be helpful here:

    Dispensationalism -- considered by some to be a man-made doctrine, that goes against the gospel principle. Namely, its teaching shows two different saving gospels by denying that the gospel of forgiveness of sins provides the way of salvation in all periods of history. God would take the church out of the world before the time of tribulation.

    Millennialism: derived from the one-thousand-year period of Rev 20 when Satan is bound, millennialism holds that a period of good times is coming. There are now three rival interpretations:

    • Premillennialism -- the second coming of Christ will precede the millennium.
    • Postmillennialism -- the return of 
Christ will follow the millennium.
    • Amillennialism -- the thousand years in Rev 20 is symbolic of the present gospel age.

    Amillennialists (taken from “amillennium”, meaning “no millennium”) believe that the references to the Millennium in Scripture are figurative or allegorical and take place in the believer‘s heart, thereby creating heaven on earth in the Body of Christ.

    Although similar in belief to the postmillennialists, the amillennialists also believe:
    -- There is no literal reign of Christ on earth
    -- The Great White Throne Judgment occurs immediately following the Second Coming of Christ.
    -- There is only one, not two, resurrections addressed in Revelation 20.

    This view was initiated by Origen and propagated as the orthodox eschatological view of the Catholic Church by Augustine.

    Augustine also taught that the period of this spiritual millennium in the Church or Body of Christ was from the Cross to the Parousia, commonly called the Church Age by other theologians.

    It was after Augustine much of the course of Western Christianity was redirected towards an amillennial orientation, interpreting the millennium of Revelation 20, in figurative terms. Prior to him, the early church tended to hold a premillennial outlook, anxiously expecting Jesus’ imminent return before a literal thousand-year reign.

    As I said before:

    @ CM said: Let's be mindful of the differences between an opinion (may or may not, be based on a particular text) and a biblical text. Every passage is encased in a context. "A text without a context is a "pre-text."

    A context (immediate/intermediate, etc.), the language of the writer, idiom, type of writing, that one is handling, and methods of interpretation used, generally, signals a predicted conclusion or outcome. CM

    SOURCE:

    -- "Chiliasm," NIDNTT (1975), 1:53.

    Post edited by C_M_ on
  • C_M_C_M_ Posts: 2,580

    @Dave_L said:

    @C_M_ said:
    The Bible is its own expositor. The Book of Revelation can be understood. CM

    Revelation is like a giant Rorschach test for every religious crackpot out there...

    Dave,
    I would strongly disagree with you. The Book of Revelation is not a projective measure of personality projective psychological test nor is it a profile of people with schizophrenia (or other mental disorders). You couldn't be more incorrect. Reading the first four verses alone will tell you the value and source. The Book of Revelation:

    1. Is the last book of The Bible. “All scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16, 17). Scripture is “inspired by God” (theopneustos, literally “God-breathed”).
    2. All Scripture—not just part is “God-breathed.” This certainly includes the whole Old Testament and the canonical Scriptures of the apostolic church (see Luke 24:17, 32, 44, 45; Rom. 1:2; 3:2; 2 Pet. 1:21; etc.).
    3. All Scripture, both Old Testament and New, is of divine origin, “inspired by God”—literally, “God-breathed.” The relationship between the Divine Author and human writers is the product of the Bible.
    4. The book of Revelation is apocalyptic literature. Apocalypse means an "unveiling" or "revelation".
    5. The book of Revelation is the only book of the sixty-six in the Bible that contains a declaration of a special blessing to the readers and hearers, thereby indicating the extraordinary importance of its contents.
      1. The Revelation is from Jesus Christ.
      2. It is the Revelation of Jesus
      3. It is especially commended for our study (See # 5 above).
      4. It is the capstone of Divine Revelation (In it strands from all the books of the Bible come together in a triumphant finale).
      5. It provides warnings and promises to the church through ages of conflict to the final victory.
      6. It sets forth the true philosophy of history.
      7. It gives assurance of final victory to the church.

    This just a taste of its value and blessings. I can expand on these in another thread.

    For now, a possible key to better understanding of the Book of Revelation"

    • It is indebted to OT language and imagery for the key to unlock its mysterious symbolic code. In particular, the ties between the OT sanctuary services and festivals and the structure of the book of Revelation.
      • It is divided into three parts: chaps. 1-11, chaps. 12-14, and chaps. 15-22.
        • The first part (chaps. 1-11) is historical, reaching to the judgment.
        • The second (chaps. 12-14) focuses on judgment, especially in the time of the end.
        • The third (chaps. 15-22) is eschatological, from judgment into eternity.

    This is a beautiful book, its message is deep and true, and relevant for the "last days". We can explore this elsewhere if you like. CM

  • Dave_LDave_L Posts: 2,174

    @C_M_ said:

    @Dave_L said:

    @C_M_ said:
    The Bible is its own expositor. The Book of Revelation can be understood. CM

    Revelation is like a giant Rorschach test for every religious crackpot out there...

    Dave,
    I would strongly disagree with you. The Book of Revelation is not a projective measure of personality projective psychological test nor is it a profile of people with schizophrenia (or other mental disorders). You couldn't be more incorrect. Reading the first four verses alone will tell you the value and source. The Book of Revelation:

    1. Is the last book of The Bible. “All scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16, 17). Scripture is “inspired by God” (theopneustos, literally “God-breathed”).
    2. All Scripture—not just part is “God-breathed.” This certainly includes the whole Old Testament and the canonical Scriptures of the apostolic church (see Luke 24:17, 32, 44, 45; Rom. 1:2; 3:2; 2 Pet. 1:21; etc.).
    3. All Scripture, both Old Testament and New, is of divine origin, “inspired by God”—literally, “God-breathed.” The relationship between the Divine Author and human writers is the product of the Bible.
    4. The book of Revelation is apocalyptic literature. Apocalypse means an "unveiling" or "revelation".
    5. The book of Revelation is the only book of the sixty-six in the Bible that contains a declaration of a special blessing to the readers and hearers, thereby indicating the extraordinary importance of its contents.
      1. The Revelation is from Jesus Christ.
      2. It is the Revelation of Jesus
      3. It is especially commended for our study (See # 5 above).
      4. It is the capstone of Divine Revelation (In it strands from all the books of the Bible come together in a triumphant finale).
      5. It provides warnings and promises to the church through ages of conflict to the final victory.
      6. It sets forth the true philosophy of history.
      7. It gives assurance of final victory to the church.

    This just a taste of its value and blessings. I can expand on these in another thread.

    For now, a possible key to better understanding of the Book of Revelation"

    • It is indebted to OT language and imagery for the key to unlock its mysterious symbolic code. In particular, the ties between the OT sanctuary services and festivals and the structure of the book of Revelation.
      • It is divided into three parts: chaps. 1-11, chaps. 12-14, and chaps. 15-22.
        • The first part (chaps. 1-11) is historical, reaching to the judgment.
        • The second (chaps. 12-14) focuses on judgment, especially in the time of the end.
        • The third (chaps. 15-22) is eschatological, from judgment into eternity.

    This is a beautiful book, its message is deep and true, and relevant for the "last days". We can explore this elsewhere if you like. CM

    So Margaret MacDonald's pre-trib rapture hallucinations while burning up with a fever don't figure in?

  • C_M_C_M_ Posts: 2,580

    @Dave_L said: "So Margaret MacDonald's pre-trib rapture hallucinations while burning up with a fever don't figure in?"

    The answer is obvious. See my thread post: "Rapture: A Background for Consideration (Compiled by CM)". CM

  • WolfgangWolfgang Posts: 1,260

    @Dave_L said:
    Normally what I do is let things lay until I find out what Jesus and the NT writes say about the topic.

    So how do you determine whether or not Jesus used a figure of speech in what he said or meant his words to be understood literally?

    It seems to me that what you are pointing out is more the principle of observing remote context and overall scope of Scripture in order to understand a passage ... irrelevant whether there are figures of speech involved or not.

    For instance, Jesus defines the Kingdom of God as spiritual. Also saying it comes without observation. He says it is within you, and one must be born again to see it. This totally removes Dispensationalism and Premillennialism from the book of Revelation as being viable interpretations. It leaves only Amillennialism as a rule of thumb for interpreting the book, especially chapter 20 where John mentions the 1000 years symbol.

    See above ... this itself is not dependent on whether a passage is meant to be understood in its literal sense or involves a figure of speech.

  • WolfgangWolfgang Posts: 1,260

    @Dave_L said:
    Revelation is like a giant Rorschach test for every religious crackpot out there - since the 1800s. We need to anchor it in Jesus' description of the spiritual kingdom and renounce all physical kingdom attempts to interpret it.

    It seems to me as if this point is unrelated to the topic here about literal meaning vs use of figures of speech in the Scriptures.

    Both the expression "spiritual kingdom [reign]" and "physical kingdom [reign]" are used with their literal meaning and do not involve a figure of speech, rather the words "spiritual" and "physical" describe the nature of the kingdom [reign] spoken of.

    If you think there is a figure of speech involved in regards to these points, perhaps you can point out which figure is being used and which words or expression is involved?

  • reformedreformed Posts: 1,983

    Literally whenever possible is the best line of reasoning. If something is figurative it is usually if not always obvious.

    Example, to say the law of the Lord is sweeter than the honey of the honeycomb. Does that mean if we were to take a scroll and taste it that it is sweet? No, it's a figure of speech and obviously so.

  • WolfgangWolfgang Posts: 1,260

    @reformed said:
    Literally whenever possible is the best line of reasoning. If something is figurative it is usually if not always obvious.

    I pretty much agree with this observation. As mentioned in an earlier post, sometimes the difficulty seems to be that what some regards as not literally possible others regard as possible "because with God all is possible".

    In addition, I think one should take note that not all figures of speech involve a "figurative meaning", since there are also figures of speech involving grammatical aspects rather than word meaning aspects ... cp. the use of repetition of words for emphasis, such as in the expression "Verily, verily ....".

    Example, to say the law of the Lord is sweeter than the honey of the honeycomb. Does that mean if we were to take a scroll and taste it that it is sweet? No, it's a figure of speech and obviously so.

    Indeed ... these types of figures of speech are recognized by most readers rather easily.

  • reformedreformed Posts: 1,983

    @Wolfgang said:

    @reformed said:
    Literally whenever possible is the best line of reasoning. If something is figurative it is usually if not always obvious.

    I pretty much agree with this observation. As mentioned in an earlier post, sometimes the difficulty seems to be that what some regards as not literally possible others regard as possible "because with God all is possible".

    That must be taken into account as well. In that case you have to look at how was the story being told. Was it being told as an allegory, context helps with this, or was it being told as a factual narrative? Did you have a particular passage in mind?

    In addition, I think one should take note that not all figures of speech involve a "figurative meaning", since there are also figures of speech involving grammatical aspects rather than word meaning aspects ... cp. the use of repetition of words for emphasis, such as in the expression "Verily, verily ....".

    I think we need to differentiate between the types of figurative language we are referring to.

    Example, to say the law of the Lord is sweeter than the honey of the honeycomb. Does that mean if we were to take a scroll and taste it that it is sweet? No, it's a figure of speech and obviously so.

    Indeed ... these types of figures of speech are recognized by most readers rather easily.

    Yep

  • Dave_LDave_L Posts: 2,174

    @Wolfgang said:

    @Dave_L said:
    Revelation is like a giant Rorschach test for every religious crackpot out there - since the 1800s. We need to anchor it in Jesus' description of the spiritual kingdom and renounce all physical kingdom attempts to interpret it.

    It seems to me as if this point is unrelated to the topic here about literal meaning vs use of figures of speech in the Scriptures.

    Both the expression "spiritual kingdom [reign]" and "physical kingdom [reign]" are used with their literal meaning and do not involve a figure of speech, rather the words "spiritual" and "physical" describe the nature of the kingdom [reign] spoken of.

    If you think there is a figure of speech involved in regards to these points, perhaps you can point out which figure is being used and which words or expression is involved?

    The problem is there is no physical reign.

  • Dave_LDave_L Posts: 2,174

    @reformed said:
    Literally whenever possible is the best line of reasoning. If something is figurative it is usually if not always obvious.

    Example, to say the law of the Lord is sweeter than the honey of the honeycomb. Does that mean if we were to take a scroll and taste it that it is sweet? No, it's a figure of speech and obviously so.

    Literal whenever possible forces a false interpretation on Revelation every single time it is used beyond the opening passages.

  • reformedreformed Posts: 1,983

    @Dave_L said:

    @reformed said:
    Literally whenever possible is the best line of reasoning. If something is figurative it is usually if not always obvious.

    Example, to say the law of the Lord is sweeter than the honey of the honeycomb. Does that mean if we were to take a scroll and taste it that it is sweet? No, it's a figure of speech and obviously so.

    Literal whenever possible forces a false interpretation on Revelation every single time it is used beyond the opening passages.

    Dave, you do know that we cannot possibly know with 100% certainty the meaning of Revelation as these things have not yet happened, yes? Just like Israel couldn't know with 100% certainty the meanings of the prophecies until they happened?

  • Dave_LDave_L Posts: 2,174

    @reformed said:

    @Dave_L said:

    @reformed said:
    Literally whenever possible is the best line of reasoning. If something is figurative it is usually if not always obvious.

    Example, to say the law of the Lord is sweeter than the honey of the honeycomb. Does that mean if we were to take a scroll and taste it that it is sweet? No, it's a figure of speech and obviously so.

    Literal whenever possible forces a false interpretation on Revelation every single time it is used beyond the opening passages.

    Dave, you do know that we cannot possibly know with 100% certainty the meaning of Revelation as these things have not yet happened, yes? Just like Israel couldn't know with 100% certainty the meanings of the prophecies until they happened?

    Much has happened only physical kingdom buffs missed it.

  • reformedreformed Posts: 1,983

    @Dave_L said:

    @reformed said:

    @Dave_L said:

    @reformed said:
    Literally whenever possible is the best line of reasoning. If something is figurative it is usually if not always obvious.

    Example, to say the law of the Lord is sweeter than the honey of the honeycomb. Does that mean if we were to take a scroll and taste it that it is sweet? No, it's a figure of speech and obviously so.

    Literal whenever possible forces a false interpretation on Revelation every single time it is used beyond the opening passages.

    Dave, you do know that we cannot possibly know with 100% certainty the meaning of Revelation as these things have not yet happened, yes? Just like Israel couldn't know with 100% certainty the meanings of the prophecies until they happened?

    Much has happened only physical kingdom buffs missed it.

    That is your opinion, but honest scholars admit that they cannot say that with 100% certainty. Are you willing to say that you can't be 100% absolute on that and that is just an opinion?

  • GaoLuGaoLu Posts: 1,367

    Other than Revelation,for you, Dave are there any other difficulties in the Bible where discerning what is a figure of speech or not is difficult?

  • Dave_LDave_L Posts: 2,174

    @reformed said:

    @Dave_L said:

    @reformed said:

    @Dave_L said:

    @reformed said:
    Literally whenever possible is the best line of reasoning. If something is figurative it is usually if not always obvious.

    Example, to say the law of the Lord is sweeter than the honey of the honeycomb. Does that mean if we were to take a scroll and taste it that it is sweet? No, it's a figure of speech and obviously so.

    Literal whenever possible forces a false interpretation on Revelation every single time it is used beyond the opening passages.

    Dave, you do know that we cannot possibly know with 100% certainty the meaning of Revelation as these things have not yet happened, yes? Just like Israel couldn't know with 100% certainty the meanings of the prophecies until they happened?

    Much has happened only physical kingdom buffs missed it.

    That is your opinion, but honest scholars admit that they cannot say that with 100% certainty. Are you willing to say that you can't be 100% absolute on that and that is just an opinion?

    Find where Jesus mentioned or even hinted at a physical kingdom. The Kingdom is spiritual and a present reality, but one must be born again to see it.

  • reformedreformed Posts: 1,983

    @Dave_L said:

    @reformed said:

    @Dave_L said:

    @reformed said:

    @Dave_L said:

    @reformed said:
    Literally whenever possible is the best line of reasoning. If something is figurative it is usually if not always obvious.

    Example, to say the law of the Lord is sweeter than the honey of the honeycomb. Does that mean if we were to take a scroll and taste it that it is sweet? No, it's a figure of speech and obviously so.

    Literal whenever possible forces a false interpretation on Revelation every single time it is used beyond the opening passages.

    Dave, you do know that we cannot possibly know with 100% certainty the meaning of Revelation as these things have not yet happened, yes? Just like Israel couldn't know with 100% certainty the meanings of the prophecies until they happened?

    Much has happened only physical kingdom buffs missed it.

    That is your opinion, but honest scholars admit that they cannot say that with 100% certainty. Are you willing to say that you can't be 100% absolute on that and that is just an opinion?

    Find where Jesus mentioned or even hinted at a physical kingdom. The Kingdom is spiritual and a present reality, but one must be born again to see it.

    What does that have to do with the whole of Revelation and what I said to you?

  • WolfgangWolfgang Posts: 1,260

    @Dave_L said:

    If you think there is a figure of speech involved in regards to these points, perhaps you can point out which figure is being used and which words or expression is involved?

    The problem is there is no physical reign.

    However, that is not shown or stated by means of a figure of speech but by a number of plain statements and passages which are to be understood literally, such as "spiritual", "not of this world", etc.

  • WolfgangWolfgang Posts: 1,260

    @Dave_L said:

    Example, to say the law of the Lord is sweeter than the honey of the honeycomb. Does that mean if we were to take a scroll and taste it that it is sweet? No, it's a figure of speech and obviously so.

    Literal whenever possible forces a false interpretation on Revelation every single time it is used beyond the opening passages.

    A false interpretation is forced at any time when a passage involving a figure of speech is interpreted as being meant in a literal sense, but equally so if a something meant literally is interpreted as involving a figure of speech ... that problem goes both directions.

    So then, how does one determine reliably if an expression involves a figure of speech?

  • WolfgangWolfgang Posts: 1,260

    @reformed said:
    Dave, you do know that we cannot possibly know with 100% certainty the meaning of Revelation as these things have not yet happened, yes? Just like Israel couldn't know with 100% certainty the meanings of the prophecies until they happened?

    It seems that you are addressing a different point here, that is, knowing the fulfillment of a prophecy as fulfilled. But this is independent of whether or not the prophecy was stated in a literal sense or involved a figure of speech (for example, "such and such will happen at the circus tomorrow" or "such and such will happen at the tent where some acrobats and animals perform acts to entertain an audience" ... It is not necessary to wait until "such and such actually happened" to understand either statement about this future event)

  • WolfgangWolfgang Posts: 1,260

    @Dave_L said:
    Find where Jesus mentioned or even hinted at a physical kingdom. The Kingdom is spiritual and a present reality, but one must be born again to see it.

    Are you equating the meaning of "spiritual" with "figurative" in some way?

  • GaoLuGaoLu Posts: 1,367
    edited October 4

    I suggest that someone suggest a passage that confuses them and let's start there.

    Here are a handful of quickie passages for seed (maybe choose one?):

    1. Jesus says to the woman at the well: "Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life." - Jn 4:13-14
    2. "Let the rivers clap their hands; let the hills sing for joy together" - Ps 98:8
    3. "If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters--yes, even their own life--such a person cannot be my disciple." Lk 14:26
    4. "Once the trees went forth to anoint a king over them, and they said to the olive tree, 'Reign over us!' - Jud 9:18
    5. "Death reigned from Adam to Moses" -Rom 5:14

    If these are too easy, then offer your own.

    Post edited by GaoLu on
Sign In or Register to comment.