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The problems with an 'Allegorical' interpretation of the bible.

Discussion in 'Culture & Religion' started by Dawkinsrocks, Dec 15, 2008.

  1. Dawkinsrocks

    Dawkinsrocks Well-Known Member

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    I guess if you are a christian then you either believe the bible is literal, allegorical or a combination of both.

    I would have thought that to all but the certifiably insane the bible is not accepted as literally true so I won't waste time on that.

    But here are the problems with an allegorical interpretation.

    To write an allegory you must be acqainted with the facts that you are allegorising.

    This means that the author(s) of the bible knew the literal truth but then chose to represent it in a series of allegories that are open to all sorts of interpretations.

    And that creates the second problem. Who is to say that their interpretation of the allegory is the right one?

    And if the allegory needs to be decoded accurately why didn't the authors just write the damn thing accurately to begin with?

    My explanation is that as science debunks the bible, christians then say that the story that got debunked was always allegorical which results in the hybrid interpretation of the book as part truth part allegory.

    It is just that as time marches on the allegory bit keeps getting bigger and the truth bit smaller.
     
  2. Lagboltz

    Lagboltz Well-Known Member

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    Long ago I took an English class where one section of it was "The Bible as Literature". The instructor prefaced it with the observation that at the time the chapters of the bible were being formed, authors were not versed in saying things literally. Their vocabulary was much more limited than today, and allegories were a common method of recording ones thoughts and even historical events.

    At around the same time Greek mythology was also thriving. Ancient Greek events were also often related in terms of allegories with great poetic license. That seems to be a common trait of early narratives.
     
  3. Dawkinsrocks

    Dawkinsrocks Well-Known Member

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    But surely it takes more words and imagination to write an alelegory than to just write the facts.

    My explanation is that the facts did not support the conclusion so they made up stories that suggested they did to a very superstitious audience.
     
  4. Lagboltz

    Lagboltz Well-Known Member

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    Certainly, people today hold facts as the best and easiest way of recording information, but possibly the ancients did not.

    My take on it was that the audience was in fact a bit superstitious and uneducated and that allegorical stories were easier to remember than facts. For the less educated, perhaps allegories and stories were more important as a teaching and memory aid than facts.
     
  5. Dawkinsrocks

    Dawkinsrocks Well-Known Member

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    Stories have to be more important than facts for christians.
     
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