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The Bible - symbolic or real?

The other day a Christian told me that parts of the Bible are allegory or symbolic in that they do not record truth or facts. They only suggest the power of God and the importance of believing him and his Bible.

The example used by this Christian was that parts of the story of the flood and Noah are not true. The untrue parts, according to this Christian are that the flood water did not reach the height of 29,055 feet or that it did not reach that height all over the world.

According to this believer, the flood did occur, Noah did built his ark out of gopher wood and he did gather animals and food for them.

The problem with this from both a Christian and non-believer view is that no one knows what to think or believe about what is wrong and what is right.

This particular Christian believed that the flood occurred, but that the water level was not that high and it only occurred in the mid-East. As Christians point out, the Israelites of the time were not aware of the entire world and could only believe in a flood of their part of the world.

There is one little problem with this. The Bible, according to all believers, is God’s book, written or transcribed by God for man’s use. If God wrote it or transcribed it, and if God is omniscient then God would know that the world is round, about 8,000 miles in diameter and he would know where and how high a flood would be.

Thus, whether or not the current locals of the time – tent makers and goat herders – would know it, God would/should write his Bible accurately. If God wrote or transcribed accurately, then he would undoubtedly stat the facts as God knew them

The Bible in this case (check Genesis 7:17-20) says:
“For forty days the flood kept coming on the earth, and as the waters increased, they lifted the ark high above the earth. The waters rose and increased greatly on the earth, and the ark floated on the surface of the water.

“They rose greatly on the earth, and all the high mountains under the entire heavens were covered. The waters rose and covered the mountain to a depth of more than twenty feet.”

Thus if the Bible is correct, this means that the highest mountain on earth was covered to a water depth of twenty feet. This means that Everest, the highest mountain at 29,035 would be covered by twenty feet and or the water level would be 29,055. That’s what I said at the beginning of this article.

If this Christian is right, then how many more so-called “facts” of the Bible are really analogies or symbolic of something else other than truth? Could all of Genesis be fable or fairy tale? Could Jesus as the Son of God be a fictional tale? And how are Christians or non-believers supposed to know what is real and what is not real?

Doesn’t this make believing the Bible, or parts of it a little like a back alley craps game? Doesn’t it make Biblical belief or Christian views of salvation equivalent to believing in Winnie-the-Pooh or a factual Alice in Wonderland?

With God cooking the books on writing the Bible – if he does – it is no wonder that non-believers do not believe and wonder why believers fail to use their critical thinking faculties.

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