The Literal principle simply put means that we are to interpret the Word of God just as we interpret other forms of communication, in the most obvious and natural sense. When Scripture uses a metaphor or a figure of speech, we should interpret it accordingly. --------------------------------------------------------> Introduction Here is an example of this concept... crack open your bible to Daniel 8. we will look at verse 26. He is told to seal up the prophecy because the time for it is way in the far future. look also.. 12:4 9 cf. 9:24
( Dan. 8:26(niv) The vision of the evenings and mornings that has been given you is true, but seal up the vision, for it concerns the distant future )
Now we look at another verse in the book of Revelations. 22 :10
( Rev. 22:10 (niv) Then he told me, "Do not seal up the words of the prophecy of this scroll, because the time is near. )
Did John intend to communicate that to be near? is should also be noted that John used other words such as "soon" and "the time is near". Many churches teach that day is still coming to us, in the future. ( Its been over 2000 years. ) Yet... The distant future for Daniel's vision was a span of 600ish years.
You can use the literal principle to help you answer this question and more. Another example would be in Revelations 14:20 The Bible says that at Armageddon the blood of Christ's enemies would rise "as high as the horses bridles for a distance of 1600 stadia." Does Scripture intend to convey that Palestine will literally be submerged in an almost 5 foot deep river of Blood that stretches the entire length from north to south? or.... is the apostle John simply using a common apocalyptic motif to convey massive wartime death and slaughter? --------------------------------------------------------> We Begin
Theologian R.C. Sproul aptly said, "To interpret the Bible literally is to interpret it as literature."
The Literal principle simply put means that we are to interpret the Word of God just as we interpret other forms of communication, in the most obvious and natural sense. When Scripture uses a metaphor or a figure of speech, we should interpret it accordingly. So then if the biblical writer uses a symbol or an allegory, we will lose its intended meaning if it is interpreted in a strictly literal manner.
Dr. Luke began his account with the words... Forasmuch as many have taken in hand to set forth in order a declaration of those things which are most surely believed among us, Even as they delivered them unto us, which from the beginning were eyewitnesses, and ministers of the word; It seemed good to me also, having had perfect understanding of all things from the very first, to write unto thee in order, most excellent Theophilus, That thou mightiest know the certainty of those things, wherein thou hast been instructed.
His narrative begins clearly as a historic account of things recently transpired. it would be a complete disaster to interpret it as a parable or poem. The bible is treasury replete with a large variety of literary styles ranging from proverbs, poetry, and psalms to historical narratives, didactic epistles, and apocalyptic revelations. Contrary to those folks who assert that the bible is just a old book of parables and should never be taken literally. Prior to the nineteenth century all Christians, futurists included, believed that a commonsense reading of Scripture inevitability led to the conclusion that the second coming / bodily return of Christ and rapture / resurrection of believers were simultaneous events. ( see... Timothy P. Weber, On the road to Armageddon: how Evangelicals Became Israel's Best Friend (Grand Rapids:Baker,2004),24.) W
Lets always remember that the whole of scripture needs to be in sight. this blog post will get longer in the days to come until it is finished and the next principle will begin. God Bless.
The Bible Geek here..... I've decided to put a post out on hermeneutics so some who desire to learn how to understand scripture in the more difficult places, could have a resource to do so. I will be borrowing acronyms and info from CRI to give credit where it is due.
The acronym to remember is... LIGHTS
L Literal Principle
I Illumination Principle
G Grammatical Principle
H Historical Principle
T Typology Principle
S Scriptural Synergy
The six principles will be put into separate posts for clarity and size reduction. if your interested in this topic then you will want to check back here from time to time to see if I have finished.. Take care and God Bless You all.