Home Pastors Articles for Pastors I Don’t Take the Bible Literally! And Neither Do You

I Don’t Take the Bible Literally! And Neither Do You

This is not mere quibbling. To say one takes the Bible literally is simply not biblical nor is it taking our Lord’s words seriously. Consider just one example:

“I have said these things to you in figures of speech. The hour is coming when I will no longer speak to you in figures of speech but will tell you plainly about the Father.” … His disciples said, “Ah, now you are speaking plainly and not using figurative speech!” (John 16:25, 29, emphasis added)

Paul demonstrates this as well as he speaks of Sarah and Hagar representing two different covenants:

Now this may be interpreted allegorically: These women are two covenants. (Galatians 4:24)

We who so dearly love the scriptures and have given our lives to its promulgation must not allow the proper view of it to be described in such a sloppy and inaccurate way. But we all do it, don’t we? Even leading evangelical research organizations who track changing convictions on various matters of faith include the “taken literally, word for word” option in their surveys.

Let’s do a better job of serving as stewards of God’s Word and how we explain our understanding and application of it to others. Literally.  

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Glenn T. Stanton is the director of family formation studies at Focus on the Family and the author of many books, most recently, Loving My (LGBT) Neighbor (Moody) and The Family Project (Tyndale).