Are the Bible Stories to be Taken Literally? (Part 1)


Are the Bible Stories to be Taken Literally? (Part 1) I. Theological liberals deny that the stories of the Old Testament should be taken literally. 1. They say that we need to view these stories as adults and not as children who take them literally. 2. These people are unbelievers. 3. If a man doesn’t believe that a historical account in the Bible actually happened, he is an unbeliever. 4. Let’s examine some of the Biblical accounts and see if the Bible teaches that they literally happened. II. Creation 1. God spoke in very plain and clear language in Genesis 1&2 in the account of the creation of the universe. 2. There is no hint of allegorical language being used in those two chapters. 3. Our Lord Jesus Christ cited the creation account in Genesis as being literal history. A. Jesus based His precepts on marriage on the account of the first marriage between Adam and Eve given in Genesis 1, 2, & 5 (Mat 19:4-6 & Mar 10:6-9 c/w Gen 1:27 & Gen 5:2 & Gen 2:24). B. Jesus thought that the creation account was literal history. C. If there were no actual people called Adam and Eve who were actually married, then Jesus’ teaching on marriage was unfounded and based on fairytales. D. If a man believes not Moses who wrote the book of Genesis, then how can he believe Jesus who quoted him? (Joh 5:46-47) E. Concerning Mat 19:5, Thomas Huxley, “Darwin’s Bulldog,” wrote: "If divine authority is not here claimed for the twenty-fourth verse of the second chapter of Genesis, what is the value of language? And again, I ask, if one may play fast and loose with the story of the Fall as a “type” or “allegory,” what becomes of the foundation of Pauline theology?" (Thomas Huxley, quote from 4. The apostle Paul based his teaching that Jesus Christ is the last Adam on the account of the creation of the first Adam (1Co 15:45 c/w Gen 2:7). A. Paul affirms that Adam was “the first man” and that God made him a living soul. B. Paul thought that the creation account was literal history. C. If there was not a literal first man Adam, then there is no basis for Paul’s teaching that Christ is the last Adam. 5. Paul thought Adam and Eve were literally created by God (1Ti 2:13). 6. The six-day creation account. A. God Himself thought that He created the heavens and the earth in six literal days and rested on the seventh day (Exo 20:1, 9-11 & Exo 31:12-18 c/w Gen 2:1-3). B. Paul thought that God literally rested on the seventh day after creating the heavens and the earth in six days (Heb 4:4 c/w Gen 2:2). 7. Luke, writing under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, thought that Adam was a literal man who was the progenitor of the human race and of our Lord Jesus Christ (Luk 3:23-38). A. If Adam was not a literal man created by God, then the genealogy of Jesus Christ is a lie. B. And if that’s so, then the New Testament is a lie. 8. Jude thought that Adam was a literal man and the literal ancestor of Enoch (Jud 1:14). III. The fall of man 1. Job thought the account of the fall of Adam and subsequent covering of his sin was literal history (Job 31:33). 2. The apostle Paul referred to the account of Satan’s beguiling of Eve as literal history (Gen 3:1-6 c/w 2Co 11:3 & 1Ti 2:14). A. Paul used the literal account of Satan’s deception of Eve as the basis of his warning to the Corinthian Christians to beware to not be deceived (2Co 11:4). B. Paul used the account of Eve’s deception as part of the basis of his command that women are not to teach or hold positions of authority in the church (1Ti 2:11-12). C. It should be no surprise that women so-called preachers in so-called churches allegorize away the literal account of the deception of Eve so that they can dispense with the NT’s prohibition of women being pastors. D. If there was no literal woman Eve who was beguiled by Satan acting through a serpent, then the New Testament scriptures and precepts are based on lies and fables. 3. The apostle Paul built the doctrine of Total Depravity on the account of the fall given in Genesis 3. A. Paul wrote that sin entered the world by one man, Adam (Rom 5:12-14). B. He wrote that death, judgment, and condemnation came upon the entire human race through Adam’s sin (Rom 5:15-18). C. Paul taught that just as Adam’s disobedience made men condemned sinners, so Christ’s obedience made men righteous (Rom 5:19). D. Paul taught that all men will physically die because of Adam’s sin, and that all that are Christ’s will be resurrected from the dead by Him (1Co 15:21-22). i. If Adam did not actually exist and sin and bring death upon the human race, then there is no basis for Paul’s teaching that all who are Christ’s will be made alive by Him. ii. Concerning 1Co 15:21-22, Huxley wrote: "If Adam may be held to be no more real a personage than Prometheus, and if the story of the Fall is merely an instructive “type,” comparable to the profound Promethean mythus, what value has Paul’s dialectic?" (Thomas Huxley, quote from E. If there was no literal man Adam who literally ate the forbidden fruit and caused sin and death to enter the creation, then there is no theological basis for believing that Jesus Christ came to save men from sin and death. F. Even unbelievers recognize how crucial belief in a literal Adam and literal fall is to the theology of salvation. i. Thomas Huxley had the following to say about the idea that the accounts in Genesis are only stories to be believed by children. ii. "I am fairly at a loss to comprehend how any one, for a moment, can doubt that Christian theology must stand or fall with the historical trustworthiness of the Jewish Scriptures. The very conception of the Messiah, or Christ, is inextricably interwoven with Jewish history; the identification of Jesus of Nazareth with that Messiah rests upon the interpretation of passages of the Hebrew Scriptures which have no evidential value unless they possess the historical character assigned to them. If the covenant with Abraham was not made; if circumcision and sacrifices were not ordained by Jahveh; if the “ten words” were not written by God’s hand on the stone tables; if Abraham is more or less a mythical hero, such as Theseus; the story of the Deluge a fiction; that of the Fall a legend; and that of the creation the dream of a seer; if all these definite and detailed narratives of apparently real events have no more value as history than have the stories of the regal period of Rome—what is to be said about the Messianic doctrine, which is so much less clearly enunciated? And what about the authority of the writers of the books of the New Testament, who, on this theory, have not merely accepted flimsy fictions for solid truths, but have built the very foundations of Christian dogma upon legendary quicksands?" (Thomas Huxley, quote from iii. "And again, I ask, if one may play fast and loose with the story of the Fall as a “type” or “allegory,” what becomes of the foundation of Pauline theology? (Thomas Huxley, quote from IV. Cain and Abel 1. Our Lord Jesus Christ cited the account of Cain killing Abel as factual history (Mat 23:35 & Luk 11:51 c/w Gen 4:1-8). A. Was Jesus lying or mistaken when He affirmed that Abel was the first martyr? B. If Abel wasn’t a real person and wasn’t really killed by his brother, why should we believe anything else Jesus said? C. If a man believes not Moses who wrote the book of Genesis, then how can he believe Jesus who referenced his words? (Joh 5:46-47) 2. Other inspired writers of the New Testament clearly show their belief that Cain and Abel were real men as recorded in Genesis 4. A. Paul affirmed the faithfulness of Abel (Heb 11:4). B. The apostle John likewise referred to Cain killing Abel as literal history (1Jo 3:12). C. Jude likewise makes reference to Cain (Jud 1:11). D. If the account of Cain and Abel is just a children’s story, what does that say about the credibility of the NT authors who referred to it as a literal, historical event? V. Enoch 1. It is stated in Genesis that “Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him” (Gen 5:24). 2. In the book of Hebrews, Paul states as fact that “Enoch was translated that he should not see death” (Heb 11:5). A. Translate v. – 1. To bear, convey, or remove from one person or condition to another; to transfer, transport. b. To carry or convey to heaven without death. B. If the story of Enoch being taken to heaven without dying is a fable, why should anyone believe Paul who affirmed that it happened? C. If Paul’s statement cannot be trusted and taken at face value in Hebrews 11, why should his other books which comprise half of the NT be believed?
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