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A multiple choice question

(9 Posts)
Himalaya Wed 03-Oct-12 09:50:56

Apologies for being a bit reductive, but I've always wondered how much of the bible (or other relevant religious book) believers believe in.

So, a question for people who consider themselves as belonging to a religion. Which bits do you see as metaphor/ fable/ lessons for life and which bits do you think are broadly true/ really happened?

For example - in relationship to the old and new testaments:

A) Adam and Eve
B) Noah
C) Abraham & Isaac & the burning bush
D) Book of Job
E) heaven
F) hell
G) god
H) virgin birth
I) loaves and fishes
J) resurrection

AMumInScotland Wed 03-Oct-12 10:10:17

A - myth
B - myth, probably based on an actual flood of some kind
C - may have actually happened, I think there are bushes that can burn like that in deserts
D - Not really sure, I can't remember the details of what happens...
E - yes, in terms of a "new creation" that (some at least) people will get an invite to. Not in the clouds, no harps.
F - no. Just death. Useful as a threat, but not as a reality
G - yes
H - probably, for a God that created the universe, a few bits of DNA such as a Y chromosome shouldn't be a problem
I - happened, but may not have been miraculous
J - yes

Liberal Christian

Himalaya Wed 03-Oct-12 10:16:28

Amuminscotland - thanks!

On C I think I was getting my bible stories mixed up blush - I meant god talking to Abraham and telling him to sacrifice his son Isaac.

AMumInScotland Wed 03-Oct-12 10:27:18

That one's a bit of a blur to me too.... I don't know if I believe that literally happened or not, a lot of OT stories I just don't feel equipped to decide between "they misinterpreted that" or "well yes God said that but he had to relate to them in ways that made sense to them at the time". But I get round it by classing the whole of the OT as "ways people explained things when their view of the world was very different to ours" and try to understand what they were trying to say was important, rather than the exact details. Ditto things like Adam and Eve - it has lots of important messages, but I don't think you could go back in a time machine and watch it happen like that.

headinhands Thu 04-Oct-12 22:10:14

Jesus certainly alluded to an actual Adam and Eve in Matthew 19 and referred to Noah by name which suggests Jesus thought it literal. Once you start using your reason to decide what is/isn't feasible doesn't it all fall in on itself? The only reason it's acceptable for Christians to see the creation story as allegorical now is down to increasing knowledge of science. Prior to the discovery of the fossil record etc Christians wouldn't have felt the need to downplay Genesis.

nightlurker Fri 05-Oct-12 03:24:20

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

niminypiminy Fri 05-Oct-12 10:18:45

A) Adam and Eve. Fable
B) Noah. Fable
C) Abraham and Isaac, fable
D) book of Job, fable (btw OP I wonder since your questions are all about 'unbelievable' events, whether you actually mean Jonah not Job? I think that's a fable too.)
All of these stories have important things to say about the relationship between humans and God, and in the sense that they convey truths in metaphorical form, they are true. But they didn't happen.
E) heaven: is being with God in eternity.
F) hell: is being apart from God in eternity.
G) God: in whom we live, and move and have our being.
H) virgin birth: myth
I) loaves and fishes: I think this happened, but may not have been miraculous
J) resurrection: I believe this happened as it is related in the gospels

Orthodox Christian - I can say the Nicene creed without crossing my fingers. But then I don't think things have to be literally true to be true. Stories, metaphors, poems, myths - all these can be true in a different way.

niminypiminy Fri 05-Oct-12 10:20:29

( to clarify, I mean orthodox in my beliefs, not Orthodox as in the Eastern branch of Christianity.)

Himalaya Fri 05-Oct-12 11:15:14

Niminy - no I meant Job - only because of the other thread on it was what made me think about not really knowing what "Christians believe..."

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