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Taking The Bible Literally
Resources - Christian Life
Written by Toby Brillon   
Thursday, 16 April 2009 20:06
In your day to day life when you talk about God and the Bible you have probably heard this statement before, "You can't take the Bible literally".  Perhaps you have had discussions with friends and family and the subject of the Bible's authenticity brought about the same statement.  The Word of God has always been under attack and the onslaught continues for us today.
So, what do you do when you are accused of being a "literalist", or are mocked and ridiculed for believing the Bible literally? 


You can rest assured in the inerrancy and infalliblity of the Bible and know that the Bible even states that we will be mocked for trusting in Its promises 2 Peter 3:3-7 .  In this post I just want to give you a short message of encouragement to stand firm in your literal belief of the Bible.



Consider our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ,  who literally believed the Old Testament as fact.


Perhaps you will remember the story in Matthew 22:23-33 when the Sadducees came to Jesus and qustioned him about the resurrection because they did not believe in the resurrection.  Jesus responds to their unbelief by stating, "Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God. 30 For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven. 31 But as touching the resurrection of the dead, have ye not read that which was spoken unto you by God, saying, 32 I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob? God is not the God of the dead, but of the living." 

Jesus' response is a literal understanding of the story of Moses meeting with God at the burning bush in Exodus 3:6.  


Another instance to consider is the response Jesus gave the Pharisees and scribes in Mark 7:5-9 who questioned Him as to why the disciples did not follow the tradition of the elders and wash their hands before eating. Again, Jesus literally quotes the words that the Prophet Isaiah recorded in Isaiah 29:13,

"He answered and said unto them, Well hath Esaias prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me".  Jesus takes the Book of Isaiah and applies it to the religious leaders of the day as fact.

You can also rest assured that Jesus fully believed in the prophets of the Old Testament because of His statement in Mark 9:12-13.  In this passage He is questioned on the teaching of the scribes that taught Elias must come before the Messiah (because of what the prophets wrote in the Old Testament).  Jesus does not rebuke this teaching, but rather affirms that the teaching is correct and that the prophecy is being fulfilled right before their eyes. 


Finally, I would also like to make mention of a few more instances in which Jesus literally believed and applied the Scripture in His ministry:


* The destruction of Tyre and Sidon as written in Ezekiel 26-28

* The story of Jonah and Ninevah - Matthew 12:41

* The story of Noah and the flood - Matthew 24:37

*Blames the religious leaders' hypocricy for the deaths of all the righteous people in the past - Matthew 23:35 


You can rest in the fact that Jesus Christ Himself took the Bible literally.  He never applied the Old Testament Scriptures as allegory or metaphor.  Jesus applied the teachings and stories within the Scriptures as fact and the divine Word of God.  I hope that you will find this article as an encouragement to stand firm in the Bible and Its TRUTH!  Know that the world will mock you because of your Biblical world view, but stand firm in your belief.  When having a conversation with someone do not be afraid to quote the Bible as literal and fact.  I encourage you to quote the Bible as "thus saith the Lord".  Stand in the authority of Scripture and never feel that you have to defend Its statements or teachings.  The Bible is truth and It will stand on It's own! 

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