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Poll
Question: How do you understand/believe the "spectacular" miracles in the Old Testament?
The OT is a true history. Period. - 1 (3.8%)
I interpret the OT literally and allegorically at the same time - 11 (42.3%)
Only allegorically - 1 (3.8%)
Some stories are literally true, but others only allegory - 10 (38.5%)
Not sure what to believe - 0 (0%)
Opinion in flux - 2 (7.7%)
Other. Please comment. - 1 (3.8%)
Total Voters: 21

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Author Topic: Old Testament miracles - literal, figurative, both?  (Read 3801 times) Average Rating: 5
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JLatimer
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« on: August 10, 2010, 03:21:28 PM »

Floods, furnaces, seas parting, celestial objects standing still - what do you believe?  Huh Smiley
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« Reply #1 on: August 10, 2010, 03:31:32 PM »

literal history, and it has a deeper, allegorical/spiritual meaning.
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Shanghaiski
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« Reply #2 on: August 10, 2010, 04:07:12 PM »

I believe the events described actually happened. Why would we sing, for example, about crossing the Red Sea dryshod over and over again  if it did not actually happen? It is actual history which typologizes and prophesies what would occur later. The things we believe, as St. Peter says, are not fables or fictions.
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« Reply #3 on: August 10, 2010, 04:11:46 PM »

I went with the some yes, some no.  Events such as the book of Job don't depend on being historical accuracy for their meaning, while other events (such as the Exodus) wouldn't mean much if they weren't true.  But even the events which are accurately are a prefiguring of the life of our Lord Christ
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« Reply #4 on: August 10, 2010, 04:15:18 PM »

I believe the events described actually happened. Why would we sing, for example, about crossing the Red Sea dryshod over and over again  if it did not actually happen? It is actual history which typologizes and prophesies what would occur later. The things we believe, as St. Peter says, are not fables or fictions.

Well said. Moreover, having been baptized, I find it hard NOT to believe in the flood, or in the drowning of Pharaoh and his army in the Red Sea, having experienced these miracles in miniature, so to speak.

I also was just reading this commentary of the Goldenmouthed on Matthew 16, which seems relevant:

Quote
Heard ye not the prophet, saying, He shall not strive nor cry, neither shall His voice be heard without? Isaiah 42:2 and another again, He shall come down as rain upon a fleece of wool?

And if men speak of the signs in Pharaoh's time, there was an enemy then from whom deliverance was needed, and it all took place in due course. But to Him that came among friends there was no need of those signs.

And besides, how shall I give the great signs, when the little are not believed? Little, I mean, as regards display, since in power these latter were much greater than the former. For what could be equal to remitting sins, and raising the dead, and driving away devils, and creating a body, and ordering all other things aright?
« Last Edit: August 10, 2010, 04:45:17 PM by JLatimer » Logged

1 Samuel 25:22 (KJV)
So and more also do God unto the enemies of David, if I leave of all that pertain to him by the morning light any that pisseth against the wall.
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« Reply #5 on: August 10, 2010, 04:52:02 PM »

I voted for "some stories are literally true and others are allegorical" and I also voted for "other."

Other because I believe some stories are true to an extent, but interwoven with fiction to make a point.
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« Reply #6 on: August 10, 2010, 05:11:36 PM »

...other events (such as the Exodus) wouldn't mean much if they weren't true.
Why wouldn't the message in Exodus mean much if not every event described were literally true?  I don't believe everything contained in there is literally true, but the book still has a profoundly strong meaning for me.
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« Reply #7 on: August 10, 2010, 05:30:47 PM »

Floods, furnaces, seas parting, celestial objects standing still - what do you believe?  Huh Smiley

None of the above. OT is a collection of myths. Yet, it does convey most profound spiritual truths: that there is a Creator, that humans have rejected Him despite of His great love, that God will redeem His people, that the divine Redeemer will appear on earth as a humble man, etc.
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« Reply #8 on: August 10, 2010, 05:34:04 PM »

...other events (such as the Exodus) wouldn't mean much if they weren't true.
Why wouldn't the message in Exodus mean much if not every event described were literally true?  I don't believe everything contained in there is literally true, but the book still has a profoundly strong meaning for me.

The Exodus, not the book of Exodus.  You could, if you wish, rank the events of Exodus in an order of probability as to what was more likely to happen and what was not, though where to begin I'm not sure.  Especially given the fact that at least one miraculous event DID happen- an oppressed minority escaped what was at that time one of the most powerful nations in the world.
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« Reply #9 on: August 10, 2010, 05:45:15 PM »

The Exodus, not the book of Exodus.  
But even the Exodus covers a lot of ground.  Do you consider the 40 years of wandering as part of it?  I don't believe it literally happened.  Have you been to the part of the world where it took place?  It's really not that large, even for an unmechanized society.  It's absolutely impossible to wander around lost for two generations.  No, I believe that part is hyperbole.

But the message of God being our deliverer if we remain faithful is no less true.
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« Reply #10 on: August 10, 2010, 05:55:23 PM »

The Exodus, not the book of Exodus. 
But even the Exodus covers a lot of ground.  Do you consider the 40 years of wandering as part of it?  I don't believe it literally happened.  Have you been to the part of the world where it took place?  It's really not that large, even for an unmechanized society.  It's absolutely impossible to wander around lost for two generations.  No, I believe that part is hyperbole.

But the message of God being our deliverer if we remain faithful is no less true.

Well, if we do take the text as being mainly truthful we understand that they weren't "lost" in the sense that Moses refused to pull over at that last oasis and ask for directions.  They actually made it to Canaan within a matter of weeks, the spies sent in came back with reports of the Canaanites being too powerful to overcome.  The forty years was spent going from one nation to another, getting picked on, and conquering, so that by the time they returned to Canaan they had built up confidence (either confidence in God as a miraculous provider of victory or confidence in themselves as a military force I leave for you to judge).

And yes, I believe it could have taken forty years to fight each and every squabbling tribe of nomads that inhabited the region.  There were (and are) a lot of them.
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« Reply #11 on: August 11, 2010, 12:20:35 AM »

The Exodus, not the book of Exodus.  
But even the Exodus covers a lot of ground.  Do you consider the 40 years of wandering as part of it?  I don't believe it literally happened.  Have you been to the part of the world where it took place?  It's really not that large, even for an unmechanized society.  It's absolutely impossible to wander around lost for two generations.  No, I believe that part is hyperbole.

But the message of God being our deliverer if we remain faithful is no less true.

 It mentions that there foot wear never wore out, in the forty years of wandering ,that also was a miracle in itself so i believe it happened..... Grin
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Tags: Old Testament miracles 
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