I would like to understand the Anglican position on Literalism

Discussion in 'Sacred Scripture' started by Andy Cothran, Jul 12, 2012.

  1. Andy Cothran

    Andy Cothran Active Member

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    Does this mean that Anglicans approve of littering ? lol im joking :p
    In all seriousness Do Anglicans believe that the bible should be read as absolute litteral or are certain parts seen as poetic or allegorical? ..In contrast i would say to the way a fundamentalist christian might read the scriptures

    Thank you '

    Andy
     
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  2. Adam Warlock

    Adam Warlock Well-Known Member

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    That's a great question. We generally try to understand it by genre. So a prophetic vision is seen as symbolic but related to real fulfillment(s). A statement made in wisdom literature (like Proverbs or Ecclesiastes) might not represent a guaranteed promise or an explicit command, because that was not the intent of the genre. A statement made by Christ or by an Apostle would be seen as a promise, command, etc. It's all about genre! There are different schools of thought on Genesis and on the Daniel/Revelation thing. Often we try to discover how the original readers would have classified a biblical text. That helps us in our own interpretations.
     
  3. Andy Cothran

    Andy Cothran Active Member

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    thank you Adam that is helpful .:)
     
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  4. Gordon

    Gordon Well-Known Member

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    What Adam said...
     
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  5. Toma

    Toma Well-Known Member Anglican

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    Andy, Anglicanism shares a certain hermeneutic, a way of understanding Scripture, with the Orthodox and Catholics, even if we do not agree on the exact authority of Scripture. We all concur that the sacred scriptures are metaphorically a divine newspaper edited by God, in that they contain every genre.

    The Psalms and Song of Songs are poetry, shrouded in the morning mists of alliteration and verse. It's difficult to take that exactly literally.

    Wisdom literature like Proverbs is a set of instructions addressed to various allegorical figures, like the lazy sluggard or the good wife. It is so chock-full of ideas and aphorisms that there's no literal history: just good wisdom from a great pen.

    Books of history like 1/2 Samuel and 1/2 Kings are necessarily literal. The Jews recorded their entire lineage for all time, as God commanded. God's project was to build up an historical people with a strict system of laws to keep the line alive, so people would be doubly convinced by the coming of Christ, who sprang forth from this exact historical genealogy - and whose Davidic lineage is so noble (to their ancient mindset).

    Our beloved gospels are different from histories. Luke made a very precise account of history: "these events occurred under this king, that governor, and at this specific time"- yet the gospels are evangelion, apart from historical concerns. Some things are blended together: Jesus cleansed the Temple at different times, in John and Matthew. The event did happen, but it is presented at different parts in the narrative by each sacred author in order that a certain point is made about the Gospel or our Lord and Saviour. Meaning is more important than literal chronology.

    The book of Revelation includes a signing on the forehead of all the saved, which was historically present in the Christian Liturgy of the most ancient Fathers: signing a Lamb or a Cross in oil upon the forehead during Easter, a seal of the new covenant. In Revelation 5:13 there is a clear representation of the Eucharist (thanks-giving) wherein all the elders and creatures fall down & worship He who lives forever and ever. It is a liturgical book, though of mystical beauty and not of literal instruction

    Literally, the etymology of "fundamentalist" comes from the Latin "fundamentalis", "from, of, at the very base of a structure". Since the very fundamental basis of Scripture is a combination of history narratives, gospels, prophecies, songs, poetry, liturgy, we have to say that 'fundamentalism' makes no sense, even if its initial drive (to attack Liberalism and relativism) is very good.
     
  6. Gordon

    Gordon Well-Known Member

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    Mate you are so correct but still way too much your head. Let go and fall in love with God.
     
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  7. Toma

    Toma Well-Known Member Anglican

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    Gordon, Andy asked for specific facts and I contributed what I've learned... this is a cerebral subject, after all. :) Hermeneutics and history aren't mysticism.
     
  8. Gordon

    Gordon Well-Known Member

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    It is plain to see you love the subject.
    Ahhh give me mysticism any day....

    Blessings
     
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  9. Andy Cothran

    Andy Cothran Active Member

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    What is like to be a mystic ? Is it bliss lol :p
     
  10. Gordon

    Gordon Well-Known Member

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    I was in the air force with guy who said he was reformed baptist, and he believed the Bible should be taken literally. I sometimes think it is through a lack of understanding that some believe that it be taken literally.
     
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  11. Toma

    Toma Well-Known Member Anglican

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    Andy, we might even say mystics are those who are the least literalist in their understanding of the Scriptures. For them, Jesus Christ can be found in every letter of every syllable of every word of every sentence on every page! The mystics and the literalists, always at war between each other, stepping over the poor balanced moderate people in No-Man's-Land. :)

    Shame we don't have any actual priests, pastors, presbyters, or (one day!) bishops here to explain historical Anglican scripture hermeneutic.
     
  12. Gordon

    Gordon Well-Known Member

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    Yes and also in the paper and binding and in all things. I love this passage in the Gospel of Thomas:

     
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  13. Gordon

    Gordon Well-Known Member

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    mostly peaceful accept when every day life gets in the way :D
     
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  14. Toma

    Toma Well-Known Member Anglican

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    You quoted the Gospel of Thomas? I won't even go there... :p
     
  15. Gordon

    Gordon Well-Known Member

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    I have be known to quote the Book of Enoch as well. :p
     
  16. Andy Cothran

    Andy Cothran Active Member

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    What about the book of mormon lol:p
     
  17. Andy Cothran

    Andy Cothran Active Member

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    i hear you ..
     
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  18. Andy Cothran

    Andy Cothran Active Member

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    thank you very much as well as for your initial reply ..
     
  19. Gordon

    Gordon Well-Known Member

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    Actually I believe there are levels of truth in all documents including the book of mormon, music lyrics. It is how we discern what is truth and what is not is the journey we are all on. :)
     
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  20. Andy Cothran

    Andy Cothran Active Member

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    i know i was joking but actually i believe that is true too about the book of mormon ..i believe that truth is where you find it .
     
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