Thursday, February 17, 2011

Historicity Vs. Mythological

I've touch on the subject before, but I want to revisit it here. I know for many, that in order for the Biblical accounts to have truth in them or for the rest of the Bible to be credible, then the accounts must be historical.

I know this understanding of historicity works well for some, but falls short for others. For some of us we find beauty and truth in the mythical/allegorical understandings of some of the events recorded throughout scripture, while others find security in a more literal/historical view.

I've mentioned before some stories which many consider historical where others, such as myself, consider them allegorical or mythical. For instance: The creation poems, Adam and Eve, Cain and Abel, the Flood narrative, tower of Babel, Jonah, Job, and of course there are many more.

I think of Peter Rollins quote at Big Tent last fall when he said, "the question is not whether or not the snake actually spoke, but rather, what did the snake say?"

I am interested in knowing your views on the literal Vs mythical reading of the text. Feel free to affirm (wink) or oppose what you have just read.

This was intended to be one post, but is too long. Tomorrow will be presenting one argument I always hear opposing a non-literal reading of the Bible. I find the argument funny.

3 comments:

JustinGaynor said...

Have to both affirm and oppose (as usual). Namely due to the false dichotomy. The 'VS' that exists is the biblical view of historicity vs the modern view of historicity and the biblical view of mythology vs the modern view of mythology.

Reality (historicity) is seen through the lens of mythology/allegory and mythology/allegory is seen in Reality (historicity).

Rollins sums it up well when he says "the question is not whether or not the snake actually spoke, but rather, what did the snake say?"

Jkub said...

Justin, I would agree with what you are saying. I, personally, am not arguing for that either/or dichotomy, but rather want to avoid the dichotomy which says it's literal or false which i am so often faced with.

JustinGaynor said...

Ahhh Jacob, that is what I was looking for! 'avoid the dichotomy which says it's literal or false which i am so often faced with.'

Perhaps we can discuss how you see the destructive nature of that dichotomy...this way we can keep away from letter of the law in literalism and escape from the neo-gnosticism of Borg (a truly brilliant man).

Why do you think that playing fast and loose with the context and genre of scripture is so destructive and anti-Christ? How has it affected your experience in Christ? You are quite passionate about this topic (as I am)...how is this among other 'false dichotomies' affecting 'progress and joy in the faith'? Really want to hear your testimony on this bro and I am sure it will help others too...