I was thinking about the fundamental literalist last night and how they say they take every word of scripture literally (which I have to admit may mean a fair few things, as I would say that I do in some sense as well). But I think there are some specific instances that they would get into trouble if they took the text at face value (I'm also not even talking about the start of Genesis or Revelation) to the extreme logical conclusion. They could run into liberalism.
Luke (and Acts) was written for someone called Theophilus. 1 and 2 Timothy was written for Timothy. Romans was written for people in Rome, Ezekiel was talking to exiled Jews etc... Where are the literal fundamentalists saying "The bible literally says that [some book] was written for a particular person/church in a particular time, it would be wrong to assume that the book was written for us". Why don't the 6 day creationist or end times guys with charts and dates say that about other bits of the bible?
They don't say that (and nigher do I) because we all have some method of interpretation. I was struck last night that it is important for us to realise that everybody does this and comes with their own assumptions to any text.
Don't get me wrong, I do think it is important to see, read and think about what the text actually/literally says, as that is the first step in then working out what it meant back then, and then the (sometimes) tricky bit is working out what it means for us today.
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