Literal versus Liberal
The Bible is a collection of inspired Scriptures that reveals the plan and power of God in creation, redemption, and sanctification. It is composed of 66 books written by 40 different authors over a period of 2000 years in three different languages on three continents. The Bible was the first book published on Gutenberg’s press in 1450 and since then has been translated into over 2000 different languages, becoming the number one best-seller in the world. Remarkably, or as it should be said, miraculously, the Bible is flawless in unity, consistent, and historically accurate as men from all walks of life were inspired by the Holy Ghost to express the will of God.
As it relates to other ancient texts, the original manuscripts of the Bible that have been transcribed and studied into this modern age, specifically the New Testament is 99.5% accurate. Thus, the accuracy of the King James Version of the Bible (1611) is not questionable despite the non-factual statements of skeptics. The underlying arguments against the Bible are not in its accuracy but its authority. The Scriptures claim they are God-breathed originating from the Divine, thereby establishing an unmovable moral standard for humanity that goes contrary to this age of moral relativism.
Henceforth, if the accuracy of the Bible is not in question, what means do skeptics have to thwart the holiness of the text and affirm their moral stances. Unfortunately, the attack on Biblical literacy in churches has been waging for several decades, mass-producing believers that are illiterate to the Biblical text. Polls exist that show that nearly 50% of “believers” don’t believe in hell or the resurrection. Thus, to affirm an ideology that is contrary to the Bible, the first step is to create a generation that is ignorant of the text and then liberally redefine the Scriptures to match society.
The prophet Isaiah wrote, “The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand forever” (Is. 40:8). The Apostle Peter echoed Isaiah’s statement and warned, “Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation” (2Pet. 1:20). To ensure the unity, intent, and divine meaning of the text, scholars have kept to a narrow rule when studying the Bible, “take the Bible literally where it is possible.” To take the Bible literally is to remain within the cultural, custom, historical, and grammatical time of authorship. In the cases where symbolic and figurative language is used, it is incumbent upon the reader to find the literal truth conveyed in the allegory.
As a result, there are two different methods of Biblical application the Literal versus the Liberal. The Bible is the easiest book to understand when the principle of taking it "literally" is applied. It repeats truths from Genesis to Revelations, uses everyday language, advocates that children should read, and specifically written for the simple. The difficulty of understanding the Bible originates by a liberal attempt to interpret the text to fit one's behavior or social norms that run contrary to the Biblical intent toward holiness. This is called a carnal mind that is at enmity with the Spirit of God. With this in mind, the Scriptures no longer have to be interpreted to find a hidden meaning. Jesus fulfilled the Scriptures and said, "It is finished." The Apostles applied the teachings of Jesus Christ to their daily lives. For our sake, their actions are recorded in the Book of Acts and Epistles as an example. Thus, the Scriptures only have to be submitted to an applied to one's life that will lead to the rivers of living water.