Monday, June 19, 2006
They told me that Jesus often speaks in hyperboles. That is to say, Jesus is prone to exaggeration. This is how He could say things like, "If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off." Of course no one cuts off their own hand, not matter how many times it causes them to sin, neither do they gouge out their eyes. On the other hand, we do tell our children not to exaggerate, as it is tantamount to outright lying.
Of course, we understand that Jesus uses these hyperboles to make a point. For example, remove temptations from your life rather than allow them to continuously cause you grief. Parables and hyperboles, and sometimes both at once. This is how Jesus spoke, how many teachers spoke in those days.
I can't help but ask myself, how much of of what's written in the bible is hyperbole, and parable. Is Jesus Himself a hyperbole? Is the point more important than the story itself, or whether it actually happened?
Noah and the Ark, for example. Is it really true that in the days of Noah there was no goodness at all in the hearts of men? At all?? Am I to believe that God thought it would be an effective idea to drown all of his creation? Noah was human, just like all the others. Did God think that the line of humans that came down from him would really be immune to the sinful tendency of their birth? Is God so foolish? Am I to believe that at the age of 600 Noah had only three sons?
Or is it all just an exaggerated parable with a point? And what is the point?
Conversly, scientific evidence is overwhelmingly in favor of a global flood at one point or another. So what should I make of that?