Father Len describes the challenges of accurately interpreting the Bible and reveals what it takes to understand its full meaning.
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Highlights, Ideas, and Wisdom
- Three levels of interpretation are essential to accurately interpreting the Bible: literal, symbolic, and contemplative.
- Complete understanding of the Bible is impossible if you just interpret it literally because 50% of the Bible is poetry and it contains many allegories and parables. The full meaning of poetry, allegories, and parables is obscured or lost in strict literal interpretation.
- Jesus teaches in parables because he wants us to think about the meaning of what he’s teaching.
- Atheists love to interpret the Bible literally so they can mock it.
- The New Testament was originally written in Greek which is more sophisticated than English. There are words in Greek that can only be interpreted literally. Like when Jesus says about the Eucharist, “you must eat my flesh and drink my blood. Do this in memory of me.”
- Father Len reveals symbols contained in the gospel where Saint Peter walks on water to demonstrate how symbolic interpretation of the Bible is essential to understanding its full meaning.
- Father Len explains the symbols present in the story of the prophet Elijah’s experience with God on Mount Horeb and how they reveal what is possible when we’re able to hear God in silence and how our knowledge of God grows over time.
- Father Len demonstrates how knowledge of context at the time it was written and understanding the meaning of its original Greek and Hebrew language are vital to accurately interpreting the Bible. He uses this context and understanding to debunk the notion that the Bible says Jesus had siblings, brothers and sisters.
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