How to read the Bible


It is widely accepted that the Bible cannot, or at least shouldn’t, be read as a literal story, or an accurate historical account, but how exactly should the Bible be read?

Taking Genesis as a literal account is clearly a bad idea, what with science disproving the creation story and all of that, but one must ask themselves, why would God put such nonsense in a book that is supposed to be the ‘Truth’? You can argue that it is metaphorical, and come up with some sort of idea that the creation story is supposed to represent, like the most common one, being that humans apparently ‘fell from Grace.’

But the problem with interpreting the Bible as a metaphor is that you can never be quite sure if your interpretation is the correct one. There are about 30 – 45 thousand denominations of Christianity, but many, many of these denominations have their own interpretations, some even thinking that the other groups will go to Hell because of their misinterpretation. So how can you be sure that your interpretation is the correct one?

As far as I’ve found, you can’t. You would have thought that a god who loves humans and wants them all to go to Heaven would at least provide some clear and decent instructions on what to do, how to live and how to go there, but we get a giant book (most of it pointless filler) with thousands of different ways to interpret it.

And then there comes the odd and random things that are hard to make any sort of story out of. Noah’s ark could kind of symbolize that God will drown people if he doesn’t like them, but a giant ship and all of that stuff? Seems rather unnecessary. Can we get morals or lessons out of talking donkeys and 900 year old men?

So, unless you interpret the Bible as literally as possible, you really have absolutely no way of knowing whether your interpretation is the right one or not, and according to some, that mistake could land you in Hell.

Image courtesy of Janaka Dharmasena at


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