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Should the Bible be taken literally? I've heard both yes and no to this question.

The Bible should be taken literally. However, there are times when a section of Scripture is meant to be taken symbolically. The context of each section of Scripture reveals how we should interpret it. Let's look at some examples.
Then Jesus said to them again, "Most assuredly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. All who ever came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not hear them. I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture."
(John 10:7-9 NKJ)
We know that Jesus isn't a literal door. Symbolically, He is like a door. We know from other Scriptures that men can't enter into Heaven unless they go through Jesus.

Notice this account:
Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.
(Matt. 7:7-8 NKJ)
This section of Scripture is meant to be taken literally. The Bible states that we will receive from God what we ask. It gives us an example of an earthly father giving his children what they request.

It concludes by stating that God, Who is better, is going to give good things to us when we ask. I'm glad that God literally meant what He said in this section of Scripture. It's very important to note that Bible Scriptures must also be interpreted in their full context.

It's possible to pull Scriptures out of their context and make them say whatever we want. This is how all Bible-based cults deceive their followers.

Bible Answers Foundation
All rights reserved. Used by permission.

Author Biography

Joseph Cameneti
Web site: Believers Church
Joe Cameneti Sr. is the lead pastor of Believers Church, located in his hometown of Warren, Ohio. Pastor Joe, along with his wife Gina, pioneered Believers Church in 1983 following his graduation from Bible School. In addition to leading a thriving local church, Pastor Joe is the host of a weekly show called "BCTV." The program is aired locally, reaching over 30,000 people each month. Pastor Joe is a gifted communicator, skilled in the art of building bridges to unchurched America. Transparent and authentic, you'll walk away challenged and encouraged to connect with God in a deeper way.

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