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What did the Bible writers know? What was their perspective? Did they believe the Earth was flat or not? Did God adapt His speaking so that we could understand?
Did God create the world in six days - and if so: why?
Bible scholars and scientists have been pondering on this for ages.
What was the perspective of the Bible writers?
Genres in Scripture - how do I read?
Bible writers use different genres of writing: sometimes factual, sometimes poetic, sometimes prophetic and sometimes they use symbolic language.
Several layers of meaning
The Bible can often be read at different levels. If the Church fathers e.g. saw an allegory in the six days of Creation, it was an extra layer of meaning to them: the historirall meaning still stood firm in their eyes. Many Bible passages show three different layers of meaning:
Two examples of clearly symbolic language in the Bible. The lion is mentioned as a literal lion (in the story of Samson e.g.), but is also used in a symbolic way (for example in Revelation 5).
The same applies to the pearl: symbolically it is used in a parable in Matthew 13.
In both cases it is quite obvious whether it's used symbolically (with a clear and real meaning behind the symbol) or not..
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