Should the Bible be interpreted literally?

I was watching the O’Reilly factor last night and was very concerned about something he said when talking with John Stossel. I forgot how they got to it, but Stossel brought up the fact that Genesis says the world was created in 7 days. O’Reilly then responded by saying that very few people interpret the Bible literally anymore.

Here’s my question. Is he right? How many people do interpret the Bible literally? And should the Bible be interpreted literally?

I believe he is partially right with the first question. The number of people who interpret the Bible literally has decreased over the years. But that does not mean that no one does. In fact, many, if not most Christians do. (Remember that most could simply mean there is one more person than the opposing option).

And to the last question, the one asking if we should interpret the Bible the literally, the answer is yes. 2 Timothy 3:16-17 says “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work” (ESV). 2 Peter 1:21 says “For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.” These verses are saying that Scripture was not written by men, by God through men. These are God’s words written by men’s hands. The men who wrote the books of the Bible did not come up with them, they did not interpret what they saw, God did. God wrote and used them to do it.

So yes Mr. O’Reilly, people do believe the literal meaning of the Bible. You have obtained so much power, that you have started to absorb the beliefs of the world. I believe that Bill O’Reilly would admit that Bible is good guide to moral living, but I am not sure if he would argue that is truely the Word of God.

May God’s Will Be Done,

Robert Thompson


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