Wednesday, August 08, 2007

On Reading the Bible "Literally"

Here is a quote from the August 5th edition of The Hal Lindsey Report on how to reconcile the fantastic, image-laden language of the book of Revelation with end-times theology that says we are on the brink of Armageddon:

"How could a man of the 1st century AD, who has never seen a machine, describe the technical marvels of the 21st century? With his experience and language limited to the materials and objects of the 1st century, how would he describe a helicopter or an intercontinental ballistic missile with multiple nuclear warheads? This is how he described what he saw: And the shapes of the locusts were like unto horses prepared unto battle; and on their heads were as it were crowns like gold, and their faces were as the faces of men. And they had hair as the hair of women, and their teeth were as the teeth of lions. Now, that’s a pretty good description of an attack helicopter."

9 comments:

The Law Fairy said...

Attack helicopters have hair?

Andy said...

I think my question is: if it looked like a horse but had a face and hair and teeth and a crown...how exactly did it resemble a locust?

Jade said...

Kinda sounds like really angry pegasus cross-bred with a centaur.

kr said...

???

I assume on the show there was a graphic to translate that?!?

DJRainDog said...

I've wondered for years what John was smoking, or perhaps from what sort of psychosis he might have been suffering, when he wrote some of that stuff...

kr said...

probably that barley-fungus ;).

Gino said...

" And they had hair as the hair of women..."

hmm...
before or after the waxing?

Jess said...

A man of the 1st Century? I thought the hard-core believers said God wrote the Bible? Or at least God guided the hands of those who wrote it? So is he saying that God couldn't grasp these concepts?

Andy said...

Jess, actually you stumbled on to a great point: they say, oh, a man of the 1st century couldn't possibly have comprehended 21st century technology so he wrote it in the way he understood. Which is actually MY argument for explaining the Creation story, but bring that up to a "biblical literalist" and they say, "Oh, no, that's the way it happened."