Books of the Hebrew Scriptures
including the Books of the Law (a.k.a. Pentateuch &
The Torah), the books of History, Poetry & Wisdom,
Major Prophets and Minor Prophets
In preparing this section, we have been amazed at the attitudes of some theologians.
They express their own particular beliefs as absolutes, without any reference to the range
of opinions held by other writers.
Many conservative Christians believe that the Bible's:
Books should normally be interpreted literally,
Books are totally free of error in their autograph copies -- as originally written by their author, and
They believe that all scripture is useful for the guidance and
spiritual development of the believer. A few think that the writers acted in the
capacity of a stenographer, simply writing down the words that God placed in
their mind. Most believe that the authors used their own writing style and
words, drew from their experiences and beliefs, but were prevented by God from
making any error. They look upon each book of the Bible as being totally
consistent when compared to the rest of the Bible. And they believe that when
discrepancies emerge between the Bible and other historical or archeological sources, that the
Bible is correct.
Liberal Christians tend to view the Bible as a very human document,
that was "cut and pasted" together out of material from many sources. They look
upon the authors as heavily promoting the beliefs of their particular group. Being human,
they made occasional errors. Liberals look upon the Hebrew and Christian Scriptures as
describing an evolution in religious thought. This naturally leads to conflict among
passages - particularly those written a thousand years apart.
Liberals tend to:
interpret many passages as myth, allegory and poetry, rather than as the
actual history of real events. e.g. the creation stories in
interpret many passages symbolically rather than literally.