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Do Jews view the Bible as literally true?
#1

Do Jews view the Bible as literally true?
As a former Catholic, I was taught the Bible was literally true-especially the NT 'cause Jesus.  I was just wondering if Jews are taught the Tanakh (OT) is literally true as well?
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#2

Do Jews view the Bible as literally true?
I would suspect the following axiom to true for them as well.

"If they like all that's written in there, then it's literally true; if they don't, then some of it is allegories, exagerations or even lies."
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#3

Do Jews view the Bible as literally true?
Here is what Wiki says about Orthodox Judaism:

The defining doctrine of Orthodox Judaism is the belief that the Torah ("Teaching" or "Law"), both the Written scripture of the Pentateuch and the Oral tradition explicating it, was revealed by God to Moses on Mount Sinai, and that it was transmitted faithfully from Sinai in an unbroken chain ever since. One of the foundational texts of rabbinic literature is the list opening the Ethics of the Fathers, enumerating the sages who received and passed on the Torah, from Moses through Joshua, the Elders, and Prophets, and then onward until Hillel the Elder and Shammai. This core belief is referred to in classical sources as "The Law/Teaching is from the Heavens" (Torah min HaShamayim).
The first revolt is against the supreme tyranny of theology, of the phantom of God. As long as we have a master in heaven, we will be slaves on earth.

Mikhail Bakunin.
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#4

Do Jews view the Bible as literally true?
Depends on which branch of Judaism you're talking about. Reform Jews as a whole do not take it to be literal at all, and very observant Jews do take it literally. There's a spectrum of views between those groups as well. I've met very religious Jews who would say it's allegory, and I've met reform Jews who believe G-d guides their daily lives. I've also met Orthodox atheists.
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#5

Do Jews view the Bible as literally true?
Many Jews don't even believe in God! Secular Jews! Jews are interesting because they're a race as well as a religion.

There are still fundamentalist Jews that think the Earth is 6000 years old but I'd argue that Jews are, on average, probably the most scientific and rational of the three Abrahamic faiths. I think that their non-evangelism strongly correlates with a greater open-mindedness to evidence and rational thought.

Plus, they're the oldest of the three Abrahamic faiths so they've also had the most time to become more progressive.
My Argument Against Free Will Wrote:(1) Ultimately, to control your actions you have to originate your original nature.

(2) But you can't originate your original nature—it's already there.

(3) So, ultimately, you can't control your actions.
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#6

Do Jews view the Bible as literally true?
Most of the jews I knew back in NY were not orthodox.  In fact, most of them were atheists.  They thought it was drivel.
Robert G. Ingersoll : “No man with a sense of humor ever founded a religion.”
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#7

Do Jews view the Bible as literally true?
Literally true or factually accurate?

There's no way that a 600 year old guy could build a giant box, stuff it full of animals plus his immediate and extended family, and spend over a year in the vessel without going mad and murdering everyone... including the rabbits.
Don't mistake me for those nice folks from Give-A-Shit county.
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#8

Do Jews view the Bible as literally true?
Ruh roh....

[Image: ark_wide-9712774f1de6cb0771b7a686e733d0f...00-c85.jpg]
Robert G. Ingersoll : “No man with a sense of humor ever founded a religion.”
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#9

Do Jews view the Bible as literally true?
(07-23-2019, 02:15 AM)Minimalist Wrote: Ruh roh....

[Image: ark_wide-9712774f1de6cb0771b7a686e733d0f...00-c85.jpg]

That's not ours. In no way is that ours.
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#10

Do Jews view the Bible as literally true?
(07-22-2019, 08:18 PM)Jenny Wrote: As a former Catholic, I was taught the Bible was literally true-especially the NT 'cause Jesus.  I was just wondering if Jews are taught the Tanakh (OT) is literally true as well?

I was contemplating this question today, and I considered that many religious Jews believe that the stories are both literally and figuratively true at the same time. I think the answer isn't black and white in any community, but the most important component to every Jewish community I've ever seen is action over belief anyway.
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#11

Do Jews view the Bible as literally true?
Anyone who believes their holy book is infallible, needs to replace the captain of their brain ship.

I'm not saying that there aren't truths in these books. Truths that are mangled by the fear of ignorant.

However, to believe that any holy book is the literal word of the almighty, is just absofuckinglutely absurd.
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#12

Do Jews view the Bible as literally true?
(07-23-2019, 02:26 AM)no one Wrote: Anyone who believes their holy book is infallible, needs to replace the captain of their brain ship.

I'm not saying that there aren't truths in these books. Truths that are mangled by the fear of ignorant.

However, to believe that any holy book is the literal word of the almighty, is just absofuckinglutely absurd.

... unless it was written by Carlin.
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#13

Do Jews view the Bible as literally true?
My Israeli aunt seems to believe the OT is literally true. However not sure about the others in my family who are less serious about religion. Most in my family are more secular.
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#14

Do Jews view the Bible as literally true?
(07-23-2019, 02:23 AM)Aliza Wrote:
(07-22-2019, 08:18 PM)Jenny Wrote: As a former Catholic, I was taught the Bible was literally true-especially the NT 'cause Jesus.  I was just wondering if Jews are taught the Tanakh (OT) is literally true as well?

I was contemplating this question today, and I considered that many religious Jews believe that the stories are both literally and figuratively true at the same time. I think the answer isn't black and white in any community, but the most important component to every Jewish community I've ever seen is action over belief anyway.

That's interesting--can you give an example of seeing one passage as both literal and figurative? I'm not sure if Christians do that too with some passages? I know as a Catholic, we would view certain passages as literal and others more figurative, but I don't remember viewing one passage as both literal and figurative at the same time.
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#15

Do Jews view the Bible as literally true?
(07-23-2019, 02:26 AM)no one Wrote: Anyone who believes their holy book is infallible, needs to replace the captain of their brain ship.

I'm not saying that there aren't truths in these books. Truths that are mangled by the fear of ignorant.

However, to believe that any holy book is the literal word of the almighty, is just absofuckinglutely absurd.

It's not absurd to religious people.  Just sayin'  Tongue
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#16

Do Jews view the Bible as literally true?
(07-23-2019, 02:58 AM)Jenny Wrote:
(07-23-2019, 02:23 AM)Aliza Wrote:
(07-22-2019, 08:18 PM)Jenny Wrote: As a former Catholic, I was taught the Bible was literally true-especially the NT 'cause Jesus.  I was just wondering if Jews are taught the Tanakh (OT) is literally true as well?

I was contemplating this question today, and I considered that many religious Jews believe that the stories are both literally and figuratively true at the same time. I think the answer isn't black and white in any community, but the most important component to every Jewish community I've ever seen is action over belief anyway.

That's interesting--can you give an example of seeing one passage as both literal and figurative? I'm not sure if Christians do that too with some passages? I know as a Catholic, we would view certain passages as literal and others more figurative, but I don't remember viewing one passage as both literal and figurative at the same time.

Since the arc was posted, I'll use that. Maybe the arc was real, and it was a real flood with a real boat that literally carried pairs of every animal on the planet. Fine. But maybe it was a structure that contained the seeds or life; male and female. Or maybe it was a TARDIS. I think some Jewish text says that it was bigger on the inside, but I can't remember which one. 

What's the difference?

Maybe life was carried on a boat made of gopher wood, but maybe it was carried in a space ship through DNA rather than live animals. What's the difference? We're here now.
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#17

Do Jews view the Bible as literally true?
I was reading about some of the ancient sects of Judaism--like the Sadduccees, Pharisees, and the Essenes.  It seems like the first 5 books of the Torah were emphasized and followed by the Sadduccees and the Pharisees, but I'm not sure about the rest of it.  I'm still reading further about when the entire Hebrew Bible was compiled in written form since the stories were around orally for a long time prior to the written compilation.  Anyway, that's why I became interested in whether or not they viewed it as literal or figurative and wondered how things are viewed in today's world by those who follow the Jewish perspective.
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#18

Do Jews view the Bible as literally true?
(07-23-2019, 03:04 AM)Jenny Wrote: I was reading about some of the ancient sects of Judaism--like the Sadduccees, Pharisees, and the Essenes.  It seems like the first 5 books of the Torah were emphasized and followed by the Sadduccees and the Pharisees, but I'm not sure about the rest of it.  I'm still reading further about when the entire Hebrew Bible was compiled in written form since the stories were around orally for a long time prior to the written compilation.  Anyway, that's why I became interested in whether or not they viewed it as literal or figurative and wondered how things are viewed in today's world by those who follow the Jewish perspective.

The Sadducees and the Essenes are long gone. Only the descendents of the Pharisees are around today, identifying as Jewish.
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#19

Do Jews view the Bible as literally true?
(07-23-2019, 02:58 AM)Jenny Wrote:
(07-23-2019, 02:23 AM)Aliza Wrote:
(07-22-2019, 08:18 PM)Jenny Wrote: As a former Catholic, I was taught the Bible was literally true-especially the NT 'cause Jesus.  I was just wondering if Jews are taught the Tanakh (OT) is literally true as well?

I was contemplating this question today, and I considered that many religious Jews believe that the stories are both literally and figuratively true at the same time. I think the answer isn't black and white in any community, but the most important component to every Jewish community I've ever seen is action over belief anyway.

That's interesting--can you give an example of seeing one passage as both literal and figurative? I'm not sure if Christians do that too with some passages? I know as a Catholic, we would view certain passages as literal and others more figurative, but I don't remember viewing one passage as both literal and figurative at the same time.

As a Baptist, I always viewed the parables of the NT as both. Jesus actually did that stuff, I believed, but there was also a subtext somewhere between metaphor and allegory to the stories, in my mind.
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#20

Do Jews view the Bible as literally true?
(07-23-2019, 02:23 AM)Aliza Wrote:
(07-22-2019, 08:18 PM)Jenny Wrote: As a former Catholic, I was taught the Bible was literally true-especially the NT 'cause Jesus.  I was just wondering if Jews are taught the Tanakh (OT) is literally true as well?

I was contemplating this question today, and I considered that many religious Jews believe that the stories are both literally and figuratively true at the same time.  

Mmm that could work  ... the same as Ken ham did  .... literal Ark, figurative flood  ROFL2
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#21

Do Jews view the Bible as literally true?
"Most Orthodox, and some Conservative Jews believe the bible was dictated from the mouth of God,
written down verbatim by the hand of Moshe (Moses) on Mount Sinai.

Other Conservative Jews and Reform and Reconstructionist Jews tend to understand the bible as either:

1. Not literally dictated to Moshe, but inspired by God,

2. A human account of encounters with God, and therefore an account of holy happenings which makes the account itself holy,

3. A product of human striving to understand God in history—and therefore holy, as it represents a holy endeavour of the Jewish people."

Fr. Thomas Ryan, CSP, Washington DC.
I'm a creationist;   I believe that man created God.
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#22

Do Jews view the Bible as literally true?
(07-23-2019, 10:57 AM)SYZ Wrote: "Most Orthodox, and some Conservative Jews believe the bible was dictated from the mouth of God,
written down verbatim by the hand of Moshe (Moses) on Mount Sinai.

Other Conservative Jews and Reform and Reconstructionist Jews tend to understand the bible as either:

1. Not literally dictated to Moshe, but inspired by God,

2. A human account of encounters with God, and therefore an account of holy happenings which makes the account itself holy,

3. A product of human striving to understand God in history—and therefore holy, as it represents a holy endeavour of the Jewish people."

Fr. Thomas Ryan, CSP, Washington DC.

Well, I think Father Tom has done a decent enough job for speaking on behalf of Rabbi Benjamin.  Tongue

I'm not sure how what the percentage split is on conservative Jews, though, but "half" seems a bit high. Not sure.
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#23

Do Jews view the Bible as literally true?
(07-22-2019, 08:18 PM)Jenny Wrote: As a former Catholic, I was taught the Bible was literally true-especially the NT 'cause Jesus.  I was just wondering if Jews are taught the Tanakh (OT) is literally true as well?

Thanks Jenny that's an interesting question.

I can't speak for the Jew's but I have no doubt it's similar to the Christian point of view in that it would depend who the person is speaking to.

When I was a Christian people seeming to seamlessly flit between the two, let's take the flood as the example if they were talking to a fellow Christian who believed the flood to be true, then they would talk about it as true, if a few minutes later they were talking to another different fellow Christian who believed it to be just a story with a moral to be told, they would be just as happy and fluent in their conversation on that.

So to many it could be both, I suspect people often hide their true belief on any particular subject depending on what the conversation is and who they are talking to at the time.  I've seen Christians on this forum one minute quoting the O.T. with authority, the next saying that as it does not effect their belief in Jesus it can be taken as stories. 

There must be Jews who like Christians take the bible stories literally though, and in a way I respect them more, at least they aren't like trying to squash jelly and hold onto it at the same time when talking to them.
Those who ask a lot of questions may seem stupid, but those who don't ask questions stay stupid.
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#24

Do Jews view the Bible as literally true?
(07-23-2019, 11:42 AM)possibletarian Wrote: There must be Jews who like Christians take the bible stories literally though, and in a way I respect them more...

And these are precisely the small-minded people to be very wary of in our culture.  Their
bigoted opinions and dubious calls to offensive, outdated codes of ethics and morals can
potentially constrict further 21st century societal advancement.

I can't equate your atheism with your "respect" for these delusional theist head cases.
I'm a creationist;   I believe that man created God.
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#25

Do Jews view the Bible as literally true?
(07-23-2019, 12:19 PM)SYZ Wrote:
(07-23-2019, 11:42 AM)possibletarian Wrote: There must be Jews who like Christians take the bible stories literally though, and in a way I respect them more...

And these are precisely the small-minded people to be very wary of in our culture.  Their
bigoted opinions and dubious calls to offensive, outdated codes of ethics and morals can
potentially constrict further 21st century societal advancement.

I can't equate your atheism with your "respect" for these delusional theist head cases.

Oh I would agree with you, I meant respect in the way that you know where they stand, and as such are easier to deal with, and you can challenge and debate them directly, both side knowing where they stand.

The wishy washy ones are the ones that would say what people want to hear, but privately agree with the terrorist aims or any number of issues such as anti abortion, but never say it to your face.
Those who ask a lot of questions may seem stupid, but those who don't ask questions stay stupid.
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