Allegory and peotry used in the bible

I mean we all can agree that in the bible some pages are poetic and some symbolism. But isnt that giving the pass on atheists that would say. {If genesis is sumbolic and stuff why cant the Jesus story be symbolism}. I was asked a similar question once and i responded with {look at history} . So whatever it is not history in the bible we take it as a symbolism like the genesis account? Thanks and God bless

Hi Nick,
You’re right that some things in the Bible are poetic and symbolic, while others are historical. I don’t see that as “giving a pass” to skeptics because it’s important to evaluate the text as honestly as possible and try to understand what it would have meant to the original readers, and so worrying about what skeptics might say shouldn’t be the top concern.

As for the Genesis account, there are different views on that. There’s often a line drawn between the first 11 chapters and the rest of Genesis since the content is very different. I tend to view Genesis as a historical record for the most part, with some poetic elements in the first few chapters. Knowing exactly where history ends and symbolism begins is probably not something we’ll know for sure and is certainly above my pay grade. Regardless, I believe all of Genesis has important theological things to teach us. Genesis chapters 1-3 teach us that God is the sovereign creator who made humanity in his image – to me that is true even if those chapters were intended to be allegory.


Historical narrative relies on facts. Before Writing it relied on word of mouth traditions which, are notoriously unreliable and embellished (See the famous whispers activities). Pre history is beyond any sort of fact. In fact it is beyond human observation. For early Genesis to be fact we would have to rely on the witness of the only Being to be there. Scripture does not claim to be dictated, despite some views of 2 Tim 3. And the Narratives are not declared as being directly from God. It is only logical to accept them as human tradition with all the religious and cultural baggage included.
The Gospels have corroboration outside Scripture, and themselves claim to be from more then one actual witness. That makes them completely different from the early Genesis narratives.