This actually brings up some interesting stuff about the difference between figurative language and how we decide whether or not a speaker intends to communicate facts.
Ah!! progress. lol:innocent:
There are lots of clues, like you point out, that we are not intended to take the Genesis account as describing a historical event. It is a story. But many sentences in the story are meant to be interpreted literally in the reality the story creates. In the story, I think we are to understand God as actually walking in the garden and the snake as actually talking. Those are the “facts” of the story. That they don’t comport with information we know about reality is how we know it is a story, not a factual account of history.
If not comporting to reality is the determinative factor in what is or isn’t to be taken as actual history, then I know this, people don’t get up from the grave after 3 days if they were actually dead. The resurrection clearly does not comport to history. Neither does taking 5 fish and 3? loaves of bread sufficient to feed 5000. so clearly, to me, comporting to our experienced reality can’t be the entire criteria by which we determine figurative or not. If it is, all the miracles are gone.
On the other hand, when Jesus talks about Lazurus sleeping, we have used the clues in the context to determine that he is dead and this narrative is intended as a factual account, so we have to go with a figurative interpretation of the pronouncement that he is sleeping in order to make sense of it.
This just shows that literal and figurative meaning of individual sentences don’t necessarily add up to factual or fictional interpretation of an entire passage.
I would agree with what you said in the quote immediately above, figurative language doesn’t necessitate a figurative passage. but then, which is harder more difficult for God to do, make a snake talk or raise a man from the grave after 3 days of decay?
Again,my problem with the methodology I see is that you decide what passage is figurative if you are uncomfortable with it (or maybe embarrassed by it). That seems a poor methodology and once again, places you as the judge of what is true and false in the Scripture.