March 3, 2015
Taking on the Bible, Symbolically
To read a religious text symbolically or literally, can be hard to figure out. Certain stories in the Bible can clearly be seen as symbolic to certain ideas, like the Parables of Jesus, which you may not understand by just reading it. But symbolically you can see that it’s teaching you the importance of praying, or the meaning of love. Then you see other stories, like Jesus’s word about the Eucharist, everyone takes in the story differently, but they all connect someway. It all depends on how the writer wants you to take it. The story, A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, does a really good job giving it both a literal and symbolic meaning. In this story, many things have a symbolic meaning to show you the importance of certain things. For example, the wings in the story mean speed, power and/or freedom. But symbolically they can mean, ironically, the wings of an angel. In this story, it conveys old age and disease, symbolically.
When you read anything, you can go in many directions with it. One where you continue to read outside the authors box, as then you would be reading it symbolically. Or, where you read more inside of it, and take it more literal. “Metaphor and symbolism were powerful word tools in the Jewish culture. They gave deeper, concrete meaning to abstract concepts” ("The Symbolic Meaning of Biblical Words and Phrases"). If we took the Bible literally, we would not only regularly sacrifice animals, but parents would sell their daughters into slavery and stone homosexuals in the streets. So much of the religious text is irrelevant today and lost in so many ways, due to change, it is completely different from the original text. The Bible was also written by humanity, so it contains flaws and contradictions. Also, talking in today’s world, with ISIS. Muslim’s are huge believers in their Qur’an, and...