Biblical Metaphors…Flipped on its Head

Invariably when I get into a biblical discussion with Christians, I go into the why for’s and the WTF’s of the supposed morality, history, logic, and contradictions inherent in the Bible. And every time I rip apart the immoral, genocidal, murderous, and misogynistic rage that makes up most of the Old Testament, and which creeps into the little nooks and cranny’s of the New Testament, I get the all-to-familiar “It’s not meant to be taken literally.” Sometimes followed by, “Well its a metaphor for >>insert nonsense here<<“.

I fail to see the metaphorical value of killing my brother, mother or father for enticing me to follow other (or any) Gods. Where is the metaphor there? Or in stoning your child to death for talking back to his parents? Yes, yes, that is a metaphor for >insert bladdy-blah here<… Nor do I see the metaphor in Jesus not wanting to start a new religion, otherwise he would have written the damn book himself.

But, seeing as how the logic works for Christians. I decided to not take the Bible literally. In the process inserting some scientific truths where the writers of the Bible inserted bobble-cock, because they possessed a third-graders worldview.

I’m not one for formalities so let’s dive right in.

Metaphor #1:

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

Obviously a metaphor for the Big Bang! What it really means, is the Universe created the Universe, but the biblical authors replaced the first “Universe” with the word “God”, and neglected to mention that the earth came 10.2 billion years after the “heavens”, which is itself a metaphor for Universe again. Scientists from Stephen Hawking, to Lawrence Krauss et al (i.e. People thousands of times smarter than me or you), claim that the Universe created itself, and no external cause was needed. Ex nihilo creation doesn’t exist.

Metaphor #2:

“And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light.”

This is a metaphor for the formation of the [our] Sun over millions of years, and that it, upon accumulating enough hydrogen gas (fuel), ignited into a star, and through the miraculous process of nuclear fusion, lo and behold, there was light.

Metaphor #3:

So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him.

Obviously what is meant here, is that Homo sapiens evolved from Homo heidelbergensis [200,000 years ago], who evolved from Homo Erectus [1,000,000 years ago], who came from Homo Habilis about 2,000,000 years ago. 200,000-years-ago was also about the same time we started to become pretty, and women became less hairy. Win!

Metaphor #4:

And God said, “Let the water under the sky be gathered to one place, and let dry ground appear.” And it was so. God called the dry ground “land,” and the gathered waters he called “seas.” And God saw that it was good.

This clearly describes the process of plate tectonics. There are seven gigantic land-masses that float on the lava that circles the hard-metallic core of our planet. Where these plates meet each other is where Earthquakes and volcano’s are born. And I bet you learnt that a stork dropped them too in Sunday school? As the plates collided with each other on an early Earth (aka the “day after” God created our pale blue dot), it pushed upwards, and voila! Land…That’s magic right?

Metaphor #5:

Then God said, “Let the land produce vegetation: seed-bearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed in it, according to their various kinds. ” And it was so. The land produced vegetation: plants bearing seed according to their kinds and trees bearing fruit with seed in it according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good. And there was evening, and there was morning — the third day.

Remember the “Let there be light” metaphor above? Well, that light, through sheer coincidental certainty, gave our planet energy, in the form of photons (individual light particles) interacting with the carbon dioxide (billions of years later after day one mind you) and water inside the leafy parts of those plants just mentioned. These plants were able to convert these three disparate and unrelated things into simple sugars which they could use as energy to grow, and form the basis of all life on Earth from which everything else feeds.

The men who wrote the bible, who were not especially known for their morality, subjectivity, knowledge, or anything else for that matter except their subjugation of woman, didn’t want to bore people who would read the ‘good book’ with all those details, and the boring-ness tedium in-between the planets creation (formation) and the ensuing billion to two-billion years when vegetation started sprouting. Otherwise, that would’ve constituted learning. So they replaced Universe with God, and put feather to papyrus making it seem like it happened in one day to entertain the working masses.That way, their science lessons wouldn’t detract from their crop-tending and subsequent  starvation if they stopped tending those crops.

Metaphor #6:

And God said, “Let the land produce living creatures according to their kinds: the livestock, the creatures that move along the ground, and the wild animals, each according to its kind.” And it was so. God made the wild animals according to their kinds, the livestock according to their kinds, and all the creatures that move along the ground according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good.

If you recall metaphor #3, this metaphor is merely further explaining the evolutionary processes that occurred before the arrival of man. However, the biblical authors had to insert this section (metaphorically of course) after the metaphorical “creation” of man due to the self-contrived metaphorical importance of homo ignoramus (a subspecies of Homo sapiens that prospered some two-thousands years ago) whom never would have made it past the notion that animals came first, so in the spirit of metaphorical education, they re-arranged the order of events.

Metaphor #7:

Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”

This one is easy. Due to our varied diet, and somewhat fragile bodies, evolution saw fit, via random selection to give us intelligence. We used this gift to remember where we found our food and water, as well as evading our predators, and catching our prey. Miraculously, as we slowly evolved this intelligence, God [metaphor for evolution] saw fit to give us opposable thumbs, which contributed to our use of tools that we used to rule over the fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, and the livestock and all the wild animals. But not over the bacteria, which continued to rule over us for thousands of years, only being kept at bay due to modern medicine, and of which we only have enough antibiotics left to keep them at bay for another ten years, before they come back with a vengeance. Hmmm, thanks god!

Metaphor #8:

God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.”

What God is trying to say in G-rated language, is insert your circumcised penis into the mythical veejayjay, and move it back and forth until intense euphoric feelings coupled with involuntary spasming, and retarded face syndrome occurs. [Terms and conditions] No condoms; whether made by sheep skin or plastic. Nor can the use of condoms be circumvented using birth control, veejayjay plugs or morning-after pills! Talking snakes will appear in such circumstances and banish you to hell!

Metaphor #9:

Then God said, “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food. And to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds in the sky and all the creatures that move along the ground—everything that has the breath of life in it—I give every green plant for food. ” And it was so.

Mufasa said it best.

Mufasa: “Everything you see exists together in a delicate balance. As king, you need to understand that balance and respect all the creatures; from the crawling ant, to the leaping antelope.”

Simba: “But Dad, don’t we eat the antelope??”

Mufasa: “Yes Simba, but let me explain. When we die, our bodies become the grass, and the antelope eat the grass, and so we are all connected in the great circle of life.”

Metaphor #10:

God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning — the sixth day.

In other words, life goes on, the expansion of the Universe ever continues, and blah blah blah meaning of life blah blah blah, until maximum entropy (heat death) of the Universe results in every particle in the Universe, being so far apart from every other particle, that order ceases to exist. Order = stars, planets, asteroids, and self-moving bio-mechanical machines who refuse to abide by the magic of logic.

Metaphor #11:

The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. And the Lord God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.”

I guess I am going to hell for taking advantage of the intelligence that God (evolution) gave me. Oh what a cruel world we live in. If you become intelligent, you are on the express train to everlasting torment. But if you are lucky enough to be born, or raised, deaf, blind, and dumb to the world around you, then you will be rewarded with everlasting bliss. That sounds moral. Give us intelligence, then punish us for it.

Good thing it’s all a load of wishy-washy nonsense. The bad thing is, people actually believe it, and many a horrible thing has been justified in its name—“hey, slavery is moral, and not only that. The good book says we “shalt have slaves”. Doesn’t say anything about wanting, it says we need to have one! Grab that >>black, brown, female, child, defeated<< person and have him work those fields!”

What a wicked web we weaved, when we chose to deceive, oh so long ago, by writing such a book as this, this book we call the bible.

4 thoughts on “Biblical Metaphors…Flipped on its Head”

  1. Wow. So the bible has metaphors, and a lot of them but that doesn’t mean everything is a metaphor.
    The entire book of Genesis for example is not a metaphor.The distribution of finite verbs in Hebrew narrative writing differs distinctly from that used in poetry. Moreover, statistical analysis categorizes biblical texts as narrative or poetry to a high level of accuracy. Genesis 1:1–2:3 is determined to be narrative with a probability of virtually one [the highest]. There follow at least three major implications from this study. First, it is not statistically defensible to interpret Genesis 1:1–2:3 as poetry or metaphor. Second, since Genesis 1:1–2:3 clearly is narrative, it should be read as other Hebrew narratives are intended to be read. That is, the creation account describes actual events which carry an unmistakable theological message. Third, when Genesis 1:1–2:3 is read as narrative, there is only one tenable view: God created everything during six literal days. This is surely the plain, direct intention of the text.Here’s the deal on evolution in my thinking: God created everything in six days with the appearance of age – including man. Did Adam and Eve first appear as infants? No! They appeared to be full-grown adults; they were created with the appearance of age. So was the case with everything on earth. when read in context, there is nothing in these poetic sections of Scripture that would contradict a straightforward reading of Genesis: that God did indeed create in six literal days. After all, the same God that inspired Genesis also inspired these sections of the Bible. But since poetic books, like the Psalms, Proverbs, and Job, contain figures of speech, metaphors, and other non-literal imagery, many people feel a greater liberty to interpret these passages as they wish, rather than according to the standard rules of biblical interpretation. Some old-earth creationists have even mislabeled poetic passages as “accounts of creation,” presumably in an attempt to revise the biblical history by pulling certain poetic sections out of context.One of the most important rules of hermeneutics is that the unclear should be interpreted in light of the clear; therefore, poetic sections using symbolism and literary imagery should be interpreted in light of the more straightforward historical narratives. This is not to say that poetic sections never shed light on narratives; they can. But they should never be used to override the clear teaching of historical narratives.

    1. Thanks for the detailed and long response, and very well said. I am of the opinion, as you are too, that the bible is not a metaphor. But as I wrote in the first paragraph, as I try to explain away a lot of the nonsense in the Bible, I get waved off by the religious as interpreting it to literally, so this post is just a bit of fun in the opposite direction 🙂

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