What does biblical literalism mean?

What exactly is “a biblical world view” here? Of course you can explain anything with enough miracles, but it ain’t necessarily so. Do you also believe that Methuselah lived 962 years?

A biblical world view is one which acknowledges that God can and does act in history.
I am not twisting the text to insert a miracle into it. I am pointing out that the text indicates a miracle is involved.
There is a difference in this.

Ah, but what sort of miracle? From Biblehub.com: Render appointed,and comp. Jonah 4:6-8, where the same word is used of the gourd,the worm, and the east wind. The Authorised version renders the word accurately in Job 7:3; Daniel 1:5-10. Previous special preparation is not implied, still less creation for the particular purpose. God employs existing agents to do His bidding.

In other words, the only miracle specified is that God commands the fish to swallow Jonah and later to barf him up. There’s no reason to suppose that the fish is special in any way, with a congenial environment in its stomach. Is the book of Jonah even intended to be a real history or is it a long parable? Do you really believe that the people of Nineveh would repent of their evil ways because some Hebrew tells them to?

So what about Methuselah?

This is a more complicated question to answer. One thing that we know is that in that time Sumerian kings were also said to have ruled for ridiculously long periods of time that lasts 1000s of years.
You can refer the sumerian king list.
The length of the reigns decrease after the flood period.

While some scholars interpret the sumerian records as “mythological”, others disagree… they cited cultural interpretations such as the large numbers signifying the importance of the diseased person or some kind of mathematical code.
One document you can refer to is

Just Google it.
My best guess is also that it’s one of the two.

So the answer to my question is “no”; Methuselah did not live 962 years. Some parts of the bible are not to be interpreted literally. (Incidentally, Harrison’s solution can’t be applied to biblical ages.) So why do you think Jonah is intended literally and Methuselah is not?

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You assume there is no reason to think the fish is special in any way. The text is silent on it.
Look at the context of the incident in Jonah.
Also look at the context of the vine plant which is prepared. How long does a vine take to grow?
As per Jonah 4:10, it seemed to have happened overnight.
Why do you read the preparation of the vine as a natural event?
Or the worm or the east wind?

As to the people of Ninevah repenting. I don’t see why you object to it.

This is where you are making a mistake… interpreting the bible literally does not mean you read it and take it out of context.
Reading in context is important. There is a context to the portion showing methusaleh’s age.
@swamidass had explained this right in the beginning itself.

As to Mr Harrisons explanation, I had referred to it as an example of some of the work being sone in this field.

The plant, worm, and wind are not special in any way. The plant was made to grow quickly, and that’s it.

Just searching out the boundaries of your credulity. It seems extensive.

What’s that?

What field? The field of ages that aren’t really ages?

If the plant can be made to grow quickly… what’s stopping God from altering the fish to swallow Jonah…

Are you actually suggesting that the word “prepared” can mean miraculously making a plant grow tall overnight while it cannot mean a different kind of fish?
This is kinda funny :slight_smile:

Nowhere near the kind of credulity required to believe life arose and became what it is ny purely natural means and chance…
At least I am attributing these actions to an omnipotent God.

I think we’ve found the boundary: your credulity stops when you leave God and enter nature.

And vice versa for you…:slight_smile:

It’s necessary to first become convinced (by evidence) that this person exists, that the bible is his word, and that you are interpreting it correctly. All three of those are in doubt.

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If Methuselah were a redwood tree.


When you argue that it is credible and that others ought to believe it, that’s the perspective you do need to adopt, however: what will be persuasive to someone who does not already believe this story?

You’ve already used the get-out-of-evidence-free card of attributing it to a miracle. This negates any possibility of meaningful discussion, as you are demonstrating very well in your further explorations with John Harshman. Once your capacity for reason has cracked the seal on the first cyanide pill, there’s no argument for why you shouldn’t invoke miracle again, and again, and again, to explain any detail; reason will be no deader after ten cyanide pills than after one. And you’ve done exactly that. Why would I try to persuade someone who has cast the need for evidence in support of his views out the window?

No. When you do this sort of thing, you demonstrate nothing about the tale of Jonah, and everything about your own intellectual habits. You tell a tale which is immensely sad; one which causes reasonable people to despair for the state of wretched humanity; and one against which, sadly, no
ready arguments offer themselves apart from, perhaps, the argument that you may not be typical of humanity.

No, that makes no sense at all. It’s just as much a skyhook whether the story comes from this text, from any other text ever written, or from your own imagination. The ad hoc exemption from evidentiary disconfirmation, via attribution to “miracle,” doesn’t hang on who the author of the story is.

I don’t disagree with your conclusion about what the text says. That’s not the issue at all.

Not really. I will believe anything, “miracle” or not, which is confirmed by evidence of a kind and character sufficient to make it more likely than not. When the sole basis for a story is that some author once said it happened, and when the details are so implausible as to be effectively impossible, then obviously there can be no basis for accepting it.

The evidence for the resurrection of Jesus is not of a kind and character that would suffice to convict a serial jaywalker and perjurer of jaywalking on National Jaywalk And Lie About It Day. But if new evidence arises, after three million or three billion days, I will certainly be interested in seeing it.

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