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Interpreting Biblical Apocalyptic (13): Apocalyptic Symbolism

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Apocalyptic works in general, and the biblical books of Daniel and Revelation in particular, are characterized by the use of symbols to convey truth. In the books of Daniel and Revelation horns and eagles speak, iron can be mixed with clay, leopards can have four heads, and dragons can chase women through the sky! A […]

The post Interpreting Biblical Apocalyptic (13): Apocalyptic Symbolism appeared first on Jon Paulien's Blog.

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JoeMo

The question I have is how do we distinguish between literal writings and symbolic writings?  The general rule I use is that if taking the scripture literally leads to an absurdity or blatant contradiction of other scriptures, I take it to be symbolic. Some of those scriptures where a literal interpretation leads to an absurdity were highlighted in the article:

"Apocalyptic works in general, and the biblical books of Daniel and Revelation in particular, are characterized by the use of symbols to convey truth. In the books of Daniel and Revelation horns and eagles speak, iron can be mixed with clay, leopards can have four heads, and dragons can chase women through the sky!

I'm not sure I can use my rule 100% of the time.  There are some scriptures that can have both literal and symbolic meaning.

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