Magi Mike's Blog

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Which Bits of Scripture are Literal and which Allegorical?

with 2 comments


Richard Dawkins and Jonathan SacksProminent atheist Richard Dawkins and Britain’s Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks met in an hour-long debate on science and religion, as part of the Re:Think Festival in Salford.

“How do you decide which bits [of scripture] are symbolic and which bits are not?” asked Prof Dawkins at one point during the discussion.

“Very simple,” replied the Chief Rabbi.

“The rabbis in the 10th century laid down the following principle: if a biblical narrative is incompatible with established scientific fact, it is not to be read literally.”

Christians take note. The Old Testament is the scripture of Jews. Maybe the Rabbis can be expected to know it better than TV evangelicals.

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Written by mikemagee

16 September, 2012 at 5:27 pm

2 Responses

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  1. Do you think Rabbi Sacks would have given the same answer if the audience were full of Haredim?

    Also, do we have any idea that what he said about 10th century Rabbis has any basis in reality?

    Jaua

    19 September, 2012 at 9:06 pm

    • If I thought not, I’d be calling the Chief Rabbi a liar in giving one of his answers or the other. Maybe Jews are permitted to lie to Goyim.

      I would not care to depend upon what 10th century rabbis (or anyone else from the 10th century) said about anything, but if I were a Torah loving Jew and a scientist, it would resolve some conflicts. It is in that regard that some Christian fundamentalists might like to share it as a principle

      Mike Magee

      19 September, 2012 at 9:22 pm


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