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   In the Bible there are differences in how words are to be taken. Words can be used literally or metaphorically. (Of course, this is also true with words used elsewhere…)

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   To consider a Bible example of this, we will examine a passage from II Corinthians.

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But to do that you need to go through the DOOR.

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   [MORE]

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   Paul is speaking to Christians.

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   “For we know that if the earthly tent which is our house is torn down, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For indeed in this house we groan, longing to be clothed with our dwelling from heaven; inasmuch as we, having put it on, shall not be found naked. For indeed while we are in this tent, we groan, being burdened, because we do not want to be unclothed, but to be clothed, in order that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. Now He who prepared us for this very purpose is God, who gave to us the Spirit as a pledge. Therefore, being always of good courage, and knowing that we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord–for we walk by faith, not by sight–we are of good courage, I say, and prefer to be absent from the body and to be at home with the Lord. Therefore also we have as our ambition, whether at home or absent, to be pleasing to Him. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.”

–II Cor. 5:1-10 (NASB)

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   Some observations here on a passage that could serve as a foundation, or key passage, for many Biblical lessons:

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   (1)  No one could be accuse Paul of being “short-winded”!  Our English translation (New American Standard Bible) uses 22 commas, 1 semicolon, and 1 pair of dashes to sort this out.

   (2)  We will, sort of, limit our comments to things we’ve previously discussed: Language, here literal (or basic or common, “hands-on” usage; metaphoric usage; and our reference to soul (the weightless, eternal “part” of us that observes, selects, chooses, hopes, fears, expects, loves, hates, etc.)

   (3)  Red here clearly refers to a regular literal body.

   (4)  Blue refers clearly to metaphorical usage. First, “metaphor” is not a “lie.” But why then is metaphor, which is often fuzzier than literal, ever used? Two main reasons: [1] It better conveys the meaning of something that could be described literally. [2] No words exist, or exist in a particular language, to do the describing that’s required. The Bible is full of metaphor. Jesus used it all the time.

   (5)  The green refers to a future event that lies ahead where individuals will somehow “appear” before God for judgment. Certainly, we, see text above, don’t want to appear “naked.” Details about this and how and exactly where this will occur are not provided. Perhaps this is because humans are not equipped to be able to understand this–or understand this in language they’re familiar with–or any language. But there’s the suggestion that we appear–somehow–individually and recognizable in some form. (This also seems implied by humans sitting down and dining at the future Marriage Feast of the Lamb.) How do we refer to viewing individuals here: perhaps as souls clothed with heavenly bodies? Do (familiar) matter and gravity figure in here? Hmm. Something to reflect upon lightly…

   (6)  Life (above). How do we think about this? Oh, the difficulty translators must have!