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      To understand much about the Bible

   one has to understand figures of speech

   as used in ancient Hebrew and Greek.

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Knowledge of Hyperbole

   is essential…

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To do that you must use the DOOR.

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[MORE]

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   We don’t want to make a mountain out of a molehill, but here’s something we hope you remember forever.

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   hyperbole — noun. A word or a phrase where more is said than is usually meant; exaggeration that obviously cannot be, or is not intended to be, taken literally¹.

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   As obvious as it may first seem, this can lead to misconceptions in understanding the Bible. Surprisingly, Googling “hyperbole and the Bible” will yield a number of helpful articles worth at least a quick skimming through. We recommend the following websites that are surprisingly rich with examples of how hyperbole is used in Biblical text, which was first put down in ancient Hebrew and Greek. Internet sources we recommend are tentmaker.org, bibletool.org, and Ligonier.org.

  Here are 9 examples:

 

     (1) “You strain out a gnat but swallow a camel,” says Jesus. (Mt. 23:24)

              (Really! Do camels come that small?)

 

     (2)  “Everything is possible for him who believes,” says Jesus. (Mk. 9:23)

              (Even rule the world? Or win the 10K by 20 minutes?)

 

     (3)  If your right eye causes you to sin, gouge it off…”says Jesus. (Mt. 5:29)

                 (What about your left eye?)

 

     (4)  “The rock poured out for me rivers of oil,” said Job. (Job 29:6)

 

     (5)  “He [Jesus] told me everything I ever did,” said the woman at the well. (Jn. 4:39)

 

     (6)  When all the people were being baptized, Jesus was baptized too. (Lk. 3:21)

 

     (7)  The mountains and hills will break forth into singing…the treesshall clap their hands (Isa.55:12)

 

     (8)  “How can you say to your brother, ‘let me take the speck out of your eye’…when there is a plank in your own eye?” says Jesus. (Mt. 7:4)

 

   (9)  “I will…make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and the sand on the seashore,an angel of the Lord speaking to Abraham on behalf of God. (Gen. 22:17)²

 

    Not everything “large” has to to looked at as a metaphor. We agree with every extreme literalist that the number in Jn. 21:11 is as real as 10 is the number of toes on your feet.

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Simon Peter climbed aboard and dragged the net ashore. It was full of large fish, 153, but even with so many the net was not torn³.

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  ¹ This is sort of our own definition, combining sources.

  ² Sorry, that our formatting is so spacey. We’re having a little (later correctable) issue here.

  ³ It’s a wonder that with all that was going on, who in the world was down there taking time to count the fish!  (There we got some footnotes in.)