How Much of the Bible is Literal?

Q: How much of the Bible is literal and how much of it is a myth? Take Jonah and the whale, for instance. Surely that must be a myth, because I can't imagine anyone being swallowed by a whale and then living to tell about it. - S.L.

A: It might surprise you to learn that there actually have been several documented cases of people who were swallowed by whales and lived to tell about it (although the Bible simply says that Jonah was swallowed by "a great fish," not necessarily a whale).

But the real question is this: Did the miracles recorded in the Bible actually happen - or are they simply myths or legends? The Bible's testimony is clear: They actually happened - and the reason is because God made them happen. If we leave God out of the picture and say He isn't powerful or doesn't have anything to do with the world, then there isn't any room for miracles.

But once we understand that God is all-powerful, and that He cares what happens to us, then the miracles recorded in the Bible won't be a problem for us. The Bible says, "How great you are, O Sovereign Lord! There is no one like you, and there is no God but you" (2 Samuel 7:22). The Bible's miracles were a demonstration of God's power and authority.

The greatest miracle of all, however, is the miracle of God's love for us. We aren't worthy of His love, for we have sinned and turned our backs on Him. And yet He still loves us - and the proof is that He sent His Son into the world to save us and give us eternal life. Don't be ruled by your doubts any longer, but by faith open your life to Christ's transforming power today.

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