Philo was an other Greek Christian philosopher, and, as his name suggests, the word philosophy, was inferred from his name. Philo had this attitude towards the existent meaning of the bible, and how it should be seen. He said there was a three-fold meaning of the bible, actual, and allegoric, and the two interpretations were not of same importance. The actual interpretation was intended to point men (and women), in their everyday needs, but the allegorical interpretation is the most important in understanding the bible, which only the initiated comprehend.
Philo tried to speak to the “initiated” among his audience, by whom he expected to be comprehended. In deciding which passages of the bible are to be taken in a literal way or a spiritual way, you discount the literal interpretation when there is something senseless, contradictory, or inadmissible is said in a passage, and instead look for a different meaning. So when you read: “And god said let there be light”, you don’t actually interpret this literally, that god is a man who can talk, and create the world in seven days. Many of the stories in the bible were just that, stories handed down from generations before the invention of writing. Also, the translation, means that certain words, when used in different arrangements, in a different language, could have very different meanings.
It was not until much later in Christianity that the church became fundamental about the absolute literal truth of the bible. This fundamentality, has held back scientific advances and free thought for thousands of years. From Galileo, to Darwin, to Einstein, science has had to shy away from offending Christianity, as much as they could, even if this meant not publishing their work, because if they said anything too contradictory to the bible, they would be seen as a heretic. For more information on the contradictions in the bible, that are not meant to be interpreted literally read: Contradictions in the bible about the afterlife.
Written by rowanman28
Article writer, and internet marketer.