Sunday, 16 November 2008
It's All Parables
The Bible claims that Jesus often spoke in parables. He would tell stories in order to get his point across. OK, whatever.
We also know that many of the stories in the Bible are made-up, like the story of Exodus, for example. Some apologists have taken this idea of parables and decided that they call anything that looks suspicious a "parable" and thus have a pat answer for any objections to the Bible. "Exodus didn't happen you say? That's because it's a parable."
The problem with this line of thinking, however, is that these events are not being told as parable, but as historical fact. Exodus is not written in a parable form, with characters, but with supposedly real people. They are simply not parables.
Another tack that apologists like to make is to defend the especially heinous portions of the Bible by claiming that they are parables, which supposedly makes it all better. But, it doesn't. Not only are some of those sections not parables (like Saul killing the Amalekites and being punished by god for not being bloodthirsty enough and showing some mercy and common sense), but there's a problem with the ones that are actual parables. A parable is supposed to be a story that tells a moral, that gives moral guidance. Telling a story about how slaves should submit to their masters gives bad moral guidance, both to the slaves and the masters. It does nothing to counter objections to the Bible to simply cry, "Parable!"