How can I recognize and understand biblical symbolism?


Clarify Share Report Asked July 01 2013 Mini Anonymous (via GotQuestions)

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Shea S. Michael Houdmann Supporter Got Questions Ministries
The language of the Bible is rich with metaphor. The biblical writers used familiar, everyday objects to symbolize spiritual truth. Symbols are quite common in the poetic and prophetic portions of ...

July 01 2013 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

Mini Larry Truelove
We need to recognize that there is a difference between biblical symbols and literary language. Jesus made use of metaphors, idioms, and similes as well as intentionally offering symbols.

Parables contained symbols, only some of which applied directly to the subject at hand. In parables, He compared God the Father to a King, Master over a household. He compared sinners to people in debt and monetary debt to forgiveness and unforgiveness.

When Jesus said he was a shepherd and we were sheep, He made use of metaphor and applied symbolic language. The language was metaphorical, but the use of symbols is obvious to us now. Occasionally, His use of symbols were obscure, such as when Jesus said He would raise up the Temple. He was obscure in that He meant that He would be raised from the dead, but the Jerusalem Temple was being used as a symbol for His body.

In John 7, water was being used as a symbol for the Holy Spirit, but He used it as a metaphor in the same way John the Baptist did in Matthew chapter 3.

April 05 2014 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

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