I have heard it described to me that there is a group of Christians who read the Bible as factual. Meaning that the truth of the Bible is located in the factual historicity of the event(s) the Bible speaks of.
Reading the Bible factually is problematic for a number of reasons, but to name a few:
- We have yet to "prove" the existence of a number of historical events storied in the Bible (such as the liberation of Israelites in ancient Egypt)
- Science tells us that the laws of nature cannot be broken in many of the ways the Bible tells us (such as the sun stopping or walls being toppled by sound)
- We spend a silly amount of time trying to prove the historicity of an event (such as those who search for Noah's arc).
- Large numbers of people abandon the faith because there are "facts" in the Bible that are just nonsensical from a scientific stand point and people will no longer tolerate "it is a miracle" reasoning.
As one who does not read the Bible for facts, I would share what I have heard in various places - The Bible is actual not factual.
That is to say the Bible is actually true and not limited to factually true.
It is a shame that we have reduced the scriptures and the story of the people of God down to rooting it in a historical event. As if something is only true if it was a historical event. If this were the case then no one would get any wisdom or Truth from non-fiction. Yet ask any book club, non-fiction can be more than true.
For me, the Bible is to be read as actual Truth not factual truth. The Bible is to be actually realized and not historically limited. The Bible is more than True and it has and continues to change lives and the world.