List of literally false statements in the Bible
Jehova’s Witnesses aim to interpret the Bible literally, which is in some sense admirable because that is the only way it can serve much to constrain one’s anticipations about reality. By contrast, if one aims to interpret a religious text only “metaphorically”, then there are so many possible meanings that it does essentially nothing to constrain one’s anticipations.
For example, when one accepts the best scientific knowledge about the origin of Earth, one believes that it was not in fact created in 6 days, and that the literal meaning of the English Bible is false in this case. Christians who accept the true age of Earth are not usually bothered by this, and resort to a “metaphorical” interpretation wherein “days” are metaphors for longer periods.
But if you only believe that each statement in the Bible has some metaphorical interpretation which is true, it doesn’t tell you much about the world at all. The Bible asserts that God exists… but since we’re only taking things metaphorically now, maybe God doesn’t actually literally exist. Maybe He’s pretend. Maybe there in fact is no God, but there is a rainforest, and God is a metaphor for the rainforest. Or for the sun. Who knows. Since there is no way to tell which metaphor is the right one, believing that the Bible is “metaphorically true” basically tells you nothing.
Jehova’s Witnesses seem to understand this, so they’re not going there. They’re sticking to the literal Word of the Lord. Which makes me interested:
What verses of the Bible can we cite that are false in their literal interpretation, according to accepted scientific or well-founded historical knowledge?
Thanks to anyone who contributes!