I have a friend with whom I am discussing interpreting the Bible. She is shying away from my supposition that the Bible’s way of speaking is symbolic. In the previous article I asserted that the term “heaven and earth” can refer to a political entity as well as the physical referents. And so “heaven and earth” are symbolic of the nation of Israel and the Temple. My friend does not approve of this hermeneutic b/c her comfort level in symbolism is not very high.
So my question becomes, is there any level of comfort in seeing symbolism in the Bible? Let’s start with the number 7. Every Christian will admit that the number 7 is symbolic of…that’s right, perfection. Here’s my question: where in the Bible does it teach this? I will confidently assert that it doesn’t. I will also confidently assert that the number 7 is more biblically the number of…creation. Consider this when reading Revelation 2-3. There are 7 churches. Why?