The Figurative Nature Of The Bible

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There seems to be much controversy over the literal or figurative nature of the Gospels. One position views the Bible very literally; still other positions believe the Bible to be metaphorical or symbolic with hidden contexts only understood by the original readers. Once the controversy in the text is pealed away you are left with the truth of the Scripture. This truth is that Jesus was the Great Shepherd who had all authority over demons and proclaimed deliverance to the captive.
In this paper, we will look at Mark’s account of this powerful story to see his purpose, style, and context. We will then begin to look at the theological applications of this text to reveal the true heart of Christ toward the people of biblical times and today.
Historical Context
Occasion and Purpose
The primary purpose of Mark was to encourage the Roman believers to not lose heart even through persecutions. According to Donald Stamps, the book of Mark was written to strengthen the foundations of faith in Roman believers and, if need be, to inspire them to suffer faithfully for the gospel, placing before them the life, suffering, death and resurrection of Jesus their Lord. Because of the Roman Empire’s dominance and harsh treatment of the Believers during the time that the book of Mark was written, they needed the assurance and encouragement to endure suffering and to persevere. Craig Keener writes “the most likely situation in the early church proposed for Mark’s writing here is the suffering of Roman Christians under Nero starting in a.d. 64”. Nero was especially brutal to Christians. It is believed that Nero would set Christians on fire and use them as torches to light his gardens at night. Therefore the Christians began to experienc...

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