Richard Smoley's Blog

Tikkun: Beyond the Trap of Biblical Literalism

September 28, 2016

Tags: Bible, literalism, Fox News, God, Origen, archaeology

Many people in the educated world understand that the Bible--or not all of the Bible--is literally true.

But there is actually quite a bit of confusion about which parts are and which parts aren't literally true.

My book How God Became God deals with this question in depth.

But I have just published an article on the Tikkun website that sketches out the basic arguments. To read it, click on the cover above for the link.


  1. December 28, 2016 5:59 AM EST
    I enjoyed listening to you on Coast To Coast. I have no expertise in regard to the New Testament but my reading of it makes me believe it is a political document which attempts to give legitimacy to those who want to create a religion based on a man who "came for the Jews" and ended up being crucified. I actually believe that Christ is an important person who falls within Jewish traditions and whose significance is denied because of his adoption as a god in another religion. I wanted to contact you as you stated that Christ was the "son" of David. In the Jewish belief the Messiah comes from the House of David which is what the gospels claimed to give him legitimacy. I do not believe that the Messiah has to come from a direct linage to David but there is a mystical interpretation (Kabbalic) that goes like this. Why was Adam, in Hebrew three letters, given his name by god? It is because the aleph represents the first man and the first soul created. The second letter represents (daled) represents David who the first soul was passed onto and the third letter (mem) represents the passing on of this soul to the Messiah who comes at the end of time to fullfill god's promise to the Jews. Thanks again for a very interesting discussion
    - Sheldon Yivrakes
  2. December 29, 2016 11:31 AM EST
    Thanks for your comment, Sheldon. I'm glad you enjoyed the show. Yes, I remember the Adam-David-Messiah theme. I read about it years ago in Joseph Gaer's book "The Lore of the Old Testament," which is really a delightful read.
    - Richard Smoley

Selected Works

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