When I was in college, one of my professors shared this picture with the class. It is a depiction of a “literal” rendering of what Song of Solomon (or Songs) 4 and 7 says. His point was that while we like to say we take the Bible “literally” it is not what we really mean. We have to be careful when we take literature “literally”.

Words, metaphors, language, allusions are all literary devices meant to communicate a divine point (or rather, story) using a human instrument.

Human devices will always fall short, but we need to seek out the intent of the author rather than the “literal” rendering.

Song_of_Solomon_illustrated-literally

This example is a no-brainer, right? So what do we do with the other word pictures scattered throughout the Scriptures that are not quite so simple to decode?

For me, these applications chasten me to keep learning and interpreting and discerning what the Holy Spirit wants to teach us through the Word of God. Coming across this satirical graphic again reminds me to interpret and teach cautiously and humbly.

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