We like to use first principles style thinking here. One of the things you may or may not have noticed about the Bible is that it doesn’t bother to define anything. There are literally no definitions of anything in the Bible. You might be asking, “What is a definition?”
How recursive, eh? Let’s check out Wikipedia. The say: Definitions can be classified into two large categories: intensional definitions (which try to give the sense of a term), and extensional definitions (which try to list the objects that a term describes). Another important category of definitions is the class of ostensive definitions, which convey the meaning of a term by pointing out examples. A term may have many different senses and multiple meanings, and thus require multiple definitions.
This helps, but it also doesn’t help much. The problem with the Bible and believers-of-the-Bible, is that believers-of-the-Bible believe in at least 1 or more paranormal events featured in the Bible. Once one paranormal event is believed in, then suddenly ALL of the paranormal events in the Bible are on the table, and ready for believers to believe them. For example, if you believe in the resurrection of Jesus, then suddenly you may as well be a believer in Adam & Eve. And if you’re not, then you need to explain why. See the Wikipedia article on Theistic Evolution.
In a previous article, I stated that most Christians you know are of the Theistic-Evolution persuasion. Once a Christian is in that zone of picking and choosing what supernatural event is “myth” and what supernatural event is “fact.” What they need is a system that would generate two lists of things in the Bible. Myths, and facts. And the system would need to be congruent with the lists, and the lists would need to be congruent with the system. As far as I know, no Christian has made such a system. Perhaps with the advent of AI, the system could be made fairly quickly.
The Bible does not overtly tell the reader when it is shifting between myth and fact, or poetic language and factual language. (Lol, “factual” language.) Sure, there’s some similes in there, but they’re of little help. Using a simile to describe something supernatural does not at all tell the reader whether they’re reading about a myth or a fact. The result is it polarizes people on the issue of whether anything supernatural can be real. Who can blame anyone who decides that if any part of the Bible is bullshit then it must be all bullshit? Seriously: Adam & Eve is “myth” but Jesus’s resurrection from the dead is “fact”? And these are in the same book? And the authors aren’t going to make any attempt to tell the readers which is myth and which is fact? What is the point if not to cause a nuisance?
Compare and contrast to reports of UFO or Bigfoot sightings. Witnesses will at least tell you: “It was real.” Or, “I know what I saw.” They at least bother to throw statements like that in there to let the listener know that their intentions are not about myth-making. The Bible doesn’t really do that. (Although the apostle Paul makes statements about how he’s not lying, but then he doesn’t offer any descriptions of Jesus. We’ll have to leave Paul out of this for now, as he was kind of a schizo.)
The most annoying are the codependent-Christians that come up with endless excuses for the Jewish God’s behavior in the Old Testament. Anybody who reads the OT with the intention of honestly absorbing any of it should recognize that the Jews of the OT were dealing with an ornery, hot-tempered, angry, and very jealous “entity.” Calling that entity a “loving-God” or the “almighty God” is the epitome of retardation. Only somebody who hasn’t taken an honest look at the OT or has been a victim of brainwashing can say those things. I wouldn’t exactly say OT Jews were “devil worshippers,” but they were clearly dealing with some kind of negative paranormal entity in their midst. And they have suffered many generations of PTSD from it.
The confusion seems logical. 3000+ years ago some kind of bad-tempered dragon in the desert says he’s God and you don’t know any better… No one can really blame the OT Jews for going-with-the-flow. Now is as good a time as any to snap out of the curse and recognize what is actually in the OT.
The dragon in the Shrek movie is about the most positive representation of “Yahweh” that you’re going to find.