The Scriptures are Written in the Every-Day Language of Men

Loraine BoettnerLoraine Boettner D.D.:

The Scriptures are written in the every-day language of men, and they often describe an act or a thing as it appears to be, rather than as it really is. The Bible speaks of “the four corners of the earth,” Isaiah 11:12, and of “the foundations of the earth,” Psalm 104:5; yet no one understands this to mean that the earth is square, or that it actually rests upon a foundation. We speak of the sun rising and setting, yet we know that it is not the motion of the sun but that of the earth as it turns over on its axis which causes this phenomenon. Likewise, when the Scriptures speak of God repenting, for instance, no one with proper ideas of God understands it to mean that He sees He has pursued a wrong course and changes His mind. It simply means that His action as seen from the human view-point appears to be like that of a man who repents.

In other places the Scriptures speak of the hands, or arms, or eyes of God. These are what are known as “anthropomorphisms,” instances in which God is referred to as if He were a man. When the word “repent,” for instance, is used in its strict sense God is said never to repent: “God is not a man, that He should lie, neither the son of man, that He should repent.” Numbers 23:19; and again, “The Strength of Israel will not lie nor repent; for He is not a man, that He should repent,” 1 Samuel 15:29. (The Reformed Doctrine Of Predestination)

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