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Jesus appears to establish the Christological approach used by the apostles:

Joh 5:39 Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.

Are there any such statements which would give warrant to the literalist approach, particularly in light of the apostle's Christological approach which is often characterized as being weird or supernatural?

The literalist approach (as I understand it) would take literalism to an extreme, preferring apparent contradictions to acknowledging literary genre.

For instance: These passages are viewed as a contradiction:

Pr 31:6 Give strong drink unto him that is ready to perish, and wine unto those that be of heavy hearts.

1Co 5:11 But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat.

Recognizing the genre of proverb, one sees that Pr 31:6 is not an admonition to get people drunk, but it is a parallel saying to "Let the dead bury their dead". The Christian will never perish, and does not have a heavy heart since he "give[s] thanks in all things."

What is the Biblical warrant for the literalist approach?

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Perhaps the months of silence without an answer to this question is a bad sign for the literalist position... –  Kazark Dec 24 '11 at 18:52
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@Kazark, I don't understand the question; a literal approach would mean that we are talking about drinking and drunkenness (the former does not necessarily imply the latter so no contradiction), but there's nothing literal there saying that this is talking about Jesus as described at the end of the question. Maybe it's just me or maybe others are confused too. –  Gone Quiet Jan 19 '12 at 15:57
    
I know a lot of people who take a literal approach to Scripture, and the first question we ask when reading is "what is the genre of this passage? Does the genre indicate literalness or figurative?" –  Frank Luke Feb 21 '12 at 4:15
    
Do you know of anyone who takes a literal approach that recognizes 'riddle' or 'dark sayings' as a genre? –  Bob Jones Feb 28 '12 at 7:19
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The question has nothing to do with the theological issue presented. It is asking for a scriptural warrant for a literalist (not literal) approach by way of command, overwhelming evidence of its usage, etc. The apparent missing genre from the practice of literal interpretation is that of "dark saying". –  Bob Jones Apr 16 '12 at 23:44
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1 Answer

Perhaps one possible argument comes from Galatians 3:16, where Paul bases his entire argument on the fact that the scripture uses the word "seeds" instead of "seed." I.e. his conclusion rests on the "literal" use of the plural as opposed to the singular. That being said he is using the word "seed" in an allegorical fashion.

My personal approach is to understand "literal" not in terms of a hard literalness but as you suggest to recognize the genre. Grant Osborne and Kevin Vanhoozer suggest that a true literal approach recognizes that the original author may use certain genres to make a point. So that if the author (for instance in proverbs) is using a specific literary genre or technique to make a point the best interpretation would be to discern the point that is being made which in many cases would differ from a literal interpretation. After all when Jesus says "I am the bread of life," he is not saying that he is a loaf of bread, is he?

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