Literary Approach to the Bible
One of the theologians’ most significant problems and their congregation is the pick and choose verses to create some doctrine based on putting a few verses and random sentences together and saying this is what the Bible is saying. No one would go through Hamlet and randomly pick out several verses without reading the complete text and summarize the story. Also, would you pick out a couple of sentences from each book of Game of Thrones and tell people this is the saga. People would laugh at you; however, it is done every day with the Bible.
The Bible is a Saga of many books that are episodes to one complete story. It has a setting, an antagonist, and a conflict. Since the episode extends over centuries with many characters, the protagonist is not a single person but a bloodline, leading to Israel as a nation. It is a tragic love story between God and this one nation of Israel. Jesus himself brought the message to the tribes of Israel. Yet, it ends as a comedy happy full of joy with a New Bride the Church, forever. It is not until Paul brought the Gospel of Jesus to the Gentiles, who many had Israeli DNA that story as a new major character. The ten tribes of Israel were cast out of their homeland. They intermarried with the Gentiles, first with the Assyrians, then the Greeks and the Romans. Through Paul, the Gentile becomes part of God's children in the Saga. Keep in mind that the whole Saga is always about the people of Israel. The first Christians were Jewish and many today have Hebrew blood, DNA.
Another often misused component is the sitting of the Saga. Only when Paul and later Peter enter Rome is the Saga outside the Babylon area. Another is with the 12 tribes as slaves in Egypt, which are the only times outside the original Biblical setting. We can identify this by two major rivers, the Tigers and the Euphrates. They are both first mentioned in Genesis. Today's Middle East covers this very same area once called Babylon. From this literary standpoint, when we begin to read the Bible, very different pictures develop concerning the end-time events. The Saga ends where the story started. The resolution of any great story must resolve the conflicts of the story. The solution must be the acceptance of Yeshua HaMashiach, Jesus Christ as Israel's Messiah. It is a tragic love story because many of Israel's descendants and those converted to the Jewish faith will never come to Jesus and die not believing. Throughout the Saga, the people of Israel have turned their back on God many times. Exodus shows the first example of turning away from God by creating an idol, a golden calf. The Biblical history account shows how God punishes Israel, and they repent only to sin again.
A brief look at where the Saga ends in Israel, a part of the land once called Babylon. An angel is let loose from the bottomless pit in Gaza, a plague comes out of the Euphrates. Two prophets appear in Jerusalem, the last chance for the Jewish Israeli and the Muslim to come to Jesus Christ before He arrives. There are also 144,000 virgins called to Heaven, 12,000 from each tribe. John sees Jesus standing on Mount Moriah. The Third Temple is built, and the false messiah claims to be god there. Can there be any doubt that the setting is in Israel and Jerusalem? What group of people will suffer the most in that area, but those that live there. There is nothing to suggest any other place outside of this one. Yet things could be happening all over the earth, but the Bible is not mentioning those settings.
There is another clue as to the setting of the Saga. Much of the commentary of Daniels's interpretation of Nebuchadnezzar's dream stops at the two legs made of iron and clay and with the idea that the Roman Catholic church becomes the Roman Empire, but they ignore the feet. Let me add the this is one statue, and it is in Babylon. It represents what happens to this area called Babylon. The feet each have five toes. Therefore each foot still is the same area, only divided into five nations, with one foot being Sunni and the other Sufi, all within today's five Muslim countries.
Animal sacrifice does not remove the condition for sin. Rabbis during the exile in Babylon created many rules and regulations. Due to the destruction of the Temple and the inability to sacrifice an animal for sin. However, the Talmud is a man-made creation and not one from God. Therefore even the most practicing individual to live by the rules cannot remove sin, nor can animal sacrifice. It is for this reason that Jesus Christ comes as a sacrifice for the removal of sin.
When we fail to use literary concepts in reading the Bible, we come to erroneous conclusions creating false teaching. The final events will be similar to those that foreshadowed events to come. The beast of the sea, the beast of the earth, and the Harlot will be from that setting. The protagonist is Jacob's bloodline. The beast will be in Joseph's character, who took care of his family while putting the Egyptians into slavery. An essential aspect never mentioned as to how the Israelites became slaves. Joesph, by the permission of Pharaoh, took possession of the food supply. The Egyptians forced to sell everything, they had to eat until they volunteered to sell themselves into slavery to purchase food. Once the new Pharaoh saw what had happened, he reversed the situation. (Genesis 47:13-46) Joseph is not a benevolent leader but a cruel one. He made himself and the Pharaoh wealthy at the expense of the people while feeding his family. The final world leader will do the same.
In conclusion, when viewing the Bible from the literary position using a story's elements to guide us, the reader, we get a clearer picture of the past, present, and future events. The story is always first about Israel. The setting is always within the borders of Babylon. The individual characters are from the tribes of Israel with Gentile sub-characters that interact with the Israelites.