Did the Scriptural Authors Intend their Figural Meanings?

I’m wondering to what degree you believe that the original authors of the text(s) were deliberately employing [analogies, types, themes, metaphors, “word pictures”, etc.]? Was the intellectual complexity that you perceive present in the original authorship context, or has the Spirit has orchestrated a significantly bigger picture than those authors could have ever intended?

For example, on your recent answer to the Pool of Bethsaida question, you draw attention to and relevance from the 38-year infirmity of the healed man, and offer a many-minutes-long unpacking of the significance of that number and how it fits the oft-employed water theme in the book of John, etc. My question(s), as applied to this particular situation, would be something like the following:

– Was the man really suffering for exactly 38 years, or did John just pick a number that fit the metaphor he intended to convey?

– Did John know the significance of 38 years. Was he intentionally communicating as deeply as [you believe], or is that depth something the Spirit applies “at a layer above”, that is, across the larger biblical narrative?

Continue reading “Did the Scriptural Authors Intend their Figural Meanings?”