From a human point of view, THE Holy Bible is generally considered to be a sacred collection of sixty-six canonical Judeo-Christian books and letters which have been written and assembled by individuals, small groups of people, church councils, and others into one combined larger book, which assemblage is regarded "holy" in the sense that the total and complete text contained within that larger book of written alphabet letters combined into sentences combined into paragraphs combined into chapters of the sixty-six individual pieces has been penned by human authors who were not only Divinely inspired by the Holy Spirit to write that text down but to precisely copy, reproduce, and preserve that text from the time it was written with the intention that it be read by and phenomenally affect any and all who happen to read it.
Ever since Adam and Eve talked (I guess verbally) with Creator God in the Garden, primative oral Scripture existed before the Sumarians, Phoenicians, Aztecs, Mesopotamians, Macedonians, Egyptians, Chinese, Africans, Italiens, Aborigines, the Swedes, and whoever else came on the scene. As time went on, it was added to, not only by the fiery finger of God etching the Ten Commandments into stone:
Exodus 3:1 Now Moses was keeping the flock of his father-in-law, Jethro, the priest of Midian; and he led his flock to the west side of the wilderness, and came to Horeb, the mountain of God.
2 And the angel of the LORD appeared to him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush; and he looked, and wow, the bush was burning, yet it was not consumed.
3 And Moses said, "I will turn aside and see this great sight, why the bush is not burnt."
4 When the LORD saw that he turned aside to see, God called to him out of the bush, "Moses, Moses!" And he said, "Here am I."
5 Then he said, "Do not come near; put off your shoes from your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground."
6 And he said, "I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob." And Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look at God.
Exodus 31:18 And He gave to Moses, when He had made an end of speaking with him upon Mount Sinai, the two tables of the testimony, tables of stone, written with the finger of God.
Deuteronomy 9:10 And the LORD gave me the two tables of stone written with the finger of God; and on them were all the words which the LORD had spoken with you on the mountain out of the midst of the fire on the day of the assembly.
but also in other ways:
Numbers 7:89 And when Moses went into the tent of meeting to speak with the LORD, he heard The Voice speaking to him from above the mercy seat that was upon the ark of the testimony, from between the two cherubim; and It spoke to him.
First Thessalonians 2:13 And we also thank God constantly for this, that when you received the word of God which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men but as what it really is, the word of God, which is at work in you believers.
First Peter 1:25 but the word of the Lord stays around for ever." That word is the good news which was preached to you.
First John 2:24 Let what you heard from the beginning stay in you. If what you heard from the beginning stays in you, then you will stay in the Son and in the Father.
First John 3:11 For this is the message which you have heard from the beginning, that we should love one another,
Second John 1:6 And this is love, that we follow his commandments; this is the commandment, as you have heard from the beginning, that you follow love.
It is assumed that the original writers of each of the eventually-accumulated total of 66 pieces comprising the entire Holy Bible wrote only one particular text assigned one particular name.....without after-thought corrections, alterations, nor editing.
First Corinthians 3:10 According to the grace of God given to me, like a skilled master builder I laid a foundation, and another man is building upon it. Let each man take care how he builds upon it.
Lamentably, nefarious and wayward, deceitful and lying persons wrote spurious revisionist texts which were false and misleading alterations and substitutions against those autographic 66-piece texts.
Second Corinthians 4:2 We have renounced disgraceful, underhanded ways; we refuse to practice cunning or to tamper with God's word, but by the open statement of the truth we would commend ourselves to every man's conscience in the sight of God.
Second Timothy 2:2 and what you have heard from me before many witnesses entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.
Second Peter 1:20 knowing this first: that no prophecy of the Scripture is of any private interpretation.
Second Peter 1:21 For the prophecy came not in olden times by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.
Consequently, we now not only have the inerrant original text of both the Hebrew Old Testament and the Greek New Testament, but sadly also false and misleading alterations and substitutions - particularly those contrary to and against the inerrant Greek New-Testament Text. Added to that, there are different English translations based - more or less - on various Greek texts discrepant against each other.
For example, the NIV, TEV, CEV, NCV, NLV, NAB, and others have significant and crucial wording differences and disparities compared to not merely the RSV and ESV (a near-carbon-copy of the RSV) and NASV but particularly the Wesley New Testament, the KJV and modernized KJV-type Bibles - especially pertaining to precise and exact New Testament vocabulary.
Revelation 22:18 For I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone shall add to these things, God shall add to [him] the plagues that are written in this book.
Revelation 22:19 And if anyone shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away [his] part out of the Book of Life and out of the Holy City, and from the things which are written in this book.
In the tenth century, a rabbi by the name of ben Asher added Masoretic vowels to what he considered (along with what present-day authentically-orthodox Jews and Christians consider) the inerrant Hebrew Old-Testament Text. The name of one compilation of those inerrant Old-Testament letters and words and books comprising the Old Testament is generally called: Biblia Hebraica, edited by Rudolf Kittel.
From the Antiochian church forward through the Middle Ages to the Reformation around the mid 1500s, the inerrant Greek Text of the New Testament was faithfully and accurately copied and preserved by Christians (to some extent through the Catholic Church) and which the Christian Catholic scholar Erasmus acquired and analyzed. His work was improved by Beza, Elzevir, Stephans in succession, and finally in 1894 the English scholar F.H.A. Scrivener synthesized it all into the ultimate and infallible Greek Text into what we through the Holy Spirit believe and know as the [presently-copyrighted] Trinitarian Greek Text.
Comparison to that with the woefully-corrupt Sinaiticus, Vaticanus, Westcott-Hort, Nestle, Aland-Metzger, United Bible Society, and other Greek texts (plural) with their weird and inconsistent changes, additions, subtractions, alterations, and constant re-editions show that those of the group mentioned are clearly fallacious and non-reliable.
Such is the characteristic of much of what is found in the fragments of the Dead Sea scrolls from the Qumran Cave, especially Cave #4.
John 14:26 But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.
Now that the identities of both the Old and New Testament inerrant Texts have been stated and established (including the opinion of this webpage author), what can now be mentioned is what place the actual, accurate, precise, and exact Hebrew and Greek words have in comparison to "context" and "interpretation" - especially concerning postulations of possible allegories, similes, metaphors, and symbolism pertaining to intended meaning.
Is the Bible merely to reveal "the gospel?" Only identify the Jesus of the New Testament, apart from or instead relating to His Divinity-proving authority and qualifications to be regarded as our sole atonement against sins? Is the entire Bible merely a rule book, or instead not even a "now-saved-by-grace" morality guide at all? Do the stories contained therein have any relevance for us nowadays here in America concerning (though not necessarily "regarding") changed-attitudes of contemporary and modern American culture? Why is the Bible called "holy" which contains so many graphic and detailed accounts of deceit, lying, prostitution, rape, murder, blasphemy, treason, complaining, hope, praise, joy, depression, war, and so on?
Scripture itself explains the purposes for which the Holy Spirit intends the Bible applied to us here and now, and for those hereafter:
Deuteronomy 11:19 And you shall teach them to your children, talking of them when you are sitting in your house, and when you are walking by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.
Romans 15:4 For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that by steadfastness and by the encouragement of the scriptures we might have hope.
First Corinthians 10:11 Now these things happened to them as a warning, but they were written down for our instruction, upon whom the end of the ages has come.
Second Timothy 3:16 All scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness,
First Corinthians 1:2 To the church of God which is at Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints together with all those who in every place call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, both their Lord and ours:
Ephesians 3:5 which was not made known to the sons of men in other generations as it has now been revealed to his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit;
Ephesians 3:21 to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations, for ever and ever. Amen.
Colossians 1:26 the mystery hidden for ages and generations but now made manifest to his saints.
But what is most important? THE words themselves? The or instead a "context?" The or rather an "interpretation" touted by some so-called "biblical scholar" or "theological expert?"
What does the Bible say?
John 1:1? In the beginning was the? Context, and the? (or "a"?) Context was with God, and the? Context was God? NO.
John 1:1? In the beginning was the? (or a?) Interpretation, and "the"?/"a"? Interpretation was with God, and a?/the? Interpretation was God? NO.
How about what is actually in print:
John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God? YES!
So, "the Word" can be considered God....that is: Jesus Christ Himself?
Along with? and/or In addition to? the written "word" or - in one sense, better yet: "words" of God...as previously mentioned above?
Without THE precise and exact Hebrew and Greek words of inerrant Scripture, there can be NO context nor contexts connived nor conceived. Without the precise and exact Hebrew and Greek words of infallible Biblical Texts, there can be NO interpretation nor interpretations connived nor conceived. It is and should be upon exact and precise Hebrew and Greek words of inspired Scripture that one or more sensible and logical contexts and one or more interpretations are not concocted but rather created.
Second Peter 3:15 And count the forbearance of our Lord as salvation. So also our beloved brother Paul wrote to you according to the wisdom given him,
Second Peter 3:16 speaking of this as he does in all his letters. There are some things in them hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other scriptures.
Certainly, one aspect of the meaning, context, and interpretation of exact and precise Biblical words should be taken as a literal description of authentic historical facts as recorded in the Bible. Any assumed (rather than presumed) symbolism or allegory or metaphor or simile should likewise be thought of as pertaining to and directly related to actual historical and/or existing phenomena described. And for those tempted to replace what they presume is symbolism or allegory or metaphor or simile.....what exact and precise word or words would they [legitimately] substitute in their place?
Matthew 2:2 "Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the East, and have come to worship Him."
John 3:11 Truly, truly, I say to you, we speak of what we know, and bear witness to what we have seen; but you do not receive our testimony.
Acts 4:20 for we cannot but speak of what we have seen and heard."
First Timothy 1:4 nor to occupy themselves with myths and endless genealogies which promote speculations rather than the divine training that is in faith;
First Timothy 4:7 Have nothing to do with godless and silly myths. Train yourself in godliness;
Second Timothy 4:4 and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander into myths.
Titus 1:14 instead of giving heed to Jewish myths or to commands of men who reject the truth.
Second Peter 1:16 For we did not follow cleverly devised myths when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty.
First John 1:1 That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon and touched with our hands, concerning the word of life
First John 1:3 that which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you, so that you may have fellowship with us; and our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ.
First John 4:14 And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son as the Savior of the world.
Applying Scripture (and/or the moral directives of Scripture and/or the recorded examples of and stated within Scripture) practically to the here and now for us in our sundry situations in everyday life CAN and SHOULD be done, as much and in every way as such can and should.
To do so is NOT out of line NOR to be reviled or dismissed as [illicit or non-authorized] "proof-texting" or "taking things out of context" or "misinterpreting Scripture" or "misapplying Bible verses."
Have questions about that? Re-read what Scripture verses themselves have stated above regarding (and not "concerning") their overall and various purposes for us here and now.
The Holy Spirit is not only the supernatural source of authentic Scripture (along with chapter and verse divisions of such) penned by inspired human authors, but is also The (copyright-like) Enforcer of its authorship, content integrity, and preservation:
Jeremiah 28:15 And Jeremiah the prophet said to the prophet Hananiah, "Listen, Hananiah, the LORD has not sent you, and you have made this people trust in a lie.
16 Therefore thus says the LORD: 'Hey, I will remove you from the face of the earth. This very year you shall die, because you have uttered rebellion against the LORD.'"
17 In that same year, in the seventh month, the prophet Hananiah died.
Acts 5:1 But a man named Ananias with his wife Sapphira sold a piece of property,
2 and with his wife's knowledge he kept back some of the proceeds, and brought only a part and laid it at the apostles' feet.
3 But Peter said, "Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and to keep back part of the proceeds of the land?
4 While it remained non-sold, did it not remain your own? And after it was sold, was it not at your disposal? How is it that you have contrived this deed in your heart? You have not lied to men but to God."
5 When Ananias heard these words, he fell down and died. And great fear came upon all who heard of it.
6 The young men rose and wrapped him up and carried him out and buried him.
7 After an interval of about three hours his wife came in, not knowing what had happened.
8 And Peter said to her, "Tell me whether you sold the land for so much." And she said, "Yes, for so much."
9 But Peter said to her, "How is it that you have agreed together to tempt the Spirit of the Lord? Listen up! The feet of those that have buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out."
10 Immediately she fell down at his feet and died. When the young men came in they found her dead, and they carried her out and buried her beside her husband.
11 And great fear came upon the whole church, and upon all who heard of these things.
Scripture internally interprets itself - even and sometimes especially without knowing additional adiaphoric details of the culture and customs of the times the autographs were penned - even to the extent of defining not simply Hebrew and Greek semantics contained within the closed canon of Scripture, but also English alphabet-lettered-verbage definitions better than any dictionary -- when taken as a whole -- and what seems paradoxical when misapplied into one-sided cultism instead becomes balanced and logical and sensible when the overall entirety of the Bible is taken into honest, careful, and thoroughly-studied contemplation.