Seeing that the anthropomorphic language used of the angels is similar to that used of God, the Scriptures would hardly seem to require a literal interpretation in either case.
The Alexandrian tradition seems to have been that he was of Cyrenaean origin; and Severus, a writer of the Loth century, adds to this the statement that his father's name was Aristobulus, who, with his wife Mary, was driven from the Pentapolis to Jerusalem by an invasion of barbarians 1 The divergent lines of the later attempts at a literal interpretation - e.g.
Very skilful accommodation was needful, if the limitation of sloths to South America, and of the Ornithorhynchus to Australia, was to be reconciled with the literal interpretation of the history of the Deluge; and, with the establishment of the existence of distinct provinces of distribution, any serious belief in the peopling of the world by migration from Mount Ararat came to an end.
They consider themselves bound by the literal interpretation of James v.
This writer's thought is coloured by the older speculations of Philo, who in metaphor called the Loges the heavenly bread and food, the cupbearer and cup of God; and he seems even to protest against a literal interpretation of the words of institution, since he not only pointedly omits them in his account of the Last Supper, but in v.
The contemporary prophecies ascribed to Jeremiah and Ezekiel require careful examination in this connexion, partly as regards their traditional background (especially the headings and setting), and partly for their contents, the details of which sometimes do not admit of a literal interpretation in accordance with our present historical material (cf.
The ordinary literal interpretation is more probable; but it does not follow that the authors of the Pentateuch intended the story to be taken as historical in its details.