A metaphor is the representation use of a word in a figurative meaning on the basis of the similarity of two objects or phenomena in some way.
The Bible should be understood literally whenever possible. But when a statement appears to be contrary to our experience, or to known facts, or to the general teaching of truth, then we can expect that a figure of speech is present.
1) John 6:51 – “I am the living bread”
2) Matthew 5:13 – “You are the salt of the earth”
3) John 1:29 – “Behold! The Lamb of God”
4) Heb 1:5 – “this day have I begotten thee”
5) 1Jn 3:2 – “Beloved, now are we the sons of God,”
(Hebrews 6:5) And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come – (figure of speech / not literal – We do not taste words ).
Why is this important to understand?
To prevent serious misinterpretations of Scripture which come from:
♦ Calling something figurative that is literal.
♦ Calling something literal that is figurative.