Snyder, George L Snyder, Lenore Snyder, God, ethics, morals, religion

The Elephant Speaks
One Man’s Elephant book II

Truth / Fact

            Truth is more important than fact. Truth is greater than fact. Because it is greater than fact, it is more difficult to present truth than to present fact. That is one of the reasons Jesus spoke in parables.

            In the Bible, there are two different creation stories. Every author has messages that he wishes to emphasize. One way to emphasize something is to repeat it. Reword your story to keep your audience from being bored by too much repetition. Reword it at least a little. Rewording the story does not change the truth, the lesson, the message.

            There are four different Gospels. Each has its own truth. Never try to make one complete story of the life of Jesus out of these. Each has its own truth. Each has its own lesson. Each has its own message for you to hear.


The truth can be demonstrated by Aesop’s Fables. No one really believes that a tortoise beat a hare in a race. No one really believes that there even was such a race. How naive are you? The truth in the story is its value. It is not at all important if there was or was not such a race. Everyone knows that the message is the important part. It should be obvious to every reader that there is great truth in Aesop’s Fables. It should be obvious to every reader that there is no fact in Aesop’s Fables. It does not require the facts to be correct for the truth to be correct. Sometimes correct facts might interfere with the truth in the message. The truth, the message in each of the stories in Aesop’s Fables is given in the last sentence of each of the stories. If that was all that was written, it would be so boring that nobody would read it.

The value of a story is in its truth


            When someone tells you that a certain story in the Bible cannot be true, just tell them that the story is true. It might not be factual, but it is true. Just tell them that the facts of the story do not change the truth of the message. The facts of many stories are not necessary to bring out the truth. Sometimes the truth can be made clearer if the facts are changed. Facts in no way affect the truth.

            My faith requires the Bible to be true. My faith does not require the Bible to be factual. The Bible is filled with every tool in the storyteller’s bag. The parables, the metaphors, the allegories; all can be found throughout the Bible. The Bible uses plays on words, puns, poetry, all to bring out the truth in the message.

            When Jesus said that if you destroy this temple, I will build it up in three days. Those who interpreted His words literally, missed the message totally.

            When you read the following, keep in mind that I am following the path I described above. You may believe what you wish. This, though, is an example:

            The lesson in the story of Noah does not require the story to be factual. I am sure there was a flood. There have been floods everywhere in the world at some time or another. It probably seemed to Noah to cover the whole world. At least it covered his whole world. If it did not, that does not change the truth of the story, just one of the facts. Noah may or may not have built a boat. It makes no difference in the truth of the story. It only affects the facts. If you are still hung up on the facts, then you are unable to see the truth.


What is the truth
in the Noah story?

             The relationship Noah had with God overrides any requirement for the facts to be exactly as presented in the story.

            Noah was true to God. Because he was true to God, he followed God’s directions no matter what. It does not matter what these directions were. He followed the directions, the messages God gave him. Because he followed God, the relationship with God kept him strong. God kept Noah safe. God carried Noah to a special place, a special time, a special relationship. It is this relationship that is the real message, the real lesson, the real truth in the Noah story.

            Build your ark. Keep your relationship with God and God will honor you. God will keep you within His arms, within His love. God will carry you to a safe place.

            The same message is in the Bible story of Job. No matter what, keep that relationship with God sacred in your soul. No matter what.

            Even if there never was a man by the name of Noah, that in no way affects the truth of the story.

            Even if there never was a man by the name of Job, that in no way affects the truth of the story.

            Both Noah and Job maintained their relationship with God. This is the important message.

            Follow the truth, do not concern yourself with fact. In another chapter I imagined a bag into which all of the knowledge of the universe, all of the facts fit. Truth is greater than the constraints of that bag of knowledge.

And God speaks to me:

            “Listen for My Truth.


             The Elephant Speaks              next chapter