We all know a literalist is someone who claims to take literally all passages of the Bible. I’ve found all literalists also use the phrase, “What the Bible means there is….” which seems something different than literalism.
Then, there are people who claim not to be literalists but consider certain parts of the Bible as the literal truth. Such people represent a wide swath between conservatives and liberals.
There is a liberal branch of the faith which says the Bible was written by individuals for their own purposes. But, this group is devoutly religious and believes in the literal Jesus. So far as I know, all of these distinctly different groups of Christians agree, “The Bible is the word of God.”
I have trouble with that phrase also when I hear some professor who is called “a Biblical scholar” while believing the Bible is the “Word of God”. In other fields, a scholar is considered someone who tries to approach research findings without bias. We can agree it is often difficult to have no bias whatsoever, but the effort should be there.
Suppose a “Biblical scholar” says, “I believe the Bible is the word of God,” then proceeds to claim he/she can reach conclusions independant of bias. I wonder if the scholar is concerned, when he reaches his conclusions, about his soul. How could he reach a conclusion different than what God has written?
This phrase remains troublesome.