When the authors of the Bible describes something, it is not necessarily stating things are literally that way, but rather simply describing things as how they observe it.
Much of the Bible comes to us with language that describes the way things appear to the naked eye. The language used is descriptive of the ways things look from our perspective and is not necessarily asserting precise scientific fact. An example of this is the description of the sun rising. Unless we understand the use of phenomenological language, we might think that the Bible teaches that the earth is at the center of the universe. When we realize that the Bible describes things according to appearance, we see that the Bible is not really saying that the sun revolves around the earth. Rather, it is merely saying that the sun rises because, to our naked eye, it looks like the sun moves and the earth does not. This use of language is still current. The meterologist gives us the time of sunrise, but nobody assumes he is teaching that the sun revolves around the earth.
Is it wrong to use phenomenological language? No, as modern, advanced people, we do it all the time.
Why does the language of physical detail have superiority over the language of ordinary human experience? Usually that question is not even asked because it has become an assumed fact that the language of physical science is useful and accurate in a sense that ordinary human language is not. Yet accuracy and usefulness are measured by the uses to which something is put. There are areas in which the language of physical science is not useful, which is proved by the fact that it is not the language we use in ordinary human experience.
There is even an entire field of philosophy that studies this – phenomenology.
The discipline of phenomenology may be defined initially as the study of structures of experience, or consciousness. Literally, phenomenology is the study of “phenomena”: appearances of things, or things as they appear in our experience, or the ways we experience things, thus the meanings things have in our experience. Phenomenology studies conscious experience as experienced from the subjective or first person point of view. This field of philosophy is then to be distinguished from, and related to, the other main fields of philosophy: ontology (the study of being or what is), epistemology (the study of knowledge), logic (the study of valid reasoning), ethics (the study of right and wrong action), etc.
Phenomenology, in Husserl’s conception, is primarily concerned with the systematic reflection on and study of the structures of consciousness and the phenomena that appear in acts of consciousness. Phenomenology can be clearly differentiated from the Cartesian method of analysis which sees the world as objects, sets of objects, and objects acting and reacting upon one another.
The details of phenomenology goes way into the esoteric for me. But the basic concept is understanding what people observe, rather than approaching things with a rationalistic and reductionistic mindset.
As envisioned by Husserl, phenomenology is a method of philosophical inquiry that rejects the rationalist bias that has dominated Western thought since Plato in favor of a method of reflective attentiveness that discloses the individual’s “lived experience.”
At a minimum, the field of phenomenology as a serious discipline shows there can be a dichotomy between what we observe and what is reality.
“In its root meaning, then, phenomenology is the study of phenomena: literally, appearances as opposed to reality.”
I’ll touch more on this later, but even in the world of science, there is a dichotomy between what we observe and what is reality. Though we base science on what we observe, how do we know what is actual reality? We might theorize what is reality based on what we observe, but we cannot say with certainty how things really are.