Steps to Finding the Perfect Allegorical Interpretation

Allegorical Interpretation Guidance For You

Answer The allegorical (or spiritualizing) technique of analysis was popular in the church for about 1,000 years until it was displaced during the Reformation. The Reformers sought the “plain meaning” of Bible. Allegorical interpretation tries to find a deeper, spiritual significance within the text. While not necessarily rejecting that the text has an actual significance or that the historic occurrences reported hold true, allegorical interpreters will try to find a deeper symbolic significance.

In the Scofield Recommendation Bible, C. I. Scofield interprets Genesis 1:16 allegorically. While not rejecting the plain meaning of the verse regarding development, he discovers a much deeper spiritual (he calls it typological) significance. The higher light/sun is Christ, and the lesser light/moon is the church, reflecting the light of Christ, and the stars are private believers.

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R. De, Haan says that Adam is a kind of Christ because Adam was put to sleep, his side was openedhe was wounded and his blood was shedand from that wound his bride was taken. In the very same way, Christ died, had His side pierced, and from that ordeal His Bride-to-be, the church, is produced.

The donkey is Christ’s physical body, which bears the problem of the injured man (the injuries are his sins), and the inn is the Church. The Samaritan’s promise to return is a promise of the second coming of Christ. We need to acknowledge that allegory is a lovely and legitimate literary gadget.

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In this story, practically every action and character is meant to have a much deeper, spiritual significance. To analyze Bunyan’s story actually would be to miss the point totally. Really, there is little distinction in between allegorical, typological, and symbolic analysis. They all search for a much deeper significance behind what would seem to be an actual reading of the Bible’s text.

To firmly insist upon a literal reading for a passage of Bible that was intended to be taken in a symbolic manner is to miss out on the meaning of the text. For example, at the Last Supper Jesus says of the bread and red wine, “This is my body. This is my blood” (Luke 22:1920).

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For them to all of a sudden believe that Jesus was speaking actually regarding these 2 elements is completely foreign to the context. Metaphor is a recognized literary device in use today and in the time of Christ. Jesus might have simply as easily said, “This represents my body and my blood,” however in the context of the Passover, such directness was not essential.

Interpreters who allegorize can be extremely innovative, without any control based in the text itself. It becomes easy to check out one’s own beliefs into the allegory and after that think that they have scriptural support. There will always be some argument about whether specific texts are to be taken literally or figuratively and to what degree, as evidenced by differences over the book of Discovery, even among those who have high regard for Bible.

Steps to Finding the Perfect Allegorical Interpretation

Interpretive technique (exegesis) which presumes that the Bible has numerous levels of meaning and tends to focus on the spiritual sense Allegorical interpretation of the Bible is an interpretive method (exegesis) that assumes that the Bible has numerous levels of meaning and tends to concentrate on the spiritual sense, which includes the allegorical sense, the ethical (or tropological) sense, and the anagogical sense, as opposed to the actual sense.

Judd Cole