There are also many non-literary allegorical symbols in the Bible that are brought to life through tradition and ritual. This makes allegorizing the Bible in a sermon not only tempting, but satisfying. Literal: This refers to the obvious meaning of the text. allegorical approach in the area of Bible prophecy. No one knows just when the interpretation of lit. Orthodox Christian Stewardship: What do Jesus, the Bible, and the Church Fathers Say about Tithing and Giving to God? [3] Mark Dever defines expositional preaching as “preaching that takes for the point of a sermon the point of a particular passage of Scripture.” Mark Dever, Nine Marks of a Healthy Church, Third Edition (Wheaton: Crossway, 2000), 44. Hezekiah had messed up pretty badly a few chapters earlier by welcoming an envoy from Babylon. The spiritual sense is further divided into the allegorical, the tropological (or moral), and the anagogical. Well, you use Scripture like some kind of story and make it mean whatever you want. Bartholomew, D.J.H. What is the author’s intent? as well as how we will present it (as an interpretation or an illustration? Allegorical interpretation means that you see the literal meaning of a story as a sign that points to a deeper reality, namely, some spiritual or christological truth. Is there a theme, typology, trajectory, or other biblical-theological connection that can be made legitimately? George Orwell, Animal Farm.Animal Farm is a great example of allegory, and is often taught in high school English classes to introduce the concept. In short, the question we have to be able to clearly answer is whether the connections are coming from the passage, in which case we can responsibly practice biblical theology, or from our own minds—however theologically reasonable, in which case we should be cautious. W. Pringle and J. Matt Slick defining allegorization: To allegorize means to use a symbol as representing a more complex idea. But on the other hand, in our age of right commitments to Christ-centered preaching and a right understanding that all the Scriptures do point to the gospel of Jesus Christ, it’s easy to be sympathetic to Augustine’s goal.4 The gospel should be preached! Which things are an allegory: for these are the two covenants; the one from the mount Sinai, which gendereth to bondage, which is Hagar. Have you heard Augustine’s take on the parable of the Good Samaritan? One of the most significant challenges to considering allegory is a problem of definitions. D.A. It has beenamply demonstrated that allegorical interpretation originated, or at least sawits first extensive development, in Hellenism, or perhaps Greece proper, in anattempt to bring the ancient and honored mythology and poetry into line withprevailing philosophical opinions. Protestants generally wish to reject the allegorical method, but when faced with clear examples of the Apostles engaging in that very method, their response is usually to say: "Well, the Apostles were inspired to do it, but no one else is." However, if you read the commentaries of the great Fathers of the Church, you find it used in a way that is far more balanced. Origen was a Hellenistic scholar who was thought to have been born in Egypt and educated in Alexandria around 185. '8 A story could be composed as an allegory, such as the Parable of the Sower (The Pilgrim’s Progress being a more extended example), but an historical narrative can also be interpreted allegorically, as St. Paul did. It’s difficult to know where to draw the line. For our sakes, no doubt, this is written: that he that ploweth should plow in hope; and that he that thresheth in hope should be partaker of his hope. Interestingly, Rabbinic Jewish interpretation of Scripture also sees Scripture as having a Four-fold sense, which has many similarities. It’s thought to have emerged because aspects of the Old Testament would be difficult to apply sensibly without seeing a fulfillment in the gospel.5 One major problem with the terminology from this period is that allegory is often used interchangeably with parable and typology and can refer to any sort of metaphorical or analogical correspondence. King; Altenmünster: Jazzybee, 2012), 49. Robert Kinney is the Director of Ministries at the Simeon Trust, a ministry for training preachers. It focused primarily on drawing connections between Jesus Christ (or others) and the stories of the Old Testament. Philo of Alexandria (who live from approximately 25 B.C. For example, consider the demise of Saul in 1 Samuel 28:20–25. We find the word "type" explicitly used in Romans 5:12-14: Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned— (For until the law sin was in the world, but sin is not imputed when there is no law. Or is the connection originating entirely from the mind of the preacher? It can lead to preaching that dehistoricizes the Scriptures or plays fast and loose with God’s Word.10 Yet the impulse behind it—the desire to preach the gospel from all the Scriptures—is a right one. The most important example is the story of creation in the very first chapter of the Bible. Beldman; Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2012), 383-409. allegory but themselves used allegorical interpretation, while the pagan Celsus attacked Christian allegory yet was 'an allegorist himself.' Even through the Reformation, these terms are broadly indistinguishable. Or are we, as readers, making the connection completely on our own? Their influence paved the way for the dominance of allegorical interpretation during much of the Middle Ages. W.A. The clearest examples of allegory in Scripture are the parables of Jesus. Cast out the bondwoman and her son: for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman. For it is written, that Abraham had two sons, the one by a bondmaid, the other by a freewoman. Therefore one could either use a currently available myth andallegorize it, or on… The specter of dying sons (1 Sam 28:19), the slaughter of a young animal (1 Sam 28:24) and the baking of unleavened bread (also 1 Sam 28:24) are all suggestive details. An antitype is that which is imaged by the type. There is a difference between an allegorical interpretation (the way you read the Bible) and the genre of allegory. When making the connection, do we present it as an intention of the author? So then, brethren, we are not children of the bondwoman, but of the free. This passage does not connect textually to the story of the Prodigal Son in Luke 15:11–32, obviously. Even if you don’t read Greek, this index is helpful because it lists every allusion and citation of the Old Testament in the New Testament.” David Helm, Expositional Preaching: How We Speak God’s Word Today (Wheaton, Crossway, 2014), 71. However, Christ Himself provided the interpretation of one parable in the Gospels—the Parable of the Sower (Mark 4:1-9)—and the interpretation He gave was clearly an allegorical interpretation (Mark 4:10-20). If a legitimate textual connection can’t be made, we can still make a gospel connection. As long as the parable is presented as such, and not as an intertextual interpretation of Isaiah 43 or an ultimate fulfillment, it can be used to preach the gospel with elegance. Here are some prominent allegory examples. (True allegory contains its interpretation, as "I am the true vine," John 15:1–8, but this is ignored in the allegorical interpretation.) Moral: The moral sense is the practical application of Scripture on an individual or corporate level. In Catholic circles, the Catechism of the Catholic Church defines the allegorical sense of Scripture in a way that is not properly allegorical at all. In fact, God uses remarkably intimate language to articulate his love for his people and his commitment to bring them home. And indeed, the human mind was designed to appreciate the beauty of intricate literary connections and be excited by the fulfillment of such patterns. [10] David R. Helm addresses this concern of dehistoricizing texts in his chapter on Theological Reflection in David Helm, Expositional Preaching: How We Speak God’s Word Today (Wheaton, Crossway, 2014), 61-86. 3 (trans. Certain elements, such as people, things, and happenings in the story, point to corresponding elements in another realm or level of meaning.7. Literal Sense: [T]he meaning conveyed by the words of Scripture (Catechism, no. Allegorical interpretation is perceived to be an approach that was left behind at the time of the Reformation. Another example is found in 1 Corinthians 9:9-10: For it is written in the law of Moses, thou shalt not muzzle the mouth of the ox that treadeth out the corn. These four senses have been the Church’s mind about the Scriptures from the time of the Apostles! For example, Isaiah 43:1–7 teaches that God does not abandon his children. Thomas R. Hatina, 2010). John A. Peck entitled “The Four Senses of Scripture.” In this present article Fr. Anagogical/Heavenly/Eschatological: "Anagog" comes from Greek meaning “to go up.” So this sense looks at how a passage points us to the fulfillment of all things. Leipsic, 1795. In this farm fable, animals run a society that divides into factions and mirrors the rise of Leon Trotsky and the Russian Revolution. 3. For example, in his commentary on Exodus 28:X, he notes that the garments made for Aaron and his sons are meant to ‘conceal their faults’ and, instead, display virtue and, indeed, the ‘wondrous glory of Christ.’ The text, in Exod 28:2, simply states the garments are to be made “for glory and for beauty.” See Calvin’s commentary on Exodus 28:2 in John Calvin, The Harmony of the Law, Vol. Elwell; Grand Rapids: Baker, 1996), 14. [8] The Bible gives us warrant for making a connection between an Old Testament passage and a fulfillment in Christ, of course. 2. Allegorical interpretation sees the OT as allegorical. A separate presentation of Allegorical Interpretation has not yet been written, and therefore reference must be made to works treating of Scripture interpretation in general: Rosenmueller, Historia Interpretationis Librorum Sacrorum, iv. 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