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Encyclopedia > Allegorical interpretation

Allegorical interpretation in Biblical studies is the approach which assigns a higher-than-literal interpretation to contents of the Bible. Biblical studies is the academic study of the Christian and Jewish Scriptures. ... The Bible (sometimes The Book or Good Book), from Greek (τα) βιβλια, (ta) biblia, (the) books, plural of βιβλιον, biblion, book, originally a diminutive of βιβλος, biblos, which in turn is derived from βυβλος—byblos, meaning papyrus, from the ancient Phoenician city of Byblos which exported this writing material), is the classical name for the...


The method has its origins in both Greek thought (who tried to avoid the literal interpretations of ancient Greek myths) and in the rabbinical schools of Palestine. Most notably of pre-christian authors Philo of Alexandria expressly refers to its use by his predecessors and uses it himself to discover indications of different doctrines of philosophy in the stories of the Pentateuch. The traces of allegorical and typological interpretation can be found later in New Testament but are further developed in the Epistle of Barnabas and especially by Origen. Greek mythology comprises the collected legends of Greek gods and goddesses and ancient heroes and heroines, originally created and spread within an oral-poetic tradition. ... Rabbinic literature, in the broadest sense, can mean the entire spectrum of Judaisms rabbinic writing/s throughout history. ... ... Philo (20 BCE - 40 CE) was an Alexandrian Jewish philosopher born in Alexandria, Egypt. ... The word typology literally means the study of types. ... The New Testament, sometimes called the Greek Testament or Greek Scriptures is the name given to the part of the Christian Bible that was written after the birth of Jesus. ... The Epistle of Barnabas is a Greek treatise with some features of an epistle containing twenty-one chapters, preserved complete in the 4th century Codex Sinaiticus where it appears at the end of the New Testament. ... Origen ( 182– 251) was a Christian scholar and theologian and one of the most distinguished of the Fathers of the early Christian Church. ...


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Allegorical Interpretation (1036 words)
Allegorical interpretation was widely used in the early Church, and according to Philo it was commonplace amongst the Palestinian Rabbinical schools of the 1st century CE.
Whether the interpretation was suypplied by Jesus himself, or by the early Church, the effect of that interpretation is to make this parable, alone amongst all the parables of Jesus, a didactic expression of Christology, and one in which the eschatological element is completely pushed to the background.
Allegorical interpretation might make for a simple life and a simple religion, but it greatly magnifies the margin for error, misunderstanding, and the use of the scriptures as tools of oppression.
Problems with Allegorical Interpretations of Prophecy (2223 words)
But allegorical interpretation is used to reverse this victory and basically say that Zechariah’s was using “figurative language,” and that the actual fulfillment was the opposite of what he literally was saying.
He believed there are three levels of allegorical interpretation, which corresponded to three aspects of man. These were the literal, moral, and spiritual meanings and corresponded to the body, soul, and spirit of a man. The body was the least important, and the spirit was the most important.
But when these methods of allegorical interpretation in any way take away from, or deny, the literal meaning that was intended by the author, then we have crossed the line into error.
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