The Bible is Full of Allegory - Just Ask Paul


Shoes made for traveling, are tied together on a light pole.

It is an allegory for life.

These days anytime you speak about the Bible you often have to qualify your love for the Bible before you speak. Even if you are saying nice things about the Bible, it is often the case that many of us qualify our comments least someone interprets what we are saying as diminishing the Bible.

It is annoying. It is annoying because it makes critical (important) conversations much more difficult because there is a fear that you will be cast as someone who does not take the Bible "as seriously" as another. Words like "high view of scripture" or "historic understanding" are often flowery language used to imply that any other interpretation is less than and cannot be trusted. It is 2017 and I thought we could get past this by now, but here we are:

I love the Bible. I take it seriously. Like others I have tried to be absorbed by the Bible and her conversations. And so it is not a "knock" or a sign of disrespect of the Holy Scriptures or an invitation to a slippery slope leading to tossing the Bible out the door when I say - the Bible is full of Allegory. 

Just ask Paul.

"Tell me, you who desire to be subject to the law, will you not listen to the law? For it is written that Abraham had two sons, one by a slave woman and the other by a free woman. One, the child of the slave, was born according to the flesh; the other, the child of the free woman, was born through the promise. Now this is an allegory: these women are two covenants. One woman, in fact, is Hagar, from Mount Sinai, bearing children for slavery. Now Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia and corresponds to the present Jerusalem, for she is in slavery with her children. But the other woman corresponds to the Jerusalem above; she is free, and she is our mother." - Galatians 4:21-26

This is just a reminder that when someone says the Bible is full of allegory, this is not a backdoor into undermining the authority of Scripture. The Bible is full of all sorts of things from allegory to poem to prose to history to every genre you can imagine. The Bible is not to be read literally - Even Paul did not read it literally. 

Allegory in the Bible is not less than True. It is more than True.

It is Holy.