Allegorical interpretation is an interpretive method which assumes that the Bible has various levels of meaning and tends to focus on the spiritual sense (which comprises the allegorical sense, the moral (or tropological) sense, and the anagogical sense) as opposed to the literal sense of scripture. It is sometimes referred to as the Quadriga, a reference to the Roman Quadriga, a chariot drawn by four horses.
The Quadriga is often explained through a Latin rhyme: Littera gesta docet, quid credas allegoria, Moralis quid agas, quo tendas anagogia.
In English: The Literal teaches deeds, what you believe Allegory, Moral how you act, where you are going anagogical.
The four methods of interpretation point in four different directions: The literal/historical backwards to the past, the anagogic forwards to the future, the tropological downwards to the moral/human, and the allegorical upwards to the spiritual/heavenly.
The method has its origins in both Greek thought (which tried to avoid the literal interpretations of ancient Greek myths) and in the rabbinical schools of the Land of Israel. 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 the New Testament but are further developed in the Epistle of Barnabas and especially by Origen.
In the Middle Ages, typology was the dominant Christian allegorical interpretation, which developed sets of correspondences between the Old and New Testaments, believing that the events described in the Hebrew Bible or Old Testament had occurred in order to pre-figure events in the life of Christ in the New; there were other classes of allegory in the Middle Ages.
Other articles related to "interpretation, allegorical, allegorical interpretation":
... There were four categories of interpretation (or meaning) used in the Middle Ages, which had originated with the Bible commentators of the early Christian era ... The first is simply the literal interpretation of the events of the story for historical purposes with no underlying meaning ... with the New Testament in particular drawing allegorical connections between the events of Christ's life with the stories of the Old Testament ...
... See also Allegorical interpretation, Allegory, and Myth Hermeneutics The Bible may or may not be factually accurate but is designed to teach spiritual lessons through allegory and myth ... Belief in the allegorical interpretation of the Bible does not exclude belief in praxeological or literal hermeneutics ... Mission Church and the Old Apostolic Church also believes in the allegorical interpretation of the Bible ...
Famous quotes containing the word allegorical:
“I had rather see the portrait of a dog that I know, than all the allegorical paintings they can show me in the world.”
—Samuel Johnson (17091784)