Archive Authors E.J. Hutchinson Early Church Fathers Nota Bene

Literal Interpretation Is Harder than Allegory

“Literalism” frequently gets a bad rap nowadays when it comes to the Bible. The word “literal” is fraught with ambiguities, especially in its modern usages, which I have no intention of getting into here. But the practice of reading the Bible ad litteram–“according to the natural sense of the words,” perhaps–of course goes back to the […]

Archive Authors E.J. Hutchinson Nota Bene Reformed Irenicism Sacred Doctrine

On the Difficulties of Allegory

Horace, Odes 1.14, is a notoriously difficult poem to interpret. It is universally agreed that it is an allegory, but there is no consensus as to what it is an allegory of, and this points up the problems of allegorical writing and reading in general. First, the poem, in Latin and in English: O navis, referent in […]

Archive Eric Parker Reformed Irenicism

Reformed Allegory? Musculus on the Spit & Mud of Wisdom

The Reformers, as humanists with a concern for the plain meaning of texts, consistently opposed the interpretive license of Medieval exegetes, who often glossed over the literal, grammatical, and historical context of biblical passages in order to present a moral, spiritual, or symbolic lesson. This posture of opposition should not, however, be stressed to the extreme, as […]

Nota Bene Peter Escalante

Adam and Allegory

Jeff Dunn at iMonk replies to Pastor Wedgeworth with an exegetical argument and a theological one. His exegetical argument is that in Romans 5:14, Paul calls Adam a “symbol,” and thus, according to Mr Dunn, Adam’s significance is allegorical: he represents Christ, and Mr Dunn’s theological argument is that Christ alone matters, so there. It […]