An allegory is a symbolic representation of one thing, through another. Most ancient scriptures are allegorical in nature - certain physical people, places, things, or events of an earlier time have an ultimate spiritual application in the present or future. For example, the Old Testament high priest Aaron was an allegory, or symbol, of the spiritual High Priest. The Bible claims its own authority for these metaphorical interpretations. Man has always tried to figure out what “God” would want for humanity. Mankind would also find it opportune, to have God/Source stand upon a pulpit and also have the network news broadcast it. Unfortunately, this is likely not to happen.
Over the centuries since The Bible was written, some occasionally well-meaning interpreters, and some not so well-meaning, have applied the translations and meanings of parts of the Biblical scriptures to their own time and circumstances, far removed from what is truly found in the deeper ancient teachings and metaphors.
Some today even believe that the ultimate fulfillment of Biblical Scriptures is actually currently taking place literally, even though it was never meant to be literal or historical. They deny the Inner Mysteries of what the Bible and other ancient scriptures say, and they have usurped the Sacred Truths for their own self-serving purposes. They have used them as a means of glorifying themselves, controlling the general public, and not sharing the mystical Truths contained in the teachings ... simply because this would empower the people and then the church and its hierarchy would no longer be in power, or even be needed.
Allegorical and metaphorical interpretation is the correct and legitimate usage, its self-centered approach is actually more ancient than Christianity, having originated with pagan mystics of Egypt, Greece, Persia, the Far East, and then adopted, revised, and customized by some Hebrew and Christian Philosophers, hierophants, and “thinkers.”
These thinkers attempted to overcome the problems posed by literal interpretations of ancient Greek myths, and the allegorical method was further developed by scholars, such as Philo, Clement, and Origen of Alexandria. Though other methods were often used, particularly by the formation of The Holy Roman Universal (Catholic) Church, the original allegorical method was still around until late medieval times, though mostly underground and in secrecy. The Protestant Reformation of the 16th century rejected, for the most part, the allegorical method and they returned to a literal historical interpretation of the Bible ... not having the understanding and foundations of the ancient Wisdom of Egyptian and Greek Mystics and Philosophers.
The allegorical and metaphysical method of mythological teachings of these spiritual Truths attempts to overcome the difficulties of perplexing Biblical passages, and to harmonize them with certain traditions and accepted teachings of the symbolism within the ancient temples. By assigning to each text - a hidden, symbolic, or mystical meaning beyond the primary meaning that the words convey in their literal sense - these allegorical interpretations make the scriptures more comprehensible, acceptable, relevant, and applicable regardless of time and era. In other words, it is more important to ask ourselves DOES it happen, rather that DID it happen. Seek within, and listen for the voice of reason to guide you on your path.
Just a thought ...
Justin Taylor, ORDM.