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Author Topic: The OT as allegorical  (Read 818 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: November 18, 2010, 04:50:31 AM »

Would it be possible that everything in the OT could be seen as mere allegory to set up for Christ (like the Flood, creation of Adam and Eve, so on and so forth)?
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« Reply #1 on: November 18, 2010, 04:55:24 AM »

Isn't rigorously defining it as entirely one or the other mere scholasticism?
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« Reply #2 on: November 18, 2010, 07:02:18 AM »

If we choose to say the OT is merely allegory, we run into a couple of problems.  Christ himself spoke of Noah as if the events of the Deluge were actual events...if anyone would know of that being an allegory, He would.  If we choose to view Adam and the Fall as allegorical, then what is the root cause of man's sinful nature?  God, being a perfect and just Being, would certainly never create flawed creations such as we.  It stands to reason, therefore, that our corrupted nature was engendered by something outside the will of God - which the Fall illustrates quite nicely.

I'm not defending a scholastic, pigeonhole everything approach. However, it does become irksome hearing people continually say 'oh, this is just allegory instead of thinking that it is just possible the events recorded in Scripture really happened.  For where do we draw the line?  In time, carried to it's logical conclusion, all Scripture could then be seen as merely allegorical, leading to a weakening of the Faith.  Aren't we called to defend the Tradition of the Church rather than find ways to weaken it?

Forgive me if I have offended. This is one of those hot-button topics for me.
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« Reply #3 on: November 18, 2010, 01:29:48 PM »

Isn't rigorously defining it as entirely one or the other mere scholasticism?
No.
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« Reply #4 on: November 18, 2010, 01:31:26 PM »

If we choose to say the OT is merely allegory, we run into a couple of problems.  Christ himself spoke of Noah as if the events of the Deluge were actual events...if anyone would know of that being an allegory, He would.  If we choose to view Adam and the Fall as allegorical, then what is the root cause of man's sinful nature?  God, being a perfect and just Being, would certainly never create flawed creations such as we.  It stands to reason, therefore, that our corrupted nature was engendered by something outside the will of God - which the Fall illustrates quite nicely.

I'm not defending a scholastic, pigeonhole everything approach. However, it does become irksome hearing people continually say 'oh, this is just allegory instead of thinking that it is just possible the events recorded in Scripture really happened.  For where do we draw the line?  In time, carried to it's logical conclusion, all Scripture could then be seen as merely allegorical, leading to a weakening of the Faith.  Aren't we called to defend the Tradition of the Church rather than find ways to weaken it?

Forgive me if I have offended. This is one of those hot-button topics for me.
I also refer to what "happened" in the Lord of the Rings when talking to other people, but that does not mean that I believe that those events actually happened.
That being said, it can be very dangerous to take away the literal history of the entire Old Testament. Modernism is always lurking behind such an ultra-alagorical approach.
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« Reply #5 on: November 18, 2010, 03:22:04 PM »

There are certain historical facts in the OT that have been clearly documented, therefore to say the entire OT is allegorical would be ignoring history to some extent.

The question always comes up, if you interpret the OT allegorical, then why not the NT? I don't really have an answer for this myself.
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« Reply #6 on: November 18, 2010, 03:32:18 PM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

Of course the Old Testament it allegorical, that is entirely the point of it! If Noah's ark is not an allegory of faith and hope operating through works in the face of adversity or if the Burning Bush was not the Virgin Mary, what were they?

The reality is that ALL life, all experience, all of our occurrences are allegorical, all that was, is and shall be.  God operates within that material world, and all of our lives are the testimony of His operations and power.  To say they are allegorical is not to diminish the realness, I feel quite the opposite, to find allegoric value in life is to make it all the more real.

The Old Testament events are true to historicity, but accuracy of facts of events, people, places is almost irrelevant to the deeper, spiritual meaning behind the stories.  This is precisely why we have passed down these stories for thousands of years, to preserve and transmit their deeper meanings and content.

Literalists who get into legalistic debates about the Scriptures miss the point entirely of the Scriptures, not to prove the ideas of men as being factually accurate, but rather to demonstrate effectively the continuous activity, economy and power of God in the past, up unto the present, and ever through the future. But it is indeed crucial that we retain awareness that the Scriptures are history, as this is the very proof that the deeper spiritual meanings/causes are also real.  God is real, and how He operated in the past is a demonstration of His realness, and it is meant to inspire us to grasp for God's presence in our midst, today, in the here and now, as God operates today with us as actively as He did with Abraham, Moses or David.

stay blessed,
habte selassie
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« Reply #7 on: November 18, 2010, 05:39:40 PM »

If we choose to say the OT is merely allegory, we run into a couple of problems.  Christ himself spoke of Noah as if the events of the Deluge were actual events...if anyone would know of that being an allegory, He would.  If we choose to view Adam and the Fall as allegorical, then what is the root cause of man's sinful nature?  God, being a perfect and just Being, would certainly never create flawed creations such as we.  It stands to reason, therefore, that our corrupted nature was engendered by something outside the will of God - which the Fall illustrates quite nicely.

I'm not defending a scholastic, pigeonhole everything approach. However, it does become irksome hearing people continually say 'oh, this is just allegory instead of thinking that it is just possible the events recorded in Scripture really happened.  For where do we draw the line?  In time, carried to it's logical conclusion, all Scripture could then be seen as merely allegorical, leading to a weakening of the Faith.  Aren't we called to defend the Tradition of the Church rather than find ways to weaken it?

Forgive me if I have offended. This is one of those hot-button topics for me.
I also refer to what "happened" in the Lord of the Rings when talking to other people, but that does not mean that I believe that those events actually happened.
That being said, it can be very dangerous to take away the literal history of the entire Old Testament. Modernism is always lurking behind such an ultra-alagorical approach.

Pardon, but there is quite a difference between Scripture, which is God revealing Himself to man, and Lord of the Rings, which is a work of fiction.  Such a comparison has no place here.  Unless, of course, one is to draw the obvious inference.

I only say this because the way I see it, the line must be drawn somewhere.  If we now say, OK, the Genesis account is mere allegory, everything else stands, then on down the line, it becomes that much harder to defend the Incarnation, the Resurrection or the descent of the Holy Spirit against such accusations.

Again, I mean not to offend.
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« Reply #8 on: November 18, 2010, 10:32:59 PM »

I just realized that the Flood is interesting for how it rained 40 days, it's like if God was shedding his own tears at his creation and tried to baptize the world again.

It's interesting how significant 40 days is in the Bible.
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« Reply #9 on: November 18, 2010, 10:34:46 PM »

Didn't some of the Church Fathers read it on both levels?
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« Reply #10 on: November 18, 2010, 11:01:15 PM »

This was discussed before.  This may be helpful:

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,25459.msg398946.html#msg398946
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