ALLEGORY

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ALLEGORY - A story filled with symbolism illustrating a spiritual reality beyond the actual historical event being described. In the ancient Church, scholars of the School of Alexandria tended to consider many incidents in the Bible as allegorical, whereas the School of Antioch practiced a more historical approach to Scripture. Although Scripture contains some pure allegory (some parables of Christ, portions of Revelation), overemphasis on allegory may tend to de-emphasize or even deny the historicity of Holy Scripture. On the other hand, a denial of allegory robs the Scriptures of their deeper meaning. It is possible for a story to be both historical and allegorical. The majority of Church Fathers combined both elements in interpreting the Bible. See Luke 15:4-7; Gal. 4:21-26.

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