An Analytical Study of the Allegorical Method of the Interpretation of the Bible with Emphasis on the Age of the Church Fathers

Mohsen Tanha / PhD in Religions and Mysticism, Imam Khomeini Educational and Research Institute
* Muhammad Hussein Taheri Akerdi / Assistant Professor, the department of Religions, Imam Khomeini Educational and Research Institute
Received: 2021/02/08 - Accepted: 2021/08/03

As the most important theological source in Christianity, the Bible needs to be interpreted. Among Christians, the interpretation of the Bible (Old Testament and New Testament) was done in two literal and allegorical forms from the very beginning of its compilation. The adoption of these two interpretive methods among the early Christians was not unrelated to the interpretive methods used by the Jews. As a solution to many theological issues in the Christian community, the allegorical method received more attention. On the other hand, literal interpretation created challenges and deviations that were regarded as heresy by the church councils. The foundation of these biblical interpretations was laid in the early centuries, the age of Church Fathers. The two main schools of Antioch and Alexandria developed at the same time, the former representing the literal method and the latter representing the allegorical method. This study tries to examine the allegorical method while expressing the effect of Jewish interpretive methods on the Christian community, especially some church Fathers in the patristic a period. The findings show that the allegorical method has had its ups and downs and marked a change in the history of Christianity. Due to going to extremes in the allegorical method of interpretation, the only solution was to let the church monopolize the interpretation, a decision which had its own consequences and led to widespread criticism of the interpretation of the Bible.

Keywords: the Bible, interpretation, literal method, allegorical method, Antioch school, Alexandria school.

شماره مجله: 
شماره صفحه: