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Fausset's Bible Dictionary

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Greek - be an allegory

Once in Scripture (Galatians 4:24): "which things (the history of Hagar and Sarah, Ishmael and Isaac) are an allegory;" (are, when allegorized, etc.) not that the history is unreal as to the literal meaning, (such as is the Song of Solomon, a continued allegory); but, besides the literal historical fact, these events have another and a spiritual significance, the historical truths are types of the antitypical truths; the child of the promise, Isaac, is type of the gospel child of God who is free to love and serve his Father in Christ; the child of the bondwoman, Ishmael, is type of those legalists who, seeking justification by the law, are ever ill the spirit of bondage. Origen at Alexandria introduced a faulty system of interpreting Scripture by allegorizing, for which this passage gives no warrant. In an allegory there is

(1) an immediate sense, which the words contain; and

(2) the main and ulterior sense, which respects the things shadowed forth. In pure allegory the chief object aimed at is never directly expressed.

Copyright Statement
These dictionary topics are from Fausset Bible Dictionary, 1949. Public Domain.

Bibliography Information
Fausset, Andrew R. "Entry for 'Allegory'". "Fausset Bible Dictionary".
<>. 1949.


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