Origen of Alexandria, for instance, believes the Bible cannot be completely understood because it is “divine,” as it was written by God (Origen 53). Even the help of the Holy Spirit cannot make clear every part of the Bible because “there are mysteries here which our mind cannot fathom” (56). Problems also arise when someone comes to a new understanding of the Bible, as Origen describes on page 76: “as our mind discovers some small part of the goal it seeks, it notices other problems which call out for investigation; and when it comes to terms with them, it sees many more problems.” Although it cannot be completely understood, Origen argues there is only one correct interpretation of the Bible that “requires the grace of God” and a “key of knowledge” given originally to the apostles (57). There are three levels to this interpretation: the body, soul, and spirit. The body is the literal interpretation that everyone who is literate can comprehend. Some simple lessons can be taken from this first level, but not all passages of the Bible have a body, or in other words, there are some passages that cannot be taken literally. In reading these passages, readers have to look for the soul and spirit. The soul is the second level that requires a deeper reading, the reader to make connections between passages, and an understanding of allegories. Origen believes the lessons of this level to be more valuable than those of the body. The third level...
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...eaks “of allegory when something is understood in one way but said in another” (87). However, Diodore and Theodore use the narratives and history of the text as a foundation of their allegories. Despite their contradiction, they can both be used by readers to help them find their own interpretation of the Bible.
I agree with Diodore and Theodore’s interpretation of the Bible in being more literal than allegorical, because if everything is allegory, there is no history (96). If God’s creation of the world is an allegory, then how was the world created? If the Devil didn’t tempt Adam and Eve, then why is there sin? However, not everything in the Bible should be interpreted literally and readers should look for the general picture and follow those lessons and meanings without straying too far from the text, keeping in mind the context of the time period it was written.
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