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  • Writer's pictureRob

Thirty-Second (Allegory)

We hope you had a great week! Our week became pretty intense, but ended better than we could have predicted :) This week we're going to talk about allegories in scripture. No, we're not going to go through every allegory in the Bible. What we're going to focus on is what is allegorical and what is not.

People, in general, are very interesting, aren't they? In an attempt to defend their views, they'll try to fit worldly explanations of things into scripture. Whether it's an attempt to convince others they're not crazy, or to try to "win people over" to God, there's an underlying sense that they have to have an explanation for everything. Otherwise, all your beliefs are just wrong, right?

Well, personally, I will gladly admit when I don't fully understand something. In fact, Paul writes about this very thing to the Romans: "Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools," (Romans 1:22). For example, I don't exactly know how Yehovah created the earth in seven days a few thousand years ago but we find layers and layers of sediment when we dig in the crust. I have an idea, based on things I've read in scripture, but do I know for certain? No. And I'm OK with that.

This brings us to the first, and one of the biggest, claims of allegory in scripture. In an effort to fit the theory of the big bang, many Christians will claim that the seven days of creation listed in Genesis 1 and 2 is allegorical, or poetic, and actually took place over millions of years. Why would we put Yehovah in such a box rather than praise His power and proclaim it to everyone! Simply because we as humans need to be able to explain everything based on what we see in the natural?

To close out this topic of creation, my belief is that when Genesis 1:2 says the earth was without form (as translated in KJV), the Hebrew word hayah should actually be translated "became." Meaning, it was there with some form, and then it became without form. This is supported by Isaiah in Isaiah 45:18, when he says God created the earth "not in vain," (KJV) where the Hebrew word used for "in vain" is the same as what's translated to "without form," in Genesis 1:2! So if He created it not without form, how can Genesis 1:2 be true unless it should say "became without form"? This means Genesis 1:1 and 1:2 are not immediately subsequent events. This is further supported by Peter in 2 Peter 3:5-7. He states three time periods: 1) Creation of the heavens and the earth where the earth was standing out of the water and in the water, 2) that world perishing by being overflowed with water, and 3) the heavens and earth of now (the same earth Noah was on, so he wasn't talking about the flood in time period 2) are being saved until judgment day. So we don't know exactly how long it was between Genesis 1:1 and 1:2, and this may account for the sediment layers (or even dinosaurs) we see today.

But let's get back on topic. Just because we can't explain something in scripture, does not make it an allegory. So don't let anyone tell you it is. In fact, it's very clear when things are metaphorical. It tells you! Jesus spoke many parables, but what is the most interesting part of His parables? They are all true no matter what level you look at them.

If you look at the parable of the sower, for example, all of the scenarios given happen in real life. Sometimes seeds don't get in good soil, sometimes they get eaten by birds, sometimes they land in thorns. Same thing for the parable of the fig tree. When trees start to grow leaves, you know summer is coming. He used truth to teach an idea or lesson.

Jesus is the way, the truth and the life (John 14:6), so His words are true no matter what He's talking about. If they weren't, He'd be lying. Contrast this with allegory written by man. Do animals talk? No, but nevertheless George Orwell had them talking in Animal Farm, and allegory about communism. Did a scorpion jump on a frog to cross a river? No, but nevertheless there's a fable to talk about being unable to change your nature.

I'm going to take a quick side road here and talk about that last one. In case you didn't notice, or hadn't realized it yet, this scorpion fable, along with a lot of others with the same idea, is a clear attack against the ability for someone to repent. The devil wants you to think you need to just accept that you can't change your sinful ways so you continue to sin. Make no mistake, repentance is a choice and it's a choice that you are perfectly capable of making and sticking with. Especially when you ask the Holy Spirit for help. The thought that you can't change your nature is just the devil's way of trying to convince you that what his demons are doing to you is actually you and you just need to accept it.

So in conclusion, we know Yehovah and Jesus don't lie. We also know that scripture was breathed by Yehovah. So whatever is written is truth. No question about it. The only question is whether or not we fully understand it. I have no doubt that what John saw on the Isle of Patmos that he recorded in Revelation was truth and not just some representation of what will happen in the end. There are many things going on supernaturally that we cannot see in the natural. So next time you read something and someone tells you it's just allegorical and shouldn't be taken literally, think twice!

Shabbat Shalom and God bless you!

-Sara Gene and Rob

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