Types, Allegories and Interpretation: Duane W.H. Arnold, PhD

You may also like...

2 Responses

  1. Jean says:


    Nice article. Thought provoking as usual.

    “As we seek to re-establish our roots once again in the faith of the Fathers, I think that we too need to find fresh meaning in the Scriptures.”

    I think our roots are in the faith of the apostles, as delivered to us in their inspired writings of Scripture. The Fathers offer us a lot, but must IMO be read with cautious discernment.

    Typology “yes,” as in historical events and prophesies have a reality for the writer and their original readers, while also foreshadowing or prefiguring Christ and His work. Allegorical, as in the text says one thing, but it really means something else entirely, I personally would say “no.”

    Our roots in the faith of the apostles needs re-establishing and pruning too IMO for large segments of the church. From there, I think it is the application of our inspired writings which could use refreshing, not the meaning of the writings themselves which have historical concreteness.

    For example, Moses delivered the people of Israel from slavery in Egypt, while also prefiguring Christ who delivered mankind from slavery to sin, death and the devil. Likewise, Isaiah prophesied to the nation of Israel pre-exile, while also prophesying of Christ, the true Vine and Israel, God’s Suffering Servant.

  2. Duane Arnold says:


    As you know, allegory and parable are closely related. Both point to something deeper and, upon occasion, to something beyond the story itself. Both are meant to be interpreted. Additionally, types may be stated (Jonah for instance) or drawn out by the interpreter (the Psalms for instance). Additionally, allegory may indeed point to something wholly different – the Song of Solomon for instance. Indeed, Bernard of Clairvaux’s commentary on that text is wholly allegorical interpretation.

    I look to the Fathers of the Church as they were in the first generations that heard and interpreted the message of Christ and the apostles. Yes, they should be read with care… as should all interpretive texts. They just happen to be closer to the source…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.