allegory

(Greek: allegoria, inversion) A sustained metaphor. The greatest biblical allegory is the Canticle of Canticles. The allegory has but one sense, that which is conveyed by the metaphor or image. Allegories are interpreted at times by their author; thus Our Lord bids: "Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees," as a reference to their teaching (Matthew 16). Other biblical allegories are to be explained by the aid of the context, by similar usage elsewhere in the Bible, or by tradition. Allegory should be distinguished from allegorical interpretation, which is a species of accommodation (see allegorical sense).

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