I used to own an old Catholic bible. In the introduction it explains the Catholic view that some of the book of Genesis is filled with symbolic narratives that communicate divine truths. This is akin to telling a fable that speaks of something that is true. They do not believe the story of Adam and Eve is historical, but rather, was an attempt by the Hebrews (Jews) to try and explain how life began. They also deny Noah’s Ark and the Flood on the same basis that there isn’t enough historical evidence. So they toss it all in a box labeled: allegory. Whatever happened to: we walk by faith, not by sight? Jesus said in His prayer to the Father: “Thy word is truth.” He didn’t say only a portion of it is. Does God waste His time telling fables? The apostle Peter says He does not. (2 Peter 1:16-21) What about the burning bush? Or Lot’s wife turning into a pillar of salt? Should we dismiss them too because of lack of evidence?
Origen, a scholar who taught allegorical interpretation in the early 3rd century and whom the Catholic church considers one of the greatest Christian scholars of that time, if not of all times, wrote:
“Who would be so childish as to think that God was like a human gardener and planted a paradise in Eden facing the east, and in it made a real visible tree, so that one could acquire life by eating its fruit with real teeth or, again, could participate in good and evil by eating what he took from the other tree? And if the text says that God walked in the garden in the evening, or Adam hid himself under the tree, I cannot think that anyone would dispute that these things are said in the figurative sense, in an effort to reveal certain mysteries by means of an apparent historical tale and not by something that actually took place . . . . “ (First Principles – 4: 16 by Origen of Alexandria)
Fr. John Echert of EWTN Catholic, wrote:
“The matter of the historicity of the some parts of the Bible, especially the first eleven chapters of Genesis, is complicated. Even accepting the basic premise that the Bible is free from all error, since ultimately God is the Author and cannot deceive, is not to insist that all parts of the Bible are intended to be read without a consideration of the genre or type of writing. Some parts of the Bible, especially some descriptions in Genesis, may not have been intended by God as strictly historical works, as we judge historical truth.”
Why doesn’t he just come out and say in plain English that he reads
these stories allegorically? Catholics are fond of saying that parts of
Genesis are symbolic narratives. The definition of symbolic is:
allegory, figurative, non literal. The definition of narrative is the
practice or art of telling stories or tales.
While there are figures of speech throughout the scriptures, such as when Isaiah wrote: “all flesh is grass,” The literal point remains: life ends, we die. The text will usually indicate when a passage is a figure of speech by its context or the use of “like” or “as.” In other cases, when symbolic language is used, one can understand the literal sense behind the symbol. This is the way we interpret the book of Revelation. For example, we know the word Lamb (capital L) always refers to Christ. But this is not the same thing as saying that the story of Adam and Eve is just a symbolic narrative.
One of the deceptions of satan is getting one to believe that the Holy Scriptures is filled with myths, half-truths and allegory that much of it cannot be taken literally, much less, seriously. No wonder the Roman Catholic Church is not sola scriptura. It is a monstrosity of a religious organization, built on pagan practices and man made traditions. Since it believes it is the New Israel, it will not be able to rightly divide the word of Truth.