What is…
allegoryin the Bible

Greek: “allegoreo.”

The word “allegory” is used only once in the King James Bible and the New Revised Standard Version (Galatians 4:24). The word “allegory” does not appear in the New King James Version (NKJV) or the New Internaional Version (NIV). In Galatians, the apostle Paul is referring to the history of Isaac the freeborn, and Ishmael the slave-born, and makes use of it allegorically. The NKJV translates the word as “symbolic.” The NIV says “figuratively.”

Every parable is an allegory. Nathan (2 Samuel 12:1-4) addresses David in an allegorical narrative.

In the eightieth Psalm there is a beautiful allegory: “Thou hast brought a vine out of Egypt,” etc. In Eccl. 12:2-6, there is a striking allegorical description of old age.