When Should You Interpret the Bible Literally or as an Allegory? (The Patrick Madrid Show)

This podcast episode of The Patrick Madrid Show revolves around a caller, Dave from Wisconsin, seeking clarity on interpreting biblical miracles as literal events or allegories. Dave mentions examples such as the multiplication of loaves, Jesus walking on water, and the Israelites crossing the Red Sea. He recounts a conversation with a priest who proposed a non-literal interpretation for these events, attributing them to metaphors or natural occurrences.

Patrick Madrid responds by contextualizing this viewpoint within the historical criticism movement prevalent in seminaries during the 1970s. He criticizes this approach, labeling it a “hermeneutic of suspicion,” which undermines the literal interpretation of miracles in Scripture. Patrick argues for the authenticity of biblical miracles, because he has seen so many people lose their faith over their failure to truly believe.

He recommends resources like “Politicizing the Bible: The Roots of Historical Criticism and the Secularization of Scripture” by Dr. Scott Hahn and Benjamin Wiker, as well as “Catholic Apologetics Today” by Fr. William Most to delve deeper into this topic.

You can hear the intensity in Patrick’s voice as he urges you to guard against erroneous interpretations that diminish the reality of biblical miracles, emphasizing the importance of upholding the Church’s teaching on the inerrancy of Scripture.

Someone else’ faith could be on the line, and you can help them by sharing the truth in Sacred Scripture and tradition. 

Jake Moore serves as a Digital Audio Content Producer for Relevant Radio®. He is a graduate of Franciscan University of Steubenville, and is passionate about classic movies, Christian music, young adult ministry, and leading this generation to Christ through compelling media. You can listen to more of his podcasts at relevantradio.com and on the Relevant Radio® app.