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Volume 27 - Page 185 of 212 Index | Zoom | |
Again, there may often be an element of surprise in a Metaphor. Two quite unrelated
subjects may be found to agree in some point. For example, both Christ and Satan are
likened to a lion.
Let us remind ourselves of some simple Metaphors first before dealing with one or
two that are more problematic.
"The Lord is my Shepherd."
"The Lord God is a Sun and Shield."
"I am the door."
"The field is the world."
"The reapers are the angels."
These statements are obvious and require no explanation. No one would be foolish
enough to ask whether the Lord was actually a door, or a vine. The expression is
obviously figurative. Yet there is one such figure that has caused more misery than
almost anything else in the realm of religious controversy. Anyone who has read Foxe's
Book of Martyrs cannot fail to have been impressed with the number of saints who were
burned at the stake because they believed that the words of Christ, "This is My body"
were spoken metaphorically. The Church of Rome maintained that they were to be taken
literally, and upon this mistaken interpretation built its blasphemous doctrine of the Mass.
As many of the martyrs affirmed, one might just as well believe that "the cup" was the
"new testament". The statements, "This is My body" and "This cup is the new
testament" must both be translated similarly, and both are metaphors.
We must now turn our attention to the third figure.
The following are examples. In each case the resemblance is implied; it is not
actually stated as in the Simile and the Metaphor.
"Dogs have compassed me about" (Psa. 22: 16).
The Psalmist does not say that his enemies were like dogs, or that they were dogs; he
Every plant which My heavenly Father hath not planted shall be rooted up" (Matt. 15: 13).
"Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees" (Matt. 16: 6).
The context reveals that the "leaven" represented the "doctrine" of the Pharisees and
Sadducees, but it would have been a cold statement of fact to have said: "The doctrine of
the Pharisees is like leaven." The Lord might have said, "The doctrine of the Pharisees is
leaven". That would have been stronger, but the implication of the figure Hypocatastasis
is stronger still. It forced attention, and we read that the disciples "reasoned among
Space will not permit us pursue our subject further. We would draw attention in
closing to the fact that an Allegory is a continuation of both Metaphor and