Jesus referred to as Jesus of Nazareth and Jesus Christ, was a first-century Jewish preacher and religious leader. He is the central figure of Christianity, is described as the most influential person in history. Most Christians believe he is the incarnation of God the Son and the awaited Messiah prophesied in the Old Testament. All modern scholars of antiquity agree that Jesus existed although the quest for the historical Jesus has produced little agreement on the historical reliability of the Gospels and on how the Jesus portrayed in the Bible reflects the historical Jesus. Jesus was a Galilean Jew, baptized by John the Baptist and began his own ministry, he preached orally and was referred to as "rabbi". Jesus debated with fellow Jews on how to best follow God, engaged in healings, taught in parables and gathered followers, he was arrested and tried by the Jewish authorities, turned over to the Roman government, crucified on the order of Pontius Pilate, the Roman prefect. After his death, his followers believed he rose from the dead, the community they formed became the early Church.
The birth of Jesus is celebrated annually on December 25th as Christmas. His crucifixion is honored on his resurrection on Easter; the used calendar era "AD", from the Latin anno Domini, the equivalent alternative "CE", are based on the approximate birthdate of Jesus. Christian doctrines include the beliefs that Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit, was born of a virgin named Mary, performed miracles, founded the Christian Church, died by crucifixion as a sacrifice to achieve atonement for sin, rose from the dead, ascended into Heaven, from where he will return. Most Christians believe; the Nicene Creed asserts that Jesus will judge the living and the dead either before or after their bodily resurrection, an event tied to the Second Coming of Jesus in Christian eschatology. The great majority of Christians worship Jesus as the incarnation of God the Son, the second of three persons of the Trinity. A minority of Christian denominations reject Trinitarianism, wholly or as non-scriptural. Jesus figures in non-Christian religions and new religious movements.
In Islam, Jesus is considered one of the Messiah. Muslims believe Jesus was a bringer of scripture and was born of a virgin, but was not the son of God; the Quran states. Most Muslims do not believe that he was crucified, but that he was physically raised into Heaven by God. In contrast, Judaism rejects the belief that Jesus was the awaited Messiah, arguing that he did not fulfill Messianic prophecies, was neither divine nor resurrected. A typical Jew in Jesus' time had only one name, sometimes followed by the phrase "son of <father's name>", or the individual's hometown. Thus, in the New Testament, Jesus is referred to as "Jesus of Nazareth". Jesus' neighbors in Nazareth refer to him as "the carpenter, the son of Mary and brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon", "the carpenter's son", or "Joseph's son". In John, the disciple Philip refers to him as "Jesus son of Joseph from Nazareth"; the name Jesus is derived from the Latin Iesus, a transliteration of the Greek Ἰησοῦς. The Greek form is a rendering of the Hebrew ישוע, a variant of the earlier name יהושע, or in English, "Joshua", meaning "Yah saves".
This was the name of Moses' successor and of a Jewish high priest. The name Yeshua appears to have been in use in Judea at the time of the birth of Jesus; the 1st-century works of historian Flavius Josephus, who wrote in Koine Greek, the same language as that of the New Testament, refer to at least twenty different people with the name Jesus. The etymology of Jesus' name in the context of the New Testament is given as "Yahweh is salvation". Since early Christianity, Christians have referred to Jesus as "Jesus Christ"; the word Christ was a office, not a given name. It derives from the Greek Χριστός, a translation of the Hebrew mashiakh meaning "anointed", is transliterated into English as "Messiah". In biblical Judaism, sacred oil was used to anoint certain exceptionally holy people and objects as part of their religious investiture. Christians of the time designated Jesus as "the Christ" because they believed him to be the Messiah, whose arrival is prophesied in the Hebrew Bible and Old Testament.
In postbiblical usage, Christ became viewed as a name—one part of "Jesus Christ". The term "Christian" has been in use since the 1st century; the four canonical gospels are the foremost sources for the message of Jesus. However, other parts of the New Testament include references to key episodes in his life, such as the Last Supper in 1 Corinthians 11:23. Acts of the Apostles refers to the early ministry of its anticipation by John the Baptist. Acts 1:1 -- 11 says more about the Ascension of Jesus. In the undisputed Pauline letters, which were written earlier than the gospels, the words or instructions of Jesus are cited several times; some early Christian groups had separate descriptions of the life and teachings of Jesus that are not included in the New Testament. These include the Gospel of Thomas, Gospel
Early Christianity covers the period from its origins until the First Council of Nicaea. This period is divided into the Apostolic Age and the Ante-Nicene Period; the first Christians were Jewish Christians, either by conversion. Important practices were baptism, which made one a member of the Christian community, the communal meals, from which the Eucharist developed, the participation in Christ's death and resurrection; the inclusion of Gentile God-fearers lead to a departure from Jewish customs, the establishment of Christianity as an independent religion. A variety of Christianities developed throughout the 2nd and 3rd century, alongside a developing proto-orthodoxy, which defined orthodoxy and heresy. Proto-orthodoxy developed in tandem with the growing number of Christians, which necessitated the devlopment of eccelsiastical structure. Early Christians used and revered the Hebrew Bible as religious text in the Greek or Aramaic translations, but developed their own Canon of the New Testament, which includes the canonical gospels, letters of the Apostles, Revelation, all written before 120.
Early Jewish Christians referred to themselves as'The Way' coming from Isaiah 40:3, "prepare the way of the Lord." According to Acts 11:26, the term "Christian" was first used in reference to Jesus's disciples in the city of Antioch, meaning "followers of Christ," by the non-Jewish inhabitants of Antioch. The earliest recorded use of the term "Christianity" was by Ignatius of Antioch, in around 100 AD. Christianity "emerged as a sect of Judaism in Roman Palestine" in the syncretistic Hellenistic world of the first century CE, dominated by Roman law and Greek culture. During the early first century CE there were many competing Jewish sects in the Holy Land, those that became Rabbinic Judaism and Proto-orthodox Christianity were but two of these. There were Pharisees and Zealots, but other less influential sects, including the Essenes; the first century BCE and first century CE saw a growing number of charismatic religious leaders contributing to what would become the Mishnah of Rabbinic Judaism.
A central concern in 1st century Judaism was the covenant with God, the status of the Jews as the chosen people. Many Jews believed; the Law was given by God to guide them in their worship of the Lord and in their interctions with each other, "the greatest gift God had given his people."The Jewish messiah concept has its root in the apocalyptic literature of the 2nd century BC to 1st century BC, promising a future leader or king from the Davidic line, expected to be anointed with holy anointing oil and rule the Jewish people during the Messianic Age and world to come. The Messiah is referred to as "King Messiah" or malka meshiḥa in Aramaic. In the Synoptic Gospels Jewish eschatology stands central. After being baptized by John the Baptist, Jesus teaches extensively for a year, or maybe just a few months, about the Kingdom of God, in aphorisms and parables, using similes and figurs of speech. In the Gospel of John, Jesus himself is the main subject; the Kingdom is described as eschatological, becoming reality in the near future.
Jesus talks as expecting the coming of the "Son of Man" from heaven, an apocalyptic figure who would initiate "the coming judgment and the redemption of Israel." According to Davies, the Sermon on the Mount presents Jesus as the new Moses who brings a New Law, the Messianic Torah. His ministry was ended by his execution by crucifixion, his early followers believed that three days after his death, Jesus rose bodily from the dead and was exalted to Divine status. Paul's letters and the Gospels document a number of post-resurrection appearances, the resurrection of Jesus "signalled for earliest believers that the days of eschatological fulfilment were at hand." The resurrection was seen as the exaltation of Jesus to the status of divine Son and Lord. His followers expected Him to return in the near future. Since the 18th century, three scholarly quests for the historical Jesus have taken place, each with distinct characteristics and based on different research criteria, which were developed during each specific phase.
Scholars involved in the third quest for the historical Jesus have constructed a variety of portraits and profiles for Jesus, most prominently that of Jesus as a Jewish apocalyptic prophet or eschatological teacher. The first part of the period, named after the lifetimes of the Twelve Apostles as narrated in the Acts of the Apostles, is called the Apostolic Age; the Great Commission is the instruction of the resurrected Jesus Christ to his disciples to spread his teachings to all the nations of the world. After the death of Jesus, "Christianity emerged as a sect of Judaism in Roman Palestine." The first Christians were all Jews, either by birth or conversion, who constituted a Second Temple Jewish sect with an apocalyptic eschatology. The New Testament's Acts of the Apostles and Epistle to the Galatians record the existence of a Christian community centered on Jerusalem, that its leaders included Peter, the "brother of Jesus", John the Apostle; the Jerusalem Church "held a central place among all the churches,".
Christian missionary activity spread Christianity
Zechariah is a figure in the New Testament Bible and the Quran, hence venerated in Christianity and Islam. In the Bible, he is the father of John the Baptist, a priest of the sons of Aaron in the Gospel of Luke, the husband of Elizabeth, a relative of the Virgin Mary. According to the Gospel of Luke, during the reign of king Herod, there was a priest named Zechariah, of the course of Abia, whose wife Elizabeth was of the priestly family of Aaron; the evangelist states that both the parents were righteous before God, since they were "blameless" in observing the commandments and ordinances of the Lord. When the events related in Luke began, their marriage was still childless, because Elizabeth was "barren", they were both "well advanced in years"; the duties at the temple in Jerusalem alternated between each of the family lines that had descended from those appointed by king David. Luke states that during the week when it was the duty of Zechariah's family line to serve at "the temple of the Lord", the lot for performing the incense offering had fallen to Zechariah.
The Gospel of Luke states that while Zechariah ministered at the altar of incense, an angel of the Lord appeared and announced to him that his wife would give birth to a son, whom he was to name John, that this son would be the forerunner of the Lord. Citing their advanced age, Zechariah asked with disbelief for a sign whereby he would know the truth of this prophecy. In reply, the angel identified himself as Gabriel, sent by God to make this announcement, added that because of Zechariah's doubt he would be struck dumb and "not able to speak, until the day that these things shall be performed"; when he went out to the waiting worshippers in the temple's outer courts, he was unable to speak the customary blessing. After returning to his house in "Hebron, in the hill country of Judah", his wife Elizabeth conceived. After Elizabeth completed her fifth month of pregnancy, her relative Mary was visited by the same angel, overshadowed by the Holy Ghost and – though still a virgin – became pregnant with Jesus.
Mary travelled to visit her relative Elizabeth, having been told by the angel that Elizabeth was in her sixth month of pregnancy. Mary remained about three months. Elizabeth gave birth, on the eighth day, when their son was to be circumcised according to the commandment, her neighbours and relatives assumed that he was to be named after his father. Elizabeth, insisted that his name was to be John; as soon as Zechariah had written on a writing table: "His name is John", he regained the power of speech, blessed "the Lord God of Israel" with a prophecy known as the Benedictus or "Song of Zechariah". The child grew up and "waxed strong in spirit", but remained in the deserts of Judæa until he assumed the ministry, to earn him the name "John the Baptist". Origen suggested that the Zechariah mentioned in Matthew 23:35 as having been killed between the temple and the altar may be the father of John the Baptist. Orthodox Christian tradition recounts that, at the time of the massacre of the Innocents, when King Herod ordered the slaughter of all males under the age of two in an attempt to prevent the prophesied Messiah from coming to Israel, Zechariah refused to divulge the whereabouts of his son, he was therefore murdered by Herod's soldiers.
This is recorded in the Infancy Gospel of James, an apocryphal work from the 2nd century. The Roman Catholic Church commemorates him as a saint, along with Elizabeth, on September 23, he is venerated as a prophet in the Calendar of Saints of the Lutheran Church on September 5. The Eastern Orthodox Church celebrates the feast day of Zechariah on September 5, together with Elizabeth, considered a matriarch. Zechariah and Elizabeth are invoked in several prayers during the Orthodox Mystery of Crowning, as the priest blesses the newly married couple, saying "Thou who didst... accept Zechariah and Elizabeth, didst make their offspring the Forerunner..." and "...bless them, O Lord our God, as Thou didst Zechariah and Elizabeth...". In the Greek Orthodox calendar and Elizabeth are commemorated on June 24. Armenians believe that the Gandzasar Monastery in Nagorno Karabakh, Azerbaijan contains relics of Zechariah. However, his relics were kept in the Great Church of Constantinople, where they were brought by the praefectus urbi Ursus on September 4, 415.
In 2003, a 4th-century inscription on the so-called Tomb of Absalom, a 1st-century monument in Jerusalem, was deciphered as, "This is the tomb of Zachariah, the martyr, the holy priest, the father of John." This suggests to some scholars that it is the burial place of Zechariah the father of John the Baptist. Professor Gideon Foerster at the Hebrew University states that the inscription tallies with a 6th-century Christian text stating that Zechariah was buried with Simon the Elder and James the brother of Jesus, believes that both are authentic. What makes the theory less plausible is the fact that the tomb is three centuries older than the Byzantine inscriptions, that a tomb with just two burial benches is unlikely to be used for three burials, as well as the fact that the identification of the tomb has changed during its history. Zechariah is as a prophet in Islam, is mentioned in the Qur'an as the fat
Joseph Priestley was an 18th-century English Separatist theologian, natural philosopher, innovative grammarian, multi-subject educator, liberal political theorist who published over 150 works. He has been credited with the discovery of oxygen, having isolated it in its gaseous state, although Carl Wilhelm Scheele and Antoine Lavoisier have strong claims to the discovery. During his lifetime, Priestley's considerable scientific reputation rested on his invention of soda water, his writings on electricity, his discovery of several "airs", the most famous being what Priestley dubbed "dephlogisticated air". However, Priestley's determination to defend phlogiston theory and to reject what would become the chemical revolution left him isolated within the scientific community. Priestley's science was integral to his theology, he tried to fuse Enlightenment rationalism with Christian theism. In his metaphysical texts, Priestley attempted to combine theism and determinism, a project, called "audacious and original".
He believed that a proper understanding of the natural world would promote human progress and bring about the Christian millennium. Priestley, who believed in the free and open exchange of ideas, advocated toleration and equal rights for religious Dissenters, which led him to help found Unitarianism in England; the controversial nature of Priestley's publications, combined with his outspoken support of the French Revolution, aroused public and governmental suspicion. He spent his last ten years in Pennsylvania. A scholar and teacher throughout his life, Priestley made significant contributions to pedagogy, including the publication of a seminal work on English grammar and books on history, he prepared some of the most influential early timelines; these educational writings were among Priestley's most popular works. It was his metaphysical works, that had the most lasting influence, being considered primary sources for utilitarianism by philosophers such as Jeremy Bentham, John Stuart Mill, Herbert Spencer.
Priestley was born to an established English Dissenting family in Birstall, near Batley in the West Riding of Yorkshire. He was the oldest of six children born to a finisher of cloth. To ease his mother's burdens, Priestley was sent to live with his grandfather around the age of one, he returned home, five years after his mother died. When his father remarried in 1741, Priestley went to live with his aunt and uncle, the wealthy and childless Sarah and John Keighley, 3 miles from Fieldhead; because Priestley was precocious—at the age of four he could flawlessly recite all 107 questions and answers of the Westminster Shorter Catechism—his aunt sought the best education for the boy, intending him for the ministry. During his youth, Priestley attended local schools where he learned Greek and Hebrew. Around 1749, Priestley became ill and believed he was dying. Raised as a devout Calvinist, he believed a conversion experience was necessary for salvation, but doubted he had had one; this emotional distress led him to question his theological upbringing, causing him to reject election and to accept universal salvation.
As a result, the elders of his home church, the Independent Upper Chapel of Heckmondwike, refused him admission as a full member. Priestley's illness left him with a permanent stutter and he gave up any thoughts of entering the ministry at that time. In preparation for joining a relative in trade in Lisbon, he studied French and German in addition to Aramaic, Arabic, he was tutored by the Reverend George Haggerstone, who first introduced him to higher mathematics, natural philosophy and metaphysics through the works of Isaac Watts, Willem's Gravesande, John Locke. Priestley decided to return to his theological studies and, in 1752, matriculated at Daventry, a Dissenting academy; because he had read Priestley was allowed to skip the first two years of coursework. He continued his intense study. Abhorring dogma and religious mysticism, Rational Dissenters emphasised the rational analysis of the natural world and the Bible. Priestley wrote that the book that influenced him the most, save the Bible, was David Hartley's Observations on Man.
Hartley's psychological and theological treatise postulated a material theory of mind. Hartley aimed to construct a Christian philosophy in which both religious and moral "facts" could be scientifically proven, a goal that would occupy Priestley for his entire life. In his third year at Daventry, Priestley committed himself to the ministry, which he described as "the noblest of all professions". Robert Schofield, Priestley's major modern biographer, describes his first "call" in 1755 to the Dissenting parish in Needham Market, Suffolk, as a "mistake" for both Priestley and the congregation. Priestley yearned for urban life and theological debate, whereas Needham Market was a small, rural town with a congregation wedded to tradition. Attendance and donations dropped when they discovered the extent of his heterodoxy. Although Priestley's aunt had promised her support if he became a minister, she refused any further assistance when she realised he was no longer a Calvinist. To earn extra money, Priestley proposed opening a school, but l
King Jesus is a semi-historical novel by Robert Graves, first published in 1946. The novel treats Jesus not as the Son of God, but rather as a philosopher with a legitimate claim to the Judaean throne through Herod the Great, as well as the Davidic monarchy. Graves wrote the story from the perspective of an official living in the time of Domitian; the novel opens with the statement, "I, AGABUS the Decapolitan, began this work at Alexandria in the ninth year of the Emperor Domitian and completed it at Rome in the thirteenth year of the same." The novel consists of dialogues between the prophets and other people of the story told by the Roman hagiographer. It begins with the reign of Herod before Jesus is born and explains the dynastical, quasi-secular roots of Jesus both from his mother's and his father's side, establishing a temporal and historical right to the throne of Israel; the second part starts with the Jesus's youth. The third part chronicles Jesus's work in adulthood as a prophet, his death on the cross, his resurrection.
In a "Historical Commentary" published at the end of the book Robert Graves remarks, concerning the book's historical basis, "A detailed commentary written to justify the unorthodox views contained in this book would be two or three times as long as the book itself, would take years to complete. I undertake to my readers that every important element in my story is based on some tradition, however tenuous, that I have taken more than ordinary pains to verify my historical background"; the standard scholarly edition is the volume in the Collected Works of Robert Graves, edited by Robert A. Davis. A 1946 review by Kirkus Reviews summarized the book with, it moves, as does all Mr. Graves' writing, at a brilliant fast pace, with a tremendous style." In another contemporary book review by Commentary, Mordecai Chertoff wrote "the Jewish reviewer must protest and warn the reader of Graves’ total irresponsibility in his handling of Jewish religious tradition. It is obvious, that Graves’ intention in writing this "novel" was not to compose a historical pot-boiler.
Influenced by depth psychology, he feels that the issue between the "rule" of the father and that of the mother animated Jewish religion and political history in a preponderant way, that the supremacy of the father was there established once and for all. There are certain risks, when such a serious thesis is dealt with by a novelist if he does not mean to be taken earnestly. There is the danger that untutored people.. will take this invented lore for the real thing and read his fantasy for the sake of edification and erudition." Writing in 1981 for The New York Times, John Leonard describes the book's relation to Gnosticism and wrote, "Mr. Graves, in other words, is still pushing his White Goddess, the mother of all religions, when we learn that one of Herod's grandsons was helpful to Claudius at a sticky moment, we understand why Mr. Graves involved himself in his farrago in the first place." Herodian Messiah is a work of non-fiction that presents evidence and arguments in support of the central theory of King Jesus.
Old Heresy, New Version. Review of King Jesus from Time Magazine, September 30, 1946
The Reformation was a movement within Western Christianity in 16th-century Europe that posed a religious and political challenge to the Roman Catholic church – and papal authority in particular. Although the Reformation is considered to have started with the publication of the Ninety-five Theses by Martin Luther in 1517, there was no schism between the Catholics and the nascent Lutheran branch until the 1521 Edict of Worms; the edict condemned Luther and banned citizens of the Holy Roman Empire from defending or propagating his ideas. The end of the Reformation era is disputed: it could be considered to end with the enactment of the confessions of faith which began the Age of Orthodoxy. Other suggested ending years relate to the Counter-Reformation, the Peace of Westphalia, or that it never ended since there are still Protestants today. Movements had been made towards a Reformation prior to Luther, so some Protestants in the tradition of the Radical Reformation prefer to credit the start of the Reformation to reformers such as Arnold of Brescia, Peter Waldo, Jan Hus, Tomáš Štítný ze Štítného, John Wycliffe, Girolamo Savonarola.
Due to the reform efforts of Huss and others in the Lands of the Bohemian Crown, Utraquist Hussitism was acknowledged by both the Pope and the Holy Roman Emperor, although other movements were still subject to persecution, as were the including Lollards in England and Waldensians in Italy and France. Luther began by criticising the sale of indulgences, insisting that the Pope had no authority over purgatory and that the Treasury of Merit had no foundation in the Bible; the Reformation developed further to include a distinction between Law and Gospel, a complete reliance on Scripture as the only source of proper doctrine and the belief that faith in Jesus is the only way to receive God's pardon for sin rather than good works. Although this is considered a Protestant belief, a similar formulation was taught by Molinist and Jansenist Catholics; the priesthood of all believers downplayed the need for saints or priests to serve as mediators, mandatory clerical celibacy was ended. Simul justus et peccator implied that although people could improve, no one could become good enough to earn forgiveness from God.
Sacramental theology was simplified and attempts at imposing Aristotelian epistemology were resisted. Luther and his followers did not see these theological developments as changes; the 1530 Augsburg Confession concluded that "in doctrine and ceremonies nothing has been received on our part against Scripture or the Church Catholic", after the Council of Trent, Martin Chemnitz published the 1565–73 Examination of the Council of Trent in order to prove that Trent innovated on doctrine while the Lutherans were following in the footsteps of the Church Fathers and Apostles. The initial movement in Germany diversified, other reformers arose independently of Luther such as Zwingli in Zürich and Calvin in Geneva. Depending on the country, the Reformation had varying causes and different backgrounds, unfolded differently than in Germany; the spread of Gutenberg's printing press provided the means for the rapid dissemination of religious materials in the vernacular. During Reformation-era confessionalization, Western Christianity adopted different confessions.
Radical Reformers, besides forming communities outside state sanction, sometimes employed more extreme doctrinal change, such as the rejection of the tenets of the councils of Nicaea and Chalcedon with the Unitarians of Transylvania. Anabaptist movements were persecuted following the German Peasants' War. Leaders within the Roman Catholic Church responded with the Counter-Reformation, initiated by the Confutatio Augustana in 1530, the Council of Trent in 1545, the Jesuits in 1540, the Defensio Tridentinæ fidei in 1578, a series of wars and expulsions of Protestants that continued until the 19th century. Northern Europe, with the exception of most of Ireland, came under the influence of Protestantism. Southern Europe remained predominantly Catholic apart from the much-persecuted Waldensians. Central Europe was the site of much of the Thirty Years' War and there were continued expulsions of Protestants in central Europe up to the 19th century. Following World War II, the removal of ethnic Germans to either East Germany or Siberia reduced Protestantism in the Warsaw Pact countries, although some remain today.
Absence of Protestants however, does not imply a failure of the Reformation. Although Protestants were excommunicated and ended up worshipping in communions separate from Catholics contrary to the original intention of the Reformers, they were suppressed and persecuted in most of Europe at one point; as a result, some of them lived as crypto-Protestants called Nicodemites, contrary to the urging of John Calvin who wanted them to live their faith openly. Some crypto-Protestants have been identified as late as the 19th century after immigrating to Latin America; as a result Reformation impulses continued to affect the Latin Church well past the end of what is considered the Reformation era. The oldest Protestant churches, such as the Unitas Fratrum and Moravian Church, date their origins to Jan Hus in the early 15th century; as it was led by a Bohemian noble majority, recognised, for a time, by the Basel Compacts, the Hussite Reformation was Europe's first "Magisterial Reformation" because the ruling magistrates supported it, unlike the "Radical Reformation", which the state did not support.
Common factors that played a role during the Reformation and the Counter-Reformation included the rise of nationalism, the
As a literary device, an allegory is a metaphor in which a character, place or event is used to deliver a broader message about real-world issues and occurrences. Allegory has occurred throughout history in all forms of art because it can illustrate or convey complex ideas and concepts in ways that are comprehensible or striking to its viewers, readers, or listeners. Writers or speakers use allegories as literary devices or as rhetorical devices that convey hidden or complex meanings through symbolic figures, imagery, or events, which together create the moral, spiritual, or political meaning the author wishes to convey. First attested in English in 1382, the word allegory comes from Latin allegoria, the latinisation of the Greek ἀλληγορία, "veiled language, figurative", which in turn comes from both ἄλλος, "another, different" and ἀγορεύω, "to harangue, to speak in the assembly", which originates from ἀγορά, "assembly". Northrop Frye discussed what he termed a "continuum of allegory", a spectrum that ranges from what he termed the "naive allegory" of The Faerie Queene, to the more private allegories of modern paradox literature.
In this perspective, the characters in a "naive" allegory are not three-dimensional, for each aspect of their individual personalities and the events that befall them embodies some moral quality or other abstraction. The origins of Allegory can be traced at least back to Homer in his "quasi-allegorical" use of personifications of, e.g. Terror and Fear at Il. 115 f. The title of "first allegorist," however, is awarded to whoever was the earliest to put forth allegorical interpretations of Homer; this approach leads to two possible answers: Theagenes of Rhegium or Pherecydes of Syros, both of whom are presumed to be active in the 6th century B. C. E. Though Pherecydes is earlier and as he is presumed to be the first writer of prose; the debate is complex, since it demands we observe the distinction between two conflated uses of the Greek verb "allēgoreīn," which can mean both "to speak allegorically" and "to interpret allegorically." In the case of "interpreting allegorically," Theagenes appears to be our earliest example.
In response to proto-philosophical moral critiques of Homer, Theagenes proposed symbolic interpretations whereby the Gods of the Iliad stood for physical elements. So, Hephestus represents Fire, for instance; some scholars, argue that Pherecydes cosmogonic writings anticipated Theagenes allegorical work, illustrated by his early placement of Time in his genealogy of the gods, thought to be a reinterpretation of the titan Kronos, from more traditional genealogies. In classical literature two of the best-known allegories are the Cave in Plato's Republic and the story of the stomach and its members in the speech of Menenius Agrippa. Among the best-known examples of allegory, Plato's Allegory of the Cave, forms a part of his larger work The Republic. In this allegory, Plato describes a group of people who have lived chained in a cave all of their lives, facing a blank wall; the people watch shadows projected on the wall by things passing in front of a fire behind them and begin to ascribe forms to these shadows, using language to identify their world.
According to the allegory, the shadows are as close as the prisoners get to viewing reality, until one of them finds his way into the outside world where he sees the actual objects that produced the shadows. He tries to tell the people in the cave of his discovery, but they do not believe him and vehemently resist his efforts to free them so they can see for themselves; this allegory is, on a basic level, about a philosopher who upon finding greater knowledge outside the cave of human understanding, seeks to share it as is his duty, the foolishness of those who would ignore him because they think themselves educated enough. In Late Antiquity Martianus Capella organized all the information a fifth-century upper-class male needed to know into an allegory of the wedding of Mercury and Philologia, with the seven liberal arts the young man needed to know as guests. Other early allegories are found in the Hebrew Bible, such as the extended metaphor in Psalm 80 of the Vine and its impressive spread and growth, representing Israel's conquest and peopling of the Promised Land.
Allegorical is Ezekiel 16 and 17, wherein the capture of that same vine by the mighty Eagle represents Israel's exile to Babylon. Allegorical interpretation of the Bible continues. For example, the re-discovered IVth Commentary on the Gospels by Fortunatianus of Aquileia has a comment by its English translator: The principal characteristic of Fortunatianus’ exegesis is a figurative approach, relying on a set of concepts associated with key terms in order to create an allegorical decoding of the text. Allegory has an ability to freeze the temporality of a story, while infusing it with a spiritual context. Mediaeval thinking accepted allegory as having a reality underlying any rhetorical or fictional uses; the allegory was as true as the facts of surface appearances. Thus, the Papal Bull Unam Sanctam presents themes of the unity of Christendom with the pope as its head in which the allegorical details of the metaphors are adduced as facts on, based a demonstration with the vocabulary of logic: "There