Littera gesta docetwhich being translated means:
Quid credas allegori,
moralis quid agas,
Quo tendas anagogia
Literal teaches what happened,But they believed Genesis literally before Darwin, didn’t they? Here’s Origen, (185-254), On First Principles:
Allegorical what you believe,
Moral what you should do,
Anagogical where you’re going
Now what man of intelligence will believe that the first and the second and the third day, and the evening and the morning existed without sun, mooon and stars? And that first day, if we may so call it, was even without a heaven? And who could be silly enough to believe that God, after the manner of a farmer, planted a paradise eastward in Eden and set in it a visible and palpable tree of life of such a sort that anyone who tasted its fruit with his bodily teeth would gain life; and again that one could partake of good and evil by masticating the fruit taken from the tree of that name? And when God is said to walk in the paradise in the cool of the day and Adam to hide hmself behind a tree, I do not think anyone will doubt that these are figurative expressions which indicate certain mysteries through a semblance of history and not through actual event...Radical stuff. The idea that the “factual/ original” meaning of a text is its only real one dates back to Benjamin Jowett in 1859, the year the Origin of Soecies was published. People who lived before then were not fools. Wooden fundamentalism about the Bible was not the only option before Darwin.
In the same way as “original instruments” recordings are not, in fact, the only or even the best possible ways to get your Bach, we have to lay aside earnest Victorian literalism and come alive again to the riches of the Biblical texts as they are. Ancient wisdom integrated what you read and how you read it, what it meant to you and what you did about it, rather than trying to extract any single “meaning” from it using Victorian historical science.
We need to find a way of reading and rightly handling the scriptures that integrates Text, history, Canon, spirituality, and sets the poetry of it free. Perhaps the Victorian tyranny of “facts” has taken us as far as it can, and it’s time for another revolution by tradition that will set us free to read the Scriptures as they have been received, lived and interpreted over thousands of years, so as to own them, and live them ourselves with all their shades and levels of truth, and richness.