Friday, February 22, 2008

The Good Samaritan

Thanks to my friend JS for this allegorical reading:

"The man who was going down is Adam. Jerusalem is
paradise, and Jericho is the world. The robbers are
hostile powers. The priest is the Law, the Levite is
the prophets, and the Samaritan is Christ. The wounds
are disobedience, the beast is the Lord’s body, the
[inn], which accepts all who wish to enter, is the
Church. … The manager of the [inn] is the head of the
Church, to whom its care has been entrusted. And the
fact that the Samaritan promises he will return
represents the Savior’s second coming."

This interpretation, which might sound new to us, used
to be of common understanding:

"This allegorical reading was taught not only by
ancient followers of Jesus, but it was virtually
universal throughout early Christianity, being
advocated by Irenaeus, Clement, and Origen, and in the
fourth and fifth centuries by Chrysostom in
Constantinople, Ambrose in Milan, and Augustine in
North Africa. This interpretation is found most
completely in two other medieval stained-glass
windows, in the French cathedrals at Bourges and

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