Monday, February 06, 2006

Q1 A10: Whether in Holy Scripture a word may have several senses?

Yes. Scripture has many senses because it signifies meaning not only by words but also by things themselves (which also have signification).

SIGNIFICATIONS (and hence senses of scripture):
1. historical or literal
2. spiritual:
(i) allegorical
(ii) moral
(iii) anagogical

Note the Reply to Objection 2: The literal sense includes:
(i) history (anything in a simple relation)
(ii) etiology (a cause is assigned to a thing)
(iii) analogy (affirming the noncontradiction of Scripture)

Note the Reply to Objection 3: The literal sense also includes the parabolical, "that which is figured"; for example, "God's arm" signifies, not an arm, but his operative power.