[quote=“Peter_M, post:10, topic:460413, full:true”]
Who said that these words were strictly allegorical?
I think this is the opinion of most biblical scholars,
I don’t follow Biblical scholars.
although I would prefer the term “symbolic”, and not allegorical.
In either case, it doesn’t matter. The Catholic Church has not declared that 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 is to be understood in a strictly symbolic manner.
Let’s take some examples…
No. They are besides the point. No one has the authority to declare that 1 Thess is strictly symbolic.
Rev 13.1 - “Then I saw a beast come out of the sea, with seven heads, and on its horns were ten diadems…” Shall we interpret this in the literal sense? This is symbolic.
Ok. I agree.
John 15.1 - “I am the true vine, and my Father is the vine grower…” Literally? This is an obvious analogy, and we treat it as such.
I agree on this as well.
When describing events of an eschatological nature, only symbolic language is possible.
Eschatological does not mean symbolic. Is the Judgment supposed to be symbolic? It is eschatological, isn’t it?
Is heaven supposed to be symbolic? It is also eschatological.
Why Paul chose these particular images is the question.
On the contrary, that question is simple to answer. It is because he was inspired by the Holy Spirit.
The text literally says that when all is over, some will be left alive and that these will be taken to heaven by Jesus Christ. And that the dead will rise.
There is nothing of beasts or vines here. It all sounds very plausible. Unless you don’t believe that Jesus has the power to return on the clouds or to raise men up from the dead or to assume the living into heaven.