When I was a monk, I was a master in the use of allegories. I allegorized everything. Afterwards through the Epistle to the Romans, I came to some knowledge of Christ. I recognized then that all allegories nothing, that it’s not what Christ signifies but what Christ is that counts. Before I allegorized everything, even a chamber pot . . . . Jerome and Origen contributed to the practice of searching only for allegories. God forgive them. In all of Origen there is not one word of Christ (LW 1967 54:46-47).
If such spiritual juggling were to prevail, I would like to put Dr. Karlstadt and all his prophets to school for another three years. I was thoroughly drilled in this method when I first began to study the Bible ten years ago, before I discovered the true method. I too would carelessly say: “In the beginning God created heaven and earth," Gen. 1 [:1]: Heaven refers to the angels and the spiritual creatures; earth refers to the bodily creatures. Don't you think this was splendidly and truly said? Yes, but meanwhile what happened to the text? How could I prove, that in this verse heaven and earth are not the natural heaven and earth, as the words say? Brother, the natural meaning of the words is queen, transcending all subtle, acute sophistical fancy. From it we may not deviate, unless we are compelled by a clear article of the faith. Otherwise the spiritual jugglers would not leave a single letter in Scripture.He has some additional words about allegorical interpretation in Table Talk, which I will talk about next.
In this manner even the great teacher Origen played the fool, and led St. Jerome and many others astray with him. In former times his books were justly forbidden and condemned on account of such spiritual tomfoolery. For it is dangerous so to play with the Word of God by which conscience and faith are to be guided. Therefore, interpretations of God's Word must be lucid and definite having a firm, sure, and true foundation on which one may confidently rely.
A personal note: A very happy birthday to Camden!