Interpreting the Bible “literally” simply means that every word of Scripture is given the same exact, basic meaning that it would ordinarily have in normal, customary usage. The only major alternative to the literal method of interpretation is the allegorical method (also called the spiritual method of interpretation). In this method one assumes there is a hidden interpretation to every verse. The result of interpreting allegorically is to make the Bible mean whatever you want it to mean. The literal method of interpreting the Bible takes into account figures of speech such as metaphors (eg. Luke 13:32), parables, symbols (eg. Rev. 1:12,16,20) and allegories (eg. Gal. 4:2224). These figures of speech, which are obviously not to be taken literally, are always clearly pointed out in Scripture – we never need to guess at them.