Do you Consider the Account of Daniel in the Fiery Furnace to be Allegorical or Literal?


How do you consider Daniel’s three friends in the fiery furnace, allegory or literal?


From the account we believe it was a literal occurrence, a real fiery furnace into which they were thrown. There is nothing here that contradicts Scripture teaching or is beyond the power of God. This was a marvelous display of God’s power, also a shining example from three stalwart youths who refused to yield to temptation even under threat of death. It no doubt was included in the Divine Record so that it could give courage and strength to others who would encounter similar trials through life.

Although we do not see the passage as intentionally an allegory, the Bible does not condemn our taking passages and drawing spiritual lessons from them. This story surely could be a source of spiritual teaching if its components are taken as symbols. The apostle Peter speaks of the “fiery trial which is to try you,” and this could be used to describe the internal conflict between our lusts and the demands of the law of God, or a trial brought on by those who demand allegiance to any “golden image” of this world.

But in its context in Scripture, we believe that it was an actual incident, as are most Biblical allegories. There was a literal Adam and Eve, as well as the Genesis account being an allegory. There was a literal Isaac and Ishmael, sons of Abraham, though the apostle Paul said “This is an allegory” (see Galatians 3).