What Is an Example of a Biblical Allusion?


Quick Answer

One example of a biblical allusion is the character Aslan in C.S. Lewis' "Chronicles of Narnia" series. He acts as a parallel to the biblical figure Jesus Christ in many ways, most notably in his sacrificial death and subsequent resurrection. An allusion is an implicit reference to another work, especially in literature. A biblical allusion is an implicit reference to a story or character of the Bible.

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Biblical allusions are common throughout literature and other forms of art. Typically, an allusion is implicit, requiring readers to make connections on their own, but that is not always the case. For example, T.S. Eliot's poem "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" makes a direct allusion to either the beggar Lazarus of the Gospel of Luke or the resurrected Lazarus of the Gospel of John: "To have squeezed the universe into a ball/To roll it toward some overwhelming question/To say: I am Lazarus, come from the dead[...]"

Since the Bible itself is an anthology of works, there are many biblical allusions within the Bible itself. Notably, many early parts of the Bible are often seen by Christian theologists as alluding to or foreshadowing later parts of the Bible, especially the New Testament. For example, Moses, in Exodus 32:33, offers himself as sacrifice after his people sin through idol worship, allowing his people to cross the Jordan into the Promised Land. Moses is said to be a "type" of Christ because of parallels like this, and the study in theology of these occurrences in the Bible is called "typology."

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