On Sentire Cum Ecclesia, David talks about a commonality between Jewish and Christian scriptural interpretation traditions. Here is a summary of the Jewish method known as Pardes:
Pardes refers to (types of) approaches to biblical exegesis in rabbinic Judaism (or – simpler – interpretation of text in Torah study). The term, sometimes also spelled PaRDeS, is an acronymn formed from the name initials of the following four approaches:
• Peshat — “plain” (“simple”) or the direct meaning.
• Remez — “hints” or the deep (allegoric: hidden or symbolic) meaning beyond just the literal sense.
• Derash — from Hebrew darash: “inquire” (“seek”) — the comparative (midrashic) meaning, as given through similar occurrences.
• Sod (pronounced with a long O as in ‘bone’) — “secret” (“mystery”) or the mystical meaning, as given through inspiration or revelation.
And here is a summary of the patristic method, as outlined in the Catechism:
115 …[O]ne can distinguish between two senses of Scripture: the literal and the spiritual, the latter being subdivided into the allegorical, moral and anagogical senses. …
116 The literal sense is the meaning conveyed by the words of Scripture and discovered by exegesis, following the rules of sound interpretation: “All other senses of Sacred Scripture are based on the literal” [St. Thomas Aquinas].
117 The spiritual sense…
1. The allegorical sense…
2. The moral sense…
3. The anagogical sense….
118 A medieval couplet summarizes the significance of the four senses: “The Letter speaks of deeds; Allegory to faith; The Moral how to act; Anagogy our destiny.”