Reply to Objection 1. The multiplicity of these senses does not produce equivocation or any other kind of multiplicity, seeing that these senses are not multiplied because one word signifies several things, but because the things signified by the words can be themselves types of other things. Thus in Holy Writ no confusion results, for all the senses are founded on one - the literal - from which alone can any argument be drawn, and not from those intended in allegory, as Augustine says [Epis. 48]. Nevertheless, nothing of Holy Scripture perishes on account of this,
since nothing necessary to faith is contained under the spiritual sense which is not elsewhere put forward by the Scripture in its literal sense.
Reply to Objection 2. These three - history, etiology, analogy - are grouped
under the literal sense. For it is called history, as Augustine expounds [Epis. 48], whenever anything is simply related; it is called etiology when its cause is assigned, as when Our Lord gave the reason why Moses allowed the putting away of wives - namely, on account of the hardness of men's hearts; it is called analogy whenever the truth of one text of Scripture is shown not to contradict the truth of another. Of these four, allegory alone stands for the three spiritual senses. Thus Hugh of St.
Victor [Sacram. iv, 4 Prolog.] includes the anagogical under the allegorical sense, laying down three senses only - the historical, the
allegorical, and the tropological (moral).
Reply to Objection 3. The parabolical sense is contained in the literal, for by words things are signified properly and figuratively. Nor is the figure itself, but that which is figured, the literal sense. When Scripture speaks of God's arm, the literal sense is not that God has such a member, but only what is signified by this member, namely operative power. Hence it is plain that nothing false can ever underlie the literal sense of Holy Scripture.