To spin the straw of traditional religious narrative into the gold of philosophically coherent and elevating theology, Hellenistic intellectuals availed themselves of allegory. . . . Allegory enabled the enlightened reader to see through the surface level of a text to its spiritual message, to understand what the text truly meant in contrast to what it merely said. Grammar, rhetoric, philological finesse: all these tools of classical paideia might be brought to bear on an ancient story to turn it into a philosophically lucid statement of timeless truth.
Paula Fredriksen and Judith Lieu, "Christian Theology and Judaism," in The First Christian Theologians: An Introduction to Theology in the Early Church, ed. G. R. Evans (Malden, MA: Blackwell, 2004), 86.
From Fredriksen and Lieu’s description, it seems the purpose of allegory is to evade the original meaning and worldview of a text so that it can be conformed to an alien worldview. If this is so, allegorical readings of the OT are singularly unfit for Christian theologians, for the resort to allegory is an implicit confession that the NT and Christian theology are alien to the theology and worldview of the OT. For those who see the problems with Enlightenment hermeneutics and wish to return to pre-critical approaches, the Reformers are better models than the Fathers.