One area where I wasted too much time early in my believing life was reading commentaries. While I enjoyed some radio expositors like J. Vernon McGee when broadcasts were available, I found over time that the majority of other commentaries on the more difficult passages for dissections of allegories/parables/similitdes, etc, in the N.T. were somewhat worthless and generally useless because they take a 'literal/historical' analysis base for the most part, which really isn't what the arena of allegory/parable/similitude is about. After being stymied by literal/historical venues which couldn't match up/jive I went another direction for studies of allegories/similitude/association meanings. Studies on those come mostly from Revelation analysis and there is also so much junk to wade through there, but bits and pieces of legitimate information can be picked up, stored in the brain vault, and used for comparative analysis to sort through the large amounts of relevant and irrelevant data to get clearer comparative pictures that are "universally deployed" throughout the scriptures i.e. what was true and applicable at the start of the scriptures is true to the end and applicable in some ways to "all" believers. Matt. 4:4, Luke 4:4. I also spent several years following the lives of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob using associations and studying all the somewhat seemingly quirky things they did, the paths they took, how God dealt with them, etc, primarily from the advice of Jesus in the Gospels here: John 8:39 They answered and said unto him, Abraham is our father. Jesus saith unto them, If ye were Abraham's children, ye would do the works of Abraham. Since Paul stakes that Abraham is the father of faith, Romans 4:16, and Jesus pointed to do Abraham's works, I thought it was a worthy study area, and it turned out to be delightful for me, personally. I used Paul's basis of Abraham, Sarah, Isaac, Hagar, Ishmael and the law as being an allegory in Gal. 4 as the basis of understanding, since obviously doing the works Abraham did in the strictly literal/historical senses of applications is impossible for any of us today. Paul also quite rightfully pointed out that the scripture preached the Gospel to Abraham, Gal. 3:8, and that also intrigued me, to go find out "HOW" that was so. Again, knowing that the information in the O.T. is FIGURATIVE language helped greatly. Heb. 11:19. And having established some good ground work in allegory/parable/similitude from Revelation analysis from a huge body of works from Christian writers across the spectrum of beliefs really helped the most, though I eventually had to put that data input aside having milked it for all it was worth and still had no clear pictures (still don't) that can really handle that particular piece of work (Rev.) that I'm comfortable with (pre/mid/post/amil/premil etc). I also had the pleasure of encountering various christian mystics in online chat rooms who, although reluctant to the person to actually fork over their supposedly inside information, will do so if treated respectfully. Having spent a few years in the charismatic arena and being "exposed" to just about every form of spiritual fruitcake actually helped me engage the more fringe elements of mysticism. I did find a few amazing gems in the whole charismatic/mystic arenas. But a LOT of high and extreme weirdness, moreso. And the space is filled with spiritual predators, so be warned. When studying the allegory/similitude/parable arena it's mandatory to take in a wide body of evidence in order to sort through the comparative rubble and pick up the occasional gem, just as it was mandatory to not get locked in to one particular slant for Rev. None of this approach is for fools or novices. I found my fundamental roots served me well to keep it stable and real. But fundamentalism assuredly does NOT have all the answers. One thing is certain. God DOESN'T speak a language that is easy to understand. The Bible actually does require a student to submit to certain milestones or mile markers along the study trails and in life in general, OR the information will remain in secure LOCKDOWN. Prayer and submission to the fact of spiritual blindness is mandatory. One can not PRESUME to speak for Gods Word. Gods Word speaks for Himself and we, as students either personally submit or we're not going to "get it." Not saying a simple understanding isn't sufficient for salvation. But there is a lot more information therein that is free for the taking, with submissions to The Author's Dictates. A person doesn't study scriptures for a lifetime unless it's deeply engaging at every level possible.