Meaning: Surface and Deep

Surface Meaning- The meaning one gives to something when describing it in simple terms. It includes the whole range of the ideas in a message.  People often use the surface meaning when talking about themselves to strangers. Surface meaning  is often changed by context (Ellis, R.B., & Gates, B., 2003).

Deep Meaning- The underlying, implied meaning understood for practical purposes. Sometimes even the deep meaning can be interpreted wrongly.   


Even in the Christmas song, "The Twelve Days of Christmas," there is a surface and deep meaning:

The partridge in a Pear Tree was Jesus Christ.
Two turtle doves were the Old and New Testaments.
Three French hens stood for faith, hope and love.
Four calling birds were the four gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.
Five golden rings recalled the Torah or Law, the first five books of the Old Testament.
Six geese a-laying stood for the six days of creation.
Seven swans a-swimming represented the sevenfold gifts of the Holy Spirit;
Prophesy, Serving, Teaching, Exhortation, Contribution, Leadership and
Eight maids a-milking were the eight beatitudes.
Nine ladies dancing were the nine fruits of the Holy Spirit: Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness and Self Control
Ten lords a-leaping were the Ten Commandments.
Eleven pipers piping stood for the eleven faithful disciples.
Twelve drummers drumming symbolized the twelve points of belief in the Apostles' Creed.