1. "An earthly story with a heavenly meaning?". Parables. 2. Greek (parabole) = to cast along side of. Hebrew ( mashal ) = a proverbial comparison. These words cover a range of figures of speech. Characteristics:. 1. Unhistorical but not antihistorical . Parables.
1. Unhistorical but not antihistorical
3. Unexpected turn of events
4. End Stress (Ryken)--the last line is the punch, therefore most important.
5. Evidence of careful composition
2. Often 3 principle characters
6. Simple vocabulary
7. Little embellishment to the story lines or characters
8. Setting, Story, Application
There are more than 2,000 Rabbinic parables that span several centuries but not can be proven to predate Jesus’.
1. Begin: “To what shall I compare this”
2. Use from lesser to greater logic
3. Short, with 2-3 main characters which often compare the wicked and righteous
4. They use stock images
5. They may either reveal or conceal
How Jesus’ parables are different from other Rabbis:
1. Jesus’ parables were not always allegorical (although they are in John)
2. They are all (35) about the Kingdom
3. Rabbinic parables reinforce conventional wisdom and/or exegesis
4. The degree of explicit interpretation in the rabbinic texts regularly exceeds that of the Gospels
"A parable is one of those stories in the Bible which sounds at first like a pleasant yarn but keeps something up its sleeve which pops out and leaves you flat" A.M. Hunter, Interpreting Parables, Westminster, 1976, p. 14.
Passages to Consider: Isaiah 6:8-13; Matthew 13:10-17; John 3:17-19; 12:36-43; Romans 11:5-14