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Parables of Jesus
Contents
Articles
Main article
1
Parables of Jesus 1
Parable 12
Canonical parables
16
Barren Fig Tree 16
Budding Fig Tree 17
Counting the cost 19
Drawing in the Net 20
Faithful Servant 21
Friend at Night 23
Good Samaritan 25
Great Banquet 35
Growing Seed 38
Hidden Treasure 39
Lamp 42
Leaven 43
Lost Coin 45
Lost Sheep 47
Master and Servant 50
Mustard Seed 51
New Wine into Old Wineskins 53
Pearl 55
Pharisee and the Publican 58
Prodigal Son 60
Rich Fool 66
Rich man and Lazarus 68
Sower 77
Strong Man 80
Talents 82
Tares 86
Ten Virgins 90
Two Debtors 94
Two Sons 98
Unjust Judge 99
Unjust Steward 100
Unforgiving Servant 103
Wicked Husbandmen 105
Wise and Foolish Builders 109
Workers in the Vineyard 111
Non-canonical parables
114
Assassin 114
Empty Jar 115
References
Article Sources and Contributors 117
Image Sources, Licenses and Contributors 120
Article Licenses
License 123
1
Main article
Parables of Jesus
The Parable of the Prodigal Son by Guercino
The parables of Jesus can be found in all
the Canonical gospels as well as in some of
the non-canonical gospels but are located
mainly within the three synoptic gospels.
They represent a key part of the teachings of
Jesus, forming approximately one third of
his recorded teachings. Christians place high
emphasis on these parables, since they are
the words of Jesus, they are believed to be
what the Father has taught, indicated by John
8:28
[1]
and 14:10
[2]
.
[3][4]
Jesus' parables are seemingly simple and
memorable stories, often with imagery, and
all convey messages. Scholars have
commented that although these parables
seem simple, the messages they convey are
deep, and central to the teachings of Jesus.
Christian authors view them not as mere
similitudes which serve the purpose of
illustration, but as internal analogies where
nature becomes a witness for the spiritual
world.
[5][6]
Many of Jesus' parables refer to simple
everyday things, such as a woman baking
bread (parable of the Leaven), a man knocking on his neighbor's door at night (parable of the Friend at Night), or the
aftermath of a roadside mugging (parable of the Good Samaritan); yet they deal with major religious themes, such as
the growth of the Kingdom of God, the importance of prayer, and the meaning of love.
In Western civilization, these parables formed the prototype for the term parable and in the modern age, even among
those who know little of the Bible, the parables of Jesus remain some of the best known stories in the world.
[7]
Roots and sources
Parables of Jesus
2
Part of a series on
Christianity portal
Islam portal
As a translation of the Hebrew word mashal the word parable can also refer to a riddle. In all times in their
history the Jews were familiar with teaching by means of parables and a number of parables also exist in the Old
Testament. The use of parables by Jesus was hence a natural teaching method that fit into the tradition of his
time.
[7][8]
The parables of Jesus have been quoted, taught, and discussed since the very beginnings of Christianity.
Canonical gospels
The three synoptic gospels contain the parables of Jesus. The Gospel of John contains only the stories of the Vine
and Good Shepherd, which some consider to be parables.
[9]
Otherwise, it includes allegories but no parables. Several
authors such as Barbara Reid, Arland Hultgren or Donald Griggs comment that "parables are noticeably absent from
the Gospel of John".
[10][11][12][13]
The Catholic Encyclopedia states: "There are no parables in St. John's Gospel. In the Synoptics ... we reckon
thirty-three in all; but some have raised the number even to sixty, by including proverbial expressions."
[14]
The
Gospel of Luke contains both the largest total number of parables (24) and eighteen unique parables; the Gospel of
Matthew contains 23 parables of which eleven are unique; and the Gospel of Mark contains eight parables of which
two are unique.
In Harmony of the Gospels, Cox and Easley provide a Gospel harmony for the parables based on the following
counts: Only in Matthew: 11, only in Mark: 2, only in Luke: 18, Matthew and Luke: 4, Matthew, Mark and Luke: 6.
They list no parables for the Gospel of John.
[15]
Other documents
Parables attributed to Jesus are also found in other documents apart from the Bible. Some of these overlap those in
the canonical gospels and some are not part of the Bible. The non-canonical Gospel of Thomas contains up to fifteen
parables, eleven of which have parallels in the four canonical Gospels. The unknown author of the Gospel of
Thomas did not have a special word for "parable," making it difficult to know what he considered a parable.
[16]
Those unique to Thomas include the Parable of the Assassin and the Parable of the Empty Jar.
The noncanonical Apocryphon of James also contains three unique parables attributed to Jesus.
[17]
They are known
as "The Parable of the Ear of Grain", "The Parable of the Grain of Wheat", and "The Parable of the Date-Palm
Shoot".
[18]
The hypothetical Q document is seen as a source for some of the parables in Matthew, Luke, and Thomas.
[19]
Parables of Jesus
3
Purpose and motive
In the Gospel of Matthew (13:10-17) Jesus provides an answer when asked about his use of parables:
[20]
The disciples came to him and asked, "Why do you speak to the people in parables?" He replied,
"The knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of heaven has been given to you, but not to them.
Whoever has will be given more, and he will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what he
has will be taken from him. This is why I speak to them in parables:
Though seeing, they do not see; though hearing, they do not hear or understand."
While Mark 4:33-34
[21]
and Matthew 13:34-35
[22]
may suggest that Jesus would only speak to the "crowds" in
parables, while in private explaining everything to his disciples, modern scholars do not support the private
explanations argument and surmise that Jesus used parables as a teaching method.
[23]
Dwight Pentecost suggests that
given that Jesus often preached to a mixed audience of believers and non-believers, he used parables to reveal the
truth to some, but hide it from others.
[3]
Christian author Ashton Axenden suggests that Jesus constructed his parables based on his divine knowledge of how
man can be taught:
[24]
This was a mode of teaching, which our blessed Lord seemed to take special delight in employing. And
we may be quite sure, that as "He knew what was in man" better than we know, He would not have
taught by Parables, if He had not felt that this was the kind of teaching best suited to our wants.
In the 19th century, Lisco and Fairbairn stated that in the parables of Jesus, "the image borrowed from the visible
world is accompanied by a truth from the invisible (spiritual) world" and that the parables of Jesus are not "mere
similitudes which serve the purpose of illustration, but are internal analogies where nature becomes a witness for the
spiritual world".
[5]
Similarly, in the 20th century, calling a parable "an earthly story with a heavenly meaning",
[25]
William Barclay
states that the parables of Jesus use familiar examples to lead men's minds towards heavenly concepts. He suggests
that Jesus did not form his parables merely as analogies but based on an "inward affinity between the natural and the
spiritual order."
[25]
Themes
A number of parables which are adjacent in one or more gospels have similar themes. The parable of the Leaven
follows the parable of the Mustard Seed in Matthew and Luke, and shares the theme of the Kingdom of Heaven
growing from small beginnings.
[26]
The parable of the Hidden Treasure and parable of the Pearl form a pair
illustrating the great value of the Kingdom of Heaven, and the need for action in attaining it.
[27]
The parables of the Lost Sheep, Lost Coin, and Lost (Prodigal) Son form a trio in Luke dealing with loss and
redemption.
[28]
The parable of the Faithful Servant and parable of the Ten Virgins, adjacent in Matthew, involve waiting for a
bridegroom, and have an eschatological theme: be prepared for the day of reckoning.
[29]
The parable of the Tares
[30]
the parable of the Rich Fool,
[31]
the parable of the budding fig tree,
[32]
and the parable of the barren fig tree
[33]
also
have eschatological themes.
Other parables stand alone, such as the parable of the unforgiving servant, dealing with forgiveness;
[34]
the parable
of the Good Samaritan, dealing with practical love;
[35]
and the parable of the Friend at Night, dealing with
persistence in prayer.
[36]
Parables of Jesus
4
Parables of the Kingdom of Heaven: hearing, seeking and growing
Sower Hidden Treasure Pearl
Growing Seed Mustard Seed Leaven
Parables of loss and redemption
Lost Sheep Lost Coin Prodigal (Lost) Son
Parables about love and forgiveness
Good Samaritan Two Debtors Unforgiving Servant
Parables of Jesus
5
Parables about prayer
Friend at Night Unjust Judge Pharisee & Publican
Eschatological parables
Faithful Servant Ten Virgins Great Banquet
Rich Fool Wicked Husbandmen Tares
The Net Budding Fig Tree Barren Fig Tree
Parables of Jesus
6
Other parables
Wise & Foolish Builders Lamp under a Bushel Unjust Steward
Rich Man and Lazarus Talents (Minas) Workers in the Vineyard
Art
A depiction of the Parable of the Ten Virgins on a stained glass window in Scots'
Church, Melbourne
Of the thirty or so parables in the canonical
Gospels, four were shown in medieval art
almost to the exclusion of the others, but not
mixed in with the narrative scenes of the
Life of Christ. These were: the Ten Virgins,
the Rich man and Lazarus, the Prodigal Son
and the Good Samaritan.
[37]
Artists famous
for depicting parables include Martin
Schongauer, Pieter the Elder Bruegal and
Albrecht Drer. The Workers in the
Vineyard also appears in Early Medieval
works. From the Renaissance the numbers
shown widened slightly, and the various
scenes of the Prodigal Son became the clear
favorite, with the Good Samaritan also
popular. Albrecht Drer made a famous
engraving of the Prodigal Son amongst the
pigs (1496), a popular subject in the Northern Renaissance, and Rembrandt depicted the story several times, although
at least one of his works, The Prodigal Son in the Tavern, a portrait of himself as the Son, revelling with his wife, is
like many artists' depictions, a way of dignifying a genre tavern scene. His late Return of the Prodigal Son
(Hermitage Museum, St Petersburg) is one of his most popular works.
Parables of Jesus
7
Poetry and hymns
As well as being depicted in art and discussed in prose, a number of parables form the inspiration for religious poetry
and hymns. For example, the hymn "The Ninety and Nine" by Elizabeth C. Clephane (1868) is inspired by the
parable of the Lost Sheep:
There were ninety and nine that safely lay
In the shelter of the fold.
But one was out on the hills away,
Far off from the gates of gold.
Away on the mountains wild and bare.
Away from the tender Shepherds care.
Away from the tender Shepherds care.
[3]
Similarly, "My Hope Is Built" (Edward Mote, c. 1834) is inspired by the parable of the Wise and the Foolish
Builders, and "How Kind the Good Samaritan" (John Newton, c. 1779) is inspired by the parable of the Good
Samaritan.
Harmony of parables
A sample Gospel harmony for the parables based on the list of key episodes in the Canonical Gospels is presented in
the table below. For the sake of consistency, this table is automatically sub-selected from the main harmony table in
the Gospel harmony article, based on the list of key episodes in the Canonical Gospels. Usually, no parables are
associated with the Gospel of John, just allegories.
[15]
Number Event Matthew Mark Luke John
1 The Growing Seed
Mark 4:26-29
[38]
2 The Two Debtors
Luke 7:41-43
[39]
3 The Lamp under a Bushel
Matthew 5:14-15
[40]
Mark 4:21-25
[41]
Luke 8:16-18
[42]
4 Parable of the Good Samaritan
Luke 10:30-37
[43]
5 The Friend at Night
Luke 11:5-8
[44]
6 The Rich Fool
Luke 12:16-21
[45]
7 The Wise and the Foolish Builders
Matthew 7:24-27
[46]
Luke 6:46-49
[47]
8 New Wine into Old Wineskins
Matthew 9:17-17
[48]
Mark 2:21-22
[49]
Luke 5:37-39
[50]
9 Parable of the strong man
Matthew 12:29-29
[51]
Mark 3:27-27
[52]
Luke 11:21-22
[53]
10 Parable of the Sower
Matthew 13:3-9
[54]
Mark 4:3-9
[55]
Luke 8:5-8
[56]
11 The Tares
Matthew 13:24-30
[57]
12 The Barren Fig Tree
Luke 13:6-9
[58]
13 Parable of the Mustard Seed
Matthew 13:31-32
[59]
Mark 4:30-32
[60]
Luke 13:18-19
[61]
14 The Leaven
Matthew 13:33-33
[62]
Luke 13:20-21
[63]
15 Parable of the Pearl
Matthew 13:45-46
[64]
16 Drawing in the Net
Matthew 13:47-50
[65]
Parables of Jesus
8
17 The Hidden Treasure
Matthew 13:44-44
[66]
18 Counting the Cost
Luke 14:28-33
[67]
19 The Lost Sheep frequently called The Good Shepherd
Matthew 18:10-14
[68]
Luke 15:4-6
[69]
20 The Unforgiving Servant
Matthew 18:23-35
[70]
21 The Lost Coin
Luke 15:8-9
[71]
22 Parable of the Prodigal Son
Luke 15:11-32
[72]
23 The Unjust Steward
Luke 16:1-13
[73]
24 Rich man and Lazarus
Luke 16:19-31
[74]
25 The Master and Servant
Luke 17:7-10
[75]
26 The Unjust Judge
Luke 18:1-9
[76]
27 Pharisees and the Publican
Luke 18:10-14
[77]
28 The Workers in the Vineyard
Matthew 20:1-16
[78]
29 The Two Sons
Matthew 21:28-32
[79]
30 The Wicked Husbandmen
Matthew 21:33-41
[80]
Mark 12:1-9
[81]
Luke 20:9-16
[82]
31 The Great Banquet
Matthew 22:1-14
[83]
Luke 14:15-24
[84]
32 The Budding Fig Tree
Matthew 24:32-35
[85]
Mark 13:28-31
[86]
Luke 21:29-33
[87]
33 The Faithful Servant
Matthew 24:42-51
[88]
Mark 13:34-37
[89]
Luke 12:35-48
[90]
34 The Ten Virgins
Matthew 25:1-13
[91]
35 The Talents or Minas
Matthew 25:14-30
[92]
Luke 19:12-27
[93]
36 The Sheep and the Goats
Matthew 25:31-46
[94]
37 Parable of the Wedding Feast
Luke 14:7-14
[95]
Parallels outside the canonical gospels
A number of parables have parallels in non-canonical gospels, the Didache, and the letters of Apostolic Fathers.
However, given that the non-canonical gospels generally have no time sequence, this table is not a Gospel harmony.
Number Parable Matthew Mark Luke
Other
parallels
[96][97][98]
1 Parable of the Sower
Matthew 13:1-23
[99]
Mark 04:1-25
[100]
Luke 08:04-18
[101]
Thomas 9
1 Clement 24:5
2 Parable of the Tares
Matthew 13:2453
[102]
Thomas 57
3 Parable of the Growing Seed
Mark 04:26-34
[103]
Thomas 21
4 Parable of the Hidden Treasure
Matthew 13:44
[104]
Thomas 109
Parables of Jesus
9
5 Parable of the Pearl
Matthew 13:45
[105]
Thomas 76
6 Parable of Drawing in the Net
Matthew 13:4753
[106]
Thomas 8
7 Parable of the Rich Fool
Luke 12:16-21
[45]
Thomas 63
8 Parable of the Faithful Servant
Matthew 24:42-51
[107]
Mark 13:33-37
[108]
Luke 12:35-48
[90]
Thomas 103
Didache 16:1a
9 Parable of the Mustard Seed
Matthew 13:31-32
[109]
Mark 4:30-32
[110]
Luke 13:18-19
[61]
Thomas 20
10 Parable of the Leaven
Matthew 13:33
[111]
Luke 13:20-21
[63]
Thomas 96
11 Parable of the Lost Sheep
Matthew 18:12-14
[112]
Luke 15:01-7
[113]
Thomas 107
Gospel of Truth 31-32
12 Parable of the Wicked
Husbandmen
Matthew 21:33-46
[114]
Mark 12:1-12
[115]
Luke 20:9-19
[116]
Thomas 65
13 Parable of the Talents
Matthew 25:14-30
[117]
Luke 19:13-24
[118]
Nazoraeans 18
References
[1] http:/ / bibref. hebtools. com/ ?book=%20John& verse=8:28& src=TNIV
[2] http:/ / bibref. hebtools. com?book=%20John& verse=14:10& src=TNIV
[3] J. Dwight Pentecost, 1998 The parables of Jesus: lessons in life from the Master Teacher ISBN 0-8254-3458-0 page 10
[4] Eric Francis Osborn, 1993 The emergence of Christian theology ISBN 0-521-43078-X page 98
[5] Friedrich Gustav Lisco 1850 The Parables of Jesus Daniels and Smith Publishers, Philadelphia pages 9-11
[6] [6] Ashton Oxenden, 1864 The parables of our Lord William Macintosh Publishers, London, page 6
[7] William Barclay, 1999 The Parables of Jesus ISBN 0-664-25828-X page 9
[8] Pheme Perkins, 2007 Introduction to the synoptic gospels ISBN 0-8028-1770-X page 105
[9] i.e. The Vine and the Branches by David Tryon (http:/ / www. christinyou. net/ pages/ vinebranch. html), as others have throughout history
including John Calvin in John Calvin's Commentary on John Volume 2 (http:/ / www. ccel. org/ ccel/ calvin/ calcom35. v. i. html)
[10] Barbara Reid, 2001 Parables for Preachers ISBN 0-8146-2550-9 page 3
[11] Arland J. Hultgren, 2002 The Parables of Jesus ISBN 0-8028-6077-X page 2
[12] Donald L. Griggs, 2003 The Bible from scratch ISBN 0-664-22577-2 page 52
[13] According to the Catholic Encyclopedia article on Parables (http:/ / www. newadvent. org/ cathen/ 11460a. htm): "There are no parables in
St. John's Gospel" and the Encyclopdia Britannica article on Gospel of St. John (http:/ / www. 1911encyclopedia. org/ Gospel_Of_St_John):
"Here Jesus' teaching contains no parables and but three allegories, the Synoptists present it as parabolic through and through."
[15] Steven L. Cox, Kendell H Easley, 2007 Harmony of the Gospels ISBN 0-8054-9444-8 page 348
[16] Scott, Bernard Brandon (1989). Hear Then the Parable: A Commentary on the Parables of Jesus. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 33-34. The
actual number of parables in Thomas is fluid. John Dominic Crossan counts 15, Ron Cameron 14, and Bernard Brandon Scott 13. See also
Crossan, John Dominic (1992). In Parables: The Challenge of the Historical Jesus. Sonoma, CA: Polebridge Press and Cameron, Ron (1986).
Parable and Interpretation in the Gospel of Thomas. Forum 2/2.
[18] Cameron, Ron (2004). Sayings Traditions in the Apocryphon Of James. Cambridge, MA: Harvard Divinity School, 8-30.
[19] [19] Theissen and Merz 1996, p.339
[20] [20] . See also and
[21] http:/ / bibref.hebtools. com/ ?book=%20Mark& verse=4:33-34& src=TNIV
[22] http:/ / bibref.hebtools. com/ ?book=%20Matthew& verse=13:34-35& src=TNIV
[23] [23] Harris, Stephen L., Understanding the Bible. Palo Alto: Mayfield. 1985.
[24] Ashton Oxenden, 1864 The parables of our Lord William Macintosh Publishers, London page 1
[25] William Barclay, 1999 The Parables of Jesus ISBN 0-664-25828-X pages 12.
[26] Ben Witherington, Women in the Ministry of Jesus: A study of Jesus' attitudes to women and their roles as reflected in his earthly life (http:/
/ books.google. com. au/ books?id=xGePuntVBhgC& pg=PA40), Cambridge University Press, 1987, ISBN 0-521-34781-5, p. 4041.
[27] John Nolland, The Gospel of Matthew: A commentary on the Greek text (http:/ / books. google. com. au/ books?id=9cL_kpdUE-oC&
pg=PA565), Eerdmans, 2005, ISBN 0-8028-2389-0, pp. 565566.
[28] Richard N. Longenecker, The Challenge of Jesus' Parables (http:/ / books. google. com. au/ books?id=JojVvncUgk0C& pg=PA201),
Eerdmans, 2000, ISBN 0-8028-4638-6, pp. 201204.
Parables of Jesus
10
[29] R. T. France, The Gospel According to Matthew: An introduction and commentary (http:/ / books. google. com. au/
books?id=ttTgacXnLV8C& pg=PA348), Eerdmans, 1985, ISBN 0-8028-0063-7, pp. 348-352.
[30] R. T. France, The Gospel According to Matthew: An introduction and commentary (http:/ / books. google. com. au/
books?id=ttTgacXnLV8C& pg=PA225), Eerdmans, 1985, ISBN 0-8028-0063-7, p. 225.
[31] John Clifford Purdy, Parables at Work (http:/ / books. google. com. au/ books?id=hxf4h-HJU9AC& pg=PA41), Westminster John Knox
Press, 1986, ISBN 0-664-24640-0, pp. 41-43.
[32] Bernard Brandon Scott, Hear Then the Parable: A commentary on the parables of Jesus (http:/ / books. google. com. au/
books?id=wtphytF1ePQC& pg=PA338), Fortress Press, 1989, ISBN 0-8006-2481-5, pp. 338-340.
[33] Peter Rhea Jones, Studying the Parables of Jesus (http:/ / books. google. com. au/ books?id=tNQdaOREo6sC& pg=PA123), Smyth &
Helwys, 1999, ISBN 1-57312-167-3, pp. 123-133.
[34] Craig S. Keener, A Commentary on the Gospel of Matthew (http:/ / books. google. com. au/ books?id=sWzhEdBZOp4C& pg=PA456),
Eerdmans, 1999, ISBN 0-8028-3821-9, pp. 456461.
[35] Joel B. Green, The Gospel of Luke (http:/ / books. google. com. au/ books?id=wzRVN2S8cVgC& pg=PA432), Eerdmans, 1997, ISBN
0-8028-2315-7, p. 432.
[36] I. Howard Marshall, The Gospel of Luke: A commentary on the Greek text (http:/ / books. google. com. au/ books?id=rKqiibViFowC&
pg=PA462), Eerdmans, 1978, ISBN 0-8028-3512-0, pp. 462465.
[37] [37] Emile Mle, The Gothic Image , Religious Art in France of the Thirteen Century, p 195, English trans of 3rd edn, 1913, Collins, London
(and many other editions)
[38] http:/ / bibref.hebtools. com/ ?book=%20Mark& verse=4:26-29& src=TNIV
[39] http:/ / bibref.hebtools. com/ ?book=%20Luke& verse=7:41-43& src=TNIV
[40] http:/ / bibref.hebtools. com/ ?book=%20Matthew& verse=5:14-15& src=TNIV
[41] http:/ / bibref.hebtools. com/ ?book=%20Mark& verse=4:21-25& src=TNIV
[42] http:/ / bibref.hebtools. com/ ?book=%20Luke& verse=8:16-18& src=TNIV
[43] http:/ / bibref.hebtools. com/ ?book=%20Luke& verse=10:30-37& src=TNIV
[44] http:/ / bibref.hebtools. com/ ?book=%20Luke& verse=11:5-8& src=TNIV
[45] http:/ / bibref.hebtools. com/ ?book=%20Luke& verse=12:16-21& src=TNIV
[46] http:/ / bibref.hebtools. com/ ?book=%20Matthew& verse=7:24-27& src=TNIV
[47] http:/ / bibref.hebtools. com/ ?book=%20Luke& verse=6:46-49& src=TNIV
[48] http:/ / bibref.hebtools. com/ ?book=%20Matthew& verse=9:17-17& src=TNIV
[49] http:/ / bibref.hebtools. com/ ?book=%20Mark& verse=2:21-22& src=TNIV
[50] http:/ / bibref.hebtools. com/ ?book=%20Luke& verse=5:37-39& src=TNIV
[51] http:/ / bibref.hebtools. com/ ?book=%20Matthew& verse=12:29-29& src=TNIV
[52] http:/ / bibref.hebtools. com/ ?book=%20Mark& verse=3:27-27& src=TNIV
[53] http:/ / bibref.hebtools. com/ ?book=%20Luke& verse=11:21-22& src=TNIV
[54] http:/ / bibref.hebtools. com/ ?book=%20Matthew& verse=13:3-9& src=TNIV
[55] http:/ / bibref.hebtools. com/ ?book=%20Mark& verse=4:3-9& src=TNIV
[56] http:/ / bibref.hebtools. com/ ?book=%20Luke& verse=8:5-8& src=TNIV
[57] http:/ / bibref.hebtools. com/ ?book=%20Matthew& verse=13:24-30& src=TNIV
[58] http:/ / bibref.hebtools. com/ ?book=%20Luke& verse=13:6-9& src=TNIV
[59] http:/ / bibref.hebtools. com/ ?book=%20Matthew& verse=13:31-32& src=TNIV
[60] http:/ / bibref.hebtools. com/ ?book=%20Mark& verse=4:30-32& src=TNIV
[61] http:/ / bibref.hebtools. com/ ?book=%20Luke& verse=13:18-19& src=TNIV
[62] http:/ / bibref.hebtools. com/ ?book=%20Matthew& verse=13:33-33& src=TNIV
[63] http:/ / bibref.hebtools. com/ ?book=%20Luke& verse=13:20-21& src=TNIV
[64] http:/ / bibref.hebtools. com/ ?book=%20Matthew& verse=13:45-46& src=TNIV
[65] http:/ / bibref.hebtools. com/ ?book=%20Matthew& verse=13:47-50& src=TNIV
[66] http:/ / bibref.hebtools. com/ ?book=%20Matthew& verse=13:44-44& src=TNIV
[67] http:/ / bibref.hebtools. com/ ?book=%20Luke& verse=14:28-33& src=TNIV
[68] http:/ / bibref.hebtools. com/ ?book=%20Matthew& verse=18:10-14& src=TNIV
[69] http:/ / bibref.hebtools. com/ ?book=%20Luke& verse=15:4-6& src=TNIV
[70] http:/ / bibref.hebtools. com/ ?book=%20Matthew& verse=18:23-35& src=TNIV
[71] http:/ / bibref.hebtools. com/ ?book=%20Luke& verse=15:8-9& src=TNIV
[72] http:/ / bibref.hebtools. com/ ?book=%20Luke& verse=15:11-32& src=TNIV
[73] http:/ / bibref.hebtools. com/ ?book=%20Luke& verse=16:1-13& src=TNIV
[74] http:/ / bibref.hebtools. com/ ?book=%20Luke& verse=16:19-31& src=TNIV
[75] http:/ / bibref.hebtools. com/ ?book=%20Luke& verse=17:7-10& src=TNIV
[76] http:/ / bibref.hebtools. com/ ?book=%20Luke& verse=18:1-9& src=TNIV
[77] http:/ / bibref.hebtools. com/ ?book=%20Luke& verse=18:10-14& src=TNIV
[78] http:/ / bibref.hebtools. com/ ?book=%20Matthew& verse=20:1-16& src=TNIV
Parables of Jesus
11
[79] http:/ / bibref.hebtools. com/ ?book=%20Matthew& verse=21:28-32& src=TNIV
[80] http:/ / bibref.hebtools. com/ ?book=%20Matthew& verse=21:33-41& src=TNIV
[81] http:/ / bibref.hebtools. com/ ?book=%20Mark& verse=12:1-9& src=TNIV
[82] http:/ / bibref.hebtools. com/ ?book=%20Luke& verse=20:9-16& src=TNIV
[83] http:/ / bibref.hebtools. com/ ?book=%20Matthew& verse=22:1-14& src=TNIV
[84] http:/ / bibref.hebtools. com/ ?book=%20Luke& verse=14:15-24& src=TNIV
[85] http:/ / bibref.hebtools. com/ ?book=%20Matthew& verse=24:32-35& src=TNIV
[86] http:/ / bibref.hebtools. com/ ?book=%20Mark& verse=13:28-31& src=TNIV
[87] http:/ / bibref.hebtools. com/ ?book=%20Luke& verse=21:29-33& src=TNIV
[88] http:/ / bibref.hebtools. com/ ?book=%20Matthew& verse=24:42-51& src=TNIV
[89] http:/ / bibref.hebtools. com/ ?book=%20Mark& verse=13:34-37& src=TNIV
[90] http:/ / bibref.hebtools. com/ ?book=%20Luke& verse=12:35-48& src=TNIV
[91] http:/ / bibref.hebtools. com/ ?book=%20Matthew& verse=25:1-13& src=TNIV
[92] http:/ / bibref.hebtools. com/ ?book=%20Matthew& verse=25:14-30& src=TNIV
[93] http:/ / bibref.hebtools. com/ ?book=%20Luke& verse=19:12-27& src=TNIV
[94] http:/ / bibref.hebtools. com/ ?book=%20Matthew& verse=25:31-46& src=TNIV
[95] http:/ / bibref.hebtools. com/ ?book=%20Luke& verse=14:7-14& src=TNIV
[99] http:/ / bibref.hebtools. com/ ?book=%20Matthew& verse=13:1-23& src=TNIV
[100] http:/ / bibref. hebtools. com/ ?book=%20Mark& verse=04:1-25& src=TNIV
[101] http:/ / bibref. hebtools. com/ ?book=%20Luke& verse=08:04-18& src=TNIV
[102] http:/ / bibref. hebtools. com/ ?book=%20Matthew& verse=13:2453& src=TNIV
[103] http:/ / bibref. hebtools. com/ ?book=%20Mark& verse=04:26-34& src=TNIV
[104] http:/ / bibref. hebtools. com/ ?book=%20Matthew& verse=13:44& src=TNIV
[105] http:/ / bibref. hebtools. com/ ?book=%20Matthew& verse=13:45& src=TNIV
[106] http:/ / bibref. hebtools. com/ ?book=%20Matthew& verse=13:4753& src=TNIV
[107] http:/ / bibref. hebtools. com/ ?book=%20Matthew& verse=24:42-51& src=!
[108] http:/ / bibref. hebtools. com/ ?book=%20Mark& verse=13:33-37& src=!
[109] http:/ / bibref. hebtools. com/ ?book=%20Matthew& verse=13:31-32& src=!
[110] http:/ / bibref. hebtools. com/ ?book=%20Mark& verse=4:30-32& src=!
[111] http:/ / bibref. hebtools. com/ ?book=%20Matthew& verse=13:33& src=130
[112] http:/ / bibref. hebtools. com/ ?book=%20Matthew& verse=18:12-14& src=TNIV
[113] http:/ / bibref. hebtools. com/ ?book=%20Luke& verse=15:01-7& src=TNIV
[114] http:/ / bibref. hebtools. com/ ?book=%20Matthew& verse=21:33-46& src=TNIV
[115] http:/ / bibref. hebtools. com/ ?book=%20Mark& verse=12:1-12& src=TNIV
[116] http:/ / bibref. hebtools. com/ ?book=%20Luke& verse=20:9-19& src=TNIV
[117] http:/ / bibref. hebtools. com/ ?book=%20Matthew& verse=25:14-30& src=KJV
[118] http:/ / bibref. hebtools. com/ ?book=%20Luke& verse=19:13-24& src=TNIV
Further reading
Barclay, William, 1999. The Parables of Jesus ISBN 0-664-25828-X
Lisco, Friedrich Gustav and Fairbairn, Patrick, 1850. The Parables of Jesus Daniels and Smith Publishers,
Philadelphia
Pentecost, J. Dwight, 1998. The parables of Jesus: lessons in life from the Master Teacher ISBN 0-8254-3458-0
Oxenden, Ashton, 1864. The parables of our Lord William Macintosh Publishers, London.
Schottroff, Luise, 2006. The parables of Jesus ISBN 0-8006-3699-6
Snodgrass, Klyne, 2008. Stories with Intent: A Comprehensive Guide to the Parables of Jesus William B
Eerdmans Publishing Co
Sumner, John Bird, 1850. The parables of our lord and saviour Jesus Christ C. Cox Publishers, London.
Theissen, Gerd and Merz, Annette, 1996. The Historical Jesus: A Comprehensive Guide Fortress Press,
Minneapolis ISBN 0-8006-3122-6
Trinder, William Martin, 1816. Sermons on the parables of Jesus Christ" Baldwin, Cradock and Joy Publishers,
London.
Parables of Jesus
12
External links
List of biblical parables (http:/ / www. comportone. com/ cpo/ religion/ christian/ parables/ list. htm)
Another list (http:/ / www. bcbsr. com/ survey/ jpbl. html), slightly different and only of the synoptic Gospels
Jewish Encyclopedia: Parable (http:/ / jewishencyclopedia. com/ view. jsp?artid=63& letter=P)
Catholic Encyclopedia: Parable (http:/ / www. newadvent. org/ cathen/ 11460a. htm)
PBS: Frontline: From Jesus to Christ: The Parables (http:/ / www. pbs. org/ wgbh/ pages/ frontline/ shows/
religion/ jesus/ parables. html)
The New Christian Bible Study (http:/ / www. newchristianbiblestudy. org/ bible/ stories/ ) Bible Stories
Explained.
Parable
Prodigal Son, by Rembrandt, 166365
A parable is
[1]
a succinct story, in prose or verse, which illustrates one or
more instructive principles, or lessons, or (sometimes) a normative principle.
It differs from a fable in that fables use animals, plants, inanimate objects, and
forces of nature as characters, while parables generally feature human
characters. It is a type of analogy.
[2]
Some scholars of the Canonical gospels and the New Testament apply the
term "parable" only to the parables of Jesus,
[3]
though that is not a common
restriction of the term. Parables such as "The Prodigal Son" are central to
Jesus' teaching method in both the canonical narratives and the apocrypha.
Etymology
The word "parable" comes from the Greek (parabol), meaning
"comparison, illustration, analogy".
[4]
It was the name given by Greek
rhetoricians to any fictive illustration in the form of a brief narrative. Later it came to mean a fictitious narrative,
generally referring to something that might naturally occur, by which spiritual and moral matters might be
conveyed.
[5]
Characteristics
Ignacy Krasicki, author of "Abuzei
and Tair"
A parable is a short tale that illustrates universal truth, one of the simplest of
narratives. It sketches a setting, describes an action, and shows the results. It often
involves a character facing a moral dilemma, or making a questionable decision
and then suffering the consequences. Though the meaning of a parable is often not
explicitly stated, the meaning is not usually intended to be hidden or secret but on
the contrary quite straightforward and obvious.
[6]
The defining characteristic of the parable is the presence of a prescriptive subtext
suggesting how a person should behave or believe. Aside from providing guidance
and suggestions for proper action in life, parables frequently use metaphorical
language which allows people to more easily discuss difficult or complex ideas.
Parables teach an abstract argument, using a concrete narrative which is more
easily grasped.
[5]
Parable
13
The parable can be distinguished from other narrative types which have a moral content, such as the apologue and
the allegory, although this distinction has not always been clear.
The apologue is a type of fable which is intended to express a simple moral lesson. Like the apologue, the parable
generally relates a single, simple, consistent action, without a great deal of circumstantial detail. And like the
apologue, the parable expresses a moral lesson. However, unlike the apologue, the parable is a realistic story that
seems inherently probable and takes place in a familiar setting of life. For example the characters in a parable are
exclusively human, whereas the characters in an apologue may be animals or plants or other natural phenomena. For
this reason, Folktales and fairy tales may generally be regarded as fables or apologues rather than parables.
The allegory is a more general narrative type, which covers any use of figurative metaphor. Like the allegory, the
parable uses metaphor to make its point. But unlike allegory, the parable makes a single, unambiguous point. The
allegory may have multiple noncontradictory interpretations, and may also have implications that are ambiguous or
hard to interpret. As H.W. Fowler puts it in Modern English Usage, the object of both parable and allegory "is to
enlighten the hearer by submitting to him a case in which he has apparently no direct concern, and upon which
therefore a disinterested judgment may be elicited from him."
[5]
The parable, though, is more condensed than the
allegory: a single principle comes to bear, and a single moral is deduced as it dawns on the reader or listener that the
conclusion applies equally well to his own concerns.
Medieval interpreters of the Bible often treated Jesus' parables as allegories, with symbolic correspondences found
for every element in the parables.
Gnostics suggest that Jesus kept some of his teachings secret within the circle of his own disciples, and deliberately
obscured their meaning by the use of parable, for example, Mark 4:11-12:
[7]
"And he said to them, To you has been given the secret of the kingdom of God, but for those outside,
everything comes in parables; in order that they may indeed look, but not perceive, and may indeed listen, but
not understand; so that they may not turn again and be forgiven. " (NRSV)
Modern critics, beginning with Adolf Jlicher, regard these interpretations as inappropriate and untenable.
[1]
Jlicher
held that Jesus' parables usually are intended to make a single important point, and most recent scholarship agrees.
[3]
The parable is related to figures of speech such as the metaphor and the simile, but should not be identified with
these.
A parable is like a metaphor in that it uses concrete, perceptible phenomena to illustrate abstract, ephemeral ideas. It
could be said that a parable is a metaphor that has been extended to form a brief, coherent fiction. For example,
Christian parables have recently been studied as extended metaphors.
[8]
However, "extended metaphor" is not in
itself a sufficient description of parable; the characteristics of an extended metaphor are shared by many narrative
types, including the allegory, the fable and the apologue.
Similarly, a parable also resembles a simile, i.e. a metaphorical construction in which something is said to be "like"
something else (e.g. "The just man is like a tree planted by streams of water"). However, unlike a simile, a parable's
parallel meaning is unspoken and implicit, though not ordinarily secret.
Parable
14
History
Parable of the Good Samaritan, by Jan Wijnants (1670)
Parables are favored in the expression of spiritual
concepts. The best-known source of parables in
Christianity is the Bible, which contains numerous
parables in the Gospels section of the New Testament,
Jesus' parables. The New Testament parables are
thought by scholars such as John P. Meier to have been
inspired by mashalim, a form of Hebrew comparison.
[3]
Examples of Jesus' parables include "the Good
Samaritan" and "the Prodigal Son". Mashalim from the
Old Testament include the "parable of the ewe-lamb"
told by Nathan in 2Samuel 12:1-9
[9]
, and that of "the
woman of Tekoah" in 2Samuel 14:1-13
[10]
.
Parables also appear in Islam. In Sufi tradition, parables
("teaching stories") are used for imparting lessons and
values. Recent authors such as Idries Shah and
Anthony de Mello have helped popularize these stories
beyond Sufi circles.
Modern stories can be used as parables. A mid-19th-century parable, the "Parable of the Broken Window", exposes a
fallacy in economic thinking.
Notes
[1] Adolf Jlicher, Die Gleichnisreden Jesu (2 vols; Tbingen: Mohr [Siebeck], 1888, 1899).
[3] John P. Meier, A Marginal Jew, volume II, Doubleday, 1994.
[4] (http:/ / www. perseus. tufts.edu/ hopper/ text?doc=Perseus:text:1999. 04. 0057:entry=parabolh/ ), Henry George Liddell, Robert
Scott, A Greek-English Lexicon, on Perseus
[5] H.W. Fowler, Modern English Usage, Oxford, Clarendon Press, 1958.
[6] George Fyler Townsend, in his translator's preface to Aesop's Fables (Belford, Clarke & Co., 1887), defined the parable as being "purposely
intended to convey a hidden and secret meaning other than that contained in the words themselves, and which may or may not bear a special
reference to the hearer or reader." However, Townsend may have been influenced by the 19th century expression, "to speak in parables",
connoting obscurity.
[8] For example, Sally McFague TeSelle finds that "parables are stories about ordinary men and women who find in the midst of their everyday
lives surprising things happening. They are not about 'giants of the faith' who have religious visions." (In "Parable, Metaphor, and Theology,"
Journal of the American Academy of Religion, 42.4, December 1974, p.630-645.) See also Amos Wilder, The Language of the Gospel: Early
Christian Rhetoric (New York: Harper & Row) 1964; Robert W, Funk, Language, Hermeneutic and Word of God: The Problem of Language
in the New Testament and Contemporary Theology (New York: Harper & Row) 1966; Dan O. Via Jr, The Parables: Their Literary and
Existential Dimension (Philadelphia: Fortress) 1967; Sallie TeSelle, Speaking in Parables: A Study in Metaphore and Theology (Philadelphia:
Fortress) 1975.
[9] http:/ / bibref. hebtools. com/ ?book=2%20Samuel& verse=12:1-9& src=
[10] http:/ / bibref.hebtools. com/ ?book=2%20Samuel& verse=14:1-13& src=
Parable
15
External links
Spiritual Parables (http:/ / www. spiritual-short-stories. com/ spiritual-short-stories-2-Parables. html)
Contemporary Parables (http:/ / www. theparableteller. com)
Parables in the Quran (http:/ / www. clearvisionpk. com/ Parables_of_the_Quran. html) by ClearVisionPk (http:/ /
clearvisionpk. com)
Jewish Encyclopedia: Parable (http:/ / jewishencyclopedia. com/ view. jsp?artid=63& letter=P).
Catholic Encyclopedia: Parable (http:/ / www. newadvent. org/ cathen/ 11460a. htm).
Secular Parables (http:/ / www. circleofreason. org).
16
Canonical parables
Barren Fig Tree
Jan Luyken etching of the parable, Bowyer Bible.
The Parable of the Barren Fig Tree (not to
be confused with the parable of the budding
fig tree) is a parable of Jesus which appears
in two of the Canonical gospels of the New
Testament. According to Luke 13:6-9
[1]
the
parable is about a fig tree which does not
produce fruit.
Narrative
The parable is as follows:
He spake also this parable; A certain
man had a fig tree planted in his
vineyard; and he came and sought
fruit thereon, and found none. Then
said he unto the dresser of his
vineyard, Behold, these three years I come seeking fruit on this fig tree, and find none: cut it down; why
cumbereth it the ground? And he answering said unto him, Lord, let it alone this year also, till I shall dig about
it, and dung it: And if it bear fruit, well: and if not, then after that thou shalt cut it down.
Luke 13:69, King James Version
Interpretation
In this parable, the owner is generally regarded as representing God, who had a fig tree planted in his vineyard (the
earth) and came seeking fruit (faith and righteous works, which would be represented in part by repentance and
baptism) and the gardener (vinedresser) Jesus.
[2]
Fig trees were often planted in vineyards.
[3]
The fig tree was a common symbol for Israel, and may also have that meaning here,
[2]
or the tree in the parable may
refer to the religious leadership.
[3]
In either case, the parable reflects Jesus offering his hearers one last chance for
repentance.
[3]
"These three years" logically refers to the period of Jesus' ministry. The parable has been connected to
the miracle of cursing the fig tree. Richard Whately commented that this parable "is one which our Lord may be said
to have put before his hearers twice; once in words, once in action."
[4]
Barren Fig Tree
17
What the owner expected.
Authenticity
Although the parable is found only in Luke's gospel, there is no strong
argument against authenticity, even a majority of the members of the Jesus
Seminar voted it authentic.
[3]
References
[1] http:/ / www. biblegateway. com/ passage/ ?search=Luke%2013:6-9;& version=31;
[2] Timothy Maurice Pianzin, Parables of Jesus: In the Light of Its Historical, Geographical & Socio-Cultural Setting (http:/ / books. google.
com.au/ books?id=KPU_zRDzy0YC& pg=PA235), Tate Publishing, 2008, ISBN 1-60247-923-2, pp. 235-237.
[3] Peter Rhea Jones, Studying the Parables of Jesus (http:/ / books. google. com. au/ books?id=tNQdaOREo6sC& pg=PA123), Smyth &
Helwys, 1999, ISBN 1-57312-167-3, pp. 123-133.
[4] Richard Whately, Lectures on Some of the Scripture Parables (http:/ / books. google. com. au/ books?id=E6EQAAAAYAAJ& pg=PA153),
John W. Parker and Son, 1859, p. 153.
Budding Fig Tree
A fig tree
The Parable of the Budding Fig Tree is a
parable told by Jesus in the New Testament,
found in Matthew 24:32-35
[1]
, Mark 13:28-31
[2]
, and Luke 21:29-33
[3]
. This parable, about the
Kingdom of God, involves a fig tree, as does the
equally brief parable of the barren fig tree, with
which it should not be confused.
Narrative
According to the Gospel of Luke:
He told them a parable. "See the fig tree,
and all the trees. When they are already
budding, you see it and know by your own
selves that the summer is already near.
Even so you also, when you see these
things happening, know that the Kingdom
of God is near. Most certainly I tell you,
this generation will not pass away until all
things are accomplished. Heaven and earth
will pass away, but my words will by no
means pass away."
Luke 21:29-33, World English Bible
Interpretations
Budding Fig Tree
18
Luke presents this parable as eschatological in nature:
[4]
like the leaves of the fig tree, the signs spoken of in the
Olivet discourse of Luke 21:5-28
[5]
indicate the coming of the Kingdom of God.
An alternate interpretation is that the fig tree represents the nation of Israel being politically reestablished in their
land once again. Accordingly, when the modern state of Israel was formed on May 14, 1948, Hal Lindsey concluded
that we are in the last generation.
[6][7]
Many scholars, however, disagree with this view.
[8][9][10][11]
References
[1] http:/ / www. biblegateway. com/ passage/ ?search=Matthew%2024:32-35;& version=31;
[2] http:/ / www. biblegateway. com/ passage/ ?search=Mark%2013:28-31;& version=31;
[3] http:/ / www. biblegateway. com/ passage/ ?search=Luke%2021:29-33;& version=31;
[4] Bernard Brandon Scott, Hear Then the Parable: A commentary on the parables of Jesus (http:/ / books. google. com. au/
books?id=wtphytF1ePQC& pg=PA338), Fortress Press, 1989, ISBN 0-8006-2481-5, pp. 338-340.
[6] [6] Lindsey, Hal. The Late Great Planet Earth. Grand Rapids, MI. Zondervan, 1970.
[7] [7] Lindsey, Hal. 1977. Eternity, January 1977
[8] Charting the End Times, Tim LaHaye and Thomas Ice, page 37
[9] Systematic Theology Vols 5&6 by Louis Sperry Chafer, Kregel Publications & Dallas Theological Seminary, 1976, pg. 127
[10] [10] (The Late Great Planet Earth, Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House, 1970, pages 53-54)
[11] Some have said that the budding of the fig tree speaks of the re-establishment of Israel as a nation (1948), seeing it as a precursor of Christs
return. Several things work strongly against that interpretation: Nowhere does Matthew 2425 speak of Israels return to Palestine. In fact we
do not find Israels return anywhere in Matthews gospel. Jesus Olivet Discourse, in its flow of future historical events, has moved beyond
Israels return portraying the Jews already in the land.
Furthermore, Luke says in his parallel account look at the fig tree, and all the trees (21:29). Not just one tree is in
view, but many. Thus Christ refers to trees in general and what they do in the spring, not to a particular fig tree that
pictures Israel.
In Matthew 24, the budding fig tree, rather than picturing Israel, depicts eleven signs that Jesus reveals in 24:424.
Nine begin to occur in the first half of the Tribulation and two more appear in the second half.
Thus what we see unfolding is that as new leaves each spring signal the return of summer, so the signs Christ reveals
will signal His return.
The Parable of the Fig Tree Matthew 24:32-36, by George E. Meisinger dean of Chafer Theological Seminary
Counting the cost
19
Counting the cost
Facade of the ambitious extension to Siena
Cathedral. Construction was abandoned in 1348.
Counting the Cost, or in the NIV: The Cost of Being a Disciple or in
the NRSV: The Cost of Discipleship or in the NKJV: Leaving All to
Follow Christ, are titles given to the Gospel of Luke passage 14:25-33
[1]
which includes a pair of parables told by Jesus. The first title comes
from the phrase "count the cost" which occurs in the King James
Version of the passage, as well as some other versions.
Narrative
The two parables are as follows:
And there went great multitudes with him: and he turned, and
said unto them, If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and
brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple. And whosoever doth not bear his
cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple. For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down
first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it? Lest haply, after he hath laid the foundation,
and is not able to finish it, all that behold it begin to mock him, saying, This man began to build, and was not
able to finish. Or what king, going to make war against another king, sitteth not down first, and consulteth
whether he be able with ten thousand to meet him that cometh against him with twenty thousand? Or else,
while the other is yet a great way off, he sendeth an ambassage, and desireth conditions of peace. So likewise,
whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple.
Luke 14:25-33, King James Version
Interpretation
Joel B. Green suggests that it is unclear what kind of tower is being referred to in the first parable,
[2]
but notes that
the message is that a "thoroughgoing fidelity to God's salvific aim"
[2]
is required, "manifest in one's identity as a
disciple of Jesus."
[2]
This involves putting family and possessions second,
[3]
as in Matthew 8:18-22
[4]
and Luke
9:57-62
[5]
.
References
[1] http:/ / www. biblegateway. com/ passage/ ?search=Luke%2014:25-33;& version=31;
[2] Joel B. Green, The Gospel of Luke (http:/ / books. google. com. au/ books?id=wzRVN2S8cVgC& pg=PA566), Eerdmans, 1997, ISBN
0-8028-2315-7, pp. 566-567.
[3] Charles McCollough, The Art Of Parables: Reinterpreting the Teaching Stories of Jesus in Word and Scripture (http:/ / books. google. com.
au/ books?id=fRkGxX7muNkC& pg=PA94), Wood Lake Publishing, 2008, ISBN 1-55145-563-3, pp. 94-95.
[4] http:/ / www. biblegateway. com/ passage/ ?search=Matthew%208:18-22;& version=31;
[5] http:/ / www. biblegateway. com/ passage/ ?search=Luke%209:57-62;& version=31;
Drawing in the Net
20
Drawing in the Net
Jan Luyken etching of the parable, Bowyer Bible.
The parable of Drawing in the Net is a parable
of Jesus which appears in only one of the
canonical gospels of the New Testament.
According to Gospel of Matthew 13:4752
[1]
it
refers to the final judgment.
[2]
This parable is the
seventh and last in Matthew
[3]
, which began
with the parable of the Sower.
[4]
An abbreviated version of the parable also
appears in the non canonical Gospel of Thomas
(Saying 8).
[5]
Narrative
The parable is as follows:
"Again, the Kingdom of Heaven is like a
dragnet, that was cast into the sea, and gathered some fish of every kind, which, when it was filled, they drew
up on the beach. They sat down, and gathered the good into containers, but the bad they threw away. So will it
be in the end of the world. The angels will come forth, and separate the wicked from among the righteous, and
will cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be the weeping and the gnashing of teeth."
Jesus said to them, "Have you understood all these things?"
They answered him, "Yes, Lord."
He said to them, "Therefore every scribe who has been made a disciple in the Kingdom of Heaven is like a
man who is a householder, who brings out of his treasure new and old things."
Matthew 13:4752, World English Bible
Interpretation
Like the parable of the Tares, earlier in Matthew 13, this parable refers to the final judgment.
[2]
Here, the imagery is
drawn from the separation of edible from inedible fish caught by a net, probably a seine net.
[4][6]
The passage says
that "the angels will come and separate the wicked from the righteous" in a similar way.
John Chrysostom described this as a "terrible parable,"
[7]
noting that:
And wherein does this differ from the parable of the tares? For there too the one are saved, the other
perish; but there, for choosing of wicked doctrines; and those before this again, for not giving heed to
His sayings, but these for wickedness of life; who are the most wretched of all, having attained to His
knowledge, and being caught, but not even so capable of being saved.
[8]
Jesus' final comments indicate that "true teachers of the kingdom display the kingdom's treasure for all to see."
[6]
Reformer John Calvin interpreted the parable to mean:
Christ informs us, that a mixture of the good and the bad must be patiently endured till the end of the
word; because, till that time, a true and perfect restoration of the Church will not take place. Again, he
warns us, that it is not enough, andwhat is morethat it is of little consequence to us, to be gathered
into the fold, unless we are his true and chosen sheep...[and] that [disciples] might communicate to
others what they had received. In this way [Christ] whets and excites their minds more and more to
desire instruction. He says that teachers are like householders, who are not only careful about their own
Drawing in the Net
21
food, but have a store laid up for the nourishment of others; and who do not live at ease as to the passing
day, but make provision for a future and distant period. The meaning, therefore, is, that the teachers of
the Church ought to be prepared by long study for giving to the people, as out of a storehouse, a variety
of instruction concerning the word of God, as the necessity of the case may require.
[9]
References
[1] http:/ / www. biblegateway. com/ passage/ ?search=Matthew%2013:4752;& version=31;
[2] R. T. France, The Gospel According to Matthew: An introduction and commentary (http:/ / books. google. com. au/
books?id=ttTgacXnLV8C& pg=PA230), Eerdmans, 1985, ISBN 0-8028-0063-7, p. 230.
[3] http:/ / www. biblegateway. com/ passage/ ?search=Matthew%2013;& version=31;
[4] Catholic Encyclopedia: Parables (http:/ / www.newadvent. org/ cathen/ 11460a. htm).
[5] Gospel of Thomas: Lamb translation (http:/ / www.gnosis. org/ naghamm/ gthlamb. html) and Patterson/Meyer translation (http:/ / www.
gnosis. org/ naghamm/ gosthom. html).
[6] Craig S. Keener, A Commentary on the Gospel of Matthew (http:/ / books. google. com. au/ books?id=sWzhEdBZOp4C& pg=PA392),
Eerdmans, 1999, ISBN 0-8028-3821-9, pp. 392-394.
[7] Patrick J. O'Reilly, Light Divine in Parable and Allegory (http:/ / books. google. com. au/ books?id=OmJ9E12XNJ8C& pg=PA116),
Kessinger Publishing, 2003 (originally 1930), ISBN 0-7661-3135-1, p. 116.
[8] John Chrysostom, Homily 47 on Matthew (http:/ / www. newadvent. org/ fathers/ 200147. htm).
[9] John Calvin, Commentary on Matthew, Mark, Luke - Volume 2 (http:/ / www. ccel. org/ ccel/ calvin/ calcom32. ii. xxii. html)
Faithful Servant
Etching by Jan Luyken illustrating the parable, from the Bowyer Bible.
The Parable of the Faithful Servant (or
Parable of the Door Keeper) is a parable of
Jesus found in three out of the four
Canonical gospels in the New Testament.
According to Matthew 24:42-51
[1]
, Mark
13:34-37
[2]
, and Luke 12:35-48
[3]
often
called the Synoptic Gospels it is
important for the faithful to keep watch.
In Matthew, it immediately precedes the
Parable of the Ten Virgins, which has a
similar eschatological theme: be prepared
for the day of reckoning.
Narrative
In Luke, the parable is as follows:
"Let your waist be dressed and your lamps burning. Be like men watching for their lord, when he returns from
the marriage feast; that, when he comes and knocks, they may immediately open to him. Blessed are those
servants, whom the lord will find watching when he comes. Most certainly I tell you, that he will dress
himself, and make them recline, and will come and serve them. They will be blessed if he comes in the second
or third watch, and finds them so. But know this, that if the master of the house had known in what hour the
thief was coming, he would have watched, and not allowed his house to be broken into. Therefore be ready
also, for the Son of Man is coming in an hour that you don't expect him."
Peter said to him, "Lord, are you telling this parable to us, or to everybody?"
Faithful Servant
22
The Lord said, "Who then is the faithful and wise steward, whom his lord will set over his household, to give
them their portion of food at the right times? Blessed is that servant whom his lord will find doing so when he
comes. Truly I tell you, that he will set him over all that he has. But if that servant says in his heart, 'My lord
delays his coming,' and begins to beat the menservants and the maidservants, and to eat and drink, and to be
drunken, then the lord of that servant will come in a day when he isn't expecting him, and in an hour that he
doesn't know, and will cut him in two, and place his portion with the unfaithful. That servant, who knew his
lord's will, and didn't prepare, nor do what he wanted, will be beaten with many stripes, but he who didn't
know, and did things worthy of stripes, will be beaten with few stripes. To whomever much is given, of him
will much be required; and to whom much was entrusted, of him more will be asked.
Luke 12:35-48, World English Bible
Interpretation
In Matthew, the parable opens with the injunction "Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day
your Lord will come" (24:42, NIV
[4]
). In other words, "the disciple must remain prepared for his Lord's coming,
remaining alert and awake at his post."
[5]
Even though there may be general signs of Jesus' Second Coming, the
exact time is unknown.
[5]
This is a theme which has also been discussed earlier in Luke 12
[6]
.
[7]
The reference to a
wedding banquet in Luke 12:36
[8]
suggests a heavenly banquet,
[7]
and recalls the parable of the Ten Virgins which
follows this parable in Matthew.
The second part of the parable includes a caution that much will be required of the person to whom much is given.
[5]
J. Dwight Pentecost writes that this parable "emphasizes that privilege brings responsibility and that responsibility
entails accountability."
[9]
This applies particularly to religious leaders.
[10]
Jehovah's Witnesses identify the servant, which their translation of the Bible calls the "faithful and discreet slave",
with their religion's Governing Body in its role of dispensing spiritual food to followers of Christ.
[11]
Hymns
The parable is the theme for several hymns, including Philip Doddridge's "Ye Servants of the Lord," which ends:
Christ shall the banquet spread
With His own royal hand,
And raise that faithful servants head
Amid the angelic band.
[5]
References
[1] http:/ / www. biblegateway. com/ passage/ ?search=Matthew%2024:42-51;& version=31;
[2] http:/ / www. biblegateway. com/ passage/ ?search=Mark%2013:34-37;& version=31;
[3] http:/ / www. biblegateway. com/ passage/ ?search=Luke%2012:35-48;& version=31;
[4] http:/ / www. biblegateway. com/ passage/ ?search=Matthew%2024:42;& version=31;
[5] Craig S. Keener, A Commentary on the Gospel of Matthew (http:/ / books. google. com. au/ books?id=sWzhEdBZOp4C& pg=PA592),
Eerdmans, 1999, ISBN 0-8028-3821-9, p. 592.
[6] http:/ / www. biblegateway. com/ passage/ ?search=Luke%2012;& version=31;
[7] Joel B. Green, The Gospel of Luke (http:/ / books. google. com. au/ books?id=wzRVN2S8cVgC& pg=PA497), Eerdmans, 1997, ISBN
0-8028-2315-7, pp. 497-501.
[8] http:/ / www. biblegateway. com/ passage/ ?search=Luke%2012:36;& version=31;
[9] J. Dwight Pentecost, The Parables of Jesus: Lessons in life from the Master Teacher (http:/ / books. google. com. au/
books?id=k_VVxjLkN2UC& pg=PA175), Kregel Publications, 1998, ISBN 0-8254-3458-0, p. 175.
[10] Joel B. Green, The Gospel of Luke (http:/ / books. google. com. au/ books?id=wzRVN2S8cVgC& pg=PA506), Eerdmans, 1997, ISBN
0-8028-2315-7, p. 506.
[11] The Watchtower, July 15, 2013.
Friend at Night
23
Friend at Night
Etching by Jan Luyken illustrating the ending of the parable, from the Bowyer
Bible.
The Parable of the Friend at Night (or of
the Importunate Neighbour), is a parable of
Jesus, which appears in only one of the
Canonical gospels of the New Testament.
According to the Luke 11:5-8
[1]
, a friend
eventually agrees to help his neighbor due to
his persistent demands.
This parable demonstrates the need to pray
and never give up. It is similar to the Parable
of the Unjust Judge and is depicted by
several artists, including William Holman
Hunt.
Narrative
The parable is as follows:
He said to them, "Which of you, if
you go to a friend at midnight, and tell him, 'Friend, lend me three loaves of bread, for a friend of mine has
come to me from a journey, and I have nothing to set before him,' and he from within will answer and say,
'Don't bother me. The door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed. I can't get up and give it to you'? I
tell you, although he will not rise and give it to him because he is his friend, yet because of his persistence, he
will get up and give him as many as he needs.
Luke 11:5-8, World English Bible
The scene described in this parable suggests a single-roomed peasant house, where the whole family sleeps together
on a mat on the floor,
[2][3]
and a man travelling by night to avoid the heat of the day.
[3]
Interpretation
This parable appears in the Gospel of Luke immediately after Jesus teaches the Lord's Prayer, and can therefore be
viewed as a continuation of Jesus teaching his disciples how to pray,
[2]
while the verses which follow help to explain
the meaning of the parable:
"I tell you, keep asking, and it will be given you. Keep seeking, and you will find. Keep knocking, and it will
be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives. He who seeks finds. To him who knocks it will be
opened."
Luke 11:9-10, World English Bible
Friend at Night
24
William Holman Hunt's The Importunate Neighbour (1895) depicts the beginning
of the parable.
Joel B. Green suggests that the question that
opens the parable ("Which of you who has a
friend...?" also expressible as "Can you
imagine...?") is intended to be answered as
an emphatic "No!", since no friend would
refuse to help under such circumstances
[2]
(the opening words in Greek occur
elsewhere in Luke, but have no
contemporary parallels, and I. Howard
Marshall regards them as probably
characteristic of Jesus himself
[3]
). However,
Jesus goes on to point out that even if
friendship wasn't a big enough motivation,
help would still be forthcoming.
[2]
As with
verses 9-13
[4]
, the parable is therefore an
incentive to pray.
[3]
The parable of the
Unjust Judge has a similar meaning.
[5]
Depictions
There are a number of depictions of this parable, the most famous being The Importunate Neighbour (1895) by
William Holman Hunt, held in the National Gallery of Victoria, Australia.
References
[1] http:/ / www. biblegateway. com/ passage/ ?search=Luke%2011:5-8;& version=31;
[2] Joel B. Green, The Gospel of Luke (http:/ / books. google. com. au/ books?id=wzRVN2S8cVgC& pg=PA445), Eerdmans, 1997, ISBN
0-8028-2315-7, pp. 445450.
[3] I. Howard Marshall, The Gospel of Luke: A commentary on the Greek text (http:/ / books. google. com. au/ books?id=rKqiibViFowC&
pg=PA462), Eerdmans, 1978, ISBN 0-8028-3512-0, pp. 462465.
[4] http:/ / www. biblegateway. com/ passage/ ?search=Luke%2011:9-13;& version=31;
[5] Craig L. Blomberg, Interpreting the Parables (http:/ / books. google. com. au/ books?id=sTtbVUIDesAC& pg=PA275), InterVarsity Press,
1990, ISBN 0-8308-1271-7, p. 275.
Good Samaritan
25
Good Samaritan
This stained glass window
illustrating the parable shows the
priest and the Levite in the
background (Church of St. Eutrope,
Clermont-Ferrand).
The parable of the Good Samaritan is a parable told by Jesus and is mentioned
in only one of the gospels of the New Testament. According to the Gospel of
Luke (10:29-37
[1]
) a traveller (who may or may not be Jewish
[2]
) is beaten,
robbed, and left half dead along the road. First a priest and then a Levite come
by, but both avoid the man. Finally, a Samaritan comes by. Samaritans and Jews
generally despised each other, but the Samaritan helps the injured man. Jesus is
described as telling the parable in response to a question regarding the identity of
the "neighbour" which Leviticus 19:18
[3]
says should be loved.
Portraying a Samaritan in positive light would have come as a shock to Jesus'
audience.
[4]
It is typical of his provocative speech in which conventional
expectations are inverted.
[4]
Some Christians, such as Augustine, have interpreted the parable allegorically,
with the Samaritan representing Jesus Christ, who saves the sinful soul.
[5]
Others,
however, discount this allegory as unrelated to the parable's original meaning,
[5]
and see the parable as exemplifying the ethics of Jesus.
[6]
The parable has inspired painting, sculpture, poetry, and film. The colloquial
phrase "good Samaritan," meaning someone who helps a stranger, derives from
this parable, and many hospitals and charitable organizations are named after the
Good Samaritan.
Narrative
In the Gospel of Luke, the parable is introduced by a question, known as the
Great Commandment:
Behold, a certain lawyer stood up and tested him, saying, "Teacher, what
shall I do to inherit eternal life?"
He said to him, "What is written in the law? How do you read it?"
He answered, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength,
with all your mind, [Deuteronomy 6:5
[7]
]; and your neighbour as yourself [Leviticus 19:18
[8]
]."
He said to him, "You have answered correctly. Do this, and you will live."
But he, desiring to justify himself, asked Jesus, "Who is my neighbour?"
Luke 10:2529, World English Bible
Jesus replies with a story:
Jesus answered, "A certain man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and he fell among robbers, who
both stripped him and beat him, and departed, leaving him half dead. By chance a certain priest was going
down that way. When he saw him, he passed by on the other side. In the same way a Levite also, when he
came to the place, and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a certain Samaritan, as he travelled, came
where he was. When he saw him, he was moved with compassion, came to him, and bound up his wounds,
pouring on oil and wine. He set him on his own animal, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him. On
the next day, when he departed, he took out two denarii, and gave them to the host, and said to him, 'Take care
of him. Whatever you spend beyond that, I will repay you when I return.' Now which of these three do you
think seemed to be a neighbour to him who fell among the robbers?"
He said, "He who showed mercy on him."
Good Samaritan
26
Then Jesus said to him, "Go and do."
Luke 10:3037, World English Bible
Historical context
The road from Jerusalem to Jericho.
Road from Jerusalem to Jericho
In the time of Jesus, the road from Jerusalem to Jericho
was notorious for its danger and difficulty, and was
known as the "Way of Blood" because "of the blood
which is often shed there by robbers."
[9]
Martin Luther
King, Jr., in his "I've Been to the Mountaintop" speech,
on the day before his death, described the road as follows:
I remember when Mrs. King and I were first
in Jerusalem. We rented a car and drove from
Jerusalem down to Jericho. And as soon as
we got on that road I said to my wife, "I can
see why Jesus used this as the setting for his
parable." It's a winding, meandering road. It's
really conducive for ambushing. You start out in Jerusalem, which is about twelve hundred miles, or
rather, twelve hundred feet above sea level [actually about 2100 feet or 640 metres
[10]
]. And by the time
you get down to Jericho fifteen or twenty minutes later, you're about twenty-two feet below sea level
[actually 846 feet
[11]
or 258 metres]. That's a dangerous road. In the days of Jesus it came to be known
as the "Bloody Pass." And you know, it's possible that the priest and the Levite looked over that man on
the ground and wondered if the robbers were still around. Or it's possible that they felt that the man on
the ground was merely faking, and he was acting like he had been robbed and hurt in order to seize them
over there, lure them there for quick and easy seizure. And so the first question that the priest asked, the
first question that the Levite asked was, "If I stop to help this man, what will happen to me?"
[12]
Good Samaritan
27
A map of Palestine in the time of Jesus. Jericho is just north of the
Dead Sea, with Jerusalem to the west.
However, King continues:
But then the Good Samaritan came by, and
he reversed the question: "If I do not stop to
help this man, what will happen to him?"
[12]
Samaritans and Jesus
Samaritans were hated by Jesus' target audience, the
Jews,
[13]
to such a degree that the Lawyer's phrase "The
one who had mercy on him" may indicate a reluctance to
name the Samaritan.
[14]
The Samaritans in turn hated the
Jews.
[15]
Tensions were particularly high in the early
decades of the first century because Samaritans had
desecrated the Jewish Temple at Passover with human
bones.
[16]
As the story reached those who were unaware of the
oppression of the Samaritans, this aspect of the parable
became less and less discernible: fewer and fewer people
ever heard of them in any context other than as a
description. Today the story is often recast in a more
modern setting where the people are ones in equivalent
social groups known not to interact comfortably. Thus
cast appropriately, the parable regains its message to
modern listeners: namely, that an individual of a social group they disapprove of can exhibit moral behavior that is
superior to individuals of the groups they approve. Many Christians have used it as an example of Christianity's
opposition to racial, ethnic and sectarian prejudice.
[17][18]
For example, anti-slavery campaigner William Jay
described clergy who ignored slavery as "following the example of the priest and Levite."
[19]
Martin Luther King,
Jr., in his "I've Been to the Mountaintop" speech, described the Samaritan as "a man of another race,"
[12]
while
Sundee Tucker Frazier saw the Samaritan more specifically as an example of a mixed-race person.
[20]
Klyne
Snodgrass writes "On the basis of this parable we must deal with our own racism but must also seek justice for, and
offer assistance to, those in need, regardless of the group to which they belong."
[21]
Samaritans appear elsewhere in the Gospels. In the Gospel of Luke Jesus heals ten lepers and only the Samaritan
among them thanks him (Luke 17:11-19
[22]
),
[16]
although Luke 9:51-56
[23]
depicts Jesus receiving a hostile
reception in Samaria.
[13]
Luke's favorable treatment of Samaritans is in line with Luke's favorable treatment of the
weak and of outcasts generally.
[24]
In John, Jesus has an extended dialogue with a Samaritan woman, and many
Samaritans come to believe in him.
[25]
In Matthew, however, Jesus instructs his disciples not to preach in pagan or
Samaritan cities (Matthew 10:5-8
[26]
).
[16]
In the Gospels generally, "though the Jews of Jesus' day had no time for
the 'half-breed' people of Samaria,"
[27]
Jesus "never spoke disparagingly about them,"
[27]
and "held a benign view of
Samaritans."
[28]
The model for the Samaritan's kindly behavior in the parable may be 2 Chronicles 28:8-15
[29]
, in which Samaritans
treat Judean prisoners well.
[16]
Good Samaritan
28
Priests and Levites
In Jesus' culture, contact with a dead body was understood to defile one.
[16]
Priests were particularly enjoined to
avoid uncleanness.
[16]
The priest and Levite may therefore have assumed that the fallen traveler was dead and
avoided him to keep themselves ritually clean.
[16]
On the other hand, the depiction of travel downhill (from
Jerusalem to Jericho) may indicate that their temple duties had already been completed, making this explanation less
likely,
[30]
although this is disputed.
[13]
Since the Mishnah made an exception for neglected corpses,
[13]
the priest and
the Levite could have used the law to justify both touching a corpse and ignoring it.
[13]
In any case, passing by on the
other side avoided checking "whether he was dead or alive."
[31]
Indeed, "it weighed more with them that he might be
dead and defiling to the touch of those whose business was with holy things than that he might be alive and in need
of care."
[31]
Interpretation
Allegorical reading
In this folio from the 6th century Rossano Gospels, the
cross-bearing halo around the Good Samaritan's head indicates an
allegorical interpretation. The first scene includes an angel.
According to Mormon scholar John Welch:
This parables content is clearly practical and
dramatic in its obvious meaning, but a
time-honored Christian tradition also saw the
parable as an impressive allegory of the Fall
and Redemption of mankind. This early
Christian understanding of the good
Samaritan is depicted in a famous
eleventh-century cathedral in Chartres,
France. One of its beautiful stained-glass
windows portrays the expulsion of Adam and
Eve from the Garden of Eden at the top of
the window, and, in parallel, the parable of
the good Samaritan at the bottom.
[32]
Origen described the allegory as follows:
The man who was going down is Adam.
Jerusalem is paradise, and Jericho is the
world. The robbers are hostile powers. The
priest is the Law, the Levite is the prophets,
and the Samaritan is Christ. The wounds are
disobedience, the beast is the Lords body, the [inn], which accepts all who wish to enter, is the Church.
The manager of the [inn] is the head of the Church, to whom its care has been entrusted. And the fact
that the Samaritan promises he will return represents the Saviors second coming.
[33]
John Welch further states:
This allegorical reading was taught not only by ancient followers of Jesus, but it was virtually universal
throughout early Christianity, being advocated by Irenaeus, Clement, and Origen, and in the fourth and
fifth centuries by Chrysostom in Constantinople, Ambrose in Milan, and Augustine in North Africa.
This interpretation is found most completely in two other medieval stained-glass windows, in the French
cathedrals at Bourges and Sens."
[32]
The allegorical interpretation is also traditional in the Orthodox Church.
[34]
John Newton refers to the allegorical
interpretation in his hymn "How Kind the Good Samaritan," which begins:
Good Samaritan
29
How kind the good Samaritan
To him who fell among the thieves!
Thus Jesus pities fallen man,
And heals the wounds the soul receives.
[2]
Robert Funk also suggests that Jesus' Jewish listeners were to identify with the robbed and wounded man. In his
view, the help received from a hated Samaritan is like the kingdom of God received as grace from an unexpected
source.
[35]
Ethical reading
The Parable of the Good Samaritan by Jan Wijnants (1670) shows
the Good Samaritan tending the injured man.
John Calvin was not impressed by Origen's allegorical
reading:
The allegory which is here contrived by the
advocates of free will is too absurd to
deserve refutation. According to them, under
the figure of a wounded man is described the
condition of Adam after the fall; from which
they infer that the power of acting well was
not wholly extinguished in him; because he
is said to be only half-dead. As if it had been
the design of Christ, in this passage, to speak
of the corruption of human nature, and to
inquire whether the wound which Satan
inflicted on Adam were deadly or curable;
nay, as if he had not plainly, and without a
figure, declared in another passage, that all
are dead, but those whom he quickens by his
voice (John 5:25
[36]
). As little plausibility belongs to another allegory, which, however, has been so
highly satisfactory, that it has been admitted by almost universal consent, as if it had been a revelation
from heaven. This Samaritan they imagine to be Christ, because he is our guardian; and they tell us that
wine was poured, along with oil, into the wound, because Christ cures us by repentance and by a
promise of grace. They have contrived a third subtlety, that Christ does not immediately restore health,
but sends us to the Church, as an innkeeper, to be gradually cured. I acknowledge that I have no liking
for any of these interpretations; but we ought to have a deeper reverence for Scripture than to reckon
ourselves at liberty to disguise its natural meaning. And, indeed, any one may see that the curiosity of
certain men has led them to contrive these speculations, contrary to the intention of Christ.
[37]
Other modern theologians have taken similar positions. For example, G. B. Caird wrote:
Dodd quotes as a cautionary example Augustine's allegorisation of the Good Samaritan, in which the
man is Adam, Jerusalem the heavenly city, Jericho the moon - the symbol of immortality; the thieves are
the devil and his angels, who strip the man of immortality by persuading him to sin and so leave him
(spiritually) half dead; the priest and levite represent the Old Testament, the Samaritan Christ, the beast
his flesh which he assumed at the Incarnation; the inn is the church and the innkeeper the apostle Paul.
Most modern readers would agree with Dodd that this farrago bears no relationship to the real meaning
of the parable.
[]
The meaning of the parable for Calvin was, instead, that "compassion, which an enemy showed to a Jew,
demonstrates that the guidance and teaching of nature are sufficient to show that man was created for the sake of
Good Samaritan
30
man. Hence it is inferred that there is a mutual obligation between all men."
[37]
In other writings, Calvin pointed out
that people are not born merely for themselves, but rather "mankind is knit together with a holy knot ... we must not
live for ourselves, but for our neighbors."
[38]
Earlier, Cyril of Alexandria had written that "a crown of love is being
twined for him who loves his neighbour."
[39]
Joel B. Green writes that Jesus' final question (which, in something of a "twist,"
[40]
reverses the question originally
asked):
... presupposes the identification of "anyone" as a neighbor, then presses the point that such an
identification opens wide the door of loving action. By leaving aside the identity of the wounded man
and by portraying the Samaritan traveler as one who performs the law (and so as one whose actions are
consistent with an orientation to eternal life), Jesus has nullified the worldview that gives rise to such
questions as, Who is my neighbor? The purity-holiness matrix has been capsized. And, not surprisingly
in the Third Gospel, neighborly love has been concretized in care for one who is, in this parable,
self-evidently a social outcast
[41]
Such a reading of the parable makes it important in liberation theology,
[42]
where it provides a concrete anchoring
for love
[43]
and indicates an "all embracing reach of solidarity."
[44]
In Indian Dalit theology, it is seen as providing a
"life-giving message to the marginalized Dalits and a challenging message to the non-Dalits."
[45]
Martin Luther King, Jr. often spoke of this parable, contrasting the rapacious philosophy of the robbers, and the
self-preserving non-involvement of the priest and Levite, with the Samaritan's coming to the aid of the man in
need.
[46]
King also extended the call for neighbourly assistance to society at large:
On the one hand we are called to play the good Samaritan on life's roadside; but that will be only an
initial act. One day we must come to see that the whole Jericho road must be transformed so that men
and women will not be constantly beaten and robbed as they make their journey on life's highway. True
compassion is more than flinging a coin to a beggar; it is not haphazard and superficial. It comes to see
that an edifice which produces beggars needs restructuring.
[47]
Authenticity
Good Samaritan
31
The Good Samaritan by Aim Morot (1880) shows the
Good Samaritan taking the injured man to the inn.
The unexpected appearance of the Samaritan led Joseph Halvy to
suggest that the parable originally involved "a priest, a Levite, and
an Israelite,"
[48]
in line with contemporary Jewish stories, and that
Luke changed the parable to be more familiar to a gentile
audience."
[48]
Halvy further suggests that, in real life, it was
unlikely that a Samaritan would actually have been found on the
road between Jericho and Jerusalem,
[48]
although others claim that
there was "nothing strange about a Samaritan travelling in Jewish
territory."
[14]
William C. Placher points out that such debate
misinterprets the biblical genre of a parable, which illustrates a
moral rather than a historical point: on reading the story, "we are
not inclined to check the story against the police blotter for the
Jerusalem-Jericho highway patrol. We recognize that Jesus is
telling a story to illustrate a moral point, and that such stories often
don't claim to correspond to actual events."
[49]
The moral of the
story would still hold if the parable originally followed the
priest-Levite-Israelite sequence of contemporary Jewish stories, as
Halvy suggested.
The Jesus Seminar voted this parable to be authentic,
[4][50]
with
60% of fellows rating it "red" (authentic) and a further 29% rating it "pink" (probably authentic).
[50]
The paradox of
a disliked outsider such as a Samaritan helping a Jew is typical of Jesus' provocative parables,
[4][13]
and is a
deliberate feature of this parable.
[48]
In the Greek text, the shock value of the Samaritan's appearance is enhanced by
the emphatic (Samarits) at the beginning of the sentence in verse 33.
[13]
Bernard Brandon Scott, a member of the Jesus Seminar,
[51]
questions the authenticity of the parable's context,
suggesting that "the parable originally circulated separately from the question about neighborliness"
[52]
and that the
"existence of the lawyer's question in Mark
[53]
and Matthew
[54]
, in addition to the evidence of heavy Lukan
editing"
[52]
indicates the parable and its context were "very probably joined editorially by Luke."
[52]
A number of
other commentators share this opinion,
[55]
with the consensus of the Jesus Seminar being that verses 3637
[56]
were
added by Luke to "connect with the lawyer's question."
[50]
On the other hand, the "keen rabbinic interest in the
question of the greatest commandment"
[55]
may make this argument invalid, in that Luke may be describing a
different occurrence of the question being asked.
[55]
Differences between the gospels suggest that Luke is referring
to a different episode from Mark and Matthew,
[57]
and Klyne Snodgrass writes that "While one cannot exclude that
Luke has joined two originally separate narratives, evidence for this is not convincing."
[57]
The Oxford Bible
Commentary notes:
That Jesus was only tested once in this way is not a necessary assumption. The twist between the
lawyer's question and Jesus' answer is entirely in keeping with Jesus' radical stance: he was making the
lawyer rethink his presuppositions
[40]
Good Samaritan
32
As a metaphor and name
The injunction to "go and do likewise" has led to the "Good
Samaritan" name being applied to many hospitals, such as the
Legacy Good Samaritan Medical Center in Portland, Oregon.
The term "good Samaritan" is used as a common
metaphor: "The word now applies to any charitable
person, especially one who, like the man in the parable,
rescues or helps out a needy stranger."
[58]
The name has consequently been used for a number of
charitable organisations, including Samaritans,
Samaritan's Purse, Sisters of the Good Samaritan, and
The Samaritan Befrienders Hong Kong. The name Good
Samaritan Hospital is used for a number of hospitals
around the world. Good Samaritan laws encourage those
who choose to serve and tend to others who are injured or
ill.
[59]
Art and popular culture
The Good Samaritan by Rembrandt (1630) shows the Good
Samaritan making arrangements with the innkeeper. A later
(1633) print by Rembrandt has a reversed and somewhat
expanded version of the scene.
[60]
This parable was one of the most popular in medieval art.
[61]
The allegorical interpretation was often illustrated, with Christ
as the Good Samaritan. Accompanying angels were
sometimes also shown.
[62]
In some Orthodox icons of the
parable, the identification of the Good Samaritan as Christ is
made explicit with a halo bearing a cross.
[63]
The numerous later artistic depictions of the parable include
those of Rembrandt, Jan Wijnants, Vincent van Gogh, Aim
Morot, Domenico Fetti, Johann Carl Loth, George Frederic
Watts, and Giacomo Conti. Sculptors such as Piet Esser and
Franois-Lon Sicard have also produced works based on the
parable.
The parable of the Good Samaritan is the theme for the
Austrian Christian Charity commemorative coin, minted 12
March 2003. This coin shows the Good Samaritan with the
wounded man, on his horse, as he takes him to an inn for
medical attention. An older coin with this theme is the
American "Good Samaritan Shilling" of 1652.
[64]
Australian poet Henry Lawson wrote a poem on the parable
("The Good Samaritan"), of which the third stanza reads:
"He's been a fool, perhaps, and would
Have prospered had he tried,
But he was one who never could
Pass by the other side.
An honest man whom men called soft,
While laughing in their sleeves
No doubt in business ways he oft
Good Samaritan
33
Had fallen amongst thieves."
[4]
John Gardiner Calkins Brainard
[65]
also a wrote poem on the theme.
Dramatic film adaptations of the Parable of the Good Samaritan include Samaritan,
[66]
part of the widely
acclaimed
[67]
Modern Parables DVD Bible study series. Samaritan, which sets the parable in modern times, stars
Antonio Albadran in the role of the Good Samaritan.
[68]
References
[1] http:/ / www. biblegateway. com/ passage/ ?search=Luke%2010:29-37;& version=31;
[2] Joel B. Green, The Gospel of Luke (http:/ / books. google. com/ books?id=wzRVN2S8cVgC& pg=PA429), Eerdmans, 1997, ISBN
0-8028-2315-7, p. 429.
[3] http:/ / www. biblegateway. com/ passage/ ?search=Lev%2019:18;& version=31;
[4] Funk, Robert W., Roy W. Hoover, and the Jesus Seminar. The five gospels. HarperSanFrancisco. 1993. "Luke" p. 271-400
[5] [5] Caird, G. B. (1980). The Language and Imagery of the Bible. Duckworth. p. 165.
[6] [6] Sanders, E. P. The historical figure of Jesus. Penguin, 1993. p. 6.
[7] http:/ / bibref. hebtools. com/ ?book=%20Deuteronomy& verse=6:5& src=!
[8] http:/ / bibref. hebtools. com/ ?book=%20Leviticus& verse=19:18& src=!
[9] [9] Wilkinson, "The Way from Jerusalem to Jericho" The Biblical Archaeologist, Vol. 38, No. 1 (Mar., 1975), pp. 10-24
[10] Andrew G. Vaughn, Ann E. Killebrew, Jerusalem in Bible and Archaeology: The First Temple period (http:/ / books. google. com/
books?id=yYS4VEu08h4C& pg=PA14), Society of Biblical Lit, 2003, ISBN 1-58983-066-0, p. 14.
[11] Fabio Bourbon, The Holy Land: Guide to the archaeological sites and historical monuments, Barnes & Noble Books, 2001, ISBN
0-7607-2215-3, p. 78.
[12] Martin Luther King, Jr: "I've Been to the Mountaintop", delivered 3 April 1968, Memphis, Tennessee (http:/ / mlk-kpp01. stanford. edu/
index. php/ encyclopedia/ documentsentry/ ive_been_to_the_mountaintop/ ) at Stanford University [notes on exact altitudes added,
interjections removed].
[13] Greg W. Forbes, The God of Old: The role of the Lukan parables in the purpose of Luke's Gospel (http:/ / books. google. com/
books?id=Cde7AcIg-hEC& pg=PA63), Continuum, 2000, ISBN 1-84127-131-4, pp. 63-64.
[14] I. Howard Marshall, The Gospel of Luke: A commentary on the Greek text, Eerdmans, 1978, ISBN 0-8028-3512-0, p. 449-450.
[15] Christianity by Sue Penney 1995 ISBN 0-435-30466-6 page 28
[16] [16] Vermes, Geza. The authentic gospel of Jesus. London, Penguin Books. 2004. p. 152-154.
[17] Karl Barth's theological exegesis by Richard E. Burnett 2004 ISBN 0-8028-0999-5 pages 213-215
[18] Prejudice and the People of God: How Revelation and Redemption Lead to Reconciliation by A. Charles Ware 2001 ISBN 0-8254-3946-9
page 16
[19] William Jay, Miscellaneous Writings on Slavery (http:/ / books. google. com/ books?id=T2xAbpLvmNAC& pg=PA635), John P. Jewett &
Company, 1853.
[20] Sundee Tucker Frazier, Check all that apply: finding wholeness as a multiracial person (http:/ / books. google. com/
books?id=ueVoHQ1Cz9oC& pg=PA6), InterVarsity Press, 2002, ISBN 0-8308-2247-X, p. 6.
[21] Klyne Snodgrass, Stories with Intent: A comprehensive guide to the parables of Jesus (http:/ / books. google. com/
books?id=kFyt0VhErywC& pg=PA361), Eerdmans, 2008, ISBN 0-8028-4241-0, p. 361.
[22] http:/ / www.biblegateway. com/ passage/ ?search=Luke%2017:11-19;& version=31;
[23] http:/ / www.biblegateway. com/ passage/ ?search=Luke%209:51-56;& version=31;
[24] [24] Theissen, Gerd and Annette Merz. The historical Jesus: a comprehensive guide. Fortress Press. 1998. translated from German (1996
edition). Chapter 2. Christian sources about Jesus.
[25] Funk, Robert W., Roy W. Hoover, and the Jesus Seminar. The five gospels. HarperSanFrancisco. 1993. "The Gospel of John," p 401-470.
[26] http:/ / www.biblegateway. com/ passage/ ?search=Matthew%2010:5-8;& version=31;
[27] Stanley A. Ellisen, Parables in the Eye of the Storm: Christ's Response in the Face of Conflict (http:/ / books. google. com/
books?id=4RSl4UttgroC& pg=PA142), Kregel Publications, 2001, ISBN 0-8254-2527-1, p. 142.
[28] John P. Meier, The Historical Jesus and the Historical Samaritans: What can be Said?, Biblica 81(2), 2000, pp. 202-232 (quote from p.
231).
[29] http:/ / www.biblegateway. com/ passage/ ?search=2Chronicles%2028:8-15;& version=31;
[30] Joel B. Green, The Gospel of Luke (http:/ / books. google. com/ books?id=wzRVN2S8cVgC& pg=PA430), Eerdmans, 1997, ISBN
0-8028-2315-7, p. 430.
[31] George Bradford Caird, The Gospel of St. Luke, Black, 1968, p. 148.
[32] John W. Welch, "The Good Samaritan: Forgotten Symbols", Liahona, Feb. 2007, 2633. (http:/ / www. lds. org/ ldsorg/ v/ index.
jsp?locale=0& nav=0& sourceId=372f3c7842470110VgnVCM100000176f620a____&
vgnextoid=f318118dd536c010VgnVCM1000004d82620aRCRD)
[33] [33] Origen, Homily 34.3, Joseph T. Lienhard, trans., Origen: Homilies on Mark, Fragments on Mark (1996), 138.
Good Samaritan
34
[34] Christoph Cardinal Schonborn (tr. Henry Taylor), Jesus, the Divine Physician: Reflections on the Gospel During the Year of Luke (http:/ /
books.google. com/ books?id=zNxBcTFdhusC& pg=PA16), Ignatius Press, 2008, ISBN 1-58617-180-1, p. 16.
[35] [35] Theissen, Gerd and Annette Merz. The historical Jesus: a comprehensive guide. Fortress Press. 1998. translated from German (1996
edition). p. 321-322
[36] http:/ / www.biblegateway. com/ passage/ ?search=John%205:25;& version=31;
[37] John Calvin, Commentary on Matthew, Mark, Luke - Volume 3 (http:/ / www. ccel. org/ ccel/ calvin/ calcom33. ii. vii. html).
[38] John Calvin, Commentary on Acts 13 (http:/ / www.ccel. org/ ccel/ calvin/ calcom36. xx. vii. html).
[39] Cyril's Sermons on Luke #68. (http:/ / www.ccel. org/ ccel/ pearse/ morefathers/ files/ cyril_on_luke_07_sermons_66_80. htm)
[40] John Barton and John Muddiman, The Oxford Bible Commentary (http:/ / books. google. com/ books?id=wCRYl9Ikk6EC& pg=PA942),
Oxford University Press, 2001, ISBN 0-19-875500-7, p. 942.
[41] Joel B. Green, The Gospel of Luke (http:/ / books. google. com/ books?id=wzRVN2S8cVgC& pg=PA432), Eerdmans, 1997, ISBN
0-8028-2315-7, p. 432.
[42] Christopher Hays, Luke's Wealth Ethics: A Study in Their Coherence and Character (http:/ / books. google. com/
books?id=5-jPG3wLhQwC& pg=PA21), Mohr Siebeck, 2010, ISBN 3-16-150269-8, p. 21.
[43] Christopher Rowland, The Cambridge Companion to Liberation Theology (http:/ / books. google. com/ books?id=L6dCEHGx_LkC&
pg=PA43), 2nd ed, Cambridge University Press, 2007, ISBN 0-521-86883-1, p. 43.
[44] Denis Carroll, What is Liberation Theology? (http:/ / books. google. com/ books?id=o4xqqpsCOWgC& pg=PA57), Gracewing Publishing,
1987, ISBN 0-85342-812-3, p. 57.
[45] M. Gnanavaram, "'Dalit Theology' and the Parable of the Good Samaritan," Journal for the Study of the New Testament, Vol. 15, No. 50,
59-83 (1993).
[46] Taylor Branch, Pillar of Fire: America in the King Years, 1963-65 (http:/ / books. google. com/ books?id=CUI6tY9RJUYC& pg=PA302),
Simon and Schuster, 1998, ISBN 0-684-84809-0, pp.302-303.
[47] Martin Luther King, Jr., "A Time to Break the Silence," quoted in Douglas A. Hicks and Mark R. Valeri, Global Neighbors: Christian Faith
and Moral Obligation in Today's Economy (http:/ / books. google. com/ books?id=i1o5zTmGqcYC& pg=PA31), Eerdmans Publishing, 2008,
ISBN 0-8028-6033-8, p. 31.
[48] Bernard Brandon Scott, Hear Then the Parable: A commentary on the parables of Jesus (http:/ / books. google. com/
books?id=wtphytF1ePQC& pg=PA199), Fortress Press, 1989, ISBN 0-8006-2481-5, pp. 199-200.
[49] William C. Placher, "Is the Bible True?" The Christian Century, October 11, 1995, pp. 924-925. (http:/ / www. religion-online. org/
showarticle. asp?title=5)
[50] Peter Rhea Jones, Studying the Parables of Jesus (http:/ / books. google. com/ books?id=tNQdaOREo6sC& pg=PA294), Smyth & Helwys,
1999, ISBN 1-57312-167-3, p. 294.
[51] Bernard Brandon Scott. (http:/ / www.westarinstitute. org/ Fellows/ scott. html)
[52] Bernard Brandon Scott, Hear Then the Parable: A commentary on the parables of Jesus (http:/ / books. google. com/
books?id=wtphytF1ePQC& pg=PA191), Fortress Press, 1989, ISBN 0-8006-2481-5, pp. 191-192.
[53] http:/ / www.biblegateway. com/ passage/ ?search=Mark%2012:28-34;& version=31;
[54] http:/ / www.biblegateway. com/ passage/ ?search=Matthew%2022:34-40;& version=31;
[55] Greg W. Forbes, The God of Old: The role of the Lukan parables in the purpose of Luke's Gospel (http:/ / books. google. com/
books?id=Cde7AcIg-hEC& pg=PA56), Continuum, 2000, ISBN 1-84127-131-4, pp. 56-57.
[56] http:/ / www.biblegateway. com/ passage/ ?search=Luke%2010:36-37;& version=31;
[57] Klyne Snodgrass, Stories with Intent: A comprehensive guide to the parables of Jesus (http:/ / books. google. com/
books?id=kFyt0VhErywC& pg=PA348), Eerdmans, 2008, ISBN 0-8028-4241-0, p. 348.
[58] Dictionary of Classical, Biblical, & Literary Allusions
[59] Mark Lunney and Ken Oliphant, Tort Law: Text and Materials (http:/ / books. google. com/ books?id=vugZ-82NHkUC& pg=PA465), 3rd
ed., Oxford University Press, 2008, ISBN 0-19-921136-1, p. 465.
[60] Roland E. Fleischer and Susan C. Scott, Rembrandt, Rubens, and the Art of their Time: Recent perspectives (http:/ / books. google. com/
books?id=jT1_ppbRQagC& pg=PA68), Pennsylvania State University Press, 1997, ISBN 0-915773-10-4, pp. 68-69.
[61] [61] Emile Mle, The Gothic Image , Religious Art in France of the Thirteen Century, p 195, English trans of 3rd edn, 1913, Collins, London
(and many other editions)
[62] Leslie Ross, Medieval Art: A topical dictionary (http:/ / books. google. com/ books?id=b-5YPoia7qwC& pg=PA105), Greenwood
Publishing Group, 1996, ISBN 0-313-29329-5, p. 105.
[63] Paul H. Ballard and Stephen R. Holmes, The Bible in Pastoral Practice: Readings in the place and function of Scripture in the church (http:/
/ books.google. com/ books?id=HDTKg24M_ocC& pg=PA55), Eerdmans, 2006, ISBN 0-8028-3115-X, p. 55.
[64] Albert Romer Frey, A Dictionary of Numismatic Names: Their Official and Popular Designations (http:/ / books. google. com/
books?id=xvp3mXn2UJcC& pg=PA95), American Numismatic Society, 1917 (reprinted by BiblioLife, LLC, 2009), ISBN 1-115-68411-6, p.
95.
[65] John Gardiner Calkins Brainard, Occasional Pieces of Poetry (http:/ / books. google. com/ books?id=x_4vAAAAYAAJ& pg=PA79), E.
Bliss and E. White, 1825, pp. 79-81.
[66] Samaritan at Modern Parables web site. (http:/ / modernparable. com/ see/ samaritan)
Good Samaritan
35
[67] See e.g., (http:/ / www.challies. com/ archives/ articles/ bible-study/ modern-parables-living-in-the-kingdom-of-god-dvd. php), (http:/ /
www.holidayatthesea. com/ ?tag=modern-parables), (http:/ / www. lofitribe. com/ 2007/ 10/ 30/
compass-cinemas-parables-in-cinematic-theology/ )
[68] Samaritan at IMDB. (http:/ / www.imdb.com/ title/ tt1286850/ )
External links
Biblical Art on the WWW:
The Expert in the Law (http:/ / www. biblical-art. com/ biblicalsubject. asp?id_biblicalsubject=580&
pagenum=1)
Assault and First Aid (http:/ / www. biblical-art. com/ biblicalsubject. asp?id_biblicalsubject=781&
pagenum=1)
The Inn (http:/ / www. biblical-art. com/ biblicalsubject. asp?id_biblicalsubject=782& pagenum=1)
Great Banquet
Jan Luyken: the invitation, Bowyer Bible.
Jan Luyken: the man without a wedding garment, Bowyer Bible.
The Parable of the Great Banquet or the Wedding
Feast or the Marriage of the King's Son is a parable
told by Jesus in the New Testament, found in
Matthew 22:1-14
[1]
and Luke 14:15-24
[2]
.
A variant of the parable also appears in the non
canonical Gospel of Thomas (Saying 64).
[3]
Narrative
The longer version of the parable is in Matthew:
Jesus answered and spoke again in parables to
them, saying, "The Kingdom of Heaven is like
a certain king, who made a marriage feast for
his son, and sent out his servants to call those
who were invited to the marriage feast, but
they would not come. Again he sent out other
servants, saying, 'Tell those who are invited,
"Behold, I have prepared my dinner. My cattle
and my fatlings are killed, and all things are
ready. Come to the marriage feast!"' But they
made light of it, and went their ways, one to
his own farm, another to his merchandise, and
the rest grabbed his servants, and treated them
shamefully, and killed them. When the king
heard that, he was angry, and sent his armies,
destroyed those murderers, and burned their
city.
"Then he said to his servants, 'The wedding is
ready, but those who were invited weren't
Great Banquet
36
worthy. Go therefore to the intersections of the highways, and as many as you may find, invite to the marriage
feast.' Those servants went out into the highways, and gathered together as many as they found, both bad and
good. The wedding was filled with guests. But when the king came in to see the guests, he saw there a man
who didn't have on wedding clothing, and he said to him, 'Friend, how did you come in here not wearing
wedding clothing?' He was speechless. Then the king said to the servants, 'Bind him hand and foot, take him
away, and throw him into the outer darkness; there is where the weeping and grinding of teeth will be.' For
many are called, but few chosen."
Matthew 22:1-14, World English Bible
Interpretation
The eschatological image of a wedding also occurs in the parable of the Faithful Servant and the parable of the Ten
Virgins. Here it includes the extension of the original invitation (to Jews) to also include Gentiles.
[4]
In Luke, the
invitation is extended particularly to the "poor, the crippled, the blind and the lame" (14:21
[5]
), evidencing explicit
concern for the "poor and the outcasts."
[4]
The targets of the parable are the already religious who have no time for God; they are represented by the people
who accepted an invitation, but when the food is ready claim they are too busy to turn up.
[6]
In Matthew, the parable immediately follows the parable of the Wicked Husbandmen, to which it is linked.
[7]
This
connection helps to explain the treatment of the man without wedding clothes.
[7]
Augustine suggested that the wedding clothes or garment in this parable were provided by the host, but this is
unlikely to be the intended implication.
[6]
He also interpreted the garment as symbolizing love,
[8]
an interpretation
not widely accepted even in medieval times.
[9]
Martin Luther suggested that the garment represented Christ
himself.
[10]
John Calvin alluded to other interpretations in commenting:
As to the wedding garment, is it faith, or is it a holy life? This is a useless controversy; for faith cannot
be separated from good works, nor do good works proceed from any other source than from faith.
[11]
In the Gospel of Thomas, the parable "becomes an exhortation against the affairs of business and a life of gain."
[7]
Art and hymnody
The parable has been depicted by artists such as Bernardo Cavallino, Jan Luyken, and John Everett Millais.
A number of Christian hymns have been inspired by the parable, such as "All is ready" by Fanny Crosby,
[12]
and
"All Things are Ready" by Charles H. Gabriel, which begins:
All things are ready, come to the feast!
Come, for the table now is spread;
Ye famishing, ye weary, come,
And thou shalt be richly fed.
[13]
Great Banquet
37
Music
The topic was the prescribed reading for the Second Sunday after Trinity, for which Bach composed cantatas Die
Himmel erzhlen die Ehre Gottes, BWV 76 in 1723 and Ach Gott, vom Himmel sieh darein, BWV 2 in 1724.
References
[1] http:/ / www. biblegateway. com/ passage/ ?search=Matthew%2022:1-14;& version=31;
[2] http:/ / www. biblegateway. com/ passage/ ?search=Luke%2014:15-24;& version=31;
[3] Gospel of Thomas: Lamb translation (http:/ / www.gnosis. org/ naghamm/ gthlamb. html) and Patterson/Meyer translation (http:/ / www.
gnosis. org/ naghamm/ gosthom. html).
[4] Robert H. Stein, An Introduction to the Parables of Jesus (http:/ / books. google. com/ books?id=x3bwi3Y_JMgC& pg=PA82), Westminster
John Knox Press, 1981, ISBN 0-664-24390-8, pp. 82-91.
[5] http:/ / www. biblegateway. com/ passage/ ?search=Luke%2014:21;& version=31;
[6] R. T. France, The Gospel According to Matthew: An introduction and commentary (http:/ / books. google. com/ books?id=ttTgacXnLV8C&
pg=PA312), Eerdmans, 1985, ISBN 0-8028-0063-7, pp. 312-313.
[7] Bernard Brandon Scott, Hear Then the Parable: A commentary on the parables of Jesus (http:/ / books. google. com/
books?id=wtphytF1ePQC& pg=PA161), Fortress Press, 1989, ISBN 0-8006-2481-5, pp. 161-168.
[8] Augustine of Hippo, Sermon 45 on the New Testament (http:/ / www. newadvent. org/ fathers/ 160345. htm).
[9] David Paul Parris, Reception Theory and Biblical Hermeneutics (http:/ / books. google. com/ books?id=nOglAQAAIAAJ), Pickwick
Publications, 2008, ISBN 1-55635-653-6, p. 250.
[10] John Nicholas Lenker, The Precious and Sacred Writings of Martin Luther (http:/ / books. google. com/ books?id=j05r62Qj49gC&
pg=PA234#v=onepage& q& f=false), 1905 (reprinted by BiblioLife, 2009, ISBN 1-115-36364-6, p. 234).
[11] John Calvin, Commentary on Matthew, Mark, Luke - Volume 2 (http:/ / www. ccel. org/ ccel/ calvin/ calcom32. ii. xxxii. html).
[12] The Cyber Hymnal: All is Ready (http:/ / www.hymntime. com/ tch/ htm/ a/ l/ l/ allready. htm).
[13] Gospel of Thomas: Lamb translation (http:/ / www.gnosis. org/ naghamm/ gthlamb. html) and Patterson/Meyer translation (http:/ / www.
gnosis. org/ naghamm/ gosthom. html).
Growing Seed
38
Growing Seed
An illustration of the parable, together with the preceding parable
of the lamp under a bushel.
The Parable of the Growing Seed (also called the Seed
Growing Secretly) is a parable of Jesus which appears in
only one of the Canonical gospels of the New
Testament. According to Mark 4:26-29
[1]
it is a parable
about growth in the Kingdom of God. It follows the
parable of the Sower and the lamp under a bushel, and
precedes the parable of the Mustard Seed.
A version of the Parable of the Growing Seed also
appears in the non canonical Gospel of Thomas (Saying
21d).
[2]
Narrative
The parable is as follows:
He said, "The Kingdom of God is as if a man
should cast seed on the earth, and should sleep and
rise night and day, and the seed should spring up
and grow, he doesn't know how. For the earth
bears fruit: first the blade, then the ear, then the
full grain in the ear. But when the fruit is ripe,
immediately he puts forth the sickle, because the
harvest has come."
Mark 4:26-29, World English Bible
Interpretation
This parable can be seen as related to the parable of the Sower,
[3]
although it does not follow that parable
immediately. One interpretation is that it serves as a "correction provided for any ancient or modern disciples who
might be feeling discouraged with the amount of fruitless labor they had extended toward those" who failed to hear
the message of which the parable of the Sower spoke.
[3]
Even when the farmer sleeps, the Kingdom of God is still
growing. Its growth is due to God, not man,
[4]
and follows its own timetable.
[5]
Unlike the parable of the Sower, the seed here seems to represent the Kingdom of God itself.
[6]
Differences in
interpretation result from emphasising different aspects of the parable, such as the seed, the sower, or the earth.
[7]
Growing Seed
39
References
[1] http:/ / www. biblegateway. com/ passage/ ?search=Mark%204:26-29;& version=31;
[2] Gospel of Thomas: Lamb translation (http:/ / www.gnosis. org/ naghamm/ gthlamb. html) and Patterson/Meyer translation (http:/ / www.
gnosis. org/ naghamm/ gosthom. html).
[3] George R. Knight, Exploring Mark: A Devotional Commentary (http:/ / books. google. com. au/ books?id=8ZumYzrphWMC& pg=PA107),
Review and Herald Pub Assoc, 2004, ISBN 0-8280-1837-5, pp. 107-108.
[4] Richard N. Longenecker, The Challenge of Jesus' Parables (http:/ / books. google. com. au/ books?id=JojVvncUgk0C& pg=PA97),
Eerdmans, 2000, ISBN 0-8028-4638-6, p. 97.
[5] James R. Edwards, The Gospel According to Mark (http:/ / books. google. com. au/ books?id=0MjWS_4La_EC& pg=PA142), Eerdmans,
2002, ISBN 0-85111-778-3, pp. 142-144.
[6] Klyne Snodgrass, Stories with Intent: A comprehensive guide to the parables of Jesus (http:/ / books. google. com. au/
books?id=kFyt0VhErywC& pg=PA213), Eerdmans, 2008, ISBN 0-8028-4241-0, p. 213.
[7] Klyne Snodgrass, Stories with Intent: A comprehensive guide to the parables of Jesus (http:/ / books. google. com. au/
books?id=kFyt0VhErywC& pg=PA184), Eerdmans, 2008, ISBN 0-8028-4241-0, pp. 184-190.
Hidden Treasure
Parable of the Hidden Treasure by Rembrandt (c. 1630).
The parable of the Hidden Treasure is a
well known parable of Jesus, which appears
in only one of the canonical gospels of the
New Testament. According to Matthew
13:44
[1]
the parable illustrates the great
value of the Kingdom of Heaven. It
immediately precedes the parable of the
Pearl, which has a similar theme. The
parable has been depicted by artists such as
Rembrandt.
Narrative
The brief parable of the Hidden Treasure is
as follows:
"Again, the Kingdom of Heaven is
like a treasure hidden in the field, which a man found, and hid. In his joy, he goes and sells all that he has, and
buys that field."
Matthew 13:44, World English Bible
Hidden Treasure
40
A depiction of this parable (left) paired with that of the pearl
(right) on a stained glass window in Scots' Church,
Melbourne.
The setting here presupposes that someone has buried a
treasure and later died. The current owner of the field is
unaware of its existence. The finder, perhaps a farm labourer,
is entitled to it, but is unable to conveniently extract it unless
he buys the field.
[2]
For a poor peasant, such a discovery of
treasure represented the "ultimate dream."
[3]
Interpretation
This parable is generally interpreted as illustrating the great
value of the Kingdom of Heaven, and thus has a similar theme
to the parable of the pearl. John Nolland comments that the
good fortune reflected in the "finding" reflects a "special
privilege,"
[2]
and a source of joy, but also reflects a
challenge,
[2]
just as the man in the parable gives up all that he
has, in order to lay claim to the greater treasure he has found.
John Calvin writes of this parable:
The first two of these parables are intended to
instruct believers to prefer the Kingdom of
heaven to the whole world, and therefore to deny
themselves and all the desires of the flesh, that
nothing may prevent them from obtaining so valuable a possession. We are greatly in need of such a
warning; for we are so captivated by the allurements of the world, that eternal life fades from our view;
and in consequence of our carnality, the spiritual graces of God are far from being held by us in the
estimation which they deserve.
[4]
The hidden nature of the treasure may indicate that the Kingdom of Heaven "is not yet revealed to everyone."
[5]
However, other interpretations of the parable exist, in which the treasure represents Israel or the Church.
[6]
In the Gospel of Thomas
A similar parable also appears in the Gnostic Gospel of Thomas (Saying 109):
[7]
Jesus said, "The (Father's) kingdom is like a person who had a treasure hidden in his field but did not know it.
And [when] he died he left it to his [son]. The son [did] not know about it either. He took over the field and
sold it. The buyer went plowing, [discovered] the treasure, and began to lend money at interest to whomever
he wished."
Gospel of Thomas 109, Patterson/Meyer translation
This work's version of the parable of the Pearl appears earlier (Saying 76), rather than immediately following, as in
Matthew.
[8]
However, the mention of a treasure in Saying 76 may reflect a source for the Gospel of Thomas in which
the parables were adjacent,
[8]
so that the original pair of parables has been "broken apart, placed in separate contexts,
and expanded in a manner characteristic of folklore."
[8]
The multiple changes of ownership of the field are unique to
the Gospel of Thomas,
[8]
and reflect a different theme from the New Testament parable.
[5]
Hidden Treasure
41
Depictions
There have been several depictions of the New Testament parable in art, including works by Rembrandt, Jan
Luyken, James Tissot, and John Everett Millais.
References
[1] http:/ / quod. lib. umich.edu/ cgi/ r/ rsv/ rsv-idx?type=citation& book=Matthew& chapno=13& startverse=44
[2] John Nolland, The Gospel of Matthew: A commentary on the Greek text (http:/ / books. google. com. au/ books?id=9cL_kpdUE-oC&
pg=PA563), Eerdmans, 2005, ISBN 0-8028-2389-0, pp. 563565.
[3] Craig S. Keener, A Commentary on the Gospel of Matthew (http:/ / books. google. com. au/ books?id=sWzhEdBZOp4C& pg=PA391),
Eerdmans, 1999, ISBN 0-8028-3821-9, p. 391.
[4] John Calvin, Commentary on Matthew, Mark, Luke - Volume 2 (http:/ / www. ccel. org/ ccel/ calvin/ calcom32. ii. xxii. html), translated by
William Pringle, Matthew 13:44-52.
[5] W. D. Davies, William David Davies, and Dale C. Allison, A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the Gospel According to Saint
Matthew: Commentary on Matthew VIII-XVIII (http:/ / books. google. com. au/ books?id=xj8dHdRZ7msC& pg=PA435), Continuum, 1997,
ISBN 0-567-09545-2, pp. 435437.
[6] Herbert Lockyer, All the Parables of the Bible (http:/ / books. google. com. au/ books?id=4ncUVL4h2LsC& pg=PA197), Zondervan, 1988,
ISBN 0-310-28111-3, pp. 197200.
[7] Gospel of Thomas: Lamb translation (http:/ / www.gnosis. org/ naghamm/ gthlamb. html) and Patterson/Meyer translation (http:/ / www.
gnosis. org/ naghamm/ gosthom. html).
[8] Brad H. Young, The Parables: Jewish Tradition and Christian Interpretation (http:/ / books. google. com. au/ books?id=DDEIf4uvx4MC&
pg=PA202), Hendrickson Publishers, 2008, ISBN 1-59856-303-3, pp. 202206.
Lamp
42
Lamp
An illustration of the parable, together with the parable of the
Growing Seed, which follows it in Mark.
The parable of the lamp under a bushel, (also known as
the lamp under a bowl), is one of the parables of Jesus. It
appears in three of the canonical gospels of the New
Testament. The differences found in Matthew 5:1415,
Mark 4:2125 and Luke 8:1618, are minor. An
abbreviated version of the parable also appears in the
non-canonical Gospel of Thomas (Saying 33).
[1]
In
Matthew the parable is a continuation of the discourse
on salt and light.
Narrative
In the Gospel of Luke, Jesus says:
"No one, when he has lit a lamp, puts it in a cellar
or under a basket, but on a stand, that those who
come in may see the light. The lamp of the body is
the eye. Therefore when your eye is good, your
whole body is also full of light; but when it is evil,
your body also is full of darkness. Therefore see
whether the light that is in you isn't darkness. If
therefore your whole body is full of light, having
no part dark, it will be wholly full of light, as
when the lamp with its bright shining gives you
light."
Luke 11:3336, World English Bible
Interpretation
In Matthew this parable is a continuation of the discourse on salt and light. The key idea of the parable is that "Light
is to be revealed, not concealed."
[2]
The light here has been interpreted as referring to Jesus,
[3][4]
or to his message,
[4]
or to the believer's response to that message.
[5]
Proverb
The parable is the source of the English proverb "to hide one's light under a bushel", the use of the word "bushel",
an obsolete word for bowl, appearing in William Tyndale's translation of the New Testament: "Neither do men light
a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick, and it lighteth all them which are in the house."
[6]
References
[1] Gospel of Thomas: Lamb translation (http:/ / www.gnosis. org/ naghamm/ gthlamb. html) and Patterson/Meyer translation (http:/ / www.
gnosis. org/ naghamm/ gosthom. html).
[2] John R. Donahue and Daniel J. Harrington, The Gospel of Mark (http:/ / books. google. com. au/ books?id=FfAWQh9ybFYC& pg=PA149),
Liturgical Press, 2005, ISBN 0-8146-5965-9, p. 149.
[3] William L. Lane, The Gospel According to Mark: The English text with introduction, exposition, and notes (http:/ / books. google. com. au/
books?id=nIjPDDlweUgC& pg=PA165), Eerdmans, 1974, ISBN 0-8028-2502-8, pp. 165166.
Lamp
43
[4] Barbara E. Reid, Parables for Preachers: Year B. The Gospel of Mark (http:/ / books. google. com. au/ books?id=omA6L--gecYC&
pg=PA106)', Liturgical Press, 1999, ISBN 0-8146-2551-7, pp. 106107.
[5] Joel B. Green, The Gospel of Luke (http:/ / books. google. com. au/ books?id=koYlW6IoOjMC& pg=PA329), Eerdmans, 1997, ISBN
0-8028-2315-7, p. 329.
[6] Wilson, F. P. ed. (1970). The Oxford Dictionary of Proverbs. Third Edition. Oxford University Press. p.371. "Hide one's light (candle) under
a bushel, To."
Leaven
Etching by Jan Luyken illustrating the parable, from the Bowyer Bible.
The Parable of the Leaven (also called the
Parable of the yeast) is one of the shorter
parables of Jesus. It appears in two of the
Canonical gospels of the New Testament.
The differences between Gospels of
Matthew (13:33
[1]
) and Luke (13:2021
[2]
)
are minor. In both places it immediately
follows the Parable of the Mustard Seed,
which shares this parable's theme of the
Kingdom of Heaven growing from small
beginnings.
A version of the parable also occurs in the
non-canonical Gospel of Thomas (96
[3]
).
Narrative
The parable describes what happens when a woman adds leaven (old, fermented dough
[4]
usually containing
lactobacillus and yeast) to a large quantity of flour (about 8 gallons or 38 litres
[5]
). The living organisms in the
leaven grow overnight, so that by morning the entire quantity of dough has been affected.
[4]
In the Gospel of Luke, the parable is as follows:
And again he said, Whereunto shall I liken the kingdom of God? It is like leaven, which a woman took and hid
in three measures of meal, till the whole was leavened.
Luke 13:20-21, KJV
Interpretation
This parable is part of a pair,
[6]
and shares the meaning of the preceding Parable of the Mustard Seed, namely the
powerful growth of the Kingdom of God from small beginnings.
[4]
The final outcome is inevitable once the natural
process of growth has begun.
[5]
Although leaven symbolises evil influences elsewhere in the New Testament (as in Luke 12:1
[7]
),
[4]
it is not
generally interpreted that way in this parable.
[4][5][6][8][9][10]
However, a few commentators do see the leaven as
reflecting future corrupting influences in the Church.
[11]
As with the Parable of the Lost Coin, this parable is part of a pair, in which the first parable describes Jesus' work in
terms of a man's agricultural activities, and the second in terms of a woman's domestic activities.
[6]
Joel B. Green
writes that Jesus "asks people male or female, privileged or peasant, it does not matter to enter the domain of a
first-century woman and household cook in order to gain perspective on the domain of God."
[8]
Leaven
44
The large quantity of flour may hint at a planned festive occasion, since the bread produced could feed a hundred
people.
[6]
References
[1] http:/ / www. biblegateway. com/ passage/ ?search=Matthew%2013:33;& version=31;
[2] http:/ / www. biblegateway. com/ passage/ ?search=Luke%2013:2021;& version=31;
[3] Gospel of Thomas: Lamb translation (http:/ / www.gnosis. org/ naghamm/ gthlamb. html) and Patterson/Meyer translation (http:/ / www.
gnosis. org/ naghamm/ gosthom. html).
[4] I. Howard Marshall, The Gospel of Luke: A commentary on the Greek text (http:/ / books. google. com/ books?id=rKqiibViFowC&
pg=PA561), Eerdmans, 1978, ISBN 0-8028-3512-0, pp. 561562.
[5] John Nolland, The Gospel of Matthew: A commentary on the Greek text (http:/ / books. google. com/ books?id=9cL_kpdUE-oC&
pg=PA553), Eerdmans, 2005, ISBN 0-8028-2389-0, p. 553554.
[6] Ben Witherington, Women in the Ministry of Jesus: A study of Jesus' attitudes to women and their roles as reflected in his earthly life (http:/ /
books.google. com/ books?id=xGePuntVBhgC& pg=PA40), Cambridge University Press, 1987, ISBN 0-521-34781-5, p. 4041.
[7] http:/ / www. biblegateway. com/ passage/ ?search=Luke%2012:1;& version=31;
[8] Joel B. Green, The Gospel of Luke (http:/ / books. google. com/ books?id=wzRVN2S8cVgC& pg=PA527), Eerdmans, 1997, ISBN
0-8028-2315-7, p. 527.
[9] John Calvin, Commentary on Matthew, Mark, Luke - Volume 2 (http:/ / www. ccel. org/ ccel/ calvin/ calcom32. ii. xxi. html).
[10] Daniel J. Harrington, The Gospel of Matthew (http:/ / books. google. com/ books?id=bNf13S3k2w0C& pg=PA205), Liturgical Press, 1991,
ISBN 0-8146-5803-2, p. 205.
[11] Herbert Lockyer, All the Parables of the Bible (http:/ / books. google. com/ books?id=4ncUVL4h2LsC& pg=PA190), Zondervan, 1988,
ISBN 0-310-28111-3, p. 190.
Lost Coin
45
Lost Coin
In this parable, a woman sweeps her dark house
looking for a lost coin (engraving by John Everett
Millais).
The Parable of the Lost Coin is one of the parables of Jesus. It
appears in only one of the Canonical gospels of the New Testament.
According to Luke 15:8-10
[1]
, a woman searches for a lost coin. It is
a member of a trilogy on redemption that Jesus tells after the
Pharisees and religious leaders accuse him of welcoming and eating
with "sinners."
[2]
The other two are the Parable of the Lost Sheep, and
the Parable of the Lost Son or Prodigal Son.
Narrative
As recounted in Luke 15, a woman with ten silver coins (Greek
drachmae) loses one. She then lights a lamp and sweeps her house
until she finds it, rejoicing when she does:
Or what woman, if she had ten drachma coins, if she lost one
drachma coin, wouldn't light a lamp, sweep the house, and seek
diligently until she found it? When she has found it, she calls
together her friends and neighbors, saying, 'Rejoice with me,
for I have found the drachma which I had lost.' Even so, I tell
you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one
sinner repenting."
Luke 15:810, World English Bible
On finding the lost coin, the woman shares her joy with her neighbors
(etching by Jan Luyken).
Interpretation
Joel B. Green notes that the woman described is a
poor peasant, and the ten silver coins, corresponding
to ten days wages, "likely represent the family
savings."
[3]
The coins may also have been the
woman's dowry, worn as an ornament.
[4][5]
Both
theories may be true, and either one explains the
urgency of the woman's search, and the extent of her
joy when the missing coin is found.
Like the parable of the Ten Virgins, this is a parable
about women which immediately follows, and makes
the same point as, a preceding parable about men.
[6]
In the Greek, the "friends and neighbors" are
female.
[7]
Lost Coin
46
Green suggests that the invitation to the "friends and neighbors" may reflect a celebratory meal, which recalls the
meals Jesus is accused of sharing with "sinners."
[3]
The woman's diligent activity in searching may symbolise either
Jesus' own activity or that of God the Father.
[4]
The rejoicing of the angels is understood to be rejoicing along with
God.
[5]
Depictions
This parable has been depicted by several artists, including John Everett Millais, Jan Luyken, Domenico Fetti, and
James Tissot.
References
[1] http:/ / www. biblegateway. com/ passage/ ?search=Luke%2015:8-10;& version=31;
[2] Richard N. Longenecker, The Challenge of Jesus' Parables (http:/ / books. google. com. au/ books?id=JojVvncUgk0C& pg=PA201),
Eerdmans, 2000, ISBN 0-8028-4638-6, p. 201.
[3] Joel B. Green, The Gospel of Luke (http:/ / books. google. com. au/ books?id=wzRVN2S8cVgC& pg=PA576), Eerdmans, 1997, ISBN
0-8028-2315-7, p. 576.
[4] Ben Witherington, Women in the Ministry of Jesus: A study of Jesus' attitudes to women and their roles as reflected in his earthly life (http:/ /
books.google. com.au/ books?id=xGePuntVBhgC& pg=PA39), Cambridge University Press, 1987, ISBN 0-521-34781-5, p. 39.
[5] I. Howard Marshall, The Gospel of Luke: A commentary on the Greek text (http:/ / books. google. com. au/ books?id=rKqiibViFowC&
pg=PA603), Eerdmans, 1978, ISBN 0-8028-3512-0, p. 603.
[6] The parable of the Ten Virgins follows the parable of the Faithful Servant, and this parable follows the parable of the Lost Sheep.
[7] Mary Ann Beavis, The Lost Coin: Parables of women, work, and wisdom (http:/ / books. google. com. au/ books?id=KHPlYiPV8cUC&
pg=PA36), Continuum, 2002, ISBN 1-84127-313-9, p. 36.
External links
Biblical Art on the WWW: The Lost Coin (http:/ / www. biblical-art. com/ biblicalsubject.
asp?id_biblicalsubject=734& pagenum=1)
Lost Sheep
47
Lost Sheep
Etching by Jan Luyken showing the triumphant return of the shepherd, from the
Bowyer Bible.
The Parable of the Lost Sheep is one of the
parables of Jesus. It appears in two of the
Canonical gospels of the New Testament, as
well as in the non-canonical Gospel of
Thomas.
[1]
According to the Gospels of Matthew
(18:1214
[2]
) and Luke (15:37
[3]
), a
shepherd leaves his flock of 99 sheep in
order to find the one sheep who is lost. It is
the first member of a trilogy about
redemption that Jesus tells after the
Pharisees and religious leaders accuse him
of welcoming and eating with "sinners."
[4]
The two parables which follow (in Luke's
Gospel) are those of the Lost Coin and the
Prodigal Son.
Narrative
In the Gospel of Luke, the parable is as follows:
He told them this parable. "Which of you men, if you had one hundred sheep, and lost one of them, wouldn't
leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness, and go after the one that was lost, until he found it? When he has found
it, he carries it on his shoulders, rejoicing. When he comes home, he calls together his friends and his
neighbors, saying to them, 'Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost!' I tell you that even so
there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents, than over ninety-nine righteous people who
need no repentance."
Luke 15:3-7, World English Bible
Lost Sheep
48
Interpretation
Depiction of the Good Shepherd by
Philippe de Champaigne showing
the influence of this parable.
The parable shares themes of loss, searching, and rejoicing with the Parable of the
Lost Coin.
[4]
The lost sheep or coin represents a lost human being.
As in the analogy of the Good Shepherd, Jesus is the shepherd, thus identifying
himself with the image of God as a shepherd searching for stray sheep in Ezekiel
34:1116
[5]
.
[4]
Joel B. Green writes that "these parables are fundamentally about
God, ... their aim is to lay bare the nature of the divine response to the recovery of
the lost."
[6]
The rejoicing of the shepherd with his friends represents God rejoicing with the
angels. The image of God rejoicing at the recovery of lost sinners contrasts with
the criticism of the religious leaders which prompted the parable.
[6]
Lost Sheep
49
Depiction in art
James Tissot - The Good Shepherd (Le bon
pasteur) - Brooklyn Museum
The image from this parable of the shepherd placing the lost sheep on
his shoulders (Luke 15:5
[7]
) has been widely incorporated into
depictions of the Good Shepherd.
[8]
Consequently this parable appears
in art mostly as an influence on depictions of the Good Shepherd rather
than as a distinct subject on its own.
Hymns
While there are innumerable references to the Good Shepherd image in
Christian hymns, specific references to this parable can be recognised
by a mention of the 99 other sheep.
Perhaps the best-known hymn describing this parable is "The Ninety
and Nine" by Elizabeth C. Clephane (1868), which begins:
There were ninety and nine that safely lay
In the shelter of the fold.
But one was out on the hills away,
Far off from the gates of gold.
Away on the mountains wild and bare.
Away from the tender Shepherds care.
Away from the tender Shepherds care.
[9]
References
[1] Gospel of Thomas: 107 Lamb translation (http:/ / www. gnosis. org/ naghamm/ gthlamb. html) and Patterson/Meyer translation (http:/ / www.
gnosis. org/ naghamm/ gosthom. html).
[2] http:/ / www. biblegateway. com/ passage/ ?search=Matthew%2018:1214;& version=31;
[3] http:/ / www. biblegateway. com/ passage/ ?search=Luke%2015:37;& version=31;
[4] Richard N. Longenecker, The Challenge of Jesus' Parables (http:/ / books. google. com. au/ books?id=JojVvncUgk0C& pg=PA201),
Eerdmans, 2000, ISBN 0-8028-4638-6, pp. 201204.
[5] http:/ / www. biblegateway. com/ passage/ ?search=Ezekiel%2034:1116;& version=31;
[6] Joel B. Green, The Gospel of Luke (http:/ / books. google. com. au/ books?id=wzRVN2S8cVgC& pg=PA526), Eerdmans, 1997, ISBN
0-8028-2315-7, p. 526.
[7] http:/ / www. biblegateway. com/ passage/ ?search=Luke%2015:5;& version=31;
[8] Walter Lowrie, Art in the Early Church (http:/ / books. google. com. au/ books?id=0fwCGTzbMQ0C& pg=PA69), Pantheon Books, 1947,
ISBN 1-4067-5291-6, p. 69.
[9] Gospel of Thomas: 107 Lamb translation (http:/ / www. gnosis. org/ naghamm/ gthlamb. html) and Patterson/Meyer translation (http:/ / www.
gnosis. org/ naghamm/ gosthom. html).
Lost Sheep
50
External links
Biblical Art on the WWW: The Lost Sheep (http:/ / www. biblical-art. com/ biblicalsubject.
asp?id_biblicalsubject=1225& pagenum=1)
The parable in the book of Luke, NIV version (http:/ / www. biblegateway. com/ passage/ ?search=Luke 15:3-7;&
version=31;)
The parable in the book of Matthew, NIV version (http:/ / www. biblegateway. com/ passage/ ?search=Matthew
18:12-14;& version=31;)
Master and Servant
The prayer of thanksgiving after Communion by
Thomas Aquinas includes a phrase similar to the
last verse of this parable: I thank You, O holy
Lord, almighty Father, eternal God, who have
deigned, not through any merits of mine, but out
of the condenscension of Your goodness, to
satisfy me a sinner, Your unworthy servant
(painting by Alphonse Legros).
The Parable of the Master and Servant is a parable told by Jesus in
the New Testament, found in Luke 17:7-10
[1]
. The parable teaches
that when somebody "has done what God expects, he or she is only
doing his or her duty."
[2]
Narrative
The parable is as follows:
But who is there among you, having a servant plowing or
keeping sheep, that will say, when he comes in from the field,
"Come immediately and sit down at the table," and will not
rather tell him, "Prepare my supper, clothe yourself properly, and
serve me, while I eat and drink. Afterward you shall eat and
drink"? Does he thank that servant because he did the things that
were commanded? I think not. Even so you also, when you have
done all the things that are commanded you, say, "We are
unworthy servants. We have done our duty."
Luke 17:7-10, World English Bible
Interpretation
This parable suggests that "even the best of God's servants are still unworthy because they have only done their duty
and no more."
[3]
Nobody, "no matter how virtuous or hardworking, can ever put God in his or her debt."
[2]
William Barclay
[4]
relates the parable to the last verse of the Isaac Watts hymn "When I Survey the Wondrous
Cross":
Were the whole realm of Nature mine,
That were an offering far too small;
Love so amazing, so divine,
Demands my soul, my life, my all.
[2]
The phrase "unworthy servant" in the last verse of the parable is widely used liturgically, such as in the Liturgy of St.
John Chrysostom.
[5]
Master and Servant
51
References
[1] http:/ / www. biblegateway. com/ passage/ ?search=Luke%2017:7-10;& version=31;
[2] Arland J. Hultgren, The Parables of Jesus: A Commentary (http:/ / books. google. com. au/ books?id=P2UvmRVLF18C& pg=PA251),
Eerdmans Publishing, 2002, ISBN 0-8028-6077-X, p. 251.
[3] Mark Black, Luke (http:/ / books. google.com.au/ books?id=9QrEtDH3kOYC& pg=PA285), College Press, 1996, ISBN 0-89900-630-2, p.
285.
[4] William Barclay, The Gospel of Luke (http:/ / books.google. com. au/ books?id=vbQdf2ZuUIoC& pg=PA257), Westminster John Knox
Press, 2001, ISBN 0-664-22487-3, p. 257.
[5] The divine liturgy of our father Saint John Chyrsostom, Byzantine Seminary Press, 1965 (http:/ / www. patronagechurch. com/ HTML/
DIVINE_LITURGY_SAINT_JOHN_CHRYSOSTOM. htm), footnote 100.
Mustard Seed
Etching by Jan Luyken illustrating the parable, from the Bowyer Bible.
The Parable of the Mustard Seed is one of
the shorter parables of Jesus. It appears in
three of the Canonical gospels of the New
Testament. The differences between
Gospels of Matthew (13:3132), Mark
(4:3032), and Luke (13:1819), are minor.
In the Gospels of Matthew and Luke, it is
immediately followed by the Parable of the
Leaven, which shares this parable's theme of
the Kingdom of Heaven growing from small
beginnings.
A version of the parable also occurs in the
non-canonical Gospel of Thomas 20.
[1]
Narrative
In the Gospel of Matthew, the parable is as follows:
He set another parable before them, saying, "The Kingdom of Heaven is like a grain of mustard seed, which a
man took, and sowed in his field; which indeed is smaller than all seeds. But when it is grown, it is greater
than the herbs, and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and lodge in its branches."
Matthew 13:3132, World English Bible
In the Gospel of Mark:
He said, How will we liken the Kingdom of God? Or with what parable will we illustrate it? Its like a grain
of mustard seed, which, when it is sown in the earth, though it is less than all the seeds that are on the earth,
yet when it is sown, grows up, and becomes greater than all the herbs, and puts out great branches, so that the
birds of the sky can lodge under its shadow.
Mark 4:3032, World English Bible
In the Gospel of Luke:
He said, What is the Kingdom of God like? To what shall I compare it? It is like a grain of mustard seed,
which a man took, and put in his own garden. It grew, and became a large tree, and the birds of the sky lodged
in its branches.
Luke 13:18-19, World English Bible
Mustard Seed
52
Interpretation
The black mustard plant.
The plant referred to here is generally considered to be black
mustard, a large annual plant up to 9 feet tall,
[2]
but growing from
a proverbially small seed
[2]
(this smallness is also used to refer to
faith in Matthew 17:20 and Luke 17:6). According to rabbinical
sources, Jews did not grow the plant in gardens,
[2]
and this is
consistent with Matthew's description of it growing in a field.
Luke tells the parable with the plant in a garden instead; this is
presumably recasting the story for an audience outside Palestine.
[2]
I. Howard Marshall writes that the parable "suggests the growth of
the kingdom of God from tiny beginnings to worldwide size."
[2]
The Parable of the Leaven (which in the Gospels of Matthew and
Luke immediately follows) shares this theme of large growth from
small beginnings. As with the Parable of the Sower, which in
Matthew and Mark occurs earlier in the same chapter, the man
sowing the seed represents Jesus,
[3]
and the plant is the Kingdom
of God.
The nesting birds may refer to Old Testament texts which
emphasize the universal reach of God's empire,
[4]
such as Daniel
4:12. However, a real mustard plant is unlikely to attract nesting
birds,
[3]
so that "Jesus seems deliberately to emphasize the notion
of astonishing extravagance in his analogy."
[4]
Other commentators have suggested that the birds represent Gentiles
seeking refuge with Israel
[5][6]
or the "sinners" and tax collectors with whom Jesus was criticised for associating.
[7]
A few commentators view the birds negatively, as representing false teachers invading the church.
[8]
Some have identified a "subversive and scandalous"
[6]
element to this parable, in that the fast-growing nature of the
mustard plant makes it a "malignant weed"
[6]
with "dangerous takeover properties".
[6]
Pliny the Elder, in his Natural
History (published around AD 78) writes that "mustard is extremely beneficial for the health. It grows entirely
wild, though it is improved by being transplanted: but on the other hand when it has once been sown it is scarcely
possible to get the place free of it, as the seed when it falls germinates at once."
[9]
Ben Witherington notes that Jesus could have chosen a genuine tree for the parable, and that the mustard plant
demonstrates that "Though the dominion appeared small like a seed during Jesus' ministry, it would inexorably grow
into something large and firmly rooted, which some would find shelter in and others would find obnoxious and try to
root out."
[7]
References
[1] Gospel of Thomas: Lamb translation (http:/ / www.gnosis. org/ naghamm/ gthlamb. html) and Patterson/Meyer translation (http:/ / www.
gnosis. org/ naghamm/ gosthom. html).
[2] I. Howard Marshall, The Gospel of Luke: A commentary on the Greek text (http:/ / books. google. com/ books?id=rKqiibViFowC&
pg=PA561), Eerdmans, 1978, ISBN 0-8028-3512-0, pp. 561.
[3] John Nolland, The Gospel of Matthew: A commentary on the Greek text (http:/ / books. google. com/ books?id=9cL_kpdUE-oC&
pg=PA551), Eerdmans, 2005, ISBN 0-8028-2389-0, p. 551.
[4] Joel B. Green, The Gospel of Luke (http:/ / books. google. com/ books?id=wzRVN2S8cVgC& pg=PA526), Eerdmans, 1997, ISBN
0-8028-2315-7, p. 526.
[5] Richard N. Longenecker, The Challenge of Jesus' Parables (http:/ / books. google. com/ books?id=JojVvncUgk0C& pg=PA141), Eerdmans,
2000, ISBN 0-8028-4638-6, p. 141.
[6] Michael F. Bird, Jesus and the Origins of the Gentile Mission (http:/ / books. google. com/ books?id=GbOjZQdcFQoC& pg=PA73),
Continuum, 2006, ISBN 0-567-04473-4, pp. 7377.
Mustard Seed
53
[7] Ben Witherington, The Gospel of Mark: A socio-rhetorical commentary (http:/ / books. google. com/ books?id=QzNgJ_9fOAwC&
pg=PA171), Eerdmans, 2001, ISBN 0-8028-4503-7, pp. 171172.
[8] Herbert Lockyer, All the Parables of the Bible (http:/ / books. google. com/ books?id=4ncUVL4h2LsC& pg=PA188), Zondervan, 1988,
ISBN 0-310-28111-3, p. 188.
[9] Pliny the Elder, Natural History (http:/ / www.archive. org/ details/ naturalhistory05plinuoft), translated by Harris Rackham, Loeb, 1950,
Book XIX, Chapter LIV.
New Wine into Old Wineskins
Man with Wineskin by Niko Pirosmani.
New Wine into Old Wineskins is, according to the New Testament, one of
a pair of parables told by Jesus. It is found at Matthew9:14-17
[1]
,
Mark2:21-22
[2]
and Luke5:33-39
[3]
. A version of the parable also
appears in the Gnostic Gospel of Thomas (Saying 47).
[4]
Passage
The parables follow the recruitment of Matthew as a disciple of Jesus, and
appear to be part of a discussion at a banquet held by him (Luke5:29
[5]
).
[6]
The parables are told in response to a question about fasting:
"And they said unto him, Why do the disciples of John fast often,
and make prayers, and likewise the disciples of the Pharisees; but
thine eat and drink? And he said unto them, Can ye make the
children of the bridechamber fast, while the bridegroom is with
them? But the days will come, when the bridegroom shall be taken
away from them, and then shall they fast in those days."
Luke 5:33-35, KJV
Jesus' response continues with the two short parables. Luke has the more
detailed version:
"And he spake also a parable unto them; No man putteth a piece of a new garment upon an old; if otherwise,
then both the new maketh a rent, and the piece that was taken out of the new agreeth not with the old. And no
man putteth new wine into old bottles; else the new wine will burst the bottles, and be spilled, and the bottles
shall perish. But new wine must be put into new bottles; and both are preserved. No man also having drunk old
wine straightway desireth new: for he saith, The old is better."
Luke 5:36-39, KJV
Interpretation
The two parables relate to the relationship between Jesus' teaching and traditional Judaism.
[7]
According to some
interpreters, Jesus here "pits his own, new way against the old way of the Pharisees and their scribes."
[6]
In the early
second century, Marcion, founder of Marcionism, used the passage to justify a "total separation between the religion
that Jesus and Paul espoused and that of the Hebrew Scriptures."
[8]
Other interpreters see Luke as giving Christianity roots in Jewish antiquity,
[6]
although "Jesus has brought something
new, and the rituals and traditions of official Judaism cannot contain it."
[9]
In his commentary on Matthew, Mark, and Luke,
[10]
John Calvin states that the old wineskins and the old garment
represent Jesus' disciples, and the new wine and unshrunk cloth represent the practice of fasting twice a week.
Fasting this way would be burdensome to the new disciples, and would be more than they could bear.
[11]
New Wine into Old Wineskins
54
Both the suggestion that Christianity was being presented as something that Judaism "cannot contain" (France
[9]
),
and that Jesus was worried about burdening his disciples (Calvin
[11]
), present additional problems which are difficult
to reconcile with other New Testament teaching. Christianity was very much "contained" within Judaism, at least it
was in the Jerusalem church, for decades, and Jesus' description of his yoke is that it is "easy" and "light" (Matt
11:30).
The metaphors in the two parables were drawn from contemporary culture.
[7]
New cloth had not yet shrunk, so that
using new cloth to patch older clothing would result in a tear as it began to shrink.
[12]
Similarly, old wineskins had
been "stretched to the limit"
[12]
or become brittle
[7]
as wine had fermented inside them; using them again therefore
risked bursting them.
[12]
References
[1] http:/ / www. biblegateway. com/ bible?passage=Matthew%209%3A14-17;& version=ESV;
[2] http:/ / www. biblegateway. com/ bible?passage=Mark%202%3A21-22;& version=ESV;
[3] http:/ / www. biblegateway. com/ bible?passage=Luke%205%3A33-39;& version=ESV;
[4] Gospel of Thomas: Lamb translation (http:/ / www.gnosis. org/ naghamm/ gthlamb. html) and Patterson/Meyer translation (http:/ / www.
gnosis. org/ naghamm/ gosthom. html).
[5] http:/ / www. biblegateway. com/ bible?passage=Luke%205%3A29;& version=ESV;
[6] Joel B. Green, The Gospel of Luke (http:/ / books. google. com. au/ books?id=koYlW6IoOjMC& pg=PA248), Eerdmans, 1997, ISBN
0-8028-2315-7, pp. 248-250.
[7] James R. Edwards, The Gospel According to Mark (http:/ / books. google. com. au/ books?id=0MjWS_4La_EC& pg=PA91), Eerdmans,
2002, ISBN 0-85111-778-3, pp. 91-92.
[8] Joseph B. Tyson, Marcion and Luke-Acts: A defining struggle (http:/ / books. google. com. au/ books?id=MU2U08v6aq0C& pg=PA32),
University of South Carolina Press, 2006, ISBN 1-57003-650-0, p. 32.
[9] R. T. France, The Gospel According to Matthew: An introduction and commentary (http:/ / books. google. com. au/
books?id=ttTgacXnLV8C& pg=PA169), Eerdmans, 1985, ISBN 0-8028-0063-7, p. 169.
[10] Calvin's Commentaries (http:/ / www.sacred-texts.com/ chr/ calvin/ cc31/ cc31084. htm), Vol. 31: Matthew, Mark and Luke, Part I
[11] Calvin's Commentary, Volume XVI, Baker: Grand Rapids, 1981, p. 408; also online (http:/ / www. ccel. org/ ccel/ calvin/ calcom31. ix.
lxxvi.html).
[12] Craig S. Keener, A Commentary on the Gospel of Matthew (http:/ / books. google. com. au/ books?id=sWzhEdBZOp4C& pg=PA300),
Eerdmans, 1999, ISBN 0-8028-3821-9, pp. 300-301.
New Wine into Old Wineskins
Life of Jesus: Ministry Events
Preceded by
Calling of Matthew
New
Testament
Events
Followed by
Commissioning of the Twelve
Pearl
55
Pearl
The Parable of the Hidden Treasure (left) paired with the Parable of the
Pearl (right) on a stained glass window in Scots' Church, Melbourne.
The Parable of the Pearl (also called the Pearl
of Great Price) is a parable of Jesus of Nazareth.
It appears in only one of the Canonical gospels of
the New Testament. According to Matthew
13:45-46
[1]
the parable illustrates the great value
of the Kingdom of Heaven.
It immediately follows the Parable of the Hidden
Treasure, which has a similar theme and the
parable has been depicted by artists such as
Domenico Fetti. A version of this parable also
appears in the non canonical Gospel of Thomas
76.
[2]
Narrative
The brief Parable of the Pearl is as follows:
Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a
merchant man, seeking goodly pearls:
Who, when he had found one pearl of great
price, went and sold all that he had, and
bought it.
Matthew 13:45-46, King James Version
Pearl
56
Interpretation
The Pearl of Great Price, by Domenico Fetti, 17th century.
This parable is generally interpreted as illustrating the
great value of the Kingdom of Heaven (pearls at that
time had a greater value than they do today
[3]
), and thus
has a similar theme to the Parable of the Hidden
Treasure. John Nolland comments that it shares the
notions of "good fortune and demanding action in
attaining the kingdom of heaven"
[3]
with that parable,
but adds the notion of "diligent seeking."
[3]
The valuable pearl is the "deal of a lifetime"
[3]
for the
merchant in the story. However, those who do not
believe in the kingdom of heaven enough to stake their
whole future on it are unworthy of the kingdom.
[4]
This interpretation of the parable is the inspiration for a
number of hymns, including the Swedish hymn Den
Kostliga Prlan (O That Pearl of Great Price!), which
begins:
O that Pearl of great price! have you found
it?
Is the Savior supreme in your love?
O consider it well, ere you answer,
As you hope for a welcome above.
Have you given up all for this Treasure?
Have you counted past gains as but loss?
Has your trust in yourself and your merits
Come to naught before Christ and His cross?
[2]
A less common interpretation of the parable is that the merchant represents Christ, and the pearl represents the
Church.
[5]
This interpretation would give the parable a similar theme to that of the Parable of the Lost Sheep, the
Lost Coin, and the Prodigal Son.
The phrase "Pearl of Great Price" has also been interpreted more widely to apply to things of great value in a number
of religious contexts. For example, it is the title of a selection of Mormon writings. Pope Pius XII used the phrase to
describe virginity.
[6]
The pearl itself is a beautiful, single entity, formed through suffering in the heart of the oyster (in the same way that
believers endure lack of wealth or comfort) and like the Church, will be put on display in a coming day. Unlike
precious stones which must be cut and polished to reveal their clarity and beauty, the pearl is perfect as it comes
from the oyster.
[7]
Pearl
57
In the Gospel of Thomas
A version of the parable also appears in the Gnostic Gospel of Thomas (Saying 76):
[2]
Jesus said, "The Father's kingdom is like a merchant who had a supply of merchandise and found a pearl. That
merchant was prudent; he sold the merchandise and bought the single pearl for himself.
So also with you, seek his treasure that is unfailing, that is enduring, where no moth comes to eat and no worm
destroys."
Gospel of Thomas 76, Patterson/Meyer translation
This work's version of the parable of the Hidden Treasure appears later (Saying 109), rather than immediately
preceding, as in Matthew.
[8]
However, the mention of a treasure in Saying 76 may reflect a source for the Gospel of
Thomas in which the parables were adjacent,
[8]
so that the original pair of parables has been "broken apart, placed in
separate contexts, and expanded in a manner characteristic of folklore."
[8]
In Gnostic thought the pearl may represent
Christ or the true self.
[8]
In the Gnostic Acts of Peter and the Twelve, found with the Gospel of Thomas in the Nag
Hammadi library, the travelling pearl merchant Lithargoel is eventually revealed to be Jesus.
[9]
Depictions
There have been several depictions of the New Testament parable in art, including works by Domenico Fetti, John
Everett Millais, and Jan Luyken.
References
[1] http:/ / bibref. hebtools. com/ ?book=%20Matthew& verse=13:45-46& src=131
[2] Gospel of Thomas: Lamb translation (http:/ / www.gnosis. org/ naghamm/ gthlamb. html) and Patterson/Meyer translation (http:/ / www.
gnosis. org/ naghamm/ gosthom. html).
[3] John Nolland, The Gospel of Matthew: A commentary on the Greek text (http:/ / books. google. com. au/ books?id=9cL_kpdUE-oC&
pg=PA565), Eerdmans, 2005, ISBN 0-8028-2389-0, pp. 565566.
[4] Craig S. Keener, A Commentary on the Gospel of Matthew (http:/ / books. google. com. au/ books?id=sWzhEdBZOp4C& pg=PA392),
Eerdmans, 1999, ISBN 0-8028-3821-9, p. 392.
[5] Herbert Lockyer, All the Parables of the Bible (http:/ / books. google. com. au/ books?id=4ncUVL4h2LsC& pg=PA200), Zondervan, 1988,
ISBN 0-310-28111-3, p. 200.
[6] Pope Pius XII, Sacra Virginitas (http:/ / www.vatican.va/ holy_father/ pius_xii/ encyclicals/ documents/
hf_p-xii_enc_25031954_sacra-virginitas_en.html).
[7] The Homiletic review, Volume 52 ' (http:/ / books.google. com/ books?id=Y8YnAAAAYAAJ& dq=pearl of great price suffer oyster&
pg=PA469#v=onepage& q=pearl of great price suffer oyster& f=false)'
[8] Brad H. Young, The Parables: Jewish Tradition and Christian Interpretation (http:/ / books. google. com. au/ books?id=DDEIf4uvx4MC&
pg=PA202), Hendrickson Publishers, 2008, ISBN 1-59856-303-3, pp. 202206.
[9] David Noel Freedman, Allen C. Myers, and Astrid B. Beck, Eerdmans Dictionary of the Bible (http:/ / books. google. com. au/
books?id=P9sYIRXZZ2MC& pg=PA1041), Eerdmans, 2000, ISBN 0-8028-2400-5, p. 1041.
Pharisee and the Publican
58
Pharisee and the Publican
The Pharisee and the Publican, baroque fresco in Ottobeuren Basilica.
The parable of the Pharisee and the Publican (or
the Pharisee and the Tax Collector), is a parable
of Jesus that appears in only one of the Canonical
gospels of the New Testament. According to
Luke 18:9-14
[1]
, a Pharisee, obsessed by his own
virtue, is contrasted with a tax collector who
humbly asks God for mercy.
This parable demonstrates the need to pray
humbly. It is found immediately following the
parable of the Unjust Judge which is also on
prayer.
In the Eastern Orthodox Church, the Sunday of
the Publican and the Pharisee commemorates the
parable and begins the three-week pre-Lenten
Season.
Narrative
The parable is as follows:
He spoke also this parable to certain people
who were convinced of their own
righteousness, and who despised all others.
"Two men went up into the temple to pray;
one was a Pharisee, and the other was a tax
collector. The Pharisee stood and prayed to himself like this: 'God, I thank you, that I am not like the rest of
men, extortioners, unrighteous, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week. I give tithes of all
that I get.' But the tax collector, standing far away, wouldn't even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast,
saying, 'God, be merciful to me, a sinner!' I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the
other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but he who humbles himself will be exalted."
Luke 18:9-14, World English Bible
Pharisee and the Publican
59
Context and interpretation
During the first century, Pharisees were well known for their strict adherence to the Law of Moses. The Pharisee in
this parable went beyond his fellows, fasting more often than was required, and giving a tithe on all he receives, even
in cases where the religious rules did not require it.
[2]
Confident in his religiousity, the Pharisee asks God for
nothing, and thus receives nothing.
[2]
Detail of stained glass window of the parable,
Janskerk (Gouda).
On the other hand, publicans were despised Jews who collaborated
with the Roman Empire. Because they were best known for collecting
tolls or taxes (see tax farming) they are commonly described as tax
collectors. The parable, however, does not condemn the publican's
occupation (cf Luke 3:12-13
[3]
), but describes the publican as one who
"recognizes his state of unworthiness before God and confesses his
need for reconciliation."
[2]
Coming to God in humility, the publican
receives the mercy and reconciliation he asks for.
[2]
Commemoration
In the Eastern Orthodox Church, the parable is read as part of the
preparatory period leading up to Great Lent. It provides an example of
the humility which should be practised during the Lenten period. The
Sunday of the Publican and the Pharisee begins the three-week
pre-Lenten Season and the first use of the liturgical Triodion (although
the week following this Sunday is fast-free
[4]
). This Sunday includes a
hymn inspired by the parable:
Let us flee from the pride of the Pharisee!
And learn humility from the Publican's tears!
Let us cry to our Savior,
Have mercy on us,
Only merciful One!
[2]
The English writer and preacher John Bunyan wrote a book on the parable in 1685.
[5]
Depiction in art
The parable has been depicted in a variety of religious art, being especially significant in Eastern Orthodox
iconography. There are works on the parable by artists such as James Tissot, John Everett Millais, Hans Holbein the
Younger, and Gustave Dor.
References
[1] http:/ / bibref. hebtools. com/ ?book=%20Luke& verse=18:9-14& src=131
[2] Joel B. Green, The Gospel of Luke (http:/ / books. google. com. au/ books?id=wzRVN2S8cVgC& pg=PA643), Eerdmans, 1997, ISBN
0-8028-2315-7, pp. 643-649.
[3] http:/ / bibref. hebtools. com/ ?book=%20Luke& verse=3:12-13& src=131
[4] Georges Augustin Barrois, Scripture Readings in Orthodox Worship (http:/ / books. google. com. au/ books?id=leIlIudzv4kC& pg=PA21), St
Vladimir's Seminary Press, 1977, ISBN 0-913836-41-9, p. 21.
[5] The Pharisee and Publican by John Bunyan (http:/ / www. gutenberg. org/ etext/ 3548) at Project Gutenberg.
Pharisee and the Publican
60
External links
Biblical Art on the WWW: The Pharisee and the Publican (http:/ / www. biblical-art. com/ biblicalsubject.
asp?id_biblicalsubject=737& pagenum=1)
Prodigal Son
The Return of the Prodigal Son (1773) by Pompeo Batoni
The Prodigal Son, also known as Two Sons, Lost Son
and The Running Father is one of the parables of Jesus.
It appears in only one of the Canonical gospels of the
New Testament. According to the Gospel of Luke
(Luke 15:11-32
[1]
), a father gives the younger of his
two sons his inheritance before he dies. The younger
son, after wasting his fortune (the word 'prodigal'
means 'wastefully extravagant'), goes hungry during a
famine. He then repents and returns home, where the
father holds a feast to celebrate his return. The older
son refuses to participate, stating that in all the time the
son has worked for the father, he did not even give him
a goat to celebrate with his friends. His father reminds
the older son that everything the father has is the older
son's, but that they should still celebrate the return of
the younger son as he has come back to them. It is the
third and final part of a cycle on redemption, following
the Parable of the Lost Sheep and the Parable of the
Lost Coin.
In Western Catholic tradition, this parable is usually
read on the third Sunday of Lent, while in the Eastern
Orthodox Church it is read on the Sunday of the
Prodigal Son.
Narrative
The parable begins with a young man, the younger of two sons, who asks his father to give him his share of the
estate. The parable continues by describing how the younger son travels to a distant country and wastes all his
money in extravagant living. When a famine strikes, he becomes desperately poor and is forced to take work as a
swineherd. When he reaches the point of envying the pigs he is looking after, he finally comes to his senses:
But when he came to himself he said, "How many hired servants of my father's have bread enough to spare,
and I'm dying with hunger! I will get up and go to my father, and will tell him, 'Father, I have sinned against
heaven, and in your sight. I am no more worthy to be called your son. Make me as one of your hired servants.'"
He arose, and came to his father. But while he was still far off, his father saw him, and was moved with
compassion, and ran towards him, and fell on his neck, and kissed him.
Luke 15:17-20, World English Bible
The son does not even have time to finish his rehearsed speech, since the father calls for his servants to dress him in
a fine robe, a ring, and sandals, and slaughter the "fattened calf" for a celebratory meal. The older son, who was at
Prodigal Son
61
work in the fields, hears the sound of celebration, and is told about the return of his younger brother. He is not
impressed, and becomes angry:
But he answered his father, "Behold, these many years I have served you, and I never disobeyed a
commandment of yours, but you never gave me a goat, that I might celebrate with my friends. But when this,
your son, came, who has devoured your living with prostitutes, you killed the fattened calf for him."
Luke 15:29-30, World English Bible
The parable concludes with the father explaining that because the younger son had returned, in a sense, from the
dead, celebration was necessary:
"But it was appropriate to celebrate and be glad, for this, your brother, was dead, and is alive again. He was
lost, and is found."
Luke 15:32, World English Bible
Context and interpretation
Engraving of the Prodigal Son as a swineherd by
Hans Sebald Beham, 1538.
This is the last of three parables about loss and redemption, following
the parable of the Lost Sheep and the parable of the Lost Coin, that
Jesus tells after the Pharisees and religious leaders accuse him of
welcoming and eating with "sinners."
[2]
The father's joy described in
the parable reflects divine love,
[2]
the "boundless mercy of God,"
[3]
and
"God's refusal to limit the measure of his grace."
[2]
The request of the younger son for his share of the inheritance is
"brash, even insolent"
[4]
and "tantamount to wishing that the father
were dead."
[4]
His actions do not lead to success, and he eventually
becomes an indentured servant, with the degrading job of looking after
pigs, and even envying them for the carob pods they eat.
[4]
On his return, the father treats him with a generosity far
more than he has a right to expect.
[4]
The older son, in contrast, seems to think in terms of "law, merit, and reward,"
[4]
rather than "love and
graciousness."
[4]
He may represent the Pharisees who were criticizing Jesus.
[4]
Prodigal Son
62
Commemoration and use
Stained glass window based on the parable,
Charleston, South Carolina.
Orthodox
The Eastern Orthodox Church traditionally reads this story on the
Sunday of the Prodigal Son,
[5]
which in their liturgical year is the
Sunday before Meatfare Sunday and about two weeks before the
beginning of Great Lent. One common kontakion hymn of the occasion
reads,
I have recklessly forgotten Your glory, O Father;
And among sinners I have scattered the riches which You
gave to me.
And now I cry to You as the Prodigal:
I have sinned before You, O merciful Father;
Receive me as a penitent and make me as one of Your
hired servants.
Catholic
In his apostolic exhortation titled Reconciliatio et Paenitentia (Latin
for Reconciliation and Penance), Pope John Paul II used this parable to explain the process of conversion and
reconciliation. Emphasizing that God the Father is "rich in mercy" and always ready to forgive, he stated that
reconciliation is a gift on his part. He stated that for the Church her "mission of reconciliation is the initiative, full of
compassionate love and mercy, of that God who is love."
[6][7]
He also explored the issues raised by this parable in
his second encyclical Dives in Misericordia (Latin for Rich in Mercy) issued in 1980.
[8]
In the arts
Rembrandt, The Return of the Prodigal Son,
16621669 (Hermitage Museum, St Petersburg)
Art
Of the thirty or so parables in the canonical Gospels, this was one of
the four that were shown in medieval art almost to the exclusion of the
others, but not mixed in with the narrative scenes of the Life of Christ
(the others were the Wise and Foolish Virgins, Dives and Lazarus, and
the Good Samaritan.
[9]
The Labourers in the Vineyard also appears in
Early Medieval works).
From the Renaissance the numbers shown widened slightly, and the
various scenes the high living, herding the pigs, and the return of
the Prodigal Son became the clear favourite. Albrecht Drer made a
famous engraving of the Prodigal Son amongst the pigs (1496), a
popular subject in the Northern Renaissance. Rembrandt depicted
several scenes from the parable, especially the final episode, which he
etched, drew, or painted on several occasions during his career.
[10]
At
least one of his works, The Prodigal Son in the Tavern, a portrait of
Prodigal Son
63
Gerard van Honthorst, 1623, like many works of
the period, allows a genre scene with moral
content.
The Polish Rider Possibly the prodigal son.
The subject is of much discussion.
James Tissot - The Return of the Prodigal Son
(Le retour de l'enfant prodigue) - Brooklyn
Museum
himself as the Son, revelling with his wife, is like many artists'
depictions, a way of dignifying a genre tavern scene - if the title was
indeed the original intention of the artist. His late Return of the
Prodigal Son (16621669, Hermitage Museum, St Petersburg) is one
of his most popular works.
Stage
In the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries the theme was a sufficiently
popular subject that the Prodigal Son Play can be seen as a sub-genre
of the English morality play. Examples include The Rare Triumphs of
Love and Fortune, The Disobedient Child, and Acolastus.
[11]
Notable adaptations for performance include a 1929 ballet
choreographed by George Balanchine to music written by Sergei
Prokofiev, a 1957 ballet by Hugo Alfvn,
[12]
and an 1869 oratorio by
Sir Arthur Sullivan. Many of these adaptations considerably added to
the Biblical material to lengthen the story; for example, the 1955 film
The Prodigal took considerable liberties, such as adding a temptress
priestess of Astarte to the tale.
[13]
Popular music
The parable is referenced in the last verse of the traditional Irish folk
tune "The Wild Rover" ("I'll go home to me parents, confess what I've
done / and I'll ask them to pardon their prodigal son").
Oblique adaptations include that by the Reverend Robert Wilkins, who
told the story of this parable in the song "Prodigal Son", which is
probably best known as a cover version by the Rolling Stones on their
1968 album Beggar's Banquet. The British heavy metal band Iron
Maiden recorded a song titled "Prodigal Son", based on the parable of
the same name, which appeared on their second release, Killers, in
1981. It could be argued that Kelly Willard's 1982 song, "Make Me A
Servant" is based on what the son said to his father when he returned
home. The Prodigal Son is the first posthumous release by piano player
and gospel singer Keith Green (1983).
Detroit musician, Kid Rock, also recorded a song titled "Prodigal Son"
which appeared on his second album The Polyfuze Method, in 1993.
Kid Rock later re-recorded the track for his 2000 album The History of
Rock. The Christian Rock trio BarlowGirl recorded the song "She
Walked Away," influenced by the parable,
[14]
as part of their 2004
self-titled album. "Indie" rock band Two Gallants covered the parable
in the song "The Prodigal Son" on their 2006 album What the Toll
Tells. Musician Dustin Kensrue wrote a song about the Prodigal Son
entitled "Please Come Home" on the album of the same name released
in 2007.
[15]
Rock band Sevendust has a track titled "Prodigal Son" on
Prodigal Son
64
their 2008 album, Chapter VII: Hope and Sorrow. The band Bad Religion has a song of the same title on their album
New Maps of Hell. The band Extreme recorded a song titled "Who Cares?" which appeared on the album III Sides to
Every Story, which is influenced by this parable. Brantley Gilbert released a song called "Modern Day Prodigal
Son". British Reggae band Steel Pulse recorded a song titled "Prodigal Son" on their debut album Handsworth
Revolution, recreating the Biblical story as a Rastafarian parable. The Post-Hardcore band "Gideon" released a song
called "Prodigal Son" which appeared on their second album "Milestone." Christian rock outfit The Chinese Express
opened and closed their 2006 release with a two part telling of the parable with songs titled "Said the son to the
Father" and "Said the Father to the Son". Post-hardcore band "Jamie's Elsewhere" also released a song titled
"Prodigal Son."
Literature
The Return of the Prodigal Son (Leonello Spada,
Louvre, Paris)
Another literary tribute to this parable is Dutch theologian Henri
Nouwen's 1992 book, The Return of the Prodigal Son, A Story of
Homecoming, in which he describes his own spiritual journey infused
with understanding based on an encounter with Rembrandt's painting
of the return of the Prodigal and deals with three personages: the
younger, prodigal son; the self-righteous, resentful older son; and the
compassionate father all of whom the author identifies with
personally.
[16]
An earlier work with similarities to the parable is Le
retour de l'enfant prodigue (The Return of the Prodigal Son), a short
story by Andr Gide.
[17]
Rudyard Kipling wrote a poem
[18]
giving an interpretation of the
younger brother's perspective.
[19]
The Parable of the Prodigal Son is also a recurring theme in the works
of Rainer Maria Rilke, who interpreted the parable in a different way to
the conventional reading. His version of the parable was not so
concerned with redemption and the forgiveness of family; the love of
the family, and human love in general, was seen as less worthy than
unreciprocated love, which is the purest form of love. In loving the family less, the Son can love God more, even if
this love is not returned.
[20][21]
References
[1] http:/ / www. biblegateway. com/ passage/ ?search=Luke%2015:11-32;& version=31;
[2] Richard N. Longenecker, The Challenge of Jesus' Parables (http:/ / books. google. com. au/ books?id=JojVvncUgk0C& pg=PA201),
Eerdmans, 2000, ISBN 0-8028-4638-6, pp. 201-213.
[3] Scott Hahn, Curtis Mitch, and Dennis Walters, Gospel of Luke: The Ignatius Study Guide (http:/ / books. google. com. au/
books?id=ZavVZE0xIq8C& pg=PA51), 2nd ed, Ignatius Press, 2001, ISBN 0-89870-819-2, p. 51.
[4] Arland J. Hultgren, The Parables of Jesus: A Commentary (http:/ / books. google. com. au/ books?id=P2UvmRVLF18C& pg=PA70),
Eerdmans Publishing, 2002, ISBN 0-8028-6077-X, pp. 70-82.
[6] The post-synodal apostolic exhortations of John Paul II by Catholic Church 1998 ISBN 0-87973-928-2 pages 234-239
[7] Vatican website Reconciliatio et Paenitentia (http:/ / www. vatican. va/ holy_father/ john_paul_ii/ apost_exhortations/ documents/
hf_jp-ii_exh_02121984_reconciliatio-et-paenitentia_en. html)
[8] Vatican website Dives in Misericordia (http:/ / www.vatican. va/ holy_father/ john_paul_ii/ encyclicals/ documents/
hf_jp-ii_enc_30111980_dives-in-misericordia_en. html)
[9] [9] Emile Mle, The Gothic Image , Religious Art in France of the Thirteen Century, p 195, English trans of 3rd edn, 1913, Collins, London (and
many other editions)
[10] Roland E. Fleischer and Susan C. Scott, Rembrandt, Rubens, and the art of their time: recent perspectives (http:/ / books. google. com. au/
books?id=jT1_ppbRQagC& pg=PA64), Pennsylvania State University Press, 1997, ISBN 0-915773-10-4, pp. 64-65.
Prodigal Son
65
[12] Don Michael Randel, The Harvard Biographical Dictionary of Music (http:/ / books. google. com. au/ books?id=9fjl7NhMmWwC&
pg=PA13), Harvard University Press, 1996, ISBN 0-674-37299-9, pp. 13-14.
[13] Paul Hammond, The shadow and its shadow: surrealist writings on the cinema (http:/ / books. google. com. au/ books?id=zrueeqrAovkC&
pg=PA70), 3rd ed, City Lights Books, 2000, ISBN 0-87286-376-X, p. 70.
[14] BarlowGirl by BarlowGirl CD review (http:/ / www.newreleasetuesday. com/ albumdetail. php?album_id=253& sortflag=2& page=1) at
NewReleaseTuesday.com
[15] Dustin Kensrue (http:/ / www. youthministry.com/ dustin-kensrue) at YouthMinistry.com
[16] Deirdre LaNoue, The Spiritual Legacy of Henri Nouwen (http:/ / books. google. com. au/ books?id=OS2u8ZoktZYC& pg=PA45),
Continuum, 2000, ISBN 0-8264-1283-1, p. 45.
[18] "The Prodigal Son" at FamousPoetsAndPoems.com (http:/ / famouspoetsandpoems. com/ poets/ rudyard_kipling/ poems/ 14457)
[19] Andrew Keith Malcolm Adam, Postmodern Interpretations of the Bible: A reader (http:/ / books. google. com. au/
books?id=GqkPR4EehX0C& pg=PA202), Chalice Press, 2001, ISBN 0-8272-2970-4, pp. 202-203.
[20] Books.google.co.uk (http:/ / books.google. co. uk/ books?id=wRCJwgmfhzYC& pg=PA41& lpg=PA41& dq=rilke+ the+ prodigal+ son&
source=bl& ots=E1O5UwL85Z& sig=wjqKit4PuE0v0awq2iIii7_BJwA& hl=en& ei=vUFETbH8EqKqhAeSnsnUAQ& sa=X&
oi=book_result& ct=result& resnum=8& sqi=2& ved=0CD8Q6AEwBw#v=onepage& q& f=false)
[21] Books.google.co.uk (http:/ / books.google. co. uk/ books?id=bcNpVv9wpPsC& pg=PA196& lpg=PA196& dq=rilke+ the+ prodigal+ son&
source=bl& ots=MYt525JcKd& sig=X5-83oebnWAlBT5HU0OuAJRmCpU& hl=en& ei=vUFETbH8EqKqhAeSnsnUAQ& sa=X&
oi=book_result& ct=result& resnum=10& sqi=2& ved=0CEoQ6AEwCQ#v=onepage& q=rilke the prodigal son& f=false)
Further reading
Wiggins, James, 2010. What Did Jesus Teach? A Detailed Survey of His Parables (http:/ / www. amazon. com/
What-Jesus-Teach-James-Wiggins/ dp/ 1477699066/ ref=sr_1_6?ie=UTF8& qid=1341586450& sr=8-6&
keywords=what+ did+ jesus+ teach) ISBN 978-1477699065
David A. Holgate, Prodigality, liberality and meanness in the parable of the prodigal son: a Greco-Roman
perspective on Luke 15.11-32 (http:/ / books. google. com. au/ books?id=AqrXUmDm-PEC), Continuum, 1999,
ISBN 1-84127-025-3.
Father Raniero Cantalamessa, Pontifical Household preacher, "Comments on Fourth Sunday of Lent Readings",
Zenit News Agency, March 17, 2007.
Rev. George Dimopoulos, "The Prodigal Son", "Orthodoxy and the world", February 24, 2008.
External links
Biblical Art on the WWW:
Leaving Home (http:/ / www. biblical-art. com/ biblicalsubject. asp?id_biblicalsubject=783& pagenum=1)
In a Foreign Country (http:/ / www. biblical-art. com/ biblicalsubject. asp?id_biblicalsubject=784&
pagenum=1)
Returning Home (http:/ / www. biblical-art. com/ biblicalsubject. asp?id_biblicalsubject=785& pagenum=1)
The Brother (http:/ / www. biblical-art. com/ biblicalsubject. asp?id_biblicalsubject=2296& pagenum=1)
Rich Fool
66
Rich Fool
The Parable of the Rich Fool by Rembrandt, 1627.
The Parable of the Rich Fool is a parable
of Jesus which appears in only one of the
Canonical gospels of the New Testament.
According to Luke 12:13-21
[1]
, the parable
reflects the foolishness of attaching too
much importance to wealth.
An abbreviated version of the parable also
appears in the non canonical Gospel of
Thomas (Saying 63)
[2]
and this parable has
been depicted by artists such as Rembrandt.
Narrative
The parable is introduced by an audience
member who tries to enlist Jesus' help in a
family financial dispute:
[3]
One of the multitude said to him, "Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me."
But he said to him, "Man, who made me a judge or an arbitrator over you?" He said to them, "Beware! Keep
yourselves from covetousness, for a man's life doesn't consist of the abundance of the things which he
possesses."
Luke 12:13-15, World English Bible
Jesus then responds with the parable:
He spoke a parable to them, saying, "The ground of a certain rich man brought forth abundantly. He reasoned
within himself, saying, 'What will I do, because I don't have room to store my crops?' He said, 'This is what I
will do. I will pull down my barns, and build bigger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. I
will tell my soul, "Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years. Take your ease, eat, drink, be merry."'
"But God said to him, 'You foolish one, tonight your soul is required of you. The things which you have
preparedwhose will they be?' So is he who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God."
Luke 12:16-21, World English Bible
Interpretation
The rich farmer in this parable is portrayed negatively, as an example of greed.
[3]
By replacing his existing barn, he
avoids using agricultural land for storage purposes, thus maximising his income, as well as allowing him to wait for
a price increase before selling.
[3]
St. Augustine comments that the farmer was "planning to fill his soul with
excessive and unnecessary feasting and was proudly disregarding all those empty bellies of the poor. He did not
realize that the bellies of the poor were much safer storerooms than his barns."
[4]
The farmer's conversation with himself is, in Luke's gospel, a negative.
[3]
It is also self-centred: first-person
pronouns occur 11 times.
[5]
Arland J. Hultgren comments that the parable "provides an example of what one ought
not to be like. The person whose identity is tied up with his or her possessions, status, and/or achievements and is
driven by acquiring them can so easily end up unaware of the call of God and the need of the neighbor."
[5]
The farmer's foolishness lies particularly in the fact that wealth cannot guarantee the future: the Day of Judgment
arrives sooner than he expects.
[6]
Rich Fool
67
Depictions
This parable has been depicted by several artists, including Rembrandt, Jan Luyken, James Tissot, and David Teniers
the Younger.
References
[1] http:/ / www. biblegateway. com/ passage/ ?search=Luke%2012:13-21;& version=31;
[2] Gospel of Thomas: Lamb translation (http:/ / www.gnosis. org/ naghamm/ gthlamb. html) and Patterson/Meyer translation (http:/ / www.
gnosis. org/ naghamm/ gosthom. html)
[3] Joel B. Green, The Gospel of Luke (http:/ / books. google. com. au/ books?id=wzRVN2S8cVgC& pg=PA487), Eerdmans, 1997, ISBN
0-8028-2315-7, pp. 487-491.
[4] Arthur A. Just, Luke (http:/ / books. google. com.au/ books?id=Gh6sFDUfq8cC& pg=PA208), InterVarsity Press, 2003, ISBN
0-8308-1488-4, p. 208.
[5] Arland J. Hultgren, The Parables of Jesus: A Commentary (http:/ / books. google. com. au/ books?id=P2UvmRVLF18C& pg=PA104),
Eerdmans, 2002, ISBN 0-8028-6077-X, pp. 104-109.
[6] John Clifford Purdy, Parables at Work (http:/ / books.google. com. au/ books?id=hxf4h-HJU9AC& pg=PA41), Westminster John Knox
Press, 1986, ISBN 0-664-24640-0, pp. 41-43.
Rich man and Lazarus
68
Rich man and Lazarus
Saint Lazarus
Lazarus and Dives, illumination from the Codex Aureus of Echternach
Top panel: Lazarus at the rich man's door
Middle panel: Lazarus' soul is carried to Paradise by two angels; Lazarus in Abraham's
bosom
Bottom panel: Dives' soul is carried off by two devils to Hell; Dives is tortured in Hades
Honored in Roman Catholic Church
Feast June 21
Patronage the poor, against leprosy
lepers, Order of St Lazarus
The Parable of the rich man and Lazarus (also called the Dives and Lazarus or Lazarus and Dives) is a
well-known parable of Jesus appearing in the Gospel of Luke.
According to the Gospel of Luke (Luke 16:1931
[1]
), the parable tells of the relationship, in life and in death,
between an unnamed rich man and a poor beggar named Lazarus. The traditional name, Dives, is not actually a
name, but instead a word for "rich man",
[2]
dives, in the text of the Latin Bible, the Vulgate.
[3]
The rich man was also
given the names Neus (i.e. Nineveh
[4]
) and Fineas (i.e. Phineas
[5]
) in the 3rd and 4th centuries.
[2]
Along with the parables of the Ten Virgins, Prodigal Son, and Good Samaritan, it was one of the most frequently
illustrated parables in medieval art,
[6]
perhaps because of its vivid account of an afterlife.
The name Lazarus (from the Hebrew: , Elzr, Eleazar - "God is my help"
[7]
) is also given to a second, and
arguably more famous, figure in the Bible: Lazarus of Bethany, also known as Lazarus of the Four Days. He is the
subject of a prominent miracle attributed to Jesus in the Gospel of John, in which Jesus restores him to life four days
after his death. However, the two are generally understood to be two separate characters.
[8]
Many allusions to
Lazarus (particularly those involving the idea of resurrection from the dead) should be understood as referring to the
Lazarus described in John, rather than to the poor beggar of this story.
. Now there was a certain rich man, and he was clothed in purple and fine linen, living in luxury every day. A certain
beggar, named Lazarus, was laid at his gate, full of sores, and desiring to be fed with the crumbs that fell from the
rich man's table. Yes, even the dogs came and licked his sores. It happened that the beggar died, and that he was
carried away by the angels to Abraham's bosom. The rich man also died, and was buried. In Hades, he lifted up his
eyes, being in torment, and saw Abraham far off, and Lazarus at his bosom. He cried and said, "Father Abraham,
have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue! For I am in
anguish in this flame."
But Abraham said, "Son, remember that you, in your lifetime, received your good things, and Lazarus, in the same
way, bad things. But now here he is comforted and you are in anguish. Besides all this, between us and you there is a
great gulf fixed, that those who want to pass from here to you are not able, and that none may cross over from there
Rich man and Lazarus
69
to us."
He said, "I ask you therefore, father, that you would send him to my father's house; for I have five brothers, that he
may testify to them, so they won't also come into this place of torment."
But Abraham said to him, "They have Moses and the prophets. Let them listen to them."
He said, "No, father Abraham, but if one goes to them from the dead, they will repent."
He said to him, "If they don't listen to Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded if one rises from the
dead."
|Luke 16:1931, World English Bible}}
Interpretations
Illustration by Gustave Dor of the Rich man and Lazarus.
There are different views on the historicity and origin of the
story of the Rich Man and Lazarus.
[9]
The story is unique to
Luke and is not thought to come from the hypothetical Q
document.
[2]
As a literal, historical event
Some Christians view the story of Lazarus and the Rich Man
as an actual event which was related by Jesus to his
followers;
[10]
this was generally the view of the medieval
Church. According to this view, this story is not a parable but
literal biography. Supporters of this view point to the amount
of detail in the story. For example, in no other parable does
Jesus give a character's personal name, but refers to the
characters as "a certain man", "a sower", etc. Critics of this
view point out that "The "soul that sins, it shall die" (Ezekiel
18); "For dust you are and to dust you shall return" (Genesis
3:19). Paul (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18) describes death as sleep
until the Day of the Lord, when the dead will receive glorified
bodies upon the resurrection (1 Corinthians 15). No scripture,
other than Philippians 1:23-25 (in which the apostle expresses the confidence that on departure from this life he
would be with Christ), 2 Corinthians 12:2-4 (in which he affirms the possibility of being taken to paradise out of the
body), 2 Corinthians 5:8, etc., accounts for a disembodied soul and its comfort or torture. Because this seems to beg
the question of what kind of body is tortured in Hades as depicted in Luke, there are those who maintain that whilst
the conversations took place as described, the language used in them, referring to body parts, etc., was figurative.
[10]
Brownlow North
[11]
The 19th century evangelist, Brownlow North inclined to the view that the story described a literal, historical event,
but did not exclude the possibility that it might be purely a parable.
[12]
As a parable created by Jesus
Other Christians consider that this is a parable created by Jesus and told to his followers.
[13]
Tom Wright
[14]
and
Joachim Jeremias
[15]
both treat it as a "parable". Proponents of this view argue that the story of Lazarus and the rich
man has much in common with other stories which are agreed-upon parables, both in language and content (e.g. the
reversal of fortunes, the use of antithesis, and concern for the poor).
Rich man and Lazarus
70
Luther, a parable of the conscience
Martin Luther taught that the story was a parable about rich and poor in this life and the details of the afterlife not to
be taken literally:
"Therefore we conclude that the bosom of Abraham signifies nothing else than the Word of God,.... the hell
here mentioned cannot be the true hell that will begin on the day of judgment. For the corpse of the rich man
is without doubt not in hell, but buried in the earth; it must however be a place where the soul can be and has
no peace, and it cannot be corporeal. Therefore it seems to me, this hell is the conscience, which is without
faith and without the Word of God, in which the soul is buried and held until the day of judgment, when they
are cast down body and soul into the true and real hell." (Church Postil 1522-23)
[16]
Lightfoot, a parable against the Pharisees
Illustration of Lazarus at the rich man's gate by Fyodor
Bronnikov, 1886.
John Lightfoot (1602 1675) treated the parable as a parody of
Pharisee belief concerning the Bosom of Abraham, and from the
connection of Abraham saying the rich man's family would not
believe even if the parable Lazarus was raised, to the priests'
failure to believe in the resurrection of Christ:
"Any one may see, how Christ points at the infidelity of the
Jews, even after that himself shall have risen again. From
whence it is easy to judge what was the design and intention
of this parable" (From the Talmud and Hebraica, Volume
3)
[17]
E. W. Bullinger in the Companion Bible cited Lightfoot's
comment above,
[18]
expanding it to include coincidence to lack of
belief in the resurrection of the historical Lazarus (John 12:10, see
below). Additionally, Bullinger considered that the lack of
identification "parable" by Luke is because contains a parody of
the view of the afterlife in the story:
"It is not called a parable because it cites a notable example
of the Pharisee's tradition which had been brought from
Babylon. See many other examples in Lightfoot vol.xii.
pp.159-68" (Companion Bible, p.1488)
Drioux, a parable against the Sadducees
An alternative explanation of the parable is a satirical parable against the Sadducees. One writer to identify the
Sadducees as the target was Johann Nepomuk Sepp.
[19]
The arguments in favour of identification of the Rich Man as
the Sadducees are (1) the wearing of purple and fine linen, priestly dress,
[20]
(2) the reference to "five brothers in my
father's house" as an allusion to Caiaphas' father-in-law Annas, and his five sons who also served as high priests
according to Josephus,
[21]
(3) Abraham's statement in the parable that they would not believe even if he raised
Lazarus, and then the fulfillment that when Jesus did raise Lazarus of Bethany the Sadducees not only did not
believe, but attempted to have Lazarus killed again: "So the chief priests made plans to put Lazarus to death as well"
(John 12:10). This last interpretation had wide circulation in France during the 1860-'90s as a result of having been
included in the notes of the pictorial Bible of Abb Drioux
[22]
Rich man and Lazarus
71
Perry, a parable of a new covenant
Simon Perry has argued that the Lazarus of the parable (an abbreviated transcript of 'Eleazer') refers to Eleazer of
Damascus, Abraham's servant. In Genesis 15 - a foundational covenant text familiar to any 1st century Jew - God
says to Abraham "this man will not be your heir" (Gen 15:4). Perry argues that this is why Lazarus is outside the
gates of Abraham's perceived descendent. By inviting Lazarus to Abraham's bosom, Jesus is redefining the nature of
the covenant. It also explains why the rich man assumes Lazarus is Abraham's servant.
[23]
Afterlife doctrine
Christians debate what the story says about the afterlife:
Most Christians believe in the immortality of the soul and particular judgment and see the story as consistent with it.
Others believe that the main point of the parable was to warn the godless wealthy about their need for repentance in
this life and Jesus did not intend to give a preview of life after death.
[24]
The parable teaches in this particular case
that both identity and memory remain after death for the soul of the one in a hell.
[7]
Eastern Orthodox Christians and
Latter Day Saints see the story as consistent with their belief in Hades, where the righteous and unrighteous alike
await the resurrection of the dead. Western Christians usually interpret Lazarus as being in Heaven or Limbo and the
rich man in Hell.
Some Christians believe in the mortality of the soul ("Christian mortalism" or "soul sleep") and general judgment
("Last Judgement") only. This view is held by some Anglicans such as E. W. Bullinger.
[25]
Proponents of the
mortality of the soul, and general judgement, for example Advent Christians, Conditionalists, Seventh-day
Adventists, Christadelphians, and Christian Universalists, argue that this is a parable using the framework of Jewish
views of the Bosom of Abraham and is not definitive teaching on the intermediate state for several reasons.
[26]
Literary provenance and legacy
Jewish sources
We have in fact one of the cases where the background to the teaching is more probably found in non-biblical
sources.
I. Howard Marshall,The New International Greek Testament Commentary: The Gospel of Luke, p. 634
Some scholarse.g., G. B. Caird,
[27]
Joachim Jeremias,
[28]
Marshall,
[29]
Hugo Gressmann,
[30]
suggest the basic
storyline of The Rich Man and Lazarus was derived from Jewish stories that had developed from an Egyptian folk
tale about Si-Osiris.
[31][32]
Richard Bauckham is less sure,
[33]
adding:
In any case, [Jesus] has used [motifs also found in the Egyptian and Jewish stories] to construct a new
story, which as a whole is not the same as any other extant story. ...[Of course] comparison with the way
they function in other stories can help to highlight their function in the parable. In this sense, the
parallels and contrasts with the Egyptian and Jewish story of the rich and the poor man can be
instructive...
[34]
Steven Cox highlights other elements from Jewish myths that the parable could be mimicking.
[35][36]
Rich man and Lazarus
72
Legacy in Early Christianity and Medieval tradition
Fresco of Lazarus and the Rich Man at the Rila Monastery.
Hippolytus of Rome (ca. AD 200) describes Hades
with similar details: the bosom of Abraham for the
souls of the righteous, fiery torment for the souls of
wicked, and a chasm between them.
[37]
He equates the
fires of Hades with the lake of fire described in the
Book of Revelation, but specifies that no one will
actually be cast into the fire until the end times.
In some European countries, the Latin description dives
(Latin for "the rich man") is treated as his proper name:
Dives. In Italy, the description epulone (Italian for
"banquetter") is also used as a proper name. Both
descriptions appear together, but not as a proper name,
in Peter Chrysologus's sermon De divite epulone (Latin "On the Rich Banquetter"), corresponding to the verse,
"There was a rich man who was clothed in purple and fine linen and who feasted sumptuously every day".
The story was frequently told in an elaborated form in the medieval period, treating it as factual rather than a parable.
Lazarus was venerated as a patron saint of lepers.
[38]
In the 12th century, crusaders in the Kingdom of Jerusalem
founded the Order of Saint Lazarus.
The story was often shown in art, especially carved at the portals of churches, at the foot of which beggars would sit
(for example at Moissac and Saint-Sernin, Toulouse), pleading their cause. There is a surviving stained-glass
window at Bourges Cathedral.
[39]
In the Latin liturgy of the Roman Catholic Church, the words of In paradisum are sometimes chanted as the
deceased is taken from church to burial, including this supplication: "Chorus angelorum te suscipiat, et cum Lazaro
quondam paupere aeternam habeas requiem." (May the ranks of angels receive you, and with Lazarus, who was
poor, may you have eternal rest.")
Conflation with Lazarus of Bethany
Historically within Christianity, the begging Lazarus of the parable (feast day June 21) and Lazarus of Bethany (feast
day December 17) have often been conflated, with some churches celebrating a blessing of dogs, associated with the
beggar, on December 17, the date associated with Lazarus of Bethany.
[40]
Another example of this conflation can be found in Romanesque iconography carved on portals in Burgundy and
Provence. For example, at the west portal of the Church of St. Trophime at Arles, the beggar Lazarus is enthroned as
St. Lazarus. Similar examples are found at the church at Avallon, the central portal at Vzelay, and the portals of the
cathedral of Autun.
[41]
Rich man and Lazarus
73
In literature and poetry
Chaucer's Summoner observes that "Dives and Lazarus lived differently, and their rewards were different."
[42]
In William Shakespeare's Henry IV Part I, Sir John Falstaff alludes to the story while insulting his friend Bardolph
about his face, comparing it to a memento mori: "I never see thy face," he says "but I think upon hell-fire and Dives
that lived in purple; for there he is in his robes, burning, burning" (III, 3, 30-33).
In his novel Moby-Dick, Herman Melville alludes to Lazarus and Dives in Chapter Two as part of a metaphor
describing a cold night in New Bedford.
"Now, that Lazarus should lie stranded there on the curbstone before the door of Dives, .." (Melville, Herman.
Moby Dick. pp.1112. 1786)
References to Dives and Lazarus are a frequent image in socially conscious fiction of the Victorian period.
[43]
For
example:
"workers and masters are separate as Dives and Lazarus" "ay, as separate as Dives and Lazarus, with a great
gulf betwixt" (Elizabeth Gaskell; Mary Barton a tale of Manchester life 1848)
"Between them, and a working woman full of faults, there is a deep gulf set." (Charles Dickens; Hard Times
1854)
Although Dickens' A Christmas Carol and The Chimes do not make any direct reference to the story, the
introduction to the Oxford edition of the Christmas Books does do so.
[44]
Richard Crashaw wrote a metaphysical stanza for his Steps to the Temple in 1646 entitled, "Upon Lazarus His
Tears":
Rich Lazarus! richer in those gems, thy tears,
Than Dives in the robes he wears:
He scorns them now, but oh they'll suit full well
With the purple he must wear in hell.
[2]
Dives and Lazarus appear in Edith Sitwell's poem "Still falls the Rain" from "The Canticle of the Rose", first
published in 1941. It was written after The Blitz on London in 1940. The poem is dark, full of the disillusions of
World War II. It speaks of the failure of man, but also of God's continuing involvement in the world through
Christ:
[45]
Still falls the Rain
At the feet of the Starved Man hung upon the Cross.
Christ that each day, each night, nails there, have mercy on us
On Dives and on Lazarus:
Under the Rain the sore and the gold are as one.
[46]
Robert Frosts poem "In Divs' Dive" is linked to the parable. Frost describes the plight of a loser in a long poker
game, where the abyss between winning and losing players is huge (and financial), yet the loser still has hopes for a
reversal of fortune. The juxtaposition of an all-night poker game with the Biblical parable makes for rich humor.
The poem "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" by T. S. Eliot contains the lines: 'To say: "I am Lazarus, come
from the dead,/Come back to tell you all, I shall tell you all", in reference to Dives' request to have Beggar Lazarus
return from the dead to tell his brothers of his fate.
Benjamin Britten set Sitwell's text to music in his third Canticle in a series of five.
[47]
Rich man and Lazarus
74
In music and song
"Dives Malus" (the wicked rich man) also known as "Historia Divitis" (c.1640) by Giacomo Carissimi is a Latin
paraphrase of the Luke text, set as an oratorio for 2 sopranos, tenor, bass; for private performance in the oratories
of Rome in the 1640s.
Mensch, was du tust a German sacred concerto by Johann Philipp Frtsch (16521732)
[48]
The story appeared as an English folk song whose oldest written documentation dates from 1557,
[49]
with the
depiction of the afterlife altered to fit Christian tradition. The song was also published as the Child ballad Dives
and Lazarus in the 19th century.
[50]
Ralph Vaughan Williams based his orchestral piece Five Variants of Dives
and Lazarus (1939) on this folk song,
[51]
and also used an arrangement as the hymn tune Kingsfold.
[52]
"Poor Man Lazarus." (19thC) a spiritual sung by North American slaves in the 19th century, is unrelated to the
Child Ballad.
[53]
"The Tramp on the Street" (1948) by husband-and-wife bluegrass duo Wilma Lee and Stoney Cooper
[54]
"Diversus and Lazarus" (2004) by Steeleye Span on the album They Called Her Babylon is based on the Child
Ballad.
[55]
"No Second Chances" (2007) by Christian metal band Whitecross
[56]
"Chasm" (2009) song on the 2009 album, Memento Mori, by alternative rock band Flyleaf.
[57]
The Military and Hospitaller Order of Saint Lazarus of Jerusalem
The Military and Hospitaller Order of St. Lazarus of Jerusalem (OSLJ) is an order of chivalry which originated
in a leper hospital founded by Knights Hospitaller in the 12th century by Crusaders of the Latin Kingdom of
Jerusalem. The Order of Saint Lazarus is one of the most ancient of the European orders of chivalry, yet is one of the
less-known and less-documented orders. The first mention of the Order of Saint Lazarus in surviving sources dates
to 1142.
The Order was originally established to treat the virulent disease of leprosy, its knights originally being lepers
themselves.
[58]
According to the Order's official international website, "From its foundation in the 12th century, the
members of the Order were dedicated to two ideals: aid to those suffering from the dreadful disease of leprosy and
the defense of the Christian faith."
[59]
Sufferers of leprosy regarded the beggar Lazarus (of Luke 19:19-31) as their
patron saint and usually dedicated their hospices to him.
[59]
The order was initially founded as a leper hospital outside the city walls of Jerusalem, but hospitals were established
all across the Holy Land dependant on the Jerusalem hospital, notably in Acre. It is unknown when the order became
militarised but militarisation occurred before the end of the 12th century due to the large numbers of Templars and
Hospitallers sent to the leper hospitals to be treated. The order established lazar houses across Europe to care for
lepers, and was well supported by other military orders which compelled lazar brethren in their rule to join the order
upon contracting leprosy.
[60]
Rich man and Lazarus
75
References
[1] http:/ / quod. lib. umich.edu/ cgi/ r/ rsv/ rsv-idx?type=citation& book=Luke& chapno=16& startverse=19& endverse=31
[2] Arland J. Hultgren, The Parables of Jesus: A Commentary (http:/ / books. google. com/ books?id=P2UvmRVLF18C& pg=PA110),
Eerdmans, 2002, ISBN 0-8028-6077-X, pp. 110-118.
[3] [3] - "homo quidam erat dives et induebatur purpura et bysso et epulabatur cotidie splendide"
[4] Joseph A. Fitzmyer Anchor Bible: The Gospel according to Luke (I-IX), Doubleday, 1981 p1110
[5] Fitzmeyer IX, Ad populum I (CSEL 18.91), spelled Finees; and in Ps.-Cyprian, De pascha computus 17 (CSEL 3/3.265), spelled Finaeus
[6] mile Mle, The Gothic Image, Religious Art in France of the Thirteenth Century, p 195, English trans of 3rd edn, 1913, Collins, London
(and many other editions)
[7] William Barclay, The Parables of Jesus (http:/ / books. google. com/ books?id=s-vdxaBmtTsC& pg=PA92), Westminster John Knox Press,
1999, ISBN 0-664-25828-X, pp. 92-98.
[8] Richard R. Losch, All the People in the Bible: An A-Z Guide to the Saints, Scoundrels, and Other Characters in Scripture (http:/ / books.
google.com/ books?id=j9db9kGwG3MC& pg=PA255), Eerdmans Publishing, 2008, ISBN 0-8028-2454-4, pp. 255-256.
[9] Multiple sources summarized at Jesus Database (http:/ / www. faithfutures. org/ JDB/ jdb471. html)
[10] e.g. Webpage (http:/ / www. bible. ca/ su-hades-luke16. htm#mainline) which argues that Lazarus and the rich man is literally true (whilst
the language used by them could have been figurative).
[11] http:/ / www.banneroftruth. co.uk/ pages/ articles/ article_detail. php?503
[12] http:/ / books. google. co. uk/ books?id=Xb4CAAAAQAAJ& printsec=frontcover& source=gbs_ge_summary_r& cad=0#v=onepage& q&
f=false
[13] e.g. The IVP Bible Background Commentary
[14] Wright T. Luke for Everyone "doesn't add anything new to the general folk belief about fortunes being reversed in a future life. If it's a
parable, that means once again that we should take it as picture language about something that was going on in Jesus' work" p201
[15] The Parables of Jesus Joachim Jeremias. Die Gleichnisse Jesu p123-125
[16] volume IV: p17-32 (http:/ / www. orlutheran.com/ html/ mlselk16. html), The Sermons of Martin Luther Baker Book House Grand Rapids,
MI
[17] [17] 2007 edition p.176
[18] [18] Companion Bible p1489, citing "Lightfoot xii, 159-63"
[19] Sepp Thaten und Lehren Jesu: mit ihrer weltgeschichtlichen Beglaubigung 1864
[20] Whittaker, H.A. Studies in the gospels. Biblia, Staffordshire 1984, 2nd Ed. 1989 p495 (http:/ / www. christadelphianbooks. org/ haw/ sitg/
sitgb43. html)
[21] Friedrich Gustav Lisco, (trans. Patrick Fairbairn) The parables of Jesus: explained and illustrated 1853 p343 "Many expositors have thought
they discovered, in this story, a real history, and referred it to the family of Annas and his son-in-law, Caiaphas,"
[22] "et c'est cet endurcissement que Jsus prdit quand il dit que du moment qu'ils n'coutent ni Mose ni les prophtes ils n'couteront pas
d'avantage quelqu'un qui viendrait de l'autre monde" Drioux Claude-Joseph La Bible populaire: hist. illustre de l'Ancien et du Nouveau
Testament. Hachette, Paris 1864 p497
[24] Warren Prestidge, The Rich Man and Lazarus (http:/ / www. afterlife. co. nz/ 2009/ theology/ annihilationism-annihilationist/
the-rich-man-and-lazarus/ )
[25] E.W. Bullinger on Luke 16:19-31 (http:/ / www.bibleunderstanding. com/ richmanandlazarus_contents. htm)
[26] Jefferson Vann, Reasons why the The Rich Man and Lazarus is not definitive teaching on the intermediate state. (http:/ / www. afterlife. co.
nz/ 2012/ conditional-immortality-key-passages/ rich-man-and-lazarus/ )
[27] G. B. Caird, The Gospel of St. Luke (Penguin Books), p. 191
[28] Parables of Jesus, p. 182187
[29] I. Howard Marshall, The New International Greek Testament Commentary: The Gospel of Luke, p. 634
[30] Hugo Gressmann, Vom reichen Mann und armen Lazarus: eine literargeschichtliche Studie (1918)
[31] Also see The Interpreter's Bible, Vol. 8 (New York: Abingdon Press), p. 290
[32] Also note: '...a passage from Whistons edition of Josephus, A Discourse to Greeks Concerning Hades,...bears an uncanny resemblance to
Luke 16. Unfortunately, the resemblance is so uncanny because the passage is based on Luke 16. The author is not Josephus but the 4th
Century Bishop Hippolytus. At some point, a copying error confused the names and the mistake was not discovered until recently.' Steven
Cox, ' Not Giving Heed to Jewish Fables (2): Abraham in the Underworld (http:/ / www. tidings. org/ studies/ fables200007. htm)' in The
Christadelphian Tidings of the Kingdom of God (July 2000)
[33] 'It is quite plausible that a version of the Egyptian and Jewish story was current in first-century Palestine and that Jesus would have known
it. Thus...he could have borrowed the two motifs from it. On the other hand, he may well have known other stories which used one of both
motifs. He could have known the motifs without consciously borrowing them from any one particular story.' Richard Bauckham, The fate of
the dead: studies on the Jewish and Christian apocalypses (Netherlands: Brill, 1998), p. 101
[34] Richard Bauckham, The fate of the dead: studies on the Jewish and Christian apocalypses (Netherlands: Brill, 1998), p. 101
[35] Steven Cox, The Rich Man, Lazarus, and Abraham (http:/ / www. christadelphia. org/ pamphlet/ p_lazarus. htm) (Hyderabad: Printland
Publishers, 2000)
Rich man and Lazarus
76
[36] Steven Cox, ' Not Giving Heed to Jewish Fables (2): Abraham in the Underworld (http:/ / www. tidings. org/ studies/ fables200007. htm)' in
The Christadelphian Tidings of the Kingdom of God (July 2000)
[37] Against Plato, On the Cause of the Universe (http:/ / www. newadvent. org/ fathers/ 0520. htm)
[38] Saint Lazarus (http:/ / saints. sqpn.com/ saintl41. htm)
[39] mile Mle, The Gothic Image, Religious Art in France of the Thirteenth Century, p 200, English trans of 3rd edn, 1913, Collins, London
(and many other editions)
[40] Money talks: folklore in the public sphere (http:/ / findarticles. com/ p/ articles/ mi_m2386/ is_3_116/ ai_n15950723/ pg_7) December 2005,
Folklore magazine.
[41] Richard Hamann, "Lazarus in Heaven" The Burlington Magazine for Connoisseurs 63 No. 364 (July 1933), pp. 3-5, 8-11
[42] The Summoners's Prologue and Tale (http:/ / www. courses. fas. harvard. edu/ ~chaucer/ teachslf/ sumt-par. htm), line 1877 - "Lazar and
Dives lyveden diversly, And divers gerdon hadden they therby."
[43] Smith Sheila The Other Nation OUP 1980 pp.12-16 for extended discussion of the Dives and Lazarus imagery.
[44] :"And he cried it, how he cried it, from the housetops! the wealth of Dives jostling the want of Lazarus, Trotty Veck's humble dish of tripe
made humbler by Sir Joseph Bowley's opulent cheque-book; above all, Scrooge, who, obliged to subscribe to the prisons and the Poor Law, ,
shut his eyes to the conditions of those ghastly institutions,..." The Oxford Illustrated Dickens: Christmas books - Page vi Charles Dickens,
illustrated by Phiz, Hablot Knight Browne - 1998
[45] Graham Elliott, Benjamin Britten: The spiritual dimension (http:/ / books. google. com/ books?id=8zk97Mc4jCEC& pg=PA100), Oxford
University Press, 2006, ISBN 0-19-816258-8, p. 100.
[46] [46] - "homo quidam erat dives et induebatur purpura et bysso et epulabatur cotidie splendide"
[47] Philip Reed, Mervyn Cooke, and Donald Mitchell, Letters from a Life: The Selected Letters of Benjamin Britten, 1913-1976, Volume 4:
1952-1957 (http:/ / books. google.com/ books?id=AMyKjyzEW_kC& pg=PA294), Boydell Press, 2008, ISBN 1-84383-382-4, p. 294.
[48] [48] La Capella Ducale; Musica Fiata/Roland Wilson rec. live, 26 October 2007, Hauptkirche St. Nikolai, Hamburg, Germany. DDD CPO
777369-2 [79:09]
[49] Francis James Child, The English and Scottish popular Ballads, Part IV, 1886; referring to (inter alia) Arber, Registers of the Company of
Stationers
[51] Michael Kennedy, The works of Ralph Vaughan Williams. Oxford University Press (London, 1980), p. 278.
[52] A selection of shape-note folk hymns: from southern United States tune books 181661 (http:/ / books. google. co. uk/
books?id=-47A9N84GDMC& pg=PR25& lpg=PR25& dq=kingsfold+ dives& source=bl& ots=QYI2ptJPlq&
sig=WKoGIZJ4eV2s18mNAjpr00ylSCM& hl=en& ei=K5xWTMbvIsyQjAfA-oDDBA& sa=X& oi=book_result& ct=result& resnum=8&
ved=0CCwQ6AEwBzgK#v=onepage& q=kingsfold dives& f=false), ed. David W. Music, p. xxv, A-R Editions, Middleton, Wisconsin 2005.
[54] [54] Lyrics to "The Tramp on the Street":
"Only a tramp was Lazurus by fate
He who lay down at the rich man's gate
He begged for some crumbs from the rich man to eat
He was only a tramp found dead on the street"
The song goes on to compare the death and resurrection of Jesus to the death of Lazarus, and to ask the listener
if he or she would turn Jesus away or invite him in to eat.
[55] Steeleye Span: They Called Her Babylon (Review) (http:/ / www. progarchives. com/ Review. asp?id=290423)
[56] Whitecross Lyrics (http:/ / www.lyricstime. com/ whitecross-no-second-chances-lyrics. html)
[57] Flyleaf, "Chasm" lyrics (http:/ / www. metrolyrics.com/ chasm-lyrics-flyleaf. html)
[58] David Marcombe, Leper Knights: The Order of St. Lazarus of Jerusalem in England, c. 1150-1544 (Rochester, NY: Boydell) 2003; Chapter
1 gives the general history.
[59] "History" (http:/ / www. st-lazarus. net/ international/ index. html), official international website of the Military and Hospitaller Order of
Saint Lazarus of Jerusalem. Retrieved on 2009-09-14.
[60] David Marcombe, Leper Knights, The Boydell Press 2003, p. 11
Rich man and Lazarus
77
External links
Biblical Art on the WWW:
Purple and Poverty (http:/ / www. biblical-art. com/ biblicalsubject. asp?id_biblicalsubject=786& pagenum=1)
In Hades (http:/ / www. biblical-art. com/ biblicalsubject. asp?id_biblicalsubject=787& pagenum=1)
An In-Depth Look at the Rich Man and Lazarus from a Universalist Perspective (http:/ / tentmaker. org/ books/
Lazarus. html)
Sower
An icon depicting the Sower (Biserica Ortodox
din Deal, Cluj-Napoca), Romania.
The Parable of the Sower is one of the parables of Jesus found in
three (often called the Synoptic Gospels)
[1]
out of the four Canonical
gospels and in the non-canonical Gospel of Thomas.
[2]
In this story, a
sower dropped seed on the path, on rocky ground, and among thorns,
and the seed was lost; but when seed fell on good earth, it grew,
yielding thirty, sixty, and a hundredfold.
Parable Text from the Gospel of Mark (KJV)
Hearken; Behold, there went out a sower to sow: And it came to
pass, as he sowed, some fell by the way side, and the birds of the
air came and devoured it up. And some fell on stony ground,
where it had not much earth; and immediately it sprang up, because it had no depth of earth: But when the sun
was up, it was scorched; and because it had no root, it withered away. And some fell among thorns, the thorns
grew up, and choked it, and it yielded no fruit. And other fell on good ground, did yield fruit that sprang up
and increased; and brought forth, some thirty, and some sixty, some an hundred. He said unto them, He that
has ears to hear, let him hear.
Mark4:3-9
[3]
The explanation given by Jesus:
And when he was alone, they that were about him with the twelve asked of him the parable. And he said unto
them, Unto you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God: but unto them that are without, all
these things are done in parables: That seeing they may see, and not perceive; and hearing they may hear, and
not understand; lest at any time they should be converted, and their sins should be forgiven them. And he said
unto them, Know ye not this parable? and how then will ye know all parables?
The sower soweth the word. And these are they by the way side, where the word is sown; but when they have
heard, Satan cometh immediately, and taketh away the word that was sown in their hearts. And these are they
likewise which are sown on stony ground; who, when they have heard the word, immediately receive it with
gladness; And have no root in themselves, and so endure but for a time: afterward, when affliction or
persecution ariseth for the word's sake, immediately they are offended. And these are they which are sown
among thorns; such as hear the word, and the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts
of other things entering in, choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful. And these are they which are sown on
good ground; such as hear the word, and receive it, and bring forth fruit, some thirtyfold, some sixty, and some
an hundred.
Mark 4:10-20
[4]
Sower
78
Comparisons Between Gospel of Thomas and Synoptic Gospels
Thomas, as usual, provides no narrative context whatsoever, nor any explanation, but the synoptics frame this
parable as one of a group that were told by Jesus while he was standing on a boat in a lake. The parable tells of seeds
that were erratically scattered, some falling on the road and consequently eaten by birds, some falling on rock and
consequently unable to take root, and some falling on thorns which choked the seed and the birds ate them. It was,
according to the parable, only the seeds that fell on good soil and were able to germinate, producing a crop thirty,
sixty, or even a hundredfold, of what had been sown.
Though Thomas doesn't explain the parable at all, the synoptics state that the disciples failed to understand, and
questioned Jesus why he was teaching by parables, but the synoptics state that Jesus waited until much later, until the
crowds had left, before explaining the parables, stating to his disciples:
the secret of the kingdom of God has been given to you, but to those on the outside, everything is said in
parables so that they may be ever seeing but never perceiving, and ever hearing but never understanding
The synoptics go on to state that Jesus quoted the Book of Isaiah, stating that by hearing you shall hear but not
understand, by seeing you shall see and not perceive, and that the people were hard of hearing, with closed eyes
Isaiah 6:9-10
[5]
. After this, the synoptics provide an explanation of the parable:
The sower sows the word
The seeds falling on the road represent those who hear the word but dismiss it straight away - the synoptics state
that the wicked one (Matthew's wording)/Satan (Mark's wording) is what takes the word away
The seeds falling on the rocks represent those who hear the word, but only accept it shallowly - the synoptics state
that these sorts of people reject the word as soon as it causes them affliction or persecution
The seeds falling on thorns represent those who hear the word, and take it to heart, but allow worldly concerns,
such as money, to choke it.
The seeds falling on good soil represents those who hear the word, and truly understand it, causing it to bear fruit.
Interpretations
Pieter Bruegel the Elder, Landscape with the Parable of the Sower, 1557.
Most scholars think the parable was
originally optimistic in outlook, in that
despite failures eventually the "seed"
will be successful, take root and
produce a large "crop".
[6]
It is the first
parable to occur in Mark, which
according to the Q hypothesis was the
first book it occurred in. Mark uses it
to highlight the reaction Christ's
previous teachings have had on people
as well as the reaction the Christian
message has had on the world over the
three decades between Christ's
ministry and the writing of the
Gospel.
[7]
Jesus says he is teaching in parables because he does not want everyone to understand him, only those who are his
followers. Those outside the group are not meant to understand them. Thus one must already be committed to
following Jesus to fully understand his message and that without that commitment one will never fully understand
Sower
79
him or be helped by his message. If one does not correctly understand the parables, this is a sign that one is not a true
disciple of Jesus.
[8]
He teaches in this way so that their sins will then not be forgiven. He quotes Isaiah 6:9-10
[9]
,
who also preached to Israel knowing that his message would go unheeded and not understood so that the Israelites'
sins would not be forgiven and they would be punished by God for them.
[7]
Some debate whether this was Jesus'
original meaning or whether Mark added this interpretation himself.
[8]
The full explanation of the meaning of the
parable stresses that there will be difficulty in Jesus' message taking hold, perhaps an attempt by Mark to bolster his
readers' faith, perhaps in the face of a persecution.
[10]
This parable seems to be essential for understanding all the rest
of Jesus' parables, as it makes clear what is necessary to understand Jesus is a prior faith in him, and that Jesus will
not enlighten those who refuse to believe, he will only confuse them.
[11]
The parable has sometimes been taken to mean that there are (at least) three 'levels' of divine progress and
salvation.
[12]
Interpretations among Latter Day Saints
According to the various interpretations by members and leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
(or "LDS Church"), the word generally refers to the whole of the Canonical Gospels, and that not everyone accepts
the gospel with the same degree of commitment:
The parable taught clearly where the responsibility lay with regard to the kingdom of God and the reception of
the gospel. It was not with the sower and it was not in the seed - it was in the 'soil,' the heart of man. - E. Keith
Howick, The Parables of Jesus The Messiah (pg. 30)
Joseph Smith, Jr., the founder of the LDS Church, suggested that the Parable of the Sower demonstrated the effects
that are produced by the preaching of the word, and he believed that the parable was a direct allusion to the
commencement/setting-up of the Kingdom in that age.
[13]
In the 19th century, President Heber C. Kimball spoke about a condition that illustrates the need for a deeply rooted,
living faith capable of enduring challenges; a statement that is regarded by many Latter-day Saints as an increasingly
important message for the LDS Church in modern times. Kimball stated, The time will come when no man nor
woman will be able to endure on borrowed light. Each will have to be guided by the light within himself. If you do
not have it, how can you stand.
[14]
Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin in the October 2004 General Conference interpreted the parable of the sower as teaching
the doctrine of patienceenduring to the endand reinterpreted the meaning of each of the fates of the seeds.
Wirthlin considered that each of the three negative fates referred to one of three obstacles to endurance:
the cares of the world, being pride. Wirthlin purported that one should never allow intellect to take priority or
precedence over one's spirit. He states that "our intellect can feed our spirit and our spirit can feed our
intellect...[but] we must be careful not to set aside our faith in the process, because faith actually enhances our
ability to learn."
the deceitfulness of riches, being the fixation on wealth. Wirthlin argued that wealth was a means to an end, but
materialism should not be allowed to take precedence over spiritual things.
the lusts of other [things], being pornography. Wirthlin argued that, like quicksand, pornography can easily trap
people, and it is better to never step into it than to need to seek help once one has fallen.
[15]
Sower
80
Notes
[1] [1] see , , and
[2] Thomas 9 (http:/ / www.gnosis.org/ naghamm/ gosthom. html)
[3] http:/ / www. biblegateway. com/ bible?passage=Mark%204%3A3-9;& version=KJV;
[4] http:/ / bibref. hebtools. com/ ?book=%20Mark& verse=4:10-20& src=KJV
[5] http:/ / bibref. hebtools. com/ ?book=%20Isaiah& verse=6:9-10& src=131
[6] [6] Kilgallen p.82
[7] [7] Kilgallen p.83
[8] [8] Kilgallen p.84
[9] http:/ / bibref. hebtools. com?book=%20Isaiah& verse=6:9-10& src=131
[10] [10] Kilgallen p.85
[11] [11] Kilgallen p.86
[12] For example, Irenaeus writes, 'there is this distinction between the habitation of those who produce an hundred-fold, and that of those who
produce sixty-fold, and that of those who produce thirty-fold: for the first will be taken up into the heavens, the second will dwell in paradise,
the last will inhabit the city; and that was on this account the Lord declared, "In My Father's house are many mansions." Book V:36:1 (Against
Heresies)
[13] [13] Joseph Smith, Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, pg. 97.
[14] [14] Quoted by Harold B. Lee in Conference Report, October 1965, pg. 128; see also Orson F. Whitney, Life of Heber C. Kimball, pg. 446,
449-50.
[15] See Joseph B. Wirthlin, Press On (http:/ / library. lds.org/ nxt/ gateway. dll/ Magazines/ Ensign/ 2004. htm/ ensign november 2004. htm/
press on.htm?f=templates$fn=document-frame.htm$3. 0#JD_E3411. 101) Ensign, November 2004, 101.
References
Kilgallen, John J., A Brief Commentary on the Gospel of Mark, Paulist Press, 1989. ISBN 0-8091-3059-9
Bruce R. McConkie, Doctrinal New Testament Commentary, Vol. I:289
James E. Talmage, Jesus The Christ, pg. 263-266
Strong Man
The Hanged Man's House, Cezanne, 1873.
The Parable of the strong man (also known as the parable of the
burglar and the parable of the powerful man) is a parable told by
Jesus in the New Testament, found in Matthew 12:29
[1]
, Mark 3:27
[2]
, and Luke 11:21-22
[3]
. A version of the parable also appears in the
Gnostic Gospel of Thomas (Saying 35).
[4]
Text
In Luke, the parable is as follows:
When the strong man, fully armed, guards his own dwelling, his
goods are safe. But when someone stronger attacks him and
overcomes him, he takes from him his whole armor in which he
trusted, and divides his spoils.
Luke 11:21-22, World English Bible
Strong Man
81
Interpretation
In the canonical gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke, this parable forms part of the Beelzebul controversy, where
Jesus's opponents accuse him of gaining his power to exorcise demons by being in league with Satan. Interpreted in
this context, the strong man represents Satan, and the attacker represents Jesus. Jesus thus says that he could not
perform exorcisms (represented by stealing the strong man's possessions) unless he was opposed to and had
defeated Satan (represented by tying up the strong man).
[5][6][7]
Craig S. Keener suggests that the parable relates to
the common wisdom that "no one plunders a strong man,"
[8]
while R. T. France and others see the parable as echoing
the Book of Isaiah:
[9][10]
Can plunder be taken from warriors,
or captives rescued from the fierce?
But this is what the LORD says:
"Yes, captives will be taken from warriors,
and plunder retrieved from the fierce;
I will contend with those who contend with you,
and your children I will save. (, NIV)
It has been suggested that "Beelzebul" means "house of Ba'al," and that the image of the strong man's house was
originally a wordplay on this.
[10]
In the non-canonical Gospel of Thomas, which does not have the context of the Beelzebul controversy, the parable
has been interpreted as merely suggesting that "shrewd planning and careful strategy" are necessary in order to
accomplish one's goals.
[11]
References
[1] http:/ / www. biblegateway. com/ passage/ ?search=Matt%2012:29;& version=31;
[2] http:/ / www. biblegateway. com/ passage/ ?search=Mark%203:27;& version=31;
[3] http:/ / www. biblegateway. com/ passage/ ?search=Luke%2011:21-22;& version=31;
[4] Gospel of Thomas: Lamb translation (http:/ / www.gnosis. org/ naghamm/ gthlamb. html) and Patterson/Meyer translation (http:/ / www.
gnosis. org/ naghamm/ gosthom. html).
[5] Jrgen Becker, trans. James E. Crouch, Jesus of Nazareth, Walter de Gruyter, 1998, p. 184 (http:/ / books. google. com/
books?vid=ISBN3110157721& id=pIFLSEAKne4C& pg=RA1-PA184& lpg=RA1-PA184& ots=B_FrbqUJr7& dq=mark+ 3:27&
sig=JrA3GM8mO0vmzgTquFXHj6OAZDc#PRA1-PA184,M1)
[6] Duane Frederick Watson, The Intertexture of Apocalyptic Discourse in the New Testament, Brill Academic Publishers, 2003, p. 26 (http:/ /
books.google. com/ books?vid=ISBN9004127062& id=dIwYtuvc4KYC& pg=RA2-PA26& lpg=RA2-PA26& dq="mark+ 3:27"&
sig=4RCADUBU4axlm-kQbpsY4UA3kqU#PRA2-PA26,M1)
[7] William Telford, The Theology of the Gospel of Mark, Cambridge University Press, 1999, ISBN 0-521-43977-9, p. 62 (http:/ / books. google.
com/ books?id=E9saA_qL4iMC& pg=PA62)
[8] Craig S. Keener, A Commentary on the Gospel of Matthew, Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, 1999, ISBN 0-8028-3821-9, p. 364 (http:/ / books.
google.com/ books?id=sWzhEdBZOp4C& pg=PA364)
[9] R. T. France, The Gospel of Matthew, Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, 2007, ISBN 0-8028-2501-X, p. 481 (http:/ / books. google. com/
books?id=0ruP6J_XPCEC& pg=PA481)
[10] James R. Edwards, The Gospel according to Mark, Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, 2001, p. 121 (http:/ / books. google. com/
books?vid=ISBN0802837344& id=0MjWS_4La_EC& pg=PA122& lpg=PA122& ots=ji5_WjJOSM& dq=thomas+ 35+ strong+ man&
sig=9XDicHpjWs2a-vZBRU0ms7tYWCc#PPA121,M1)
[11] Richard Valantasis, The Gospel of Thomas, Routledge (UK), 1997, p. 111 (http:/ / books. google. com/ books?vid=ISBN0415116228&
id=VLnYm7oKUmkC& pg=RA2-PA110& lpg=RA2-PA110& ots=tDl2JxuMYU& dq=thomas+ 35+ strong+ man&
sig=GfJdUdZ-jWznj1n0pV3B-03bRMc#PRA2-PA111,M1)
Talents
82
Talents
The parable of the talents, as depicted in a 1712 woodcut. The
lazy servant searches for his buried talent, while the two other
servants present their earnings to their master.
The Parable of the talents or minas, (also known as the
Parable of Talents or The Parable of the Pounds), is one
of the well known parables of Jesus. It appears in two of
the Canonical gospels of the New Testament, and a
variant is also found in the noncanonical Gospel of the
Hebrews. The differences between Matthew 25:14-30
[1]
and the Luke 19:12-27
[2]
are substantial, and the two
parables may not be derived from the same source.
[3]
In
Matthew, the opening words appear to link the parable to
the preceding parable of the Ten Virgins,
[3]
a parable
about the Kingdom of Heaven.
Parable of the Talents
The parable in Matthew 25:14-30
[4]
tells of a master who
was leaving his home to travel, and before going
entrusted his property to his servants (property worth 8
talents, where a talent was a large unit of money, as
discussed below). One servant receives five talents, the
second two talents, and the third one talent, according to
their respective abilities.
Returning after a long absence, the master asks his
servants for an accounting. The first two servants explain
that they have each put their money to work and doubled
the value of the property they were entrusted with, and so
they are each rewarded:
His lord said to him, "Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a few things, I will set
you over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord."
Matthew 25:23, World English Bible
The third servant, however, has merely hidden his talent in a hole in the ground, and is punished:
He also who had received the one talent came and said, "Lord, I knew you that you are a hard man, reaping
where you did not sow, and gathering where you did not scatter. I was afraid, and went away and hid your
talent in the earth. Behold, you have what is yours."
But his lord answered him, "You wicked and slothful servant. You knew that I reap where I didn't sow, and
gather where I didn't scatter. You ought therefore to have deposited my money with the bankers, and at my
coming I should have received back my own with interest. Take away therefore the talent from him, and give
it to him who has the ten talents. For to everyone who has will be given, and he will have abundance, but from
him who doesn't have, even that which he has will be taken away. Throw out the unprofitable servant into the
outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth."
Matthew 25:2430, World English Bible
Talents
83
Parable of the Minas
The similar parable in Luke19:12-27
[5]
, the Parable of the Minas, is generally similar, but differences include the
inclusion of the motif of a king obtaining a kingdom,
[6]
and the entrusting of the servants with equal amounts,
measured in minas rather than talents (1 talent = 60 mina). Additionally, Luke includes at the beginning an account
of citizens sending a message after the Master to say that they don't want him as their ruler, and at the end Luke adds
that the Master instructs that his opponents should be brought to him and then be slain.
The parallels between the Lukan material (the Gospel of Luke, and Book of Acts) and Josephus' writings have long
been noted.
[7][8][9][10]
The core idea, of a man traveling to a far country being related to a kingdom, has vague
similarities to Herod Archelaus traveling to Rome in order to be given his kingdom; although this similarity is not in
itself significant, Josephus' account also contains details which are echoed by features of the Lukan parable.
[11]
Josephus describes Jews sending an embassy to Augustus, while Archelaus is travelling to Rome, to complain that
they do not want Archelaus as their ruler;
[12][13]
when Archelaus returns, he arranged for 3000 of his enemies to be
brought to him at the Temple in Jerusalem, where he had them slaughtered.
[12]
Version in the Gospel of the Hebrews
Eusebius of Caesarea includes a paraphrased summary of a parable of talents taken from a "Gospel written in
Hebrew script" (generally considered in modern times to be the Gospel of the Nazarenes); this gospel was
presumably destroyed in the destruction of the Theological Library of Caesarea Maritima in the 7th century and has
yet to be found. In that gospel, Eusebius writes that while the man who had hid the talent was rebuked for his burial,
only the man who had received two talents had invested and gained a return on his investment. The recipient of the
five talents instead "wasted his masters possessions with harlots and flute-girls;" it was he, in the Hebrew gospel,
that was sent into the darkness (Eusebius expressly identifies the darkness as being imprisonment).
[14]
Interpretations
An etching by Jan Luyken illustrating the parable
of the talents
A talent (from Ancient Greek , talanton 'scale, balance') was
a unit of weight of about 80 pounds (36kg),
[15]
and when used for
money, it was the value of that weight of silver. As a unit of currency,
it was worth about 6,000 denarii.
[3]
Since a denarius was the usual
payment for a day's labour,
[3]
a talent was roughly the value of twenty
years of work by an ordinary person.
[16]
By modern standards, the
2009 US minimum wage was $7.25 per hour, which would amount to
over $300,000 over 20 years, while at the median wage of $26,363, it
would be a half-million dollars.
[17]
The talent as used in the parable is
the origin of the sense of the word "talent" meaning "gift or skill" as
used in English and other languages.
In Matthew, the opening words appear to link the parable to the parable of the Ten Virgins, which immediately
precedes it.
[3]
That parable deals with wisdom in an eschatological context.
[3]
This parable, however, has been
interpreted in several ways.
Talents
84
As a teaching for Christians
Traditionally, the parable of the talents has been seen as an exhortation to Jesus' disciples to use their God-given gifts
in the service of God, and to take risks for the sake of the Kingdom of God.
[3]
These gifts have been seen to include
personal abilities ("talents" in the everyday sense), as well as personal wealth.
[3]
Failure to use one's gifts, the parable
suggests, will result in judgement.
[3]
The poet John Milton was fascinated by the parable (interpreted in this traditional sense),
[18]
referring to it
repeatedly, notably in the sonnet "On His Blindness":
[18]
When I consider how my light is spent
Ere half my days, in this dark world and wide,
And that one Talent, which is death to hide,
Lodg'd with me useless, though my Soul more bent
To serve therewith my Maker, and present
My true account, lest he, returning, chide
This interpretation seems to be the origin of the word "talent" used for an aptitude or skill.
[19]
As a critique of religious leaders
Joachim Jeremias believed that the original meaning of the parable was not an ethical one about every man. Instead,
he saw it as aimed at the scribes who had withheld "from their fellow men a due share in God's gift."
[20]
In his view,
Jesus is saying that these scribes will soon be brought to account for what they have done with the Word of God
which was entrusted to them.
[20]
Jeremias also believed that in the life of the early church the parable took on new meaning, with the merchant having
become an allegory of Christ, so that "his journey has become the ascension, his subsequent return ... has become the
Parousia, which ushers his own into the Messianic banquet."
[20]
As a social critique
William R. Herzog II notes the traditional interpretation of the parable,
[21]
but gives a liberation theology reading in
which the image of the absentee landlord, who reaps where he didn't sow, is taken literally. On Herzog's reading, the
third servant is a "whistle-blower"
[21]
who has "unmasked the 'joy of the master' for what it is, the profits of
exploitation squandered in wasteful excess."
[21]
He is punished for speaking the truth, not for failing to make a
profit. For Herzog, the point of the parable is the need to act in solidarity when confronting injustice.
[21]
Sociologist Robert K. Merton used the parable of talents to describe the reward system in science in which famous
scientists often receive disproportionate credit for their contributions, whereas lesser known scientists receive less
credit than their contributions actually merit. He called this phenomenon the Matthew effect; see also Stigler's law of
eponymy.
[22]
Talents
85
Allusions in the arts
The parable of the talents has been depicted by artists such as Rembrandt, Jan Luyken, and Matthus Merian. Bertolt
Brecht attacks the parable as a tool of capitalist ideology in the Threepenny Novel.
[23]
A number of hymns mention the parable, notably John Wesley's "Servant of God, Well Done!", which refers to
Matthew 25:23
[24]
, and was written on the death of George Whitefield.
[25]
It begins:
Servant of God, well done!
Thy glorious warfares past;
The battles fought, the race is won,
And thou art crowned at last.
[3]
References
[1] http:/ / www. biblegateway. com/ passage/ ?search=Matthew%2025:14-30;& version=31;
[2] http:/ / www. biblegateway. com/ passage/ ?search=Luke%2019:12-27;& version=31;
[3] Arland J. Hultgren, The Parables of Jesus: A Commentary (http:/ / books. google. com/ books?id=P2UvmRVLF18C& pg=PA271), Eerdmans
Publishing, 2002, ISBN 0-8028-6077-X, pp. 271-281.
[4] http:/ / bibref. hebtools. com/ ?book=%20Matthew& verse=25:14-30& src=!
[5] http:/ / www. biblegateway. com/ bible?passage=Luke%2019%3A12-27;& version=ESV;
[6] Luke Timothy Johnson and Daniel J. Harrington, The Gospel of Luke (http:/ / books. google. com/ books?id=eum1ijxbr6kC& pg=PA292),
Liturgical Press, 1991, ISBN 0-8146-5805-9, p. 292.
[7] Steve Mason, Josephus and Luke-Acts, (1992), pages 185-229
[8] Gregory Sterling, Historiography and Self-Definition: Josephos, Luke-Acts and Apologetic Historiography (1992)
[9] Heinz Schreckenberg, Flavius Josephus and the Lukan Writings (1980), pages 179-209.
[10] Max Krenkel, Josephus und Lukas (1894)
[11] Luke Timothy Johnson, Daniel J. Harrington, The Gospel of Luke (1991), endnote 12, page 289
[12] Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews, 17:11
[13] Luke Timothy Johnson, Daniel J. Harrington, The Gospel of Luke (1991), endnote 14, page 290
[14] Eusebius, Theophany on Matthew 22
[15] Ridgeway, William, "Measures and Weights" in Whibley, Leonard (ed). A Companion to Greek Studies, Cambridge University Press, 1905,
p. 444.
[16] [16] At 6 days of paid work per week, and roughly 50 weeks per year, 6,000 paid days = 20 years.
[17] The median U.S. wage in 2010 was just $26,363 Washington Post by Suzy Khimm 10/20/2011 (http:/ / www. washingtonpost. com/ blogs/
wonkblog/ post/ the-median-us-wage-in-2010-was-just-26363-government-reports/ 2011/ 10/ 20/ gIQAdabX0L_blog. html)
[18] David V. Urban, " The Talented Mr. Milton: A Parabolic Laborer and His Identity (http:/ / books. google. com/ books?id=vnFc5Zdu3U0C&
pg=PA1)" in Milton Studies, Volume 43, Albert C. Labriola (ed.), Univ of Pittsburgh Press, 2004, ISBN 0-8229-4216-X, pp. 1-18.
[19] The Concise Oxford Dictionary, 6th ed., 1976: "talent".
[20] Joachim Jeremias, The Parables of Jesus, Scribner, 1954.
[21] William R. Herzog II, Parables as Subversive Speech: Jesus as pedagogue of the oppressed (http:/ / books. google. com/
books?id=sG6Bjr7guSAC& pg=PA150), Westminster John Knox Press, 1994, ISBN 0-664-25355-5, pp. 150-168.
[22] [22] Gerald Holton (December 2004). Robert K. Merton, 4 July 1910 23 February 2003. 148. American Philosophical Society. ISBN
1-4223-7290-1.
[23] Bertolt Brecht, Threepenny Novel, Penguin Books, 1962, ISBN 0-14-00.1515-9, p. 365.
[24] http:/ / www.biblegateway. com/ passage/ ?search=Matthew%2025:23;& version=31;
[25] James Thomas Lightwood, Samuel Wesley, Musician: The story of his life, Ayer Publishing, 1972, ISBN 0-405-08748-9, p. 222.
External links
Biblical-art.com (http:/ / www. biblical-art. com/ biblicalsubject. asp?id_biblicalsubject=742& pagenum=1)
Parable of the Harsh Master (http:/ / www. thebricktestament. com/ the_gospels/ parable_of_the_harsh_master/
lk19_11. html) - The Brick Testament
Tares
86
Tares
The enemy sowing weeds, c. 1540
The Parable of the Tares, (also known as the Parable of
the Weeds, Parable of the Wheat and Tares, Parable of
the Wheat and Weeds, or the Parable of the Weeds in the
Grain), is one of the parables of Jesus, which appears in
only one of the Canonical gospels of the New Testament.
According to the Matthew 13:24-30
[1]
during the final
judgment, the angels will separate the "sons of the evil
one" (the "tares" or weeds) from the "sons of the
kingdom" (the wheat). It follows the Parable of the
Sower, and precedes the Parable of the Mustard Seed.
An abbreviated version of the parable also appears in the
Gnostic Gospel of Thomas (Saying 57).
[2]
Narrative
The parable is as follows:
Another parable put he forth unto them, saying,
The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man
which sowed good seed in his field:
But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed
tares among the wheat, and went his way.
But when the blade was sprung up, and brought
forth fruit, then appeared the tares also.
So the servants of the householder came and said
unto him, Sir, didst not thou sow good seed in thy field? from whence then hath it tares?
He said unto them, An enemy hath done this. The servants said unto him, Wilt thou then that we go and gather
them up?
But he said, Nay; lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them.
Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together
first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn.
Matthew 13:24-30,Holy Bible: King James Version
The word translated "tares" in the King James Version is (zizania), plural of (zizanion). This word
is thought to mean darnel (Lolium temulentum),
[3][4]
a ryegrass which looks much like wheat in its early stages of
growth.
[5]
Roman law prohibited sowing darnel among the wheat of an enemy,
[5][6]
suggesting that the scenario
presented here is realistic.
[7]
A similar metaphor is wheat and chaff, replacing (growing) tares by (waste) chaff, and in other places in the Bible
"wicked ones" are likened to chaff.
Tares
87
Interpretation
An eschatological interpretation
[7]
is provided by Jesus in verses Matthew 13:36-43
[8]
of the chapter:
Then Jesus sent the multitudes away, and went into the house. His disciples came to him, saying, "Explain to
us the parable of the darnel weeds of the field."
He answered them, "He who sows the good seed is the Son of Man, the field is the world; and the good seed,
these are the children of the Kingdom; and the darnel weeds are the children of the evil one. The enemy who
sowed them is the devil. The harvest is the end of the age, and the reapers are angels. As therefore the darnel
weeds are gathered up and burned with fire; so will it be at the end of this age. The Son of Man will send out
his angels, and they will gather out of his Kingdom all things that cause stumbling, and those who do iniquity,
and will cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be weeping and the gnashing of teeth. Then the righteous
will shine forth like the sun in the Kingdom of their Father. He who has ears to hear, let him hear.
Matthew 13:36-43,World English Bible
Flicien Rops, Satan Sowing Seeds, pencil,
c. 1872
Although Jesus has distinguished between people who are part of the
Kingdom of Heaven and those who are not, this difference may not always
be readily apparent, as the parable of the Leaven indicates.
[7]
However, the
final judgment will be the "ultimate turning-point when the period of the
secret growth of God's kingdom alongside the continued activity of the evil
one will be brought to an end, and the new age which was inaugurated in
principle in Jesus' earthly ministry will be gloriously consummated."
[7]
St. Augustine pointed out that the invisible distinction between "wheat" and
"tares" also runs through the Church:
O you Christians, whose lives are good, you sigh and groan as being
few among many, few among very many. The winter will pass away,
the summer will come; lo! The harvest will soon be here. The angels
will come who can make the separation, and who cannot make
mistakes. ... I tell you of a truth, my Beloved, even in these high seats
there is both wheat, and tares, and among the laity there is wheat, and
tares. Let the good tolerate the bad; let the bad change themselves,
and imitate the good. Let us all, if it may be so, attain to God; let us
all through His mercy escape the evil of this world. Let us seek after good days, for we are now in evil days;
but in the evil days let us not blaspheme, that so we may be able to arrive at the good days.
[9]
Tares
88
Religious toleration
The weeds or "tares" were probably darnel.
The Parable of the Tares has often been cited in support of various
degrees of religious toleration.
In his "Letter to Bishop Roger of Chalons", Bishop Wazo of Liege
(c. 985-1048 AD) relied on the parable
[10]
to argue that "the
church should let dissent grow with orthodoxy until the Lord
comes to separate and judge them".
[11]
Martin Luther preached a sermon on the parable in which he
affirmed that only God can separate false from true believers and
noted that killing heretics or unbelievers ends any opportunity they
may have for salvation:
"From this observe what raging and furious people we
have been these many years, in that we desired to
force others to believe; the Turks with the sword,
heretics with fire, the Jews with death, and thus
outroot the tares by our own power, as if we were the
ones who could reign over hearts and spirits, and
make them pious and right, which God's Word alone
must do. But by murder we separate the people from
the Word, so that it cannot possibly work upon them
and we bring thus, with one stroke a double murder
upon ourselves, as far as it lies in our power, namely,
in that we murder the body for time and the soul for
eternity, and afterwards say we did God a service by our actions, and wish to merit something special in
heaven."
He concluded that "although the tares hinder the wheat, yet they make it the more beautiful to behold".
[12]
Roger Williams, a Baptist theologian and founder of Rhode Island, used this parable to support government
toleration of all of the "weeds" (heretics) in the world, because civil persecution often inadvertently hurts the "wheat"
(believers) too. Instead, Williams believed it was God's duty to judge in the end, not man's. This parable lent further
support to Williams' Biblical philosophy of a wall of separation between church and state as described in his 1644
book, The Bloody Tenent of Persecution.
[13]
John Milton, in Areopagitica (1644), calling for freedom of speech and condemning Parliament's attempt to license
printing, referred to the parable:
[14]
(I)t is not possible for man to sever the wheat from the tares, the good fish from the other fry; that must
be the Angels' ministry at the end of mortal things.
Tares
89
Depictions
Parable of the Wheat and the Tares by Abraham
Bloemaert (1624)
This parable has been depicted by several artists, including Abraham
Bloemaert, Albin Egger-Lienz, Flicien Rops, Jan Luyken, Domenico
Fetti, William Blake, John Everett Millais, and James Tissot.
References
[1] http:/ / www. biblegateway. com/ passage/ ?search=Matthew%2013:24-30;&
version=31;
[2] Gospel of Thomas: Lamb translation (http:/ / www.gnosis. org/ naghamm/ gthlamb.
html) and Patterson/Meyer translation (http:/ / www.gnosis. org/ naghamm/
gosthom. html).
[3] Liddell H G and Scott R, A Greek-English Lexicon, Clarendon Press, Oxford,
18431996, under "". The plural form (Zizania) has in modern times been adopted as
the botanical name for wild rice.
[4] Thayer's Lexicon: (http:/ / www. blueletterbible. org/ lang/ lexicon/ lexicon. cfm?strongs=G2215)
[5] Craig S. Keener, The Gospel of Matthew: A Socio-Rhetorical Commentary (http:/ / books. google. com. au/ books?id=8C2Y_HaL5W0C&
pg=PA386), Eerdmans, 2009, ISBN 0-8028-6498-8, pp. 386-387.
[6] Ramesh Khatry, The Authenticity of the Parable of the Wheat and the Tares and Its Interpretation (http:/ / books. google. com. au/
books?id=Cgt3ULbRpZ8C& pg=PA35), Universal Publishers, 2000, ISBN 1-58112-094-X, p. 35.
[7] R. T. France, The Gospel According to Matthew: An introduction and commentary (http:/ / books. google. com. au/
books?id=ttTgacXnLV8C& pg=PA225), Eerdmans, 1985, ISBN 0-8028-0063-7, pp. 225-227.
[8] http:/ / bibref. hebtools. com/ ?book=%20Matthew& verse=13:36-43& src=!
[9] Augustine, Sermon #23 on the New Testament. (http:/ / www. newadvent. org/ fathers/ 160323. htm)
[10] Richard Landes, "The Birth of Heresy: A Millennial Phenomenon," Journal of Religious History 24.1 (2000): 26 -43 http:/ / www. bu. edu/
mille/ people/ rlpages/ TheBirthofHeresy. html Accessed December 13, 2010
[11] Jeffrey Burton Russell, Dissent and Order in the Middle Ages: The Search for Legitimate Authority (New York: Twayne Publishers 1992),
p. 23
[12] The Sermons of Martin Luther, Vol II, pp. 100-106, (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House 1906) http:/ / homepage. mac. com/ shanerosenthal/
reformationink/ mltares. htm Accessed January 13. 2011
[13] James P. Byrd, The challenges of Roger Williams: religious liberty, violent persecution, and the Bible (Mercer University Press, 2002)
(http:/ / books. google. com/ books?id=M4FK-j35yFYC& source=gbs_navlinks_s) (accessed on Google Book on July 20, 2009)
[14] The Areopagitica http:/ / www.gutenberg.org/ dirs/ 6/ 0/ 608/ 608. txt Retrieved January 12, 2011
Ten Virgins
90
Ten Virgins
The Parable of the Wise and Foolish Virgins (1822) by William Blake, Tate
Gallery.
The Parable of the Ten Virgins, also
known as the parable of the Wise and
Foolish Virgins, is one of the well known
parables of Jesus. It appears in only one of
the Canonical gospels of the New
Testament. According to the Gospel of
Matthew 25:1-13 the five virgins who are
prepared for the bridegroom's arrival are
rewarded, while the five who are not
prepared are excluded from his marriage
feast. The parable has a clear eschatological
theme: be prepared for the Day of
Judgment.
[1]
It was one of the most popular parables in
the Middle Ages, with enormous influence
on Gothic art, sculpture and the architecture
of German and French cathedrals.
Narrative
In the Parable of the Ten Virgins, Jesus tells
a story about a party of virgins (perhaps
bridesmaids
[2]
or torchbearers for a
procession
[3]
) given the honor of attending a
wedding. Each of the ten virgins is carrying a lamp (or torch
[3]
) as they await the coming of the bridegroom, which
they expect at some time during the night. Five of the virgins are wise and have brought sufficient oil for their lamps.
Five are foolish and have not.
The bridegroom is delayed until late into the night; when he arrives the foolish virgins ask the wise ones for oil, but
they refuse, saying that there will certainly not (Greek ou m
[4]
) be enough for all of them if they do that. While the
foolish virgins are away trying to get more oil, the bridegroom arrives. The wise virgins are there to welcome him
and the foolish ones arrive too late and are excluded:
Then the Kingdom of Heaven will be like ten virgins, who took their lamps, and went out to meet the
bridegroom. Five of them were foolish, and five were wise. Those who were foolish, when they took their
lamps, took no oil with them, but the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. Now while the bridegroom
delayed, they all slumbered and slept. But at midnight there was a cry, "Behold! The bridegroom is coming!
Come out to meet him!" Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps. The foolish said to the wise,
"Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out." But the wise answered, saying, "What if there isn't
enough for us and you? You go rather to those who sell, and buy for yourselves." While they went away to
buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the marriage feast, and the door was
shut. Afterward the other virgins also came, saying, "Lord, Lord, open to us." But he answered, "Most
certainly I tell you, I don't know you." Watch therefore, for you don't know the day nor the hour in which the
Son of Man is coming.
Matthew 25:1-13, World English Bible
Ten Virgins
91
Interpretations
The parable is one of a sequence of responses to a question in Matthew 24:3:
And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall
these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?
Matthew 24:3, King James Version
Other parables in this sequence include the parable of the budding fig tree (Matthew 24:3235) and the parable of
the Faithful Servant (Matthew 24:4251). The parable of the Ten Virgins reinforces the call for readiness in the face
of the uncertain time of this second "coming."
[2]
It has been described as a "watching parable."
[5]
Like the parable of
the Lost Coin, it is a parable about women which immediately follows, and makes the same point as, a preceding
parable about men.
[6]
In this parable, Christ is the bridegroom,
[2][5]
echoing the Old Testament image of God as the bridegroom in
Jeremiah 2:2 and similar passages.
[2]
The awaited event is the Second Coming of Christ.
[2][5]
R. T. France writes that
the parable is "a warning addressed specifically to those inside the professing church who are not to assume that their
future is unconditionally assured."
[2]
This painting by Hieronymus Francken the Younger (c. 1616) gives a moralistic
interpretation of the parable.
The parable does not criticise the virgins for
sleeping, since both groups do that,
[3]
but
for being unprepared. It is not clear exactly
what form this lack of preparation takes: the
foolish virgins may have taken insufficient
oil or, if they light their lamps or torches for
the first time when the bridegroom arrives
(having slept through the previous hours of
darkness), they may have brought no oil at
all
[4]
(it is also unclear as to whether the
foolish virgins succeed in purchasing any oil
that night:
[7]
most shops would not have
been open
[8][9]
).
The parable is not written in praise of
virginity,
[5]
and indeed Louis of Granada, in
his The Sinner's Guide of 1555, writes "No one makes intercession with the Bridegroom for the five foolish virgins
who, after despising the pleasures of the flesh and stifling in their hearts the fire of concupiscence, nay, after
observing the great counsel of virginity, neglected the precept of humility and became inflated with pride on account
of their virginity."
[10]
Giving a Mormon interpretation, Spencer W. Kimball discussed the difference between the wise and the foolish
virgins and why they could not share the oil: "This was not selfishness or unkindness. The kind of oil that is needed
to illuminate the way and light up the darkness is not shareable. How can one share obedience to the principle of
tithing; a mind at peace from righteous living; an accumulation of knowledge? How can one share faith or
testimony? How can one share attitudes or chastity.... Each must obtain that kind of oil for himself.... In the parable,
oil can be purchased at the market. In our lives the oil of preparedness is accumulated drop by drop in righteous
living. Fasting, family prayer... control of bodily appetites, preaching the gospel, studying the scriptures-each act of
dedication and obedience is a drop added to our store. Deeds of kindness, payment of offerings and tithes, chaste
thoughts and actions, marriage in the covenant for eternity-these, too, contribute importantly to the oil with which we
can at midnight refuel our exhausted lamps."
[11][]
Ten Virgins
92
Authenticity
While "a considerable number of exegetes in fact suppose that the parable of 'The Wise and Foolish Virgins'
ultimately goes back to Jesus,"
[12]
some Bible commentators, because of its eschatological nature, doubt that Jesus
ever told this parable and that, instead, it is a parable created by the very early church. A large majority of fellows on
the Jesus Seminar, for example, designated the parable as merely similar to something Jesus might have said or
simply inauthentic ("gray" or "black").
[13]
The work of the Jesus Seminar has been criticized, however.
[14][15]
Other
scholars believe that this parable has only been lightly edited, and is an excellent example of Jesus' skill in telling
parables.
[16]
The parable occurs in all ancient New Testament manuscripts, with only slight variations in some
words.
[17]
Liturgical use
The parable is the gospel reading for the 27th Sunday after Trinity in the traditional Lutheran lectionary. In the
Revised Common Lectionary, the parable is read in Proper 27 (32nd Sunday in Ordinary Time).
[citation needed]
In the Armenian Orthodox Church the parable is the main theme of Holy Monday. A special Church service enacting
the parable of the ten virgins is celebrated on Tuesday evening of the Holy Week.
[citation needed]
In the arts
This parable has been a popular subject for painting, sculpture, music, and drama.
Friedrich Wilhelm Schadow, The Parable of the
Wise and Foolish Virgins, 18381842 (detail),
Stdel Museum, Frankfurt am Main.
Painting
The parable has been depicted in several paintings, including
altarpieces in Northern Europe. A recent example, from 1954, is by
Tove Jansson. In the 19th century, the artists of the Nazarene
movement also took up this theme.
Sculpture
Numerous sculptures of the wise and foolish virgins appear on French
cathedrals, including:
Amiens Cathedral
Auxerre Cathedral
Laon Cathedral
Notre Dame de Paris
Cathedral of Notre-Dame, Reims
Strasbourg Cathedral
Ten Virgins
93
Three wise virgins appear with
Christ on Strasbourg Cathedral.
Depictions of the virgins are equally common on German cathedrals, including:
Erfurt Cathedral
Magdeburg Cathedral
The virgins are also depicted on cathedrals in Switzerland and other countries.
The ubiquity of such sculptures has inspired fictional descriptions, such as the
carvings on the doors of Kingsbridge cathedral in Ken Follett's novel World
Without End, set in the Late Middle Ages.
Music
Several religious musical compositions have been inspired by the parable. Its
message was formed into a Chorale, Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme, by Philipp Nicolai, which Johann Sebastian
Bach used for his cantata Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme, BWV 140. The parable forms the theme for several
hymns, including the 19th century hymn "Behold the Bridegroom Cometh" by George Frederick Root, which begins:
The five wise virgins together with a
personification of the Church (c. 1400), St.
Annen Museum, Lbeck
Our lamps are trimmed and burning,
Our robes are white and clean;
Weve tarried for the Bridegroom,
Oh, may we enter in?
Keep your lamp trimmed and burning is a gospel-blues song based on
the parable. It has been recorded by such artists as Blind Willie
Johnson, Rev. Pearly Brown, and Rev. Gary Davis (aka Blind Gary
Davis).
Non-religious music has also used the parable as a theme, such as the ballet "The wise and the foolish virgins" by
Swedish composer Kurt Atterberg (18871974), written in 1920.
A reference is made to the parable in the 2002 Johnny Cash song "The Man Comes Around," which draws heavily
on the Bible.
On the 1974 album by Genesis - The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway, a reference to the parable is made in the song
The Carpet Crawlers: "and the wise and foolish virgins giggle with their bodies glowing bright."
American composer Emily Freeman-Brown has also composed an oratorio based on the parable.
[citation needed]
Drama
From early Christian times, the story of the ten virgins has been told as a mystery play. St. Methodius wrote the
Banquet of the Ten Virgins,
[18]
a mystery play in Greek. Sponsus, a mid-11th-century play, was performed in both
Latin and Occitan. The German play Ludus de decem virginibus was first performed on 4 May 1321. There was also
a Dutch play of the late Middle Ages.
References
[1] John Barton, The Oxford Bible Commentary (http:/ / books. google. com/ books?id=3surkLVdw3UC& pg=PA878), Oxford University Press,
2001, ISBN 0-19-875500-7, p. 878.
[2] R. T. France, The Gospel According to Matthew: An introduction and commentary (http:/ / books. google. com/ books?id=ttTgacXnLV8C&
pg=PA349), Eerdmans, 1985, ISBN 0-8028-0063-7, pp. 349-352.
[3] Ben Witherington, Women in the Ministry of Jesus: A study of Jesus' attitudes to women and their roles as reflected in his earthly life (http:/ /
books.google. com/ books?id=xGePuntVBhgC& pg=PA43), Cambridge University Press, 1987, ISBN 0-521-34781-5, p. 43.
[4] John Nolland, The Gospel of Matthew: A commentary on the Greek text (http:/ / books. google. com/ books?id=9cL_kpdUE-oC&
pg=PA1006), Eerdmans, 2005, ISBN 0-8028-2389-0, pp. 10061008.
[5] Catholic Encyclopedia: PARABLES (http:/ / www. newadvent. org/ cathen/ 11460a. htm).
[6] The parable of the Lost Coin follows the parable of the Lost Sheep and this parable follows the parable of the Faithful Servant.
Ten Virgins
94
[7] John R. Donahue, Hearing the Word of God: Reflections on the Sunday Readings: Year A (http:/ / books. google. com/
books?id=9ArODuoyndAC& pg=PA134), Liturgical Press, 2004, ISBN 0-8146-2785-4, p. 134: "We never know whether they found it, but
when they return, the feast has started and the door is barred."
[8] Craig S. Keener, The Gospel of Matthew: A Socio-Rhetorical Commentary (http:/ / books. google. com/ books?id=8C2Y_HaL5W0C&
pg=PA597), Eerdmans, 2009, ISBN 0-8028-6498-8, p. 597.
[9] J. Dwight Pentecost, The Parables of Jesus: Lessons in life from the Master Teacher (http:/ / books. google. com/
books?id=k_VVxjLkN2UC& pg=PA150), Kregel Publications, 1998, ISBN 0-8254-3458-0, p. 150.
[10] Louis of Granada, The Sinner's Guide (http:/ / www.ewtn. org/ library/ SPIRIT/ granada1-9. htm), 1555.
[11] Spencer W. Kimball, Faith Precedes the Miracle, p. 255.
[12] Jan Lambrecht, Out of the Treasure: The parables in the Gospel of Matthew (http:/ / books. google. com/ books?id=PXfgMs0FIbgC&
pg=PA204), Peeters, 1991, ISBN 90-6831-161-1, p. 204.
[13] Funk, Robert W., Roy W. Hoover, and the Jesus Seminar. The Five Gospels. Harper:San Francisco, 1993, p. 254
[14] Birger A. Pearson, The Gospel According to the Jesus Seminar (http:/ / www. veritas-ucsb. org/ library/ pearson/ seminar/ index. html).
[15] N.T. Wright, Five Gospels but No Gospel (http:/ / www. ntwrightpage. com/ Wright_Five_Gospels. pdf), originally published in
Authenticating the Activities of Jesus, ed. Bruce Chilton and Craig A. Evans. Leiden: Brill, 1999, 83120.
[16] Klyne Snodgrass, Stories with Intent: A comprehensive guide to the parables of Jesus (http:/ / books. google. com/
books?id=kFyt0VhErywC& pg=PA505), Eerdmans, 2008, ISBN 0-8028-4241-0, p. 505.
[17] United Bible Societies, The Greek New Testament, 1983, p. 24.
[18] Banquet of the Ten Virgins (http:/ / www. newadvent. org/ fathers/ 0623. htm)
Two Debtors
Anointing of Jesus, 17th century altar painting, Ballum, Denmark.
The Parable of the Two Debtors is a
parable of Jesus. It appears in only one
of the Canonical gospels of the New
Testament. According to Luke 7:36-50
[1]
Jesus uses the story of two debtors
to explain that a woman loves him
more than his host, because she has
been forgiven of greater sins. This
parable is told after his anointing. A
similar anointing in other gospels may
not refer to the same event,
[2][3]
and
this parable is not to be confused with
the parable of the unforgiving servant,
where a king forgives his servant, and
the servant in turn is unable to have
mercy on someone with a lesser debt.
Narrative
The parable is told in response to an unspoken reaction by Jesus' host, who is named Simon (and is sometimes
identified with Simon the Leper):
One of the Pharisees invited him to eat with him. He entered into the Pharisee's house, and sat at the table.
Behold, a woman in the city who was a sinner, when she knew that he was reclining in the Pharisee's house,
she brought an alabaster jar of ointment. Standing behind at his feet weeping, she began to wet his feet with
her tears, and she wiped them with the hair of her head, kissed his feet, and anointed them with the ointment.
Now when the Pharisee who had invited him saw it, he said to himself, "This man, if he were a prophet, would
have perceived who and what kind of woman this is who touches him, that she is a sinner."Luke 7:36-39,
Two Debtors
95
World English Bible
According to Luke, Jesus responds as follows:
Jesus answered him, "Simon, I have something to tell you."
He said, "Teacher, say on."
"A certain lender had two debtors. The one owed five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. When they couldn't
pay, he forgave them both. Which of them therefore will love him most?"
Simon answered, "He, I suppose, to whom he forgave the most."
He said to him, "You have judged correctly." Turning to the woman, he said to Simon, "Do you see this
woman? I entered into your house, and you gave me no water for my feet, but she has wet my feet with her
tears, and wiped them with the hair of her head. You gave me no kiss, but she, since the time I came in, has not
ceased to kiss my feet. You didn't anoint my head with oil, but she has anointed my feet with ointment.
Therefore I tell you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven, for she loved much. But to whom little is forgiven,
the same loves little." He said to her, "Your sins are forgiven."
Luke 7:40-47, World English Bible
The denarius in this parable is a coin worth a day's wage.
[4]
In Roman Catholic tradition, the woman is identified
with Mary Magdalene, although Orthodox and Protestant churches generally disagree.
[2]
By the standards of the
time, Simon the Pharisee has indeed been a poor host: at the very least he should have provided water so that Jesus
could wash his dusty feet, and a kiss would have been the normal greeting.
[3]
Interpretation
The Meal at the House of Simon the Pharisee, c.
15th century.
The parable does not seem to be an attack on Pharisees, but rather an
attempt to teach Simon to see the woman as Jesus sees her.
[5][6]
The
description of the woman suggests that she is a known
prostitute,
[5][6][7]
although this inference is disputed.
[8]
If she is a
prostitute, her presence defiles the Pharisee's ritual purity.
[5][6]
Joel B.
Green notes that it "was and is easy enough to dismiss such a person as
immoral as well as unclean and deviant, without grappling with the
social realities faced"
[5]
by the woman, who may have been forced into
this life by economic circumstances, or have been sold into sexual
slavery.
[5]
By affirming the woman's forgiveness, presumably given to her by
Jesus on a previous encounter,
[5][8]
Jesus invites Simon to realise her
new identity and "embrace her in the community of God's people."
[5]
Barbara Reid writes:
The question that the story poses is: can Simon see
differently? Can he see what Jesus sees: a forgiven woman
who shows great love? If he can see her this way, then he
may perceive Jesus aright: not only as prophet, but also as
the agent of God's forgiving love.
[8]
By responding to Simon's unspoken thought, Jesus is demonstrating the prophetic abilities which the Pharisee is
doubting,
[5]
while the parable invites him "to reconsider the meaning of this woman's actions not the repayment
of a debt, as though she were a slave girl or prostitute, but an expression of love that flows from the freedom of
having all debts canceled."
[5]
John Calvin writes regarding Jesus' words ("Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have
been forgiven for she loved much"):
Two Debtors
96
By these words it is plain he does not make love the cause of forgiveness, but the proof of it. The
similitude is borrowed from the case of a debtor, to whom a debt of five hundred pence had been
forgiven. It is not said that the debt is forgiven because he loved much, but that he loved much because
it was forgiven. The similitude ought to be applied in this way: You think this woman is a sinner; but
you ought to have acknowledged her as not a sinner, in respect that her sins have been forgiven her. Her
love ought to have been to you a proof of her having obtained forgiveness, that love being an expression
of gratitude for the benefit received. It is an argument a posteriori, by which something is demonstrated
by the results produced by it. Our Lord plainly attests the ground on which she had obtained forgiveness,
when he says, "Thy faith has saved thee." [v. 50
[9]
] By faith, therefore, we obtain forgiveness: by love
we give thanks, and bear testimony to the loving-kindness of the Lord.
[10]
Ambrose, however, makes the woman's love the condition for her forgiveness:
If, then, any one, having committed hidden sins, shall nevertheless diligently do penance, how shall he
receive those rewards if not restored to the communion of the Church? I am willing, indeed, that the
guilty man should hope for pardon, should seek it with tears and groans, should seek it with the aid of
the tears of all the people, should implore forgiveness; and if communion be postponed two or three
times, that he should believe that his entreaties have not been urgent enough, that he must increase his
tears, must come again even in greater trouble, clasp the feet of the faithful with his arms, kiss them,
wash them with tears, and not let them go, so that the Lord Jesus may say of him too: "His sins which
are many are forgiven, for he loved much."
[11]
St. Mary Magdalene in the House of Simon the Pharisee, Jean
Braud, 1891.
Calvin's interpretation is perhaps better supported by the
nature of the parable and by the Greek text,
[8][12][13]
in
which "for she loved much" can be read as the result,
rather than the cause, of "her many sins have been
forgiven."
[8][12][13]
Many modern translations, both
Protestant and Catholic, reword verse 47 for clarity, e.g.:
"So I tell you that all her sins are forgiven,
and that is why she has shown great love. But
anyone who has been forgiven for only a
little will show only a little love."
(Contemporary English Version)
[14]
"So I tell you, her many sins have been
forgiven; hence, she has shown great love.
But the one to whom little is forgiven, loves
little." (New American Bible)
[15]
C.S. Lewis makes the following point, "To be a Christian means to forgive the inexcusable because God has forgiven
the inexcusable in you." C.S. Lewis
[16]
Art and popular culture
While the parable itself is seldom depicted in art, there are numerous depictions of the anointing, by Sandro
Botticelli, Antonio Campi, Dirk Bouts, Onofrio Avellino, Cigoli, Nicolas Poussin, Bernardo Strozzi, and Peter Paul
Rubens, among others. In some paintings, yellow clothing denotes the woman's former occupation as a prostitute.
[17]
In Armenian religious art, this episode of anointing is depicted as distinct from those in other gospels.
[18]
The 1891
painting by Jean Braud brought the episode into the 19th century, with the repentant prostitute represented by the
well-known courtesan Liane de Pougy,
[19]
who eventually became a Dominican tertiary.
[20]
Two Debtors
97
The parable is included in medieval
[21]
and later mystery plays about Mary Magdalene, such as Lewis Wager's play
of 15501566.
[22][23]
References
[1] http:/ / www. biblegateway. com/ passage/ ?search=Luke%207:36-50;& version=31;
[2] Catholic Encyclopedia: Mary Magdalene. (http:/ / www. newadvent. org/ cathen/ 09761a. htm)
[3] Klyne Snodgrass, Stories with Intent: A comprehensive guide to the parables of Jesus (http:/ / books. google. com. au/
books?id=kFyt0VhErywC& pg=PA80), Eerdmans, 2008, ISBN 0-8028-4241-0, pp. 80-82.
[4] Craig A. Evans, The Bible Knowledge Background Commentary: Matthew-Luke (http:/ / books. google. com. au/ books?id=iZC-tdB35bAC&
pg=PA232), David C. Cook, 2003, ISBN 0-7814-3868-3, p. 232.
[5] Joel B. Green, The Gospel of Luke (http:/ / books. google. com. au/ books?id=wzRVN2S8cVgC& pg=PA305), Eerdmans, 1997, ISBN
0-8028-2315-7, pp. 305-315.
[6] Ben Witherington, Women in the Ministry of Jesus: A study of Jesus' attitudes to women and their roles as reflected in his earthly life (http:/ /
books.google. com.au/ books?id=xGePuntVBhgC& pg=PA53), Cambridge University Press, 1987, ISBN 0-521-34781-5, pp. 53-56.
[7] Carol Ann Newsom and Sharon H. Ringe, Women's Bible Commentary (http:/ / books. google. com. au/ books?id=vF89aBJTo0cC&
pg=PA374), Westminster John Knox Press, 1998, ISBN 0-664-25781-X, p. 374.
[8] Barbara E. Reid, Choosing the Better Part?: Women in the Gospel of Luke (http:/ / books. google. com. au/ books?id=qvYNM7Yz0boC&
pg=PA110), Liturgical Press, 1996, ISBN 0-8146-5494-0, pp. 110-116.
[9] http:/ / www. biblegateway. com/ passage/ ?search=Luke%207:50;& version=31;
[10] John Calvin, Institutes of the Christian Religion, Book III, Chaper 4 (http:/ / www. ccel. org/ ccel/ calvin/ institutes. v. v. html) at CCEL.org.
[11] Ambrose, Concerning Repentance (Book I), Chaper 16 (http:/ / www. newadvent. org/ fathers/ 34061. htm) at NewAdvent.org.
[12] I. Howard Marshall, The Gospel of Luke: A commentary on the Greek text, Eerdmans, 1978, ISBN 0-8028-3512-0, p. 313.
[13] Charles Francis Digby Moule, Essays in New Testament Interpretation (http:/ / books. google. com. au/ books?id=zFA9AAAAIAAJ&
pg=PA283), Cambridge University Press, 1982, ISBN 0-521-23783-1, p. 283.
[14] Luke 7:47, CEV. (http:/ / www.biblegateway. com/ passage/ ?search=luke 7:47& version=CEV)
[15] Luke 7:47, NAB. (http:/ / www. usccb. org/ nab/ bible/ luke/ luke7. htm)
[17] Marjorie O'Rourke Boyle, Senses of Touch: Human dignity and deformity from Michelangelo to Calvin, BRILL, 1998, ISBN
90-04-11175-1, p. 138.
[18] Thomas F. Mathews and Avedis Krikor Sanjian, Armenian Gospel Iconography: The tradition of the Glajor Gospel (http:/ / books. google.
com.au/ books?id=riNIXZzr_NcC& pg=PA141),Dumbarton Oaks, 1991, ISBN 0-88402-183-1, p. 141.
[19] Anthony Powell, Some Poets, Artists and 'A reference for Mellors' (http:/ / books. google. com. au/ books?id=RGjgx-s4gZIC& pg=PA210),
Timewell Press, 2005, ISBN 1-85725-210-1, p. 210.
[20] Dominique D. Fisher and Lawrence R. Schehr, Articulations of Difference: Gender studies and writing in French (http:/ / books. google.
com.au/ books?id=yPdXsQrrlhoC& pg=PA137), Stanford University Press, 1997, ISBN 0-8047-2975-1, p. 137.
[21] Lynette R. Muir, The Biblical Drama of Medieval Europe (http:/ / books. google. com. au/ books?id=ZaQH87WaLAkC& pg=PA119),
Cambridge University Press, 2003, ISBN 0-521-54210-3, p. 119.
[22] Jane Milling, Peter Thomson, and Joseph W. Donohue, The Cambridge History of British Theatre: Origins to 1660 (http:/ / books. google.
com.au/ books?id=zgF3RsQv7ukC& pg=PA97), Cambridge University Press, 2004, ISBN 0-521-65040-2, pp. 97-98.
[23] Darryll Grantley, English Dramatic Interludes, 1300-1580: A reference guide (http:/ / books. google. com. au/ books?id=w9jQ7_ARwGsC&
pg=PA192), Cambridge University Press, 2004, ISBN 0-521-82078-2, pp. 192-194.
External links
Biblical Art on the WWW: The Sinful Woman (http:/ / www. biblical-art. com/ biblicalsubject.
asp?id_biblicalsubject=630& pagenum=1)
Two Sons
98
Two Sons
Jesus and John the Baptist (15th century).
The Parable of the Two Sons is a parable told by Jesus in the New
Testament, found in Matthew 21:2832
[1]
. It contrasts the tax
collectors and prostitutes who accepted the message taught by John the
Baptist with the "religious" people who did not.
Narrative
The parable is as follows:
"But what do you think? A man had two sons, and he came to
the first, and said, 'Son, go work in my vineyard.' He answered, 'I
will not,' but afterward he changed his mind, and went. He came
to the second, and said the same thing. He answered, 'I go, sir,'
but he didn't go. Which of the two did the will of his father?"
They said to him, "The first."
Jesus said to them, "Most certainly I tell you that the tax
collectors and the prostitutes are entering into the Kingdom of
God before you. For John came to you in the way of
righteousness, and you didn't believe him, but the tax collectors
and the prostitutes believed him. When you saw it, you didn't even repent afterward, that you might believe
him."
Matthew 21:2832, World English Bible
Interpretation
In this parable, Jesus speaks to those who believed they were without sin. The nonbelievers, the tax collectors and
prostitutes, were accepting the message taught by John the Baptist and were repenting. The message of the parable is
not that these people were good, but "that the religious people were worse.
[2]
A second message from this parable is
that God values actions over words.
[3]
The parable of the Pharisee and the Publican has a somewhat similar theme.
References
[1] http:/ / www. biblegateway. com/ passage/ ?search=Matthew%2021:2832;& version=31;
[2] Craig S. Keener, A Commentary on the Gospel of Matthew (http:/ / books. google. com. au/ books?id=sWzhEdBZOp4C& pg=PA507),
Eerdmans, 1999, ISBN 0-8028-3821-9, pp. 507-509.
[3] [3] New Interpreter's Bible, A commentary in twelve volumes, Volume 8, page 412.
Unjust Judge
99
Unjust Judge
Parable of the Unjust Judge by John Everett Millais (1863)
The Parable of the Unjust Judge (also known as
the Parable of the Importunate Widow or the
Parable of the Persistent Widow), is one of the
parables of Jesus which appears in only one of
the Canonical gospels of the New Testament.
According to the Gospel of Luke 18:1-8
[1]
, a
judge who is both irreligious and lacking
compassion eventually agrees to do justice to a
poor widow because she is so persistent in her
demands.
This important parable demonstrates the need to
pray and never give up. It is found immediately
prior to the parable of the Pharisee and the
Publican (also on prayer) and is similar in to the
parable of the Friend at Night.
Narrative
Luke reports the parable as follows:
Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to
show them that they should always pray
and not give up. He said: "In a certain town
there was a judge who neither feared God
nor cared about men. And there was a
widow in that town who kept coming to him with the plea, 'Grant me justice against my adversary.'
"For some time he refused. But finally he said to himself, 'Even though I don't fear God or care about men, yet
because this widow keeps bothering me, I will see that she gets justice, so that she won't eventually wear me
out with her coming!'"
And the Lord said, "Listen to what the unjust judge says. And will not God bring about justice for his chosen
ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? I tell you, he will see that they get
justice, and quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?"
Luke 18:1-8, New International Version
Interpretation
The framing material of the parable explains that it demonstrates the need to always pray and never give up, for if
even an unjust judge will eventually listen, God is much quicker to do so.
[2]
The parable of the Friend at Night has a
similar meaning.
[3]
Joel B. Green sees in this parable an injunction not to lose heart, in the light of the eschatological tone of Luke
17:20-37
[4]
,
[2]
and also an echo of Sirach 35:
[2]
For he is a God of justice, who knows no favorites. Though not unduly partial toward the weak, yet he
hears the cry of the oppressed. He is not deaf to the wail of the orphan, nor to the widow when she pours
out her complaint; Do not the tears that stream down her cheek cry out against him that causes them to
Unjust Judge
100
fall? He who serves God willingly is heard; his petition reaches the heavens. The prayer of the lowly
pierces the clouds; it does not rest till it reaches its goal, nor will it withdraw till the Most High
responds, judges justly and affirms the right.
[5]
References
[1] http:/ / www. biblegateway. com/ passage/ ?search=Luke%2018:1-8;& version=31;
[2] Joel B. Green, The Gospel of Luke (http:/ / books. google. com. au/ books?id=wzRVN2S8cVgC& pg=PA636), Eerdmans, 1997, ISBN
0-8028-2315-7, pp. 636-643.
[3] Craig L. Blomberg, Interpreting the Parables (http:/ / books. google. com. au/ books?id=sTtbVUIDesAC& pg=PA275), InterVarsity Press,
1990, ISBN 0-8308-1271-7, p. 275.
[4] http:/ / www. biblegateway. com/ passage/ ?search=Luke%2017:20-37;& version=31;
[5] Sirach 35:12-18 (http:/ / www. usccb.org/ nab/ bible/ sirach/ sirach35. htm), New American Bible.
Unjust Steward
Jan Luyken etching of the parable, Bowyer Bible.
The Parable of the Unjust Steward (also
called the Shrewd Manager) is a parable of
Jesus which appears in only one of the
Canonical gospels of the New Testament.
According to Luke 16:1-13
[1]
a steward
who is about to be fired curries favor with
his master's debtors by forgiving some of
their debts.
Passage
And he said also unto his disciples,
There was a certain rich man, which
had a steward; and the same was
accused unto him that he had wasted
his goods. And he called him, and
said unto him, How is it that I hear this of thee? give an account of thy stewardship; for thou mayest be no
longer steward. Then the steward said within himself, What shall I do? for my lord taketh away from me the
stewardship: I cannot dig; to beg I am ashamed. I am resolved what to do, that, when I am put out of the
stewardship, they may receive me into their houses. So he called every one of his lord's debtors unto him, and
said unto the first, How much owest thou unto my lord? And he said, An hundred measures of oil. And he said
unto him, Take thy bill, and sit down quickly, and write fifty. Then said he to another, And how much owest
thou? And he said, An hundred measures of wheat. And he said unto him, Take thy bill, and write fourscore.
And the lord commended the unjust steward, because he had done wisely: for the children of this world are in
their generation wiser than the children of light. And I say unto you, Make to yourselves friends of the
mammon of unrighteousness; that, when ye fail, they may receive you into everlasting habitations.
He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much: and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also
in much. If therefore ye have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the
true riches? And if ye have not been faithful in that which is another man's, who shall give you that which is
your own? No servant can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will
hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.
Luke 16:1-13, King James Bible
Unjust Steward
101
Interpretation
The parable has caused difficulty, since on the face of it Jesus appears to be commending dishonest behaviour.
[2]
This issue is sometimes addressed by suggesting that the manager is forgoing a commission due to him personally,
[3]
but not all scholars agree with this interpretation.
[4]
However, although the master has "a certain grudging
admiration"
[5]
for the manager's "shrewdness," Jesus labels the manager "dishonest."
[4]
The manager in the parable is probably a slave or freedman acting as his master's agent in business affairs.
[4]
As his
master's representative, the agreements he signs with the debtors are therefore binding.
[4]
The parable shares the theme of other passages where "Jesus counsels the disposition of possessions (and hospitality)
on behalf of the poor with the understanding that, while mammon will vanish, eternal treasure will have thus been
secured."
[4]
When death comes, "the power we have to do good with our money ceases, so we should do good with it
now"
[5]
so that the friends we have made on earth will be waiting for us in heaven.
[5]
This interpretation was also
espoused by early church writers, such as Asterius of Amasia:
When, therefore, any one anticipating his end and his removal to the next world, lightens the burden of
his sins by good deeds, either by canceling the obligations of debtors, or by supplying the poor with
abundance, by giving what belongs to the Lord, he gains many friends, who will attest his goodness
before the Judge, and secure him by their testimony a place of happiness.
[6]
English Reformer William Tyndale was at pains to emphasise the consistency of this parable with the doctrine of
justification by faith, writing a booklet on the parable called The Parable of the Wicked Mammon (1528),
[7]
based on
an exposition by Martin Luther.
[8]
Tyndale saw "good works" as the result of faith.
[7]
Tyndale also pointed out that
the steward was not praised by Jesus for his conduct, but merely provided as an example of wisdom and diligence, so
that "we with righteousness should be as diligent to provide for our souls, as he with unrighteousness provided for
his body."
[7]
The Anglican theologian J. C. Ryle, writing in 1859, rejected a number of allegorical interpretations of the parable,
and gave an interpretation similar to that of Tyndale:
Let us contend earnestly for the glorious doctrines of salvation by grace, and justification by faith. But
let us never allow ourselves to suppose that true religion sanctions any trifling with the second table of
the law. Let us never forget for a moment, that true faith will always be known by its fruits. We may be
very sure that where there is no honesty, there is no grace.
[9]
Pitcharan
[10]
- a less known author from India, has given this interpretation:
Jesus target audiences are two groups of people one that was despised and frowned upon by society and
another that enjoyed much honour and respect. Both shared this common love amassing wealth. The openly
corrupt taxmen are referred to as children of this world; the Pharisees who fanatically kept the Law, believing
it to be the Light of Life, are described as children of light. The taxmen had no qualms about adopting
dishonest means but were known for their liberal spending habits and for using ill-gotten wealth freely to gain
favors and friends. The Pharisees amassed wealth through legally right ways but were known to be tightfisted
with their hard-earned money.
The former are commended for their worldly shrewdness and wooed to give up dishonest ways and receive
their own heavenly treasures by proving trustworthy with what belongs to others. The latter are commended
for their honesty and advised to freely use money to gain the friendship of saints who would welcome them
into eternal dwellings, when their legalistic righteousness fails to gain them salvation. Both are candidly told
to break free from the love of money and seek God with an undivided heart.
The Pharisees who loved money heard all this and were sneering at Jesus (Lk 16:14). Though there is no
mention of how the taxmen responded, we have reasons to believe that the likes of Matthew (also called Levi)
and Zacchaeus, were indeed converted by this teaching.
Unjust Steward
102
David Flusser, in a book titled Jesus and the Dead Sea Scrolls, has taken the phrase "sons of light" to mean the
Essenes; their closed economic system is contrasted with other people who were less strict.
[11]
References
[1] http:/ / bibref. hebtools. com/ ?book=%20Luke& verse=16:1-13& src=131
[2] Daryl Koehn, "Integrity as a Business Asset", Journal of Business Ethics, (2005) 58: 125136 (http:/ / www. springerlink. com/ content/
x284180722gn2042/ fulltext. pdf)
[3] The Catholic Study Bible, Oxford University Press, 1990, footnote to Luke 16 v 1-8a (http:/ / www. usccb. org/ bible/ lk/ 16:8)
[4] Joel B. Green, The Gospel of Luke (http:/ / books. google. com/ books?id=koYlW6IoOjMC& pg=PA590), Eerdmans, 1997, ISBN
0-8028-2315-7, pp. 590-595.
[5] John Phillips, Exploring the Gospel of Luke: An expository commentary (http:/ / books. google. com/ books?id=Q-SfZ7QnAHYC&
pg=PA216), Kregel Publications, 2005, ISBN 0-8254-3377-0, pp. 216-217.
[6] Asterius of Amasia, Sermon 2: The Unjust Steward (http:/ / www. earlychristianwritings. com/ fathers/ asterius_02_sermon2. html), Sermons
(1904) pp. 45-71.
[7] William Tyndale, The Parable of the Wicked Mammon (http:/ / www. theologynetwork. org/ unquenchable-flame/ the-reformation-in-britain/
going-on/ the-parable-of-the-wicked-mammon.htm) (1528), also printed in The Works of the English reformers: William Tyndale and John
Frith, Volume 1 (http:/ / books.google. com/ books?id=8qoMAAAAIAAJ& pg=PA83) (1831), pp. 83161.
[8] Mike Pincombe and Cathy Shrank, The Oxford Handbook of Tudor Literature (http:/ / books. google. com/ books?id=DXw2vBznRYgC&
pg=PA109), Oxford University Press, 2009, ISBN 0-19-920588-4, p. 109.
[9] J. C. Ryle, Expository thoughts on the Gospels, with the text complete (http:/ / books. google. com/ books?id=550CAAAAQAAJ&
pg=PA199), London: Wertheim, Macintosh, and Hunt, 1859, p. 199.
[10] http:/ / www.stpaulspublication. com/ home/ search?q=Pitcharan
External links
Biblical Art on the WWW: The Shrewd Manager (http:/ / www. biblical-art. com/ biblicalsubject.
asp?id_biblicalsubject=1187& pagenum=1)
The New Christian Bible Study (http:/ / www. newchristianbiblestudy. org/ bible/ story/ the-unjust-steward) The
parable of the Unjust Steward explained.
Unforgiving Servant
103
Unforgiving Servant
This depiction of the Parable of the Unforgiving Servant on a stained glass window in
Scots' Church, Melbourne shows the initial forgiving of the debt, and the final
punishment of the unforgiving servant.
The Parable of the Unforgiving
Servant (also known as Ungrateful
Servant, Unmerciful Servant, or
Wicked Servant but not to be confused
with the parable of the Two Debtors) is
a parable of Jesus which appears in
only one of the Canonical gospels of
the New Testament. According to
Matthew 18:21-35
[1]
it is important to
forgive others as we are forgiven by
God, as illustrated by the negative
example of the unforgiving servant.
Narrative
The parable is told as an answer to a
question by Peter about forgiveness:
Then Peter came and said to
him, "Lord, how often shall my
brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Until seven times?"
Jesus said to him, "I don't tell you until seven times, but, until seventy times seven. Therefore the Kingdom of
Heaven is like a certain king, who wanted to reconcile accounts with his servants. When he had begun to
reconcile, one was brought to him who owed him ten thousand talents. But because he couldn't pay, his lord
commanded him to be sold, with his wife, his children, and all that he had, and payment to be made. The
servant therefore fell down and knelt before him, saying, 'Lord, have patience with me, and I will repay you
all!' The lord of that servant, being moved with compassion, released him, and forgave him the debt.
"But that servant went out, and found one of his fellow servants, who owed him one hundred denarii, and he
grabbed him, and took him by the throat, saying, 'Pay me what you owe!'
"So his fellow servant fell down at his feet and begged him, saying, 'Have patience with me, and I will repay
you!' He would not, but went and cast him into prison, until he should pay back that which was due. So when
his fellow servants saw what was done, they were exceedingly sorry, and came and told to their lord all that
was done. Then his lord called him in, and said to him, 'You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt,
because you begged me. Shouldn't you also have had mercy on your fellow servant, even as I had mercy on
you?' His lord was angry, and delivered him to the tormentors, until he should pay all that was due to him. So
my heavenly Father will also do to you, if you don't each forgive your brother from your hearts for his
misdeeds."
Matthew 18:21-35, World English Bible
Unforgiving Servant
104
This depiction by Domenico Fetti (c. 1620)
shows the unforgiving servant choking the other
debtor.
The lines before the parable itself are similar to Luke 17:3-4
[2]
The talent in this parable was worth about 6,000 denarii, so that one
debt is 600,000 times as large as the other.
[3]
More significantly,
10,000 (a myriad) was the highest Greek numeral, and a talent the
largest unit of currency,
[3]
so that 10,000 talents was the largest easily
described debt (for comparison, the combined annual tribute of Judea,
Samaria, and Idumea around this time was only 600 talents,
[4]
and one
denarius was a day's wages,
[4]
so that 10,000 talents would be about
200,000 years' wages
[5]
). The setting is the court of some king in
another country, where the "servants" could rank as highly as
provincial governors.
[4]
Interpretation
This parable has been interpreted in a number of ways:
God's forgiveness of sin is of enormous magnitude, like the 10,000
talents.
[4]
This enormous degree of forgiveness should be the model for the
way that Christians forgive others.
[4]
An unforgiving nature is offensive to God.
[4]
Forgiveness must be genuine.
[4]
It is like the C.S. Lewis quote, "To be a Christian means to forgive the inexcusable because God has forgiven the
inexcusable in you." C.S. Lewis
[6]
Depictions
There have been numerous depictions of this parable in art, including:
Domenico Fetti, Parable of the Wicked Servant (c. 1620), Gemldegalerie, Berlin
Willem Drost, The Unmerciful Servant (1655), Wallace Collection, London
John Everett Millais, The Unmerciful Servant (1864), Tate Collection
References
[1] http:/ / www. biblegateway. com/ passage/ ?search=Matthew%2018:21-35;& version=31;
[2] http:/ / www. biblegateway. com/ passage/ ?search=Luke%2017:3-4;& version=31;
[3] R. T. France, The Gospel According to Matthew: An introduction and commentary (http:/ / books. google. com. au/
books?id=ttTgacXnLV8C& pg=PA277), Eerdmans, 1985, ISBN 0-8028-0063-7, p. 277.
[4] Craig S. Keener, A Commentary on the Gospel of Matthew (http:/ / books. google. com. au/ books?id=sWzhEdBZOp4C& pg=PA456),
Eerdmans, 1999, ISBN 0-8028-3821-9, pp. 456461.
[5] [5] 60,000,000 denarii divided by 6 days per week divided by 50 weeks = 200,000 years' wages.
Unforgiving Servant
105
External links
Biblical Art on the WWW: The Unmerciful Servant (http:/ / www. biblical-art. com/ biblicalsubject.
asp?id_biblicalsubject=738& pagenum=1)
Parable Explained (http:/ / bibletools. org/ index. cfm/ fuseaction/ Library. sr/ CT/ BS/ k/ 770/
Parable-of-Unforgiving-Servant. htm) - BibleTools.org
Parable of the Tortured Debtor (http:/ / www. thebricktestament. com/ the_gospels/
parable_of_the_tortured_debtor/ mt18_23. html) - The Brick Testament
Wicked Husbandmen
The Wicked Husbandmen from the Bowyer Bible, 19th century.
The Parable of the Wicked Husbandmen
is a parable of Jesus found in three of the
four Canonical gospels (Luke 20:9-19
[1]
,
Mark 12:1-12
[2]
, and Matthew 21:33-46
[3]
), and in the non-canonical Gospel of
Thomas. It describes a householder planting
a vineyard and letting it out to husbandmen,
who failed in their duty.
This parable was about chief priests and
Pharisees and was given to the people
present in the Temple during the final week
before the death of Jesus.
The parable (from Matthew)
From the King James Bible, here is the
parable as Matthew has written it :
There was a certain householder, which planted a vineyard, and hedged it round about, and digged a
winepress in it, and built a tower, and let it out to husbandmen, and went into a far country: And when the
time of the fruit drew near, he sent his servants to the husbandmen, that they might receive the fruits of it.
And the husbandmen took his servants, and beat one, and killed another, and stoned another. Again, he sent
other servants more than the first: and they did unto them likewise.
But last of all he sent unto them his son, saying, They will reverence my son. But when the husbandmen saw
the son, they said among themselves, This is the heir; come, let us kill him, and let us seize on his inheritance.
And they caught him, and cast him out of the vineyard, and slew him.
When the lord therefore of the vineyard cometh, what will he do unto those husbandmen? They say unto him,
He will miserably destroy those wicked men, and will let out his vineyard unto other husbandmen, which shall
render him the fruits in their seasons. Jesus saith unto them, Did ye never read in the scriptures, The stone
which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner: this is the Lord's doing, and it is
marvellous in our eyes?
Therefore say I unto you, The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth
the fruits thereof. And whosoever shall fall on this stone shall be broken: but on whomsoever it shall fall, it
will grind him to powder.
Wicked Husbandmen
106
And when the chief priests and Pharisees had heard his parables, they perceived that he spake of them. But
when they sought to lay hands on him, they feared the multitude, because they took him for a prophet
[4]
Meaning
The Sanhedrin, the supreme court of ancient
Israel in the Temple in Jerusalem.
All the Synoptic versions of the parable state that the priests of the
Sanhedrin understood that Jesus' parable was directed against them,
and thus that they are the husbandmen. The term husbandman is
translated as tenant or farmer in the New International Version and as
vine-grower in the New American Standard Bible. Workers often
tended absentee estates and if the owner had no heirs the workers
would have the first right to the land.
[5]
The description of the vineyard is from Isaiah 5
[6]
. Using a vineyard as
a metaphor to describe Israel was a common practice for religious
discourse at the time.
[5]
It could also be God's covenant, or perhaps the
world itself.
[7]
The produce made at the vineyard might be a metaphor
for all the good produced by the people, which the authorities are not
sharing with God, and trying to keep for themselves.
[8]
The produce of
the vineyard might also be the people themselves, as people are what
the government tends.
The owner of the vineyard is God and the son is Jesus. A common interpretation of the servants is that of the Jewish
prophets, although they could be all of God's preceding messengers.
[9]
The meaning of the "others" who will be
given the vineyard is debated. Some proposed interpretations have seen them as other Jews, or Christians, or maybe
even the Jewish Christians.
[8]
They are usually seen as the new Christian community.
[10]
As a consequence of these interpretations, the parable is usually interpreted as saying that God (the owner), keeps
sending prophets (servants) to collect what is due, the grapes, a symbol of good. The priests (leaseholders) however
refuse to comply with the prophets and instead hurt each one worse than they did the previous, wanting ever more
control of Israel (the vineyard) for themselves; but when they finally kill the son, God (the owner) will revoke their
right to Israel (the vineyard), and give it the followers of Jesus (the others) instead. God had granted his vineyard, his
covenant, his land that produces grapes, symbolizing good, to his workers, the Jewish priests or all the world's
authorities, to be worked for his benefit. Yet when he sends someone to collect what is due, the prophets of the past,
his tenants refuse to pay up and hurt each succeeding servant worse than the last, meaning the increasing disregard of
the will of God. God has given the vineyard to be worked for God's benefit but the husbandmen seem to want to
keep the produce, indeed control of the vineyard, for themselves. When they finally kill his son who came to collect
what was due, God decides that he has made a mistake by granting the vineyard to them and takes it back and gives
it to those he thinks will be more trustworthy.
Jesus is thus criticizing the Jewish authorities directly for rejecting God's will, and for their treatment of Jesus
himself,
[11]
Jesus being the son of the parable. The husbandmen could also be seen as all of humanity as it is stated
that they are the ones who killed the son, Jesus being killed by the Romans at the request of the Jews.
People have seen meanings in the other elements of the story, such as the far country being heaven, or more
abstractly the time between Moses and Jesus, but there is no general agreement on these elements of the story.
There also seems to be a direct historical reference by Jesus to Sennacherib, king of Assyria, some 700 years
previous. Sennacherib conquered Babylon at the time that Hezekiah was king of Judah, and set up several rulers over
the city, all of whom were overthrown. Finally, he sent his son and heir apparent Assur-nadin-sumi to rule, but after
a short time, he was also killed. Finally, Sennacherib himself went to Babylon and destroyed the city stone by stone,
and placed a curse on it that it should not be rebuilt for seventy years.
Wicked Husbandmen
107
Is Jesus saying that the chief priests and perhaps the Roman authorities must be replaced? That Judaism will be
reformed or, as Christians largely hold, replaced by Christianity? Or that all of humanity's old ways are to be
replaced by the new way taught by Jesus? He is also telling this to the priests who know it is about them, so Jesus is
accusing them of wanting to kill him, predicting that they will, and that they will lose their deal with God as
punishment.
Exegesis
Jesus seems to refer to himself as a stone on which a building is built. The building would seem to be the new
Christian community. Jesus predicts he will be rejected, perhaps meaning his death. This passage is a quote from
Psalm 118:22-23
[12]
. Many writers of the New Testament used this Psalm to sum up their understanding of Jesus'
death as part of his role as the messiah.
[13]
The Psalm refers to someone being saved from death by God. It is notable
that the Hebrew word for son, ben, is almost the same as stone, 'eben, which might be what generated seeing Jesus as
a stone.
[9]
Since the synoptics state Jesus said this in the Temple, this could reflect their view of Jesus as replacing
the function of the Temple, bringing God's presence to humanity.
[14]
God takes away the vineyard not for hurting or
killing his servants but his son, showing how much he valued his son, and the quote shows the son's importance in
God's new plan for the vineyard.
The saying about the stone being rejected by the builders technically refers to a cornerstone, but it is almost
universally interpreted to mean a keystone, and without that meaning the saying has very little significance. As a
keystone, it is essentially an allegory for people rejecting the single most important thing (without a keystone, an
arch built from sections will collapse). Metaphorically, the saying, in the context of the Synoptics, is interpreted as a
direct criticism of the priests for rejecting what was most important. Scholars are divided though, whether the stone
is supposed to be Jesus himself, or whether it is just the teachings he gives.
Skeptics usually hold that Jesus did not really predict his own death and that predictions of this sort are examples of
vaticinium ex eventu, prophecy after the fact. This could be seen as referring to the new Church's belief that they had
superseded Judaism through Jesus' death, resurrection and role as the messiah. Others think it might be a reference to
the Roman destruction of Jerusalem as seen by Christians as God's punishment for Jesus' death and their assumption
that their new communities were the new Temple. There is no mention in the parable of the method of Jesus' death,
crucifixion, or resurrection, unless the Psalm quote is counted. The son is killed outside the vineyard, which might be
a reference to Jesus' death outside the city of Jerusalem, although in Mark's version of this parable he is killed inside
and then thrown out.
Seeing Jesus as a "stone" to build on precedes Jerusalem's destruction however. Paul, in his letter to the Romans
chapter 9:33
[15]
, refers to Jesus as a stone. Paul does not use the Psalms for his scriptural support but instead uses
quotes from Isaiah 8:14
[16]
and 28:16
[17]
. Luke stated, probably after Jerusalem's destruction, in Acts of the
Apostles 4:11
[18]
that Peter used the same Psalm to describe Jesus shortly after Jesus' death. 1 Peter, which most
scholars consider pseudepigraphal, uses both Isaiah and the Psalm as references in 2:6-8
[19]
.
The parable, according to the Q hypothesis, probably appeared first in Mark, then was copied and slightly altered by
Matthew and Luke. Mark's source is in dispute, with the earliest tradition given by Papias as Mark's source being
Peter. It is also found in the Gospel of Thomas as sayings 65-66, who some have suggested preceded the canonical
Gospels, although its dating is still largely uncertain to scholars.
Here is the version of this parable that appears in Thomas (Patterson-Meyer Translation):
65. He said, "A [...] person owned a vineyard and rented it to some farmers, so they could work it and he
could collect its crop from them. He sent his slave so the farmers would give him the vineyard's crop. They
grabbed him, beat him, and almost killed him, and the slave returned and told his master. His master said,
'Perhaps he didn't know them.' He sent another slave, and the farmers beat that one as well. Then the master
sent his son and said, 'Perhaps they'll show my son some respect.' Because the farmers knew that he was the
heir to the vineyard, they grabbed him and killed him. Anyone here with two ears had better listen!"
Wicked Husbandmen
108
66. Jesus said, "Show me the stone that the builders rejected: that is the keystone."
The part about the stone which has been rejected by the builders appears in the three canonical gospel accounts as
well, but appears within the parable, instead of afterwards as a separate thought as it does here in the Gospel of
Thomas. It also lacks Jesus' short explanation between the two found in the Synoptics.
The Gospels claim Jesus told this parable, but his statement about the stone seems to be taken from the Septuagint
version of the Psalms, a version written in Koine Greek and associated with Hellenistic Judaism. There has been
much skepticism over whether Jesus really said it, at least in this form, as he would probably have said it in Aramaic
or Hebrew, although the Gospel authors may have used the only version of Jewish scripture they had available to
them for composition. They might have also used the Greek version as they were writing for a Greek speaking
audience. If both Matthew and Luke took it from Mark and kept the quote they thought Jesus had really said it. Jesus
also uses it in Thomas in almost the same form.
Matthew's version states the method of killing the third servant, stoning, which the other versions lack. Stoning
might be a reference to Christian martyrs' deaths, perhaps the death of James the Just.
[10]
Matthew also has the
priests say that the husbandmen should be thrown out, a joke on them when they later realize they are the
husbandmen, although Mark and Luke have Jesus say that to them. Both Luke and Matthew have a statement about
the stone's destructive power that Mark lacks.
Irenaeus used this parable to defend the link between Judaism's God and Jesus, in his Adversus Haereses.
[20]
If one
sees the servants as the Jewish prophets, then the owner who sent them must then be the same father of the son in the
story, who are God the Father and Jesus, so the God of the Jews must also be Jesus' father. Marcion held that Jesus
was not the son of the God described in the Jewish scriptures. Some have transferred this parable against the Jewish
authorities to all Jews and have used it to justify anti-semitism, although all the books agree it was directed against
the chief priests, who were Sadducees, not the Jewish people in general.
Notes
[1] http:/ / www. biblegateway. com/ passage/ ?search=Luke%2020:9-19;& version=31;
[2] http:/ / www. biblegateway. com/ passage/ ?search=Mark%2012:1-12;& version=31;
[3] http:/ / www. biblegateway. com/ passage/ ?search=Matthew%2021:33-46;& version=31;
[4] Matthew 21:33-46 KJV (http:/ / www. biblegateway. com/ passage/ ?search=Matthew 21:33-46 ;& version=9;)
[5] [5] Kilgallen 225
[6] http:/ / www. biblegateway. com/ passage/ ?book_id=29& chapter=5& version=31
[7] Irenaeus, Adversus Haereses Book IV, Chapter 36 (http:/ / www. newadvent. org/ Fathers/ 0103436. htm)
[8] [8] Kilgallen 226
[9] [9] Brown et al. 621
[10] [10] Brown et al. 665
[11] see also Rejection of Jesus
[12] http:/ / www.biblegateway. com/ passage/ ?book_id=23& chapter=118& version=31
[13] [13] Kilgallen 227
[14] [14] Brown et al. 713
[15] http:/ / www.biblegateway. com/ passage/ ?book_id=52& chapter=9& version=31
[16] http:/ / www.biblegateway. com/ passage/ ?book_id=29& chapter=8& version=31
[17] http:/ / www.biblegateway. com/ passage/ ?book_id=29& chapter=28& version=31
[18] http:/ / www.biblegateway. com/ passage/ ?book_id=51& chapter=4& version=31
[19] http:/ / www.biblegateway. com/ passage/ ?book_id=67& chapter=2& version=31
[20] Adversus Haereses, Book 4, Chapter 36 (http:/ / www. newadvent. org/ Fathers/ 0103436. htm)
Wicked Husbandmen
109
References
Brown, Raymond E. et al. The New Jerome Biblical Commentary Prentice Hall 1990 ISBN 978-0-13-614934-7
Kilgallen, John J. A Brief Commentary on the Gospel of Mark Paulist Press 1989 ISBN 978-0-8091-3059-7
Wise and Foolish Builders
This parable compares building one's life on the teachings and example of Jesus to
a flood-resistant building founded on solid rock.
The Parable of the Wise and the Foolish
Builders, (also known as the House on the
Rock), appears in two of the Canonical
gospels of the New Testament. The
differences between Matthew 7:2427
[1]
and Luke 6:4649
[2]
are minor.
The parable illustrates the importance of
building one's life on the teachings and
example of Jesus.
Narrative
In the Gospel of Matthew, the Parable
appears as part of the Sermon on the Mount
as follows:
Everyone therefore who hears these
words of mine, and does them, I will
liken him to a wise man, who built his house on a rock. The rain came down, the floods came, and the winds
blew, and beat on that house; and it didn't fall, for it was founded on the rock. Everyone who hears these words
of mine, and doesn't do them will be like a foolish man, who built his house on the sand. The rain came down,
the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat on that house; and it felland great was its fall.
Matthew 7:2427, World English Bible
Interpretation
This parable emphasises the need to put Jesus' teachings into practice, and speaks of "two sorts of people whose
hearts are revealed in their actions."
[3]
Matthew's version of the parable has a "more complex narrative structure"
[4]
than Luke's, mentioning rain and winds
as well as floods. These forces are usually interpreted ethically, as trials of life that can be resisted by a life founded
on Christian doctrine,
[4]
but can also be interpreted eschatologically.
The usual interpretation goes back to John Chrysostom (c. 347407), who wrote in his Homily 24 on Matthew:
By "rain" here, and "floods," and "winds," He is expressing metaphorically the calamities and afflictions
that befall men; such as false accusations, plots, bereavements, deaths, loss of friends, vexations from
strangers, all the ills in our life that any one could mention. "But to none of these," says He, "does such a
soul give way; and the cause is, it is founded on the rock." He calls the steadfastness of His doctrine a
rock; because in truth His commands are stronger than any rock, setting one above all the waves of
human affairs. For he who keeps these things strictly, will not have the advantage of men only when
they are vexing him, but even of the very devils plotting against him. And that it is not vain boasting so
to speak, Job is our witness, who received all the assaults of the devil, and stood unmoveable; and the
Wise and Foolish Builders
110
apostles too are our witnesses, for that when the waves of the whole world were beating against them,
when both nations and princes, both their own people and strangers, both the evil spirits, and the devil,
and every engine was set in motion, they stood firmer than a rock, and dispersed it all.
[5]
Hymns
This parable has formed the theme for many hymns, such as "Built on the Rock" (Nikolai Grundtvig, 1837) and "My
Hope Is Built on Nothing Less" (Edward Mote, c. 1834), which begins:
My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus blood and righteousness.
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
But wholly trust in Jesus Name.
On Christ the solid Rock I stand,
All other ground is sinking sand;
All other ground is sinking sand.
References
[1] http:/ / www. biblegateway. com/ passage/ ?search=Matthew%207:2427;& version=31;
[2] http:/ / www. biblegateway. com/ passage/ ?search=Luke%206:4649;& version=31;
[3] Joel B. Green, The Gospel of Luke (http:/ / books. google. com. au/ books?id=wzRVN2S8cVgC& pg=PA576), Eerdmans, 1997, ISBN
0-8028-2315-7, pp. 277,281.
[4] Richard N. Longenecker, The Challenge of Jesus' Parables (http:/ / books. google. com. au/ books?id=JojVvncUgk0C& pg=PA201),
Eerdmans, 2000, ISBN 0-8028-4638-6, pp. 287289.
[5] Chrysostom's Homily 24 on Matthew (http:/ / www.newadvent. org/ fathers/ 200124. htm) at NewAdvent.org.
Workers in the Vineyard
111
Workers in the Vineyard
Painting of the parable, by Jacob Willemszoon de Wet, mid 17th century.
The Parable of the Workers in the
Vineyard (also called the Parable of the
Laborers in the Vineyard or the Parable of
the Generous Employer) is a parable of
Jesus which appears in only one of the
Canonical gospels of the New Testament.
According to Matthew 20:116
[1]
Jesus
says that any "laborer" who accepts the
invitation to the work in the vineyard (said
by Jesus to represent the Kingdom of
Heaven), no matter how late in the day, will
receive an equal reward with those who
have been faithful the longest.
Text
For the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is an householder, which went out early in the morning to
hire labourers into his vineyard. And when he had agreed with the labourers for a penny a day, he sent them
into his vineyard. And he went out about the third hour, and saw others standing idle in the marketplace, And
said unto them; Go ye also into the vineyard, and whatsoever is right I will give you. And they went their way.
Again he went out about the sixth and ninth hour, and did likewise. And about the eleventh hour he went out,
and found others standing idle, and saith unto them, Why stand ye here all the day idle? They say unto him,
Because no man hath hired us. He saith unto them, Go ye also into the vineyard; and whatsoever is right, that
shall ye receive. So when even was come, the lord of the vineyard saith unto his steward, Call the labourers,
and give them their hire, beginning from the last unto the first. And when they came that were hired about the
eleventh hour, they received every man a penny. But when the first came, they supposed that they should have
received more; and they likewise received every man a penny. And when they had received it, they murmured
against the goodman of the house, Saying, These last have wrought but one hour, and thou hast made them
equal unto us, which have borne the burden and heat of the day. But he answered one of them, and said,
Friend, I do thee no wrong: didst not thou agree with me for a penny? Take that thine is, and go thy way: I will
give unto this last, even as unto thee. Is it not lawful for me to do what I will with mine own? Is thine eye evil,
because I am good? So the last shall be first, and the first last: for many be called, but few chosen.
Matthew 20:116, King James Version
Workers in the Vineyard
112
Interpretation
A Roman denarius
The word translated "penny" in the King James Version of this parable is the
denarius, a silver coin which was the usual day's wage for a laborer.
[2]
The
hours here are measured starting at about 6:00 AM, so that the eleventh hour
is between about 4:00 and 5:00 PM.
[3]
The workers are poor men working as
temporary farmhands during the harvest season,
[3]
and the employer realizes
that they would all need a full day's pay to feed their families.
[2][3]
The
payment at evening follows Old Testament guidelines:
[2]
Thou shalt not oppress an hired servant that is poor and needy, whether
he be of thy brethren, or of thy strangers that are in thy land within thy
gates: At his day thou shalt give him his hire, neither shall the sun go
down upon it; for he is poor, and setteth his heart upon it: lest he cry
against thee unto the LORD, and it be sin unto thee.
Deuteronomy 24:1415, King James Version
In contrast to Rabbinic parables with a similar theme, this parable stresses God's unmerited grace, rather than any
sense of "earning" God's favour.
[2][3]
In this way it resembles the Parable of the Prodigal Son.
[2]
The parable has often been interpreted to mean that even those who are converted late in life earn equal rewards
along with those converted early. An alternative interpretation identifies the early laborers as Jews, some of whom
resent the late-comers (Gentiles) being welcomed as equals in God's Kingdom.
[4]
However, Arland J. Hultgren
writes:
While interpreting and applying this parable, the question inevitably arises: Who are the eleventh-hour
workers in our day? We might want to name them, such as deathbed converts or persons who are
typically despised by those who are longtime veterans and more fervent in their religious commitment.
But it is best not to narrow the field too quickly. At a deeper level, we are all the eleventh-hour workers;
to change the metaphor, we are all honored guests of God in the kingdom. It is not really necessary to
decide who the eleventh-hour workers are. The point of the parable both at the level of Jesus and the
level of Matthew's Gospel is that God saves by grace, not by our worthiness. That applies to all of
us.
[5]
Painting of the parable by Rembrandt, showing the workers being
paid that evening (1637)
Some commentators have used the parable to justify the
principle of a "living wage",
[6]
though generally
conceding that this is not the main point of the
parable.
[6]
An example is John Ruskin, who quotes the
parable in the title of his book Unto this last. Ruskin
does not discuss the religious meaning of the parable
but rather its social and economic implications.
In Islamic texts
A somewhat different parable, possibly derived from
the New Testament one,
[7]
has been recorded in Islamic
Hadith:
The Prophet said: "Your example and the
example of the people of the two Scriptures is like the example of a man who employed some laborers and
asked them, Who will work for me from morning till midday for one silver coin? The Jews accepted and
carried out the work. He then asked, Who will work for me from midday up to the afternoon prayer for one
Workers in the Vineyard
113
silver coin? The Christians accepted and fulfilled the work. He then said, Who will work for me from the
afternoon till sunset for two silver coins? You, Muslims have accepted the offer.
The Jews and the Christians got angry and said, Why should we work more and get lesser wages? Allah said,
Have I withheld part of your right? They replied in the negative. He said, It is My Blessing, I bestow upon
whomever I wish.
[8]
In another version, the Prophet Muhammad is recorded to have said:
The Prophet said, The example of Muslims, Jews and Christians is like the example of a man who
employed laborers to work for him from morning till night for specific wages. They worked till midday
and then said, We do not need your money which you have fixed for us and let whatever we have done
be annulled. The man said to them, Dont quit the work, but complete the rest of it and take your full
wages. But they refused and went away. The man employed another batch after them and said to them,
Complete the rest of the day and yours will be the wages I had fixed for the first batch. So, they worked
till the time of Asr prayer. Then they said, Let what we have done be annulled and keep the wages you
have promised us for yourself. The man said to them, Complete the rest of the work, as only a little of
the day remains, but they refused. Thereafter he employed another batch to work for the rest of the day
and they worked for the rest of the day till the sunset, and they received the wages of the two former
batches. So, that was the example of those people and the example of this light which they have
accepted willingly.
[9]
References
[1] http:/ / www. biblegateway. com/ passage/ ?search=Matt%2020:116;& version=31;
[2] R. T. France, The Gospel of Matthew (http:/ / books.google. com/ books?id=0ruP6J_XPCEC& pg=PA746), Eerdmans, 2007, ISBN
0-8028-2501-X, pp. 746-752.
[3] Craig S. Keener, A Commentary on the Gospel of Matthew (http:/ / books. google. com/ books?id=sWzhEdBZOp4C& pg=PA481),
Eerdmans, 1999, ISBN 0-8028-3821-9, pp. 481-484.
[4] Both interpretations are discussed in Matthew Henry's Complete Commentary on the Whole Bible (http:/ / www. studylight. org/ com/
mhc-com/ view. cgi?book=mt& chapter=020) (1706).
[5] Arland J. Hultgren, The Parables of Jesus: A Commentary (http:/ / books. google. com/ books?id=P2UvmRVLF18C& pg=PA43),Eerdmans,
2002, ISBN 0-8028-6077-X, p. 43.
[6] William Sloane Coffin, The collected sermons of William Sloane Coffin: the Riverside years, Volume 1 (http:/ / books. google. com/
books?id=yII7PLA8oWcC& pg=PA109), Westminster John Knox Press, 2008, ISBN 0-664-23244-2, p. 109.
[7] Alfred Guillaume, Traditions of Islam: An Introduction to the Study of the Hadith Literature (http:/ / books. google. com/
books?id=uQZQvSyhTjAC& pg=PA140), Kessinger Publishing, 2003, ISBN 0-7661-5959-0, p. 140.
[8] Sahih al-Bukhari 3:468, 469; 1:533; 4:665
[9] Sahih al-Bukhari 3:471; 6:539
114
Non-canonical parables
Assassin
The Parable of the Assassin (also known as the Parable of the Killer), is a parable attributed to Jesus. However, it
appears in none of the Canonical gospels of the New Testament but only in the non-canonical Gospel of Thomas.
According to the Gospel of Thomas 98 Jesus said:
"The kingdom of the father is like a certain man who wanted to kill a powerful man. In his own house he drew
his sword and stuck it into the wall in order to find out whether his hand could carry through. Then he slew the
powerful man."
[1]
Authenticity
The scholars of the Jesus Seminar gave the parable of the assassin a "pink" rating, indicating that it is in their opinion
probably, but not certainly, an authentic saying of Jesus. They were influenced by parallels with the parables of the
warring king
[2]
and of the tower builder
[3]
found in the Gospel of Luke (see Counting the cost), and by the
"scandalous nature of the image."
[4]
According to Robert Funk, "[a]ttributing a parable to Jesus not attested in the
canonical gospels and known only for a few years was an act of courage that demanded careful deliberation".
[5]
This
decision by the Seminar has been criticized for inconsistency, since the parallel parable of the warring king in Luke
was not given a pink rating.
[6]
The authenticity of this parable has been attacked on the grounds that Jesus would not
use a parable that glorifies murder, and because of its use of the phrase "the kingdom of the father" which is not
found in the canonical gospels.
Meaning
Like the Lucan parables of the warring king and the tower, this parable seems to concern "estimating the cost of an
act or the capability to perform it successfully."
[citation needed]
In Mark 7:2123, Jesus explains the idea of evil being
rehearsed before taking place. "For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries,
fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride,
foolishness: all these evil things come from within, and defile the man."Wikipedia:No original research According to
some of the fellows of the Jesus Seminar, "the story line of the parable originally had to do with Davidic reversal, as
in David and Goliath: the little guy bests the big guy by taking the precautions a prudent person would take before
encountering the village bully".
[5]
A similar message can been found in the parable of the strong man.
[citation needed]
Assassin
115
References
[1] http:/ / www. gnosis. org/ naghamm/ gthlamb. html G. Thomas 98
[4] Robert Walter Funk and Roy W. Hoover, The Five Gospels: What Did Jesus Really Say? the Search for the Authentic Words of Jesus,
HarperCollins, 1997, pp. 524-5
[5] Robert Walter Funk and Roy W. Hoover, The Five Gospels: What Did Jesus Really Say? the Search for the Authentic Words of Jesus,
HarperCollins, 1997, p. 525 (http:/ / books. google. com/ books?vid=ISBN006063040X& id=SRI-c0Pf3soC& pg=RA1-PA525&
lpg=RA1-PA525& ots=vP-Bse1Hs8& dq="parable+ of+ the+ assassin"& sig=NiYQB6gaCpUu-I-0f2ErfFbcaDE#PRA1-PA525,M1)
[6] Craig A. Evans, Bruce D. Chilton, Authenticating the Words of Jesus, Brill Academic Publishers, 2002, p. 411 (http:/ / books. google.com/
books?vid=ISBN0391041630& id=Y96yVkPLeioC& pg=RA2-PA411& lpg=RA2-PA411& ots=H4i_fUkshX& dq="parable+ of+ the+
assassin"& sig=-TM9AM60786w4cZIOnSdEbQSWUw#PRA2-PA411,M1)
Empty Jar
The Parable of the Empty Jar (also known as the Parable of the Woman With a Jar), is a parable attributed to
Jesus. However, it appears in none of the Canonical gospels of the New Testament but only in the non-canonical
Gospel of Thomas. According to the Gospel of Thomas 97 Jesus said:
"The kingdom of the father is like a certain woman who was carrying a jar full of meal. While she was walking
on the road, still some distance from home, the handle of the jar broke and the meal emptied out behind her on
the road. She did not realize it; she had noticed no accident. When she reached her house, she set the jar down
and found it empty."
[1]
Authenticity
The scholars of the Jesus Seminar gave the Parable of the Empty Jar a "pink" rating, indicating that it is in their
opinion probably, but not certainly, an authentic saying of Jesus.
[2]
The scholars of the Seminar noted parallels with
the parable of the leaven, which immediately precedes the parable of the empty jar in the Gospel of Thomas and the
parable of the mustard seed: in all three the kingdom starts with something "unnoticed or unexpected or modest".
However, the work of the Jesus Seminar has been criticized by other scholars.
[3][4]
Interpretation
This parable has been given a wide variety of interpretations. It may be a warning against letting the "Kingdom",
which according to Thomas 3 is "inside of you and outside of you"
[5]
slip away like the lost flour:
[6]
it may also be a
simple warning against self-confidence.
[7]
The emptiness of the jar may represent an empty life: "people who live
their lives in the world [...] carry jars they think are full, but discover, even after much activity, that they are
empty".
[8]
Another interpretation is that the parable refers to "the imperceptible coming of the Kingdom".
[9]
One
commentator recasts the emptiness of the jar in a positive light by highlighting the contrast of the image of the empty
jar with the expected ending of the woman finding a full jar: such a "happy ending" would be "fairy tale religiosity"
whereas "emptiness in the world is what is critical to eventual spiritual fullness".
[10]
Empty Jar
116
References
[1] http:/ / www. gnosis. org/ naghamm/ gthlamb. html G. Thomas 97
[3] Birger A. Pearson, The Gospel According to the Jesus Seminar (http:/ / www. veritas-ucsb. org/ library/ pearson/ seminar/ index. html).
[4] N.T. Wright, Five Gospels but No Gospel (http:/ / www. ntwrightpage. com/ Wright_Five_Gospels. pdf), originally published in
Authenticating the Activities of Jesus, ed. Bruce Chilton and Craig A. Evans. Leiden: Brill, 1999, 83120.
[5] Gospel of Thomas (Lambdin Translation) - The Nag Hammadi Library (http:/ / www. gnosis. org/ naghamm/ gthlamb. html)
[7] [7] .
Article Sources and Contributors
117
Article Sources and Contributors
Parables of Jesus Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?oldid=556930196 Contributors: 4webman, Afaprof01, AlexSP, Amplitude101, Andonic, Andrew c, Andrewa, Angr, Annekanno,
Atamari, BD2412, Big Bird, Big Brother 1984, Bloovee, Bobby H. Heffley, Bobo192, Bogey97, BrysonBailey, C.Fred, Caltas, Carl.bunderson, ChrisGualtieri, Clinkophonist, Closedmouth,
Colonies Chris, D6, Danielleamelia, DaveOTN, David Haslam, Doo Doo, EALacey, Editor2020, Ellaine03, Epbr123, Excirial, F105ThunderJet, Feline Hymnic, FolloweroftheWord, GDallimore,
Gareth Griffith-Jones, Gauge00, Ginsengbomb, Goodmann, GraceWorks, Grover cleveland, Ian.thomson, Imadjafar, Instinct, Iridescent, IronGargoyle, Isnow, ItsZippy, Jeffhoy, Jelly Beanie,
Jeremy Conlin, Jh12, Jimhoward72, Jm34harvey, Johnbod, JonHarder, Jonathan Tweet, Katieh5584, Kingpin13, Koavf, Leszek Jaczuk, Llydawr, Logologist, Loonymonkey, Lord Pistachio,
Loremaster, Lotje, Magioladitis, Malcolm Farmer, Mladifilozof, Moeron, Mschel, Nareek, Nsaa, Nyttend, Petethepie, Pieter Kuiper, R'n'B, Radagast3, ReaverFlash, RekishiEJ, Ret.Prof,
Revjmyoung, Riccardov, Rich Farmbrough, Roy Brumback, Ryangerber, SchfiftyThree, Screamingdolai, Sionus, SkyWalker, Spoladore, StAnselm, Stevey7788, Suaven, Tamara Zion, The
Thadman, The Thing That Should Not Be, Theroadislong, Tide rolls, Tom harrison, Trengarasu, Vanished user ewfisn2348tui2f8n2fio2utjfeoi210r39jf, VanishedUserABC, Vs1969, WLU,
Ykhwong, Zondor, 210 anonymous edits
Parable Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?oldid=560690104 Contributors: 16@r, Abce2, Adam78, Alansohn, AlexTiefling, Allen Riddell, Allens, Andrew c, Andrewa, Annielogue,
Anyep, Arcadian, Arvindn, AugPi, Axlq, BD2412, Ballchin9, Barkingdoc, Bento00, Binky The WonderSkull, Blah28948, Blehfu, Bloodofox, Bobblehead, Bonadea, BorgQueen, Cactus.man,
Calabe1992, CalumH93, CambridgeBayWeather, CanadianLinuxUser, Chairman S., Chodorkovskiy, ChrisGualtieri, Cinik, Curryboi, DMS, DSRH, DarkElf109, Davidng150, DerHexer, Dgies,
Digitalme, DionysosProteus, Discospinster, DonPaolo, Donnie Love, Dysprosia, ENeville, EdGl, El C, Elb2000, Ephilei, Favonian, Fayenatic london, Feinoha, Fraggle81, Frongle, Gary D, Gerry
D, Gilliam, Glacialfox, Glane23, Hadal, Harland1, Hotcrocodile, I dream of horses, Imchinksea, Imre.peto, Infrogmation, Inter, ItsZippy, IvanLanin, J S Ayer, J.delanoy, Jauhienij, Jelly Beanie,
Jesus Quintana123, Jmabel, Jnothman, John J. Bulten, Jojhutton, Jojit fb, JonHarder, Junglecat, Kbdank71, Kchishol1970, Keilana, KeithB, Kenzie1722, Kenzimone, Kevinalewis, Kingpin13,
Kintetsubuffalo, Koavf, Konrad West, Korovioff, Kostisl, Koveras, Kuru, LEMeZza, LFaraone, Lelapindore, Leszek Jaczuk, Logologist, Macedonian, Markmark12, Mattissa, Megz09,
Millahnna, Mkmcconn, Mr abbey, MrOllie, Neil pye, Nihil novi, Nik Gibbs, Nikai, Noctibus, OriginalJay, Oroso, Paul Barlow, Pchov, Philip Trueman, Pillcrow, Pjoef, Plastictv, Quiddity, R'n'B,
RB972, RandomAct, Ret.Prof, RexNL, Reyk, Riana, Ricky81682, Riversider2008, Robma, RockMFR, Rooster613, RoyBoy, Sap00acm, Saturn star, Seglea, Shane0016, Skarebo, Smanzoor,
Smatthews11, Spirituality Guy, Stefanomione, Stephenb, Stuartgustafson, Student7, Systr, Tagishsimon, Thatguyflint, The Thing That Should Not Be, Tothebarricades.tk, UltimatesocCer,
Valentinian, Vanished user ewfisn2348tui2f8n2fio2utjfeoi210r39jf, Verkhovensky, Versageek, Vincent Steenberg, Vrenator, Wasell, Wavelength, Wetman, Wikinterpreter, William Avery,
Woohookitty, Wwallacee, -, 361 anonymous edits
Barren Fig Tree Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?oldid=550683081 Contributors: 5 albert square, Angel ivanov angelov, Angr, Clinkophonist, Excirial, Friendoftruth1974, Good
Olfactory, Hairy Dude, Koavf, Mladifilozof, Radagast3, Ret.Prof, Richard Leoni Leon, Vanished user ewfisn2348tui2f8n2fio2utjfeoi210r39jf, VanishedUserABC, 9 anonymous edits
Budding Fig Tree Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?oldid=558612872 Contributors: Andrew c, Angel ivanov angelov, Angr, Bikinibomb, Koavf, Lotje, Nashhinton, Radagast3,
Reaper Eternal, Ret.Prof, Slightsmile, Terraflorin, Vanished user ewfisn2348tui2f8n2fio2utjfeoi210r39jf, VanishedUserABC, 11 anonymous edits
Counting the cost Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?oldid=541006618 Contributors: Angr, Good Olfactory, Mladifilozof, Radagast3, Richard Leoni Leon, Vanished user
ewfisn2348tui2f8n2fio2utjfeoi210r39jf, VanishedUserABC, 9 anonymous edits
Drawing in the Net Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?oldid=540674369 Contributors: Andrew c, Angr, Big Brother 1984, Captain panda, Clinkophonist, Cyrusc, George Thompson,
Good Olfactory, Jojalozzo, Jonathantrousdale, Jose77, Lowellian, Magioladitis, Mandarax, Mladifilozof, Nakon, Radagast3, Remiel, Ret.Prof, Rich Farmbrough, Richard Leoni Leon, Roy
Brumback, Rror, Samsara, StAnselm, Swampyank, Tom harrison, Trengarasu, Vanished user ewfisn2348tui2f8n2fio2utjfeoi210r39jf, VanishedUserABC, Woohookitty, 11 anonymous edits
Faithful Servant Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?oldid=555681679 Contributors: Andrew c, Angr, Big Brother 1984, Captain panda, Clinkophonist, Cyrusc, DTRY, Damian
Yerrick, Jon513, Kgrad, MatthewVanitas, Nakon, Noeffeks, Radagast3, Remiel, Ret.Prof, Rich Farmbrough, Richard Leoni Leon, Roy Brumback, Samsara, Shirt58, Trengarasu, Vanished user
ewfisn2348tui2f8n2fio2utjfeoi210r39jf, VanishedUserABC, 3 anonymous edits
Friend at Night Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?oldid=552080137 Contributors: 5 albert square, Andrew c, AndyHe829, Angr, Big Brother 1984, Captain panda, Clinkophonist,
Cyrusc, Fayenatic london, Good Olfactory, Hjmclean, Jinlye, Leadwind, Lowellian, Mladifilozof, Nakon, Radagast3, ReaverFlash, Remiel, Ret.Prof, Rich Farmbrough, Roy Brumback, Samsara,
Smalljim, StAnselm, Testus, Trengarasu, VanishedUserABC, Wavelength, 13 anonymous edits
Good Samaritan Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?oldid=556360038 Contributors: 100percentkrazy, 1oddbins1, ACEOREVIVED, Addshore, Aknorals, Al Lemos, Albatross2147,
Alex.muller, Alientraveller, Alijamrei, Allens, Andrew c, AndyTheGrump, Andycjp, Angr, Anna Lincoln, Anonknee, Ans-mo, Aranel, Arthena, Ashmoo, AstroHurricane001, Atemperman,
AuburnPilot, Avs5221, BFairntrue, Badagnani, Ballchin9, Bbbbbbbbt, Beachy6, Bereaver, Bgwhite, Bkonrad, Blomidon, Boffob, BozMo, Bradeos Graphon, Briangotts, Buchskj, Bugamahagen,
Burlywood, CanadianLinuxUser, Carnun, Cgtdk, CheeseDreams, Chris Love, Chris the speller, Coffee, Courcelles, Csmiller, Cyrusc, DGaw, DJ Clayworth, DRTllbrg, Dah31, Dan m90,
Danny-w, David aukerman, Denisarona, Diberri, Dino, Diogenes zosimus, Discospinster, Djm1279, Doc Strange, DocWatson42, Domesticenginerd, Dotancohen, Dr.Shriv, DragonflySixtyseven,
Dureo, Dusti, Edesh, Elyada, Emerson7, Euryalus, Evrik, Exert, Explicit, FJPB, Fabulous Creature, Farosdaughter, Fatih Kurt, FestivalOfSouls, Flapdragon, Flareafter9, Flewis, Flex,
Fluffernutter, FredSthlm, Funandtrvl, GTBacchus, Gaius Cornelius, Gary D, George Thompson, Ghosts&empties, Gian994, Gogglecollector, Good Olfactory, GorillaWarfare, Happysailor,
Harris43, Hbec, Hiddekel, Huggsyrainbows, IZAK, Iamcuriousblue, Iamheredude, Ihcoyc, Ingolfson, Invertzoo, Iruletheweb, Isnow, Ixfd64, JMBryant, JamieJones, Jeff G., Jeffrey Mall, John
Price, Johnbod, Johnstone, Jojit fb, JonHarder, Jonathunder, Jupiter3888, Kbdank71, Kchishol1970, Keilana, Kilo-Lima, Kinno Angel, Kitov, Kizor, KosmischeSynth, Kristamaranatha,
KsprayDad, Ksspencer, Kuru, Leadwind, Leszek Jaczuk, Lovykar, Lowellian, Lozzark, Luis Cyphre, MER-C, Magioladitis, Marek69, MarionADelgado, Materialscientist, Matt.whitby,
MaxHund, Maxis ftw, Mcorazao, Meaghan, Mhines54, Midnightdreary, Miguel.mateo, Miss Madeline, Mkmcconn, Mlpearc, MostExcellentTheophilus, Mxn, Neo-Jay, Neutrality, Nihiltres,
O'DaveY, OlEnglish, Oliver202, OliverJD, Orphan Wiki, Otto4711, Paul Barlow, Paxsimius, Pekinensis, Phearson, Philip Trueman, Pie4all88, Piercetheorganist, Planeta, Pottergreen, Radagast3,
RadioActive, ReaverFlash, Reedy, Remiel, Res2216firestar, Ret.Prof, Rettetast, Rhosking, Richse, Rl, Rose maryhp, Roy Brumback, Samaritan, Sameboat, SamuelTheGhost,
SchnitzelMannGreek, Seddon, Shadowjams, Sharp68, Slightsmile, Sluzzelin, Smyth, Snezzy, Snow Blizzard, Soetermans, SonzTwin, Sophiii, SparrowsWing, Spitfire19, Squiddhartha,
StAnselm, Starionwolf, SteinbDJ, Stevey7788, Suffusion of Yellow, THODEE, Taketa, Telpardec, The Anome, Thejerm, Theologianguy, Think-it-through, Thunderboltz, Tide rolls, Tim1357,
Toccata quarta, Tolly4bolly, Tom harrison, Touch Of Light, TreasuryTag, Trengarasu, Tryptofish, Turian, Ulric1313, Undead warrior, Uriah923, UtherSRG, VanishedUserABC, Violask81976,
Vvim, Waitak, Wesley, Wetman, WhizzBang, WickerGuy, Widr, Willguy, Xingzeng, Zazeza, 536 anonymous edits
Great Banquet Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?oldid=544324958 Contributors: AlexSP, Andrew c, AndyHe829, Angr, Baa, Big Brother 1984, Blueminneapolis, Chriswilson34,
Clinkophonist, DJ Clayworth, Fayenatic london, Franco56, Fritzpoll, Gerda Arendt, Jason Quinn, JonHarder, Joseph Solis in Australia, Lotje, Magioladitis, Mladifilozof, Nakon, Neutrality,
Patsw, Pinkkeith, Princess Michiru, Radagast3, ReaverFlash, Ret.Prof, Rich Farmbrough, Rockfang, Roy Brumback, Samsara, Trengarasu, Vanished user ewfisn2348tui2f8n2fio2utjfeoi210r39jf,
VanishedUserABC, Wwallacee, X1a4muse, 18 anonymous edits
Growing Seed Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?oldid=560825088 Contributors: Andycjp, Angr, Big Brother 1984, Captain panda, Clinkophonist, Cyrusc, GTBacchus, Gogo Dodo,
Good Olfactory, Jon513, Mladifilozof, Radagast3, Ret.Prof, Roy Brumback, Slithytove2, Stevey7788, TIY, Tom harrison, Trengarasu, Vanished user ewfisn2348tui2f8n2fio2utjfeoi210r39jf,
VanishedUserABC, 7 anonymous edits
Hidden Treasure Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?oldid=544308041 Contributors: 3messages, AlexSP, Alexandre-Jrme, An-d, Angr, Antaeus Feldspar, Big Brother 1984,
Captain panda, Chriswebb1212, Clinkophonist, Cyrusc, Drosboro, Goldfritha, Good Olfactory, Gravity1974, Jeff3000, Jojalozzo, Jose77, Mets, Mladifilozof, Nakon, Pleasantville, Radagast3,
Ret.Prof, Rich Farmbrough, Roy Brumback, Samsara, Tickletaint, Tom harrison, Trengarasu, Vanished user ewfisn2348tui2f8n2fio2utjfeoi210r39jf, VanishedUserABC, 14 anonymous edits
Lamp Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?oldid=549671535 Contributors: AlexSP, Angr, Dangospel, Dave949, Grutness, HJL.Tucker, John of Reading, Jojalozzo, Mervyn,
Mladifilozof, Nathan J Holt, P100jboo, Radagast3, Ret.Prof, Vanished user ewfisn2348tui2f8n2fio2utjfeoi210r39jf, VanishedUserABC, , 3 anonymous edits
Leaven Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?oldid=546681726 Contributors: AlexSP, Andrew c, Angr, Bennylin, Big Brother 1984, Clinkophonist, Craterib, Eric Kvaalen, Hebrides,
Huon, Jonathan Tweet, Jose77, Larry Gerndt, MichelleSwartz, Minimac, Mladifilozof, Nakon, Radagast3, Ret.Prof, Rich Farmbrough, Samsara, Tom harrison, Trengarasu, VanishedUserABC,
Washburnmav, 17 anonymous edits
Lost Coin Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?oldid=542439032 Contributors: 4webman, AMuseo, Alansohn, AlexSP, Andrew c, Angr, BD2412, Carl.bunderson, Carlsonmark,
Cyrusc, DJ Clayworth, Dan m90, Delphii, Eric-Wester, Fayenatic london, George Thompson, Good Olfactory, Gurch, JOJI JOSE, Jaydec, JonHarder, Juliancolton, Koavf, Ksnortum,
Mladifilozof, Noliver, Paul Barlow, Quominus, Radagast3, ReaverFlash, Ret.Prof, Roy Brumback, Shayjo40, Sherurcij, Stevey7788, Testus, That Guy, From That Show!, Trengarasu,
VanishedUserABC, X1a4muse, 32 anonymous edits
Lost Sheep Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?oldid=555589990 Contributors: 4webman, AlexSP, Andrew c, Angr, Big Brother 1984, Catagraph, Clinkophonist, Cyrusc, Defender of
the Riddermark, George Thompson, Glane23, Ifny, Iridescent, JonHarder, Karenjc, Koavf, Ksnortum, Kwekubo, Mark Arsten, Mladifilozof, Radagast3, Ret.Prof, Rich Farmbrough, Roy
Article Sources and Contributors
118
Brumback, Sciurin, Seekerofthetruth, Senator2029, StAnselm, Stevey7788, Testus, Trengarasu, Van der Hoorn, VanishedUserABC, WilliamJustinM, X1a4muse, 73 anonymous edits
Master and Servant Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?oldid=544326425 Contributors: AlexSP, AndyHe829, Angr, Big Brother 1984, Captain panda, Cyrusc, DGG, E-Kartoffel,
Good Olfactory, Huon, Lotje, Mladifilozof, Radagast3, ReaverFlash, Rjwilmsi, Timpo, VanishedUserABC, 1 anonymous edits
Mustard Seed Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?oldid=553961381 Contributors: Abhorsen327, AdoreMila, Alecmconroy, AlexSP, Andycjp, Angr, Anomalocaris, Arm031000,
Auntof6, Big Brother 1984, Celestianpower, Clarince63, Clinkophonist, Cmkirkland, Cyrusc, DocWatson42, Elockid, Emaha, Evenios, Ezeu, Fanuv24, GTBacchus, Gaius Cornelius, Gkhan,
Iridescent, Jon513, Jose77, JzG, Kirachinmoku, Kprwiki, Kramden, Larry Gerndt, LibLord, Mackerman, Mahlered, Mattaus, Mladifilozof, Mrbullard, Nakon, Nodlabms, PhysChemBio,
Pwhitwor, Racerx11, Radagast3, Ret.Prof, Riagu, Ronnieward, Roy Brumback, Run to the hills, cos the end of the world is soon!, Samgrom, Samsara, Sietec, SkyWalker, Smyth, Stevey7788,
Thinking of England, Tow, Trengarasu, Triesforthetruth, Underwater, VanishedUserABC, Wayne Slam, Wikipelli, Willylama, Woohookitty, 74 anonymous edits
New Wine into Old Wineskins Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?oldid=540892488 Contributors: Ahuitzotl, AlexSP, Andrew c, Angr, Big Brother 1984, Captain panda,
Catalographer, Choster, Christophermn, Clinkophonist, DJ Clayworth, Dbachmann, Editor2020, Esoglou, Gorton k, Heracles31, Intelligentsium, John Carter, Jon513, Kevin Bennett ekv, Kww,
Mannanan51, Materialscientist, Namikiw, PFHLai, Pastordavid, Paul Barlow, Radagast3, Reinsarn, Rich Farmbrough, Rlsheehan, Roy Brumback, StAnselm, Staceyw 01, SteelMariner,
Trengarasu, Vanished user ewfisn2348tui2f8n2fio2utjfeoi210r39jf, VanishedUserABC, Vanjagenije, 63 anonymous edits
Pearl Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?oldid=540210099 Contributors: 11.2, 12.254.130.xxx, 209.20.229.xxx, Alai, Alansohn, Altenmann, Andre Engels, Andrew c, Angr, Big
Brother 1984, BoNoMoJo (old), Bobo192, Clinkophonist, Conversion script, Cyrusc, DCM, Dmerrill, Donnyw, EddEdmondson, Ettrig, Frank Lofaro Jr., Frecklefoot, George Thompson,
Goldfritha, Good Olfactory, Graham87, Hoshie, Hutcher, Jbribeiro1, Jeddah90, Jennywo, Jeremymr, John Broughton, Jonathan Tweet, Jonathunder, Jose77, Jwrosenzweig, KI, Keibat, Marknw,
Mav, Mcmoose, Mentifisto, Mkmcconn, Mladifilozof, Mr. Strong Bad, Nixdorf, Nschaefer, Olivier, Pantalimon, Paul Barlow, Paul D. Anderson, Philip Trueman, Radagast3, RenOric, Ret.Prof,
Richard Leoni Leon, Roy Brumback, Rrburke, Someone else, Stevey7788, Student7, Summer Song, Superm401, Tb, TheProject, Tobias Hoevekamp, Trengarasu, Val42, Vanished user
ewfisn2348tui2f8n2fio2utjfeoi210r39jf, VanishedUserABC, Visorstuff, WBardwin, Wesley, Woohookitty, 45 anonymous edits
Pharisee and the Publican Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?oldid=551207135 Contributors: AndyHe829, Angr, Ans-mo, Big Brother 1984, Crownjewel82, Cyrusc, DJ Clayworth,
Eric-92, Goldfritha, Golgofrinchian, Good Olfactory, J04n, Jmrowland, Jonathan Tweet, MishaPan, Mladifilozof, Nakon, Radagast3, Ret.Prof, Samsara, StAnselm, Thiseye, Trengarasu, Vanished
user ewfisn2348tui2f8n2fio2utjfeoi210r39jf, VanishedUserABC, Wikipelli, WilliamJustinM, Yintan, 19 anonymous edits
Prodigal Son Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?oldid=561216286 Contributors: 4webman, 65biscayne, Ajrabagl, Alansohn, AlexSP, Amcbride, Anakin101, Andrewa, Andycjp,
Angr, Angryredplanet, Ans-mo, Arctic Kangaroo, Atamata, Atif.t2, Back2back2back, Barbara Shack, Barinder896, Beggarsbanquet, Blaxthos, Blehfu, Bobblewik, Bobo192, Bosco113, Brahle,
Caesura, Cfortunato, Chairboy, Chazdonaldson, Ckatz, Codex Sinaiticus, Codex Sinaticus, CommonsDelinker, ConMan, Corpx, Cyrusc, DVdm, Dacton03, Daniel767676767676, Danny-w,
Dcoryh192, Dekimasu, Demf, Deor, Discordian, Diz syd 63, Download, Ebertek, Ellemennopi, Evenmadderjon, Feline Hymnic, FestivalOfSouls, FloatDownstream, Fraggle81, Franco56,
Fuzheado, Gary D, Garyseven, George Thompson, Ginkgo100, GoldenMeadows, Goldfritha, Good Olfactory, GorillaWarfare, Gypsysoul88, H1p2th3h0p, H2ok9, Habj, Hannahgoldstein,
HarryHenryGebel, Helixblue, HiLo48, Howyousayitcounts, Icemuon, Ihcoyc, Imperial Monarch, J.delanoy, JAF1970, JForget, Jackson Montana, Jbird669, Jdr52, Jefferson41343, Jfhutson,
Jihiro, Jmundo, Johnbod, Johnstone, JonHarder, Juhko, Just nigel, Kimse, Kirrages, Koavf, Ksnortum, Lahiru k, LanguageMan, Lcwujc, LeilaniLad, Live1backwards, Llywrch, Lotje, Lowellian,
Luckas Blade, Lugia2453, Mad Hlaine Larkin, Magioladitis, Marauder40, Marcparella, McSly, Mccann, MelbourneStar, Metzby, Meursault2004, MishaPan, Mkmcconn, Mladifilozof, Modernist,
Moikl, Mryufy, Mshonle, Murcielago06gt, Musical Linguist, Nakon, Nihiltres, Novusuna, Nunh-huh, Nv8200p, Orbicle, Pablo X, ParkerHiggins, Pepper, PicodeGato, Pinnecco, Pip2andahalf,
Pnkrockr, Polylerus, Proxima Centauri, QEDQED, Qst, Quidam65, Qwerty Binary, RSpeeter, Radagast3, Rayato, ReaverFlash, Redrocket, Ret.Prof, RexNL, Rhobite, Rich Farmbrough, Riggr
Mortis, Rjwilmsi, Roy Brumback, RoyBoy, SU Linguist, San Diablo, Savant13, Scottperry, Seglea, Semperf, Shakesphere17, ShelfSkewed, Shenme, Skullfission, SnowFire, Spoxjox, Ssilvers,
StaticGull, Stevey7788, Sunray, THEN WHO WAS PHONE?, Tabouz1, TaintedMustard, TeaDrinker, The Thing That Should Not Be, Titodutta, Tom harrison, Trailrunner72, Trengarasu,
Ttiotsw, Valholler, Vanished user ewfisn2348tui2f8n2fio2utjfeoi210r39jf, VanishedUserABC, Vranak, Vrenator, Walter Grlitz, Wesley, Whitely3000, Wikifixerz, William Allen Simpson,
WilliamJustinM, Wwagner, X1a4muse, Zuirdj, 451 anonymous edits
Rich Fool Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?oldid=541115267 Contributors: Alansohn, Angr, Athanasius1, Big Brother 1984, Captain panda, Carl.bunderson, Cyrusc, Fayenatic
london, Gekritzl, George Thompson, Good Olfactory, GrahamHardy, Mladifilozof, Nakon, Quidam65, Radagast3, Ret.Prof, Richard Leoni Leon, Ronhjones, Roy Brumback, Samsara, StAnselm,
Techman224, Trengarasu, Trusilver, VanishedUserABC, 23 anonymous edits
Rich man and Lazarus Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?oldid=560604886 Contributors: Alcmaeonid, Alecmconroy, Alefu, Andrew c, Andycjp, Angel David, Angr, BD2412,
Beardo, BiT, Biblioq, Butters, CapitalElll, Captaingunna, Chick Bowen, Colonies Chris, Cynwolfe, Cyrusc, David Underdown, Davidiad, DiiCinta, Dougfr007, Dr Zak, EEMIV, El Cubano,
Enda80, Enix, Esoglou, Fermion, Finrod61, FitzColinGerald, Flowerparty, Fraggle81, Fraytel, Geogre, Gidonb, Gimmetrow, Goldendroplets, Goldfritha, Good Olfactory, GrahamDo, Hazhk,
HyDeckar, In ictu oculi, Insanity Incarnate, It Is Me Here, JaGa, Jason Potter, Jeff G., Jjensen, Jobuza, JoergenB, John of Reading, John of Wood Green, Johnbod, JonHarder, Jonathan Tweet,
Jonathunder, Joopercoopers, Karkfump, Kharissa, Kjkolb, LarryJeff, Lumarine, Maciente, Magioladitis, Mild Bill Hiccup, MishaPan, Mladifilozof, Mrguyguy226, Musical Linguist, NBeale,
Naphal, Nomadic Whitt, OntoTheNextGuy, PiCo, Quidam65, Radagast3, ReformedArsenal, Ret.Prof, Ritchy, Rockandrollepic, Roscelese, SchreiberBike, Slightsmile, StAnselm,
SummerDragonfly, TShilo12, Tarnya-burge, Testus, TheJJJunk, TheOtter, Thrydwulf, Titoxd, Tom harrison, Trengarasu, Trlkly, Truthdowser, Tsength, Vanished user
ewfisn2348tui2f8n2fio2utjfeoi210r39jf, VanishedUserABC, Violncello, WikHead, Woofboy, X1a4muse, Yomangan, , 112 anonymous edits
Sower Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?oldid=556866552 Contributors: 5 albert square, AlexSP, Andrew c, Andycjp, Angr, Big Brother 1984, Bobo192, CanadianLinuxUser,
CardinalDan, Chamal N, Charles Matthews, Clinkophonist, Courcelles, Cyrusc, Dave souza, Daveswagon, Excirial, FrancoGG, GTBacchus, Galoubet, George Thompson, Hutcher, Jeremy
Conlin, Jinlye, Jon513, Jonathan Tweet, Jons63, Jose77, Kcowolf, Lotje, Magioladitis, Mladifilozof, Mmovchin, Nareek, Nativewood, Nihonjoe, Ninly, Piano non troppo, PrestonH, RB972,
Radagast3, Ret.Prof, Rjwilmsi, Roy Brumback, SQL, Scarlet Lioness, Senator Palpatine, Shesauon, Slightsmile, Sluzzelin, Some jerk on the Internet, StAnselm, Steorra, Stevey7788, Storm
Rider, Sulfababy, Tom harrison, Trengarasu, Vanished user ewfisn2348tui2f8n2fio2utjfeoi210r39jf, VanishedUserABC, Voice of Ruth, Wolfgang1018, 91 anonymous edits
Strong Man Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?oldid=541484463 Contributors: Alansohn, AlexSP, Angr, Grover cleveland, Mladifilozof, Radagast3, Ueki012, Vanished user
ewfisn2348tui2f8n2fio2utjfeoi210r39jf, VanishedUserABC, 5 anonymous edits
Talents Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?oldid=551456929 Contributors: A40220, AQUIMISMO, Acjelen, Adiel, Afaprof01, Ahoerstemeier, AlexSP, Andrewa, Andyleeds444,
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Tares Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?oldid=550873413 Contributors: A State Of Trance, Aaronkmthomas, Andycjp, Angr, Arm031000, Auntof6, Auranor, Bartledan, Ben Ben,
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Ten Virgins Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?oldid=560351816 Contributors: A930913, Angr, Apazdon, Bduke, Bonadea, Bradjamesbroncofan, BrettAllen, Buchs, Carl.bunderson,
Chensiyuan, Cyrusc, Doug Coldwell, Douglasn777, Dreftymac, Edbeckham, Enviroboy, Falcon8765, Fritzpoll, George Thompson, Gerda Arendt, Good Olfactory, GuggiePrg, Gzoek,
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2340rujowierfj08234irjwfw4, VanishedUserABC, Vgranucci, Void78, Wereon, Williamkmwong, X1a4muse, 141 anonymous edits
Two Debtors Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?oldid=541998544 Contributors: AlexSP, Andrew c, Angr, Anonymous Dissident, Big Brother 1984, Bydand, Captain panda, Cyrusc,
Excirial, Good Olfactory, JonHarder, Jonathan Tweet, Lowellian, Mladifilozof, Nakon, Radagast3, Ret.Prof, Samsara, StAnselm, Trengarasu, Ujimz, Vanished user
ewfisn2348tui2f8n2fio2utjfeoi210r39jf, VanishedUserABC, X1a4muse, 17 anonymous edits
Two Sons Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?oldid=559960602 Contributors: AlexSP, AndyHe829, Angr, Big Brother 1984, Booyabazooka, Captain panda, Clinkophonist,
Crownjewel82, Good Olfactory, Huon, JNW, JonHarder, Jusdafax, LilHelpa, Lowellian, Mladifilozof, Nakon, Pfranson, Radagast3, ReaverFlash, Rich Farmbrough, Samsara, StAnselm, Testus,
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Trengarasu, VanishedUserABC, X1a4muse, 23 anonymous edits
Unjust Judge Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?oldid=540645228 Contributors: AlexSP, Andrew c, Andycjp, Carl.bunderson, Cyrusc, DJ Clayworth, Fang Aili, Fayenatic london,
George Thompson, Good Olfactory, Jonathan Tweet, Lowellian, Melaen, Ms408, N2e, PiccoloNamek, Radagast3, Rekleov, Ret.Prof, Roy Brumback, Trengarasu, VanishedUserABC, 10
anonymous edits
Unjust Steward Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?oldid=556287309 Contributors: Andrew c, Angr, AshwynFalk, Big Brother 1984, Briancua, Carl.bunderson, Cyrusc, DJ
Clayworth, DVocean, Dark Formal, David O. Johnson, EagleFan, El aprendelenguas, George Thompson, Good Olfactory, Jonathan Tweet, Keron Cyst, Lowellian, Magioladitis, Mathsci,
Mdvaden, Mladifilozof, Moonriddengirl, Nakon, Nowa, Philip Trueman, Pitcharan, Psychotic Spoon, Radagast3, Ret.Prof, Rjwilmsi, Roy Brumback, Rubberbandgirl, Samsara, Sayerslle,
StAnselm, Tederose1943, Trengarasu, Ulupoi, VanishedUserABC, Wikipeterproject, 60 anonymous edits
Unforgiving Servant Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?oldid=544308402 Contributors: AlexSP, Alice Mudgarden, Angr, Big Brother 1984, Brochazumc, Captain panda,
Clinkophonist, Cyrusc, Evanh2008, Gerda Arendt, Good Olfactory, JonHarder, Jusdafax, Lotje, Mladifilozof, Nakon, Prof.D.idur-mom, Radagast3, Remiel, Ret.Prof, Rich Farmbrough, Samsara,
Sethton, StAnselm, Trengarasu, Vanished user ewfisn2348tui2f8n2fio2utjfeoi210r39jf, VanishedUserABC, X1a4muse, ZooFari, 11 anonymous edits
Wicked Husbandmen Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?oldid=552453359 Contributors: AlexSP, Angr, Big Brother 1984, Charles Matthews, Chris the speller, ClairSamoht,
Clinkophonist, Editor2020, Eug, Good Olfactory, Gracefool, Hugo999, Jack Greenmaven, Johnstun, Jon513, JonHarder, Jonathan Tweet, Joseph Solis in Australia, Laurel Lodged, LovesMacs,
Lowellian, Madcouch, Mladifilozof, Radagast3, Ret.Prof, Rjwilmsi, Roy Brumback, Slowbie, StAnselm, Tad Lincoln, Tom harrison, Trengarasu, Vanished user
ewfisn2348tui2f8n2fio2utjfeoi210r39jf, VanishedUserABC, Woohookitty, X1a4muse, 19 anonymous edits
Wise and Foolish Builders Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?oldid=540645600 Contributors: Alynna Kasmira, Angr, Atemperman, AutomaticStrikeout, Benbril00, Big Brother
1984, Captain panda, Clinkophonist, Gerv, Good Olfactory, Huon, JonHarder, Koavf, Lowellian, Mladifilozof, Nakon, Quess, Radagast3, Ret.Prof, Rich Farmbrough, Roy Brumback, Rursus,
Samsara, Trengarasu, Vanished user ewfisn2348tui2f8n2fio2utjfeoi210r39jf, VanishedUserABC, Werldwayd, X1a4muse, Xeron599, 32 anonymous edits
Workers in the Vineyard Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?oldid=556353436 Contributors: Alansohn, AlexSP, Andrew c, Andycjp, Angr, AxelBoldt, Bellboybranan, Big Brother
1984, Clinkophonist, Edcolins, Fondolo, Goldfritha, Good Olfactory, InverseHypercube, Iridescent, Jonathan Tweet, Joseph Solis in Australia, Kevin, Kkreitler, Kwamikagami, LietKynes,
Lowellian, Nakon, Nomadic Whitt, Paul Barlow, Pharaoh of the Wizards, Pie4all88, Radagast3, Ret.Prof, Revas, Rich Farmbrough, Roy Brumback, Samsara, Scott Illini, Testus,
Thoughtfortheday, Trengarasu, VanishedUserABC, Widr, Wolfgang1018, Woohookitty, 42 anonymous edits
Assassin Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?oldid=544685731 Contributors: EastTN, Fieldday-sunday, Grover cleveland, Hammersoft, JodyB, JonHarder, Kaihsu, Koavf,
Mladifilozof, Radagast3, Rbreen, Ret.Prof, Rjwilmsi, Ueki012, 14 anonymous edits
Empty Jar Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?oldid=544703249 Contributors: Bdowler, Cyrusc, Grover cleveland, Hammersoft, Hoplon, Mladifilozof, Radagast3, Ret.Prof,
SkyWalker, TheChipmunk, 1 anonymous edits
Image Sources, Licenses and Contributors
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Image Sources, Licenses and Contributors
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Pradatsch, Zolo
File:JesusYeshua.svg Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=File:JesusYeshua.svg License: Public domain Contributors: AnonMoos, Madden, Senator2029, Shyam, Wst, Xandi
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File:Brooklyn Museum - The Hidden Treasure (Le trsor enfoui) - James Tissot - overall.jpg Source:
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File:Pearl of great price.jpg Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=File:Pearl_of_great_price.jpg License: Public Domain Contributors: Bensin, Deerstop, Hsarrazin, Notnarayan,
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File:Teachings of Jesus 5 of 40. parable of the mustard seed. Jan Luyken etching. Bowyer Bible.gif Source:
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File:Teachings of Jesus 6 of 40. parable of the leaven. Jan Luyken etching. Bowyer Bible.gif Source:
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Medhurst
File:Champaigne shepherd.jpg Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=File:Champaigne_shepherd.jpg License: Public Domain Contributors: Bukk, Justass, Materialscientist,
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File:Brooklyn Museum - The Lost Drachma (La drachme perdue) - James Tissot - overall.jpg Source:
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File:Good Samaritan (Watts).jpg Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=File:Good_Samaritan_(Watts).jpg License: Public Domain Contributors: Skipjack, Smerdis of Tln
File:Sainte-marie Madeleine2.jpg Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=File:Sainte-marie_Madeleine2.jpg License: Public Domain Contributors: Mattes, Shakko, 1 anonymous
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File:John Everett Millais - Parable of the Unjust Judge.jpg Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=File:John_Everett_Millais_-_Parable_of_the_Unjust_Judge.jpg License: Public
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File:Teachings of Jesus 28 of 40. invitation to the great banquet. Jan Luyken etching. Bowyer Bible.gif Source:
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File:AEL Saemann und Teufel - zweite Fassung.jpg Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=File:AEL_Saemann_und_Teufel_-_zweite_Fassung.jpg License: Public Domain
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File:Teachings of Jesus 36 of 40. parable of the fig tree. Jan Luyken etching. Bowyer Bible.gif Source:
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File:Teachings of Jesus 31 of 40. parable of the unjust steward. Jan Luyken etching. Bowyer Bible.gif Source:
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File:Ignacy Krasicki 111.PNG Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=File:Ignacy_Krasicki_111.PNG License: Public Domain Contributors: Per Krafft the Elder
Image Sources, Licenses and Contributors
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File:Jan Wijnants - Parable of the Good Samaritan.jpg Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=File:Jan_Wijnants_-_Parable_of_the_Good_Samaritan.jpg License: Public Domain
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