What is a parable?

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Crucifixion Christ Cross MormonA parable, literally a comparison (Greek parabole), relates the essence of things rather than the ways things exist in fact. For that reason, parables transcend the limits of time and have meaning in an ever-changing world. The New Testament uses a loose definition of a parable when compared with the more restricted sense held by Greek thinkers. Instead, “parable” in the New Testament can describe an extended metaphor, an allegory, or a true narrative parable. The New Testament follows closely the tradition set forth in the Jewish scriptures (Hebrew or Old Testament) that a parable is anything that compares two objects to one another. “How can Satan cast out Satan?” as a parable (Mark 3:23), while using the same terminology to speak of the Parable of the Sower. The predominance of parables in the New Testament reveals that the parable was a favorite teaching method of Jesus Christ, providing the modern reader with a window into who he really was and how he viewed the world.

Jesus preferred to speak of things as they would, could, and would be instead of directly instructing his disciples on how to handle an issue. Rarely did Jesus interpret his own parables (Matthew 13:36-43); he preferred that the task of interpretation be carried out by this disciples. For this reason, the parables offer an open invitation for interpretation to each generation who uses them. Without this continuing window of interpretation, the parables become historically confined and explicable for a determined moment in history. In the New Testament, the Gospel of Matthew contain more parables of Jesus Christ than any other source. Its author was apparently drawn to Jesus’ teachings in parables. Unlike Mark, Luke, and John , Matthew not only records the parables but also gathered them into several concise collections (Matthew 13 and 25) with a distinct aim in mind.

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What is a Parable?
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"Parable" in the New Testament can describe an extended metaphor, an allegory, or a true narrative parable.

About karenrose
Living out a great season of my life, thanks to Jesus Christ, and two wonderful daughters, a great life's work. Loving this opportunity to share faith online... I'm a single Mom, convert to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, second-gen Italian, from the East coast originally. Love the fine arts, dance, frozen yogurt, temples, scriptures, writing, jazz, helping others reach their potential, king salmon, ....and not in that order. God is good. I feel it deeply when people have a misconception of Heavenly Father or Jesus Christ, His Son, that lessens or cheapens Them and blinds one's ability to feel His presence or to trust in an ultimately good eternal end to life's circumstances.

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