Barry Newman's Blog

October 8, 2012

The Parables of Jesus (part III)

Filed under: Parables of Jesus — barrynewman @ 10:30 pm

“Parabole” in the Gospels

The Greek word “parabole” is found 46 times throughout Matthew, Mark and Luke but not once in John’s Gospel. (Outside of the Gospels it is found only in Hebrews 9: 9 and 11: 19 and in John’s Gospel, a similar word “paroimia” is used [See John 10: 6, 16: 25, 29]). In the Synoptic Gospels “parabole” is mentioned directly in connection with 21 different “stories”:

The Sower, The Wheat and Weeds, The Mustard Seed, The Yeast, The Blind leading the Blind, The Two Sons, The Vineyard and the Tenants, The Wedding Banquet, Learning from the Fig Tree, Satan Driving out Satan, What goes in and out of the Mouth, Physician Healing Oneself, Old and New Garments and Wine Skins, The Rich but Foolish Farmer, The Good Servants, The Unfruitful Fig Tree, Invitation to a Wedding Feast, The Lost Sheep, The Widow and the Judge, The Pharisee and the Tax Collector, The Ten Pounds.

 And it is of course the case that we would describe as parables many additional “stories” told by Jesus.  However, in the above list there are examples of what many of us would not automatically describe as a parable – e.g. “The Blind Leading the Blind”, “Learning from the Fig Tree”, “Satan Driving out Satan” and “What goes in and out of the Mouth”. This is because we tend to associate “parable’ with a story of some length and I have referred to parables in that way up until this point.


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