Barry Newman's Blog

October 13, 2012

The Parables of Jesus (part V)

Filed under: Parables of Jesus — barrynewman @ 12:23 am

Other Preliminary Remarks:

As referred to above, some of the parables seem to have elements that are untrue to life. Not that those who heard the story would have objected.  They would have heard what Jesus said and realised that he had simply injected an unlikely element into the account.  It would appear that Jesus created these features because without them the story he told would be insufficient to indicate the truth to be conveyed.  Generally, it is not that the occurrence of these elements would have been theoretically impossible it is simply that it would have been highly unlikely.

 For people questioning the historicity of Jesus it has to be noteworthy that it is reported that Jesus told many many parables.  While parabolic sayings were not unknown, we know of no one from the Jewish world who told so many and all were treated by him to illustrate important realities.  While one can hypothesis that they were the inventions of the early churches, there is no evidence that such ever produced parables of any magnitude of their own. They appear to be bone fide sayings plausibly created by one personality with a clear view from his perspective of significant spiritual realities.  Added to this, that it is recorded that at least for some extensive periods of time he only taught the crowds in parables and did so that he would not be understood and we have a scenario that would appear to be unlikely to have ever been invented by others.

This blog series will attempt to examine a number of facets of one of the parables of Jesus, some of which have been referred to already, including, what Jesus had to say about his parables and people’s understanding of them and what the Gospel writers had to say about his parables.  (Time will tell whether or not I refer to other parables.)

For scholarly comments on a number of these issues one should probably consult works such as the above. The blog series simply allows me to enjoy examining one of the parables of Jesus afresh and to indulge in my special interested of examining the creativity of Jesus in introducing into his parables elements that were highly unlikely in real life.

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