Stack Exchange Network

Stack Exchange network consists of 175 Q&A communities including Stack Overflow, the largest, most trusted online community for developers to learn, share their knowledge, and build their careers.

Visit Stack Exchange

Questions tagged [parables]

Questions regarding the short stories of Jesus known as the parables. They were common teaching devices in Jesus's era. Famous ones include the Prodigal Son, the Lost Sheep, and the Pearl of Great Price.

1
vote
2answers
71 views

What does the “prodigal son’s” demand for his inheritance in advance symbolize?

“And he said, "There was a man who had two sons. And the younger of them said to his father, 'Father, give me the share of property that is coming to me.' And he divided his property between them.” ‭...
1
vote
4answers
337 views

In the parable of the talents, Matthew 25 , how did the servants trade their talents?

What is Jesus referring to as trading in the parable of the talents.
-2
votes
3answers
82 views

Can oil only represent service?

Oil throughout the Bible represents service: How can oil represent salvation in: Mat_25:8 And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out.
1
vote
2answers
61 views

What do these two parables from the Gospel of Thomas mean exactly about the Kingdom of God?

Jesus said, "The [Father's] kingdom is like a woman who was carrying a [jar] full of meal. While she was walking along [a] distant road, the handle of the jar broke and the meal spilled behind her [...
3
votes
5answers
315 views

What is the “swept and tidy” house referred to in Matthew 12:43-45 and Luke 11:24?

‘The lost Gospel of Q’ by Burton L. Mack, on pg 91, quotes Luke 11:24-26 seen below (compare Matthew 12:43-45) "When an unclean spirit leaves a person, it wanders through arid regions seeking rest ...
2
votes
1answer
102 views

Is the younger son’s inheritance restored in Luke 15:31?

In Tim Keller’s book The Prodigal God, he stated on page 30 and 45 that beyond simply being restored to the family, the younger son also has his inheritance restored further diminishing the elder son’...
7
votes
4answers
227 views

In Luke 15,1-7 is the shepherd in the parable equated to the Pharisees and the scribes?

ΚΑΤΑ ΛΟΥΚΑΝ 15,1 Ἦσαν δὲ αὐτῷ ἐγγίζοντες πάντες οἱ τελῶναι καὶ οἱ ἁμαρτωλοὶ ἀκούειν αὐτοῦ. 2 καὶ διεγόγγυζον οἵ τε Φαρισαῖοι καὶ οἱ γραμματεῖς λέγοντες ὅτι οὗτος ἁμαρτωλοὺς προσδέχεται καὶ συνεσθίει ...
1
vote
5answers
569 views

In Matthew 13:44, who is the man in the parables of the hidden treasure and the pearl of great price?

In Matthew 13:44 the kingdom of heaven is likened to a man finding treasure hidden in a field: KJV Mat 13:44  Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto treasure hid in a field; the which when a ...
4
votes
10answers
3k views

What is signified by the man without wedding clothes in Matthew 22:11-13?

The Parable of the Wedding Banquet in Matthew 22:1-14 has a lot in common with the one in Luke 14:15-23. Both tell the story of a group invited to the banquet (presumably Jesus' opponents) who do not ...
1
vote
2answers
436 views

Who is the 'Faithful and wise servant' of Matthew 24:45?

Who is the faithful servant that is mentioned in Matthew 24:45 and the following verses? If "Food' is the Word / Truth, and a Faithful Servant is coming to give food at the proper time - could this be ...
2
votes
4answers
382 views

Why would the tenants who killed the landowner's son expect an inheritance?

The parable of the tenants is repeated in three of the Gospels and has this line: “But when the tenants saw the son, they said to each other, ‘This is the heir. Come, let’s kill him and take his ...
2
votes
3answers
188 views

Was the Unmerciful Servant literally expected to pay back his debt via torture and if so how?

At the end of The Parable of the Unmerciful Servant is this verse: In anger his master handed him over to the jailers to be tortured, until he should pay back all he owed. Matthew 18:34 The ...
3
votes
2answers
2k views

What is the meaning of the yields in the parable of the Sower?

After telling the Parable of the Sower in Matthew 13, Jesus begins by explaining the parable to his disciples. He concludes his explanation in verse 23 by saying But as for the seed sown on good ...
-2
votes
1answer
132 views

When Should “Kingdom” be Interpreted as “The Sovereignty” or “The Kingdom” of God?

Question: Is the "Kingdom of God" a reference to "Sovereignty", or "a National State"? When should forms of the words "βασίλει*" be interpreted in senses of "Royal Authority" or "Kingdom Territory"? ...
9
votes
6answers
5k views

Do the birds who perch in the mustard tree have allegorical meaning?

In Matthew 13:31-32, Jesus tells the Parable of the Mustard Seed (NIV): He told them another parable: "The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his field. ...
5
votes
3answers
418 views

How is Abraham offering Isaac a parable?

The word παραβολὴ (parable) is written outside the Gospels only in Hebrews: Which was a figure (παραβολὴ) for the time then present, in which were offered both gifts and sacrifices, that could not ...
5
votes
7answers
2k views

Why does the woman “hide” the leaven in the parable?

In the parable of the Leaven from Matthew 13:33, why do some translations say that the woman in the parable "hid" the leaven in the dough (as opposed to mixed in other translations)? Is there a ...
5
votes
2answers
649 views

The Parable of the Ten Virgins - proportion 5 to 5 - meaning

In the parable of the "ten virgins" in Matthew 25:1-13, they fall into two groups of five: 2 Five of them were foolish and five were wise. I know that the numbers in Jewish culture have special ...
1
vote
1answer
88 views

Is it acceptable/appropriate to use a parable for a purpose other than its original intent? [closed]

Nearly every Christian I know likes the story of the Prodigal Son. (Luke 15:11-32) Who wouldn't? It's a beautiful story of love and forgiveness, illustrating that God is always willing to take us back ...
2
votes
1answer
861 views

What part does Luke 16:16-18 play in its particular context?

In Luke 15, The Pharisees criticize Jesus for his welcoming and eating with sinners, and in response, Jesus begins discussing parables. The first two parables (or hypothetical questions) follow the ...
5
votes
3answers
920 views

Luke 12:41 - Does Jesus answer Peter's question?

In Luke 12:41, Peter asks Jesus: “Lord, are you telling this parable for us or for all?” Jesus does not answer directly, but responds with a question and a parable: 42 And the Lord said, “Who ...
6
votes
3answers
8k views

What is the meaning of Mark 4:24–25

I have surveyed more than 10 commentaries on this, some comment on these verses specifically, and the ones that do disagree somewhat. It is not clear to me if the meaning of these words is clear, or ...
8
votes
5answers
377 views

According to Mark 4:11-12, Luke 8:10 and Matthew 13:11-15 why did Christ speak in parables?

Mark 4:11-12, Luke 8:10 & Matt. 13:11-15 says that Christ spoke in parables so that the multitude in 'seeing they would not see' and 'hearing they would not hear', etc. ESV (Mark 4:11-12) ...
7
votes
4answers
2k views

Is Jesus the Good Samaritan?

It seems clear that in at least some parables there is an analogical correspondence between some character in the parable and Jesus. For instance, in the parable of the tenants in Luke 20, most would ...
2
votes
5answers
2k views

How exactly does parable of a tower and a war (Luke 14:28-33) mean that we should give up everything we have?

In the parable in Luke 14:28-32 I see advice to think first and give up risky plans. But the explanation in verse 33 says it means to give up one's earthly belongings, which is quite a different ...
0
votes
0answers
64 views

What is the meaning of the parable of the virgins and the Bridegroom [duplicate]

What is the meaning of the parable of the virgins who were waiting for the Bridegroom's return in Matthew 25:1-13?
2
votes
6answers
1k views

What does the parable about the leaven in the flour mean?

Matthew 13:33; Luke 13:20-21. What does this mean? Matthew 13:33 (KJV): Another parable spake he unto them; The kingdom of heaven is like unto leaven, which a woman took, and hid in three measures ...
4
votes
1answer
517 views

Parable of Ten Virgins: is Jesus' message “stay awake”?

In Matthew 25 Jesus gives the parable of the Ten Virgins. The point of the parable appears to be that one should be prepared. All ten of the virgins fall asleep. But then in verse 13 Jesus appears to ...
13
votes
4answers
30k views

What is the significance of both the priest and the Levite in the Good Samaritan parable?

In the Good Samaritan parable (Luke 10:25-37), the first two people who see the beaten up man are a priest and a Levite. However, a priest is a member of the Levite tribe. So why include both since ...
4
votes
3answers
965 views

Was the Prodigal Son truly repentant?

I have heard that the Prodigal Son was not truly repentant because in Luke 15:17-19 he was still making demands of his father such as "make me like one of your hired servants": ‘When he came to his ...
7
votes
2answers
14k views

Do the specific gifts the father gives to the prodigal son have any special significance?

What is the significance of the robe, ring & sandals in Luke 15:22? ‘But the father said to his servants, “Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on ...
11
votes
13answers
54k views

In Matthew 25:8-9 what does the oil in the ten virgins parable represent?

The parable of the ten virgins is found in Matthew 25:1-12. Verses 8-9 (ESV) read: And the foolish said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’ But the wise answered,...
5
votes
3answers
376 views

Why is the lesson of the fig tree a “parable”?

Unless I have a misunderstanding about what a parable is, I feel that this is not a parable: Matthew 24:32 (KJV) Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth ...
5
votes
1answer
3k views

How did a prisoner pay back debt?

How did a prisoner pay back debt in a 1st century prison? In Matthew 18:21-35 there is a prison that debtors go to payback their debts. Is this done by working there? Were some people there already ...
12
votes
7answers
4k views

Meaning of the Parable of the Sower

Matthew 13:1-23 recounts the Parable of the Sower. This is one that I've heard a number of times in a number of sermons and books. It must have some ambiguity as it's interpretation by pastors and ...
6
votes
5answers
112k views

What does Jesus mean in Luke 5:36-39? (new wine into old wineskins)

I was reading Luke 5, and could not understand verses 36-39. What did Jesus mean? Luke 5:36-39 (New King James Version) reads: 36 Then He spoke a parable to them: “No one puts a piece from a new ...
2
votes
1answer
208 views

To what extent, if at all, should we look for one-to-one correlations between parables and real life?

The main theological debate concerning parables is whether or not to interpret them allegorically. To give an example of allegorization, here is Augustine's interpretation of the parable of the good ...
4
votes
2answers
3k views

Parable of the sower, the seed which fell on stony places?

In Matthew 13, concerning the parable of the sower, Matthew says: Some fell on stony places, where they did not have much earth; and they immediately sprang up because they had no depth of earth. ...
4
votes
5answers
14k views

Who are the Sheep and the Goats in Matthew 25?

In Matthew 25:31-46 Jesus tells this parable. When the Son of Man comes… All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates ...
8
votes
4answers
71k views

What does a mustard seed grow into?

Jesus said, “How shall we picture the kingdom of God, or by what parable shall we present it? It is like a mustard seed, which, when sown upon the soil, though it is smaller than all the seeds that ...
3
votes
1answer
3k views

The meaning of the phrase “mustard seed”? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Does Jesus always use the mustard seed to signify the property of “smallness”? The phrase "mustard seed" is found in the New Testament several times. I am not sure, maybe it ...
4
votes
1answer
368 views

Is Matthew 13:18-23 specific to Matthew's congregation?

Is there any textual evidence to suggest that the explanations to Jesus' parables such as the explanation given to the disciples regarding the Parable of the Sower in Matthew 13:18-23 were not Jesus' ...
12
votes
2answers
945 views

When is allegorization of scripture productive?

If I were to run into the story of the three little pigs accidentally used as a bookmark in my Bible I might draw these conclusions: Clearly the wolf is the Devil trying to devour sinners who are ...
11
votes
3answers
27k views

What is the meaning behind the parable of Children in the Marketplace in Luke 7:31-35?

Can you shed some light over the intended meaning of the parable of the Children in the Marketplace? Is there more context or any words in the parable that have special meaning? Also, are there any ...
13
votes
6answers
29k views

Are the 'ten virgins' told in Jesus' parable multiple brides or just general wedding party?

Jesus told a parable about the kingdom of God involving "ten virgins" and a "bridegroom". It starts out in the beginning of Matthew: Matthew 25:1-2 (ESV) 1 "Then the kingdom of heaven will be ...
6
votes
3answers
747 views

Was the discounting by the manager in Luke 16 a dishonest act?

The shrewd manager in Luke 16 discounted the debts in order to win favor with the debtors. What hermeneutic principle should be used to determine if this was an evil act, or just good business?
13
votes
1answer
2k views

Is Keller's view of the father in the Prodigal Son parable a reasonable interpretation?

In Tim Keller's book "The Prodigal God", Keller points out a fairly incredible dichotomy between older and younger brothers - and the parallels between these categories and our society. In the final ...
17
votes
4answers
52k views

Meaning of “Where there is a dead body, there the vultures will gather.”

In Matthew 24:28 and Luke 17:37, Jesus uses the phrase "Where there is a dead body, there the vultures will gather." Was Jesus speaking in a parable? Idiom? How has this phrase been interpreted?