Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE (www.oxfordhandbooks.com). © Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 21 May 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter examines parables in both the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament. A review of the history of parable interpretation reveals how many complex issues surround even the identification, let alone the interpretation, of biblical parables. This essay briefly examines some modern readings of very popular biblical parables, noting how as scholars change or “shift” their methodologies, operating assumptions, or narrative focus, the central themes or “meaning” of the parable they are reading shifts, as well. Parables are deceptively complex narratives, and reading biblical parables involves a creative engagement with their complexity. Sifting through the questions and problems raised by biblical parables, and the shifting interpretive assumptions and interests as a result, creates awareness of the array what parables might “mean.” In the end, the meaning of a parable lies in the process of interpretation itself—in the affectual component of a parable—and transcends simple articulation.

Keywords: Hebrew Bible, mashal, New Testament, prodigal son, David (king), Nathan, Jotham, allegory, biblical parable, good Samaritan

Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.