Parables - real events or fictitious illustrations?

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Keith M, Apr 7, 2007.

  1. Keith M

    Keith M
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    Do you view parables in the Bible as illustrations made up to get a point across or as real events that perfectly illustrated a point? Do you feel the parables in the Bible are a mixture of fact and fiction? Please give examples of parables you think are either real situations or fictitious illustrations.

    I'll get the ball rolling with the story of Lazarus and the rich man. I think this parable was from Jesus' memory. I think it was used to illustrate the point Jesus was making.
     
  2. amity

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    I think all parables by definition were made up to illustrate a point. BUT many Bible stories that we think are parables are in fact not parables at all. I have heard some say that Lazarus and the rich man is one example that is not a parable at all, but a true story.
     
  3. Salty

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    The story of Lazarus is the only parable in which at least one character is named. I believe that many of the parables are true stories.

    Salty


    ps
    par·a·ble /Pronunciation Key - Show Spelled Pronunciation[par-uh-buh[​IMG]l]Pronunciation Key - Show IPA Pronunciation
    –noun 1.a short allegorical story designed to illustrate or teach some truth, religious principle, or moral lesson. 2.a statement or comment that conveys a meaning indirectly by the use of comparison, analogy, or the like.
    [Origin: 1275–1325; ME parabil < LL parabola comparison, parable, word < Gk parabol[​IMG] comparison, equiv. to para- para-1 + bol[​IMG] a throwing[​IMG]]
     
    #3 Salty, Apr 7, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 7, 2007
  4. preachinjesus

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    I believe that all the parables were true stories about events in historical past, present, or future that Christ knew about.

    We have taken the term parable and associated a fictional context to it, but I'm not so sure that is accurate for what Christ did. Afterall He did have access to divine omniscience.

    great question...:)
     
  5. Plain Old Bill

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    Every time Christ speaks in a parable we are told first that it is a parable.So Jesus is saying pay attention I'm telling you a story to illustrate a truth. The story may or may not be true,it does'nt matter, the point of the story is the purpose of the story.:godisgood:
     
  6. webdog

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    Plain Old Bill gave the best Plain Old answer you can give :thumbs:
     
  7. tinytim

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    And he made plain ol sense....
     
  8. gb93433

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    Mark 4:11-13, "As soon as He was alone, His followers, along with the twelve, began asking Him about the parables. And He was saying to them, "To you has been given the mystery of the kingdom of God, but those who are outside get everything in parables, so that while seeing, they may see and not perceive, and while hearing, they may hear and not understand, otherwise they might return and be forgiven." And He said to them, "Do you not understand this parable? How will you understand all the parables?"
     
  9. Keith M

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    Not all parables are found in the New Testament. In Judges we find the parable of trees choosing a king.

    This parable cannot possibly be true without miraculous intervention from God. In their natural state trees do not have the ability to speak, to reason and to choose. They are objects with a life of their own but this life has no human qualities.

    There is another OT parable which may or may not have been a real situation used to illustrate a point.

    I am glad no one who has responded so far has said that all parables were true, because the Judges passage above would disprove such an opinion (that is unless God intervened and gave these trees human abilities).

    So far the general concensus seems to be that parables may or may not have been true events but that the points the parables illustrate are more important than the parables themselves. I agree with that wholeheartedly...
     
  10. John of Japan

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    Our English word "parable" is a transliteration of the original Greek word, which was parabole. Here is part of its definition in Thayer's Greek Lexicon:

    2) metaphorically
    2a) a comparing, comparison of one thing with another, likeness, similitude
    2b) an example by which a doctrine or precept is illustrated
    2c) a narrative, fictitious but agreeable to the laws and usages of human life, by which either the duties of men or the things of God, particularly the nature and history of God’s kingdom are figuratively portrayed
    2d) a parable: an earthly story with a heavenly meaning


    So, a parable is by definition fictional. However, in the case of Lazarus and the rich man, the term "parable" is not used, so I believe it is a true story.

    It's fun to find the humor in the parables. My Japanese linguist friend "Uncle Miya" Miyakawa and I were working Friday to translate the parable of the unjust servant in Matt. 18:23-35 when we were hit by the humor of a king loaning a servant 10,000 talants, a huge amount of money in those days (so, very obviously fiction). Christ's audience must have been rolling with laughter! :laugh:
     
    #10 John of Japan, Apr 8, 2007
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