Naked Bible Episode 026: Advice for Interpreting Parables

Posted By on September 29, 2012

In the last podcast episode I continued the series on studying the Bible in light of its various types of literature – its literary genres. I looked at an example related to the New Testament – how the literary features of Greco-Roman phantom tales and “post-mortem appearances” of the dead inform our reading of NT resurrection accounts. In this episode, I focus on a type of literature that appears in both testaments, but which is most familiar in the New Testament:  the parable.

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3 Responses to “Naked Bible Episode 026: Advice for Interpreting Parables”

  1. Patrick says:

    There’s a guy named Kenneth Bailey who wrote a book called , “Jesus Through Middle Eastern Eyes”.

    He spent 40 years in that region and his views of the parables seems to take in the hermeneutic techniques Blomberg suggests, plus he is about as familiar with their culture as a westerner could be.

    One thing I wonder about every NT idea, the parable’s as well, are links to OT theology. For example, Moses warned the Jews somewhere that the day would come when Yahweh would make them jealous with the Gentiles.

    Looking at The Prodigal son, the older brother sure was jealous and it makes me wonder if that one isn’t about the era of Jesus where Jews largely rejected Him as Messiah and the Gentiles were “coming home” to Yahweh, from the Babel era?

    Is that a goofy interpretation to you?

  2. Patrick says:

    The younger brother would be in that interpretation.

    He asked for his inheritance before his father was even dead, according to Bailey an outrage in near eastern culture. Went off on his merry way, basically telling the father, “who needs you” which does seem about what the Babel group did.

    Then, he hits bottom, returns home to the father and unlike near eastern culture, the father runs to him and loves him w/o measure or restriction and informs the jealous old brother “you’ve always had access to all that is mine as well”.

    I’ve heard a couple of different views, this one made more logic to me is all. Younger brother is in with God, leaves access willfully for an era and is back in, seems to follow the broad Gentile attitude towards God in the narrative then add in the jealous older brother.

    The other views I’ve heard don’t account for the jealous older brother.

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