parables

parables

In a technical sense, very short stories with a double meaning. In the biblical tradition, however, the term is used broadly to designate a variety of literary forms that convey metaphorical or figurative meaning, not only stories but aphorisms, proverbs, riddles, dialogues, and discourses. The OT abounds in figurative language of many sorts, but contains only a few parables in the narrower sense of a short story with a double meaning. The “Song of the Vineyard,” found in (Isa 5:1-2), is one such example. Another is the story Nathan tells David about the theft of a prized lamb (2Sam 12:1-4). It is with the parables of Jesus in the NT that the parable as a literary art form reaches its high point. His parables are, again, of all sorts, including metaphorical aphorism (Mark 3:24-33) as well as narrative (Luke 15:11-22).

Some NT parables of Jesus

Mustard seed (Mark 4:30-32; Matt 13:31; Matt 13:32; Luke 13:18-19)

Sower (Mark 4:3-8; Matt 13:3-8; Luke 8:5-8)

Evil tenants (Mark 12:1-11; Matt 21:33-42; Luke 20:9-18)

Harvest time (Mark 4:26-29)

Leaven (Matt 13:33; Luke 13:20-21)

Great banquet (Matt 22:1-4; Luke 14:16-24)

Lost sheep (Matt 18:12-13; Luke 15:4-6)

Talents (Matt 25:14-30; Luke 19:11-27)

Wheat and weeds (Matt 13:24-30)

Treasure (Matt 13:44)

Pearl (Matt 13:45-46)

Net (Matt 13:47-48)

Rich fool (Luke 12:16-20)

Unmerciful servant (Matt 18:23-24)

Laborers in the vineyard (Matt 20:1-15)

Ten bridesmaids (Matt 25:1-12)

Good Samaritan (Luke 10:30-35)

Barren fig tree (Luke 13:6-9)

Tower builder (Luke 14:28-30)

King at war (Luke 14:31-32)

Lost coin (Luke 15:8-9)

Prodigal son (Luke 15:11-32)

Unjust steward (Luke 16:1-7)

Rich man and Lazarus (Luke 16:9-31)

Unjust judge (Luke 18:2-5)

Pharisee and publican (Luke 18:10-13)

Isa 5:1-2

The Song of the Unfruitful Vineyard
1Let me sing for my beloved
my love-song concerning his vineyard:
My beloved had a vineyard
on a very fertile hill.2He dug i ... View more

2Sam 12:1-4

1and the Lord sent Nathan to David. He came to him, and said to him, “There were two men in a certain city, the one rich and the other poor.2The rich man had ve ... View more

Mark 3:24-33

24If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand.25And if a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand.26And if Sa ... View more

Luke 15:11-22

The Parable of the Prodigal and His Brother
11Then Jesus said, “There was a man who had two sons.12The younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the ... View more

Mark 4:30-32

The Parable of the Mustard Seed
30He also said, “With what can we compare the kingdom of God, or what parable will we use for it?31It is like a mustard seed, wh ... View more

Matt 13:31

The Parable of the Mustard Seed
31He put before them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed that someone took and sowed in his field;

Matt 13:32

32it is the smallest of all the seeds, but when it has grown it is the greatest of shrubs and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and make nests i ... View more

Luke 13:18-19

The Parable of the Mustard Seed
18He said therefore, “What is the kingdom of God like? And to what should I compare it?19It is like a mustard seed that someone ... View more

Mark 4:3-8

3“Listen! A sower went out to sow.4And as he sowed, some seed fell on the path, and the birds came and ate it up.5Other seed fell on rocky ground, where it did ... View more

Matt 13:3-8

3And he told them many things in parables, saying: “Listen! A sower went out to sow.4And as he sowed, some seeds fell on the path, and the birds came and ate th ... View more

Luke 8:5-8

5“A sower went out to sow his seed; and as he sowed, some fell on the path and was trampled on, and the birds of the air ate it up.6Some fell on the rock; and a ... View more

Mark 12:1-11

The Parable of the Wicked Tenants
1Then he began to speak to them in parables. “A man planted a vineyard, put a fence around it, dug a pit for the wine press, a ... View more

Matt 21:33-42

The Parable of the Wicked Tenants
33“Listen to another parable. There was a landowner who planted a vineyard, put a fence around it, dug a wine press in it, and ... View more

Luke 20:9-18

The Parable of the Wicked Tenants
9He began to tell the people this parable: “A man planted a vineyard, and leased it to tenants, and went to another country fo ... View more

Mark 4:26-29

The Parable of the Growing Seed
26He also said, “The kingdom of God is as if someone would scatter seed on the ground,27and would sleep and rise night and day, ... View more

Matt 13:33

The Parable of the Yeast
33He told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like yeast that a woman took and mixed in with three measures of flour until ... View more

Luke 13:20-21

The Parable of the Yeast
20And again he said, “To what should I compare the kingdom of God?21It is like yeast that a woman took and mixed in with three measures ... View more

Matt 22:1-4

The Parable of the Wedding Banquet
1Once more Jesus spoke to them in parables, saying:2“The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who gave a wedding banqu ... View more

Luke 14:16-24

16Then Jesus said to him, “Someone gave a great dinner and invited many.17At the time for the dinner he sent his slave to say to those who had been invited, ‘Co ... View more

Matt 18:12-13

12What do you think? If a shepherd has a hundred sheep, and one of them has gone astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine on the mountains and go in search of ... View more

Luke 15:4-6

4“Which one of you, having a hundred sheep and losing one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness and go after the one that is lost until he f ... View more

Matt 25:14-30

The Parable of the Talents
14“For it is as if a man, going on a journey, summoned his slaves and entrusted his property to them;15to one he gave five talents, t ... View more

Luke 19:11-27

The Parable of the Ten Pounds
11As they were listening to this, he went on to tell a parable, because he was near Jerusalem, and because they supposed that the ... View more

Matt 13:24-30

The Parable of Weeds among the Wheat
24He put before them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to someone who sowed good seed in his field;25 ... View more

Matt 13:44

Three Parables
44“The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which someone found and hid; then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and b ... View more

Matt 13:45-46

45“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls;46on finding one pearl of great value, he went and sold all that he had and bought i ... View more

Matt 13:47-48

47“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a net that was thrown into the sea and caught fish of every kind;48when it was full, they drew it ashore, sat down, and ... View more

Luke 12:16-20

16Then he told them a parable: “The land of a rich man produced abundantly.17And he thought to himself, ‘What should I do, for I have no place to store my crops ... View more

Matt 18:23-24

The Parable of the Unforgiving Servant
23“For this reason the kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who wished to settle accounts with his slaves.24When h ... View more

Matt 20:1-15

The Laborers in the Vineyard
1“For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire laborers for his vineyard.2After agreeing ... View more

Matt 25:1-12

The Parable of the Ten Bridesmaids
1“Then the kingdom of heaven will be like this. Ten bridesmaids took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom.2Five of the ... View more

Luke 10:30-35

30Jesus replied, “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell into the hands of robbers, who stripped him, beat him, and went away, leaving him hal ... View more

Luke 13:6-9

The Parable of the Barren Fig Tree
6Then he told this parable: “A man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard; and he came looking for fruit on it and found none ... View more

Luke 14:28-30

28For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not first sit down and estimate the cost, to see whether he has enough to complete it?29Otherwise, when he ... View more

Luke 14:31-32

31Or what king, going out to wage war against another king, will not sit down first and consider whether he is able with ten thousand to oppose the one who come ... View more

Luke 15:8-9

The Parable of the Lost Coin
8“Or what woman having ten silver coins, if she loses one of them, does not light a lamp, sweep the house, and search carefully unt ... View more

Luke 15:11-32

The Parable of the Prodigal and His Brother
11Then Jesus said, “There was a man who had two sons.12The younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the ... View more

Luke 16:1-7

The Parable of the Dishonest Manager
1Then Jesus said to the disciples, “There was a rich man who had a manager, and charges were brought to him that this man w ... View more

Luke 16:9-31

9And I tell you, make friends for yourselves by means of dishonest wealth so that when it is gone, they may welcome you into the eternal homes.10“Whoever is fai ... View more

Luke 18:2-5

2He said, “In a certain city there was a judge who neither feared God nor had respect for people.3In that city there was a widow who kept coming to him and sayi ... View more

Luke 18:10-13

10“Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector.11The Pharisee, standing by himself, was praying thus, ‘God, I thank you ... View more

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