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Parables. The main theme of the parables and of the gospel is the kingdom of God. When Jesus began to travel, he spoke about the kingdom of God.

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Introduction

Introduction My name is Carlene and this coursework is based on parables. Parables are important in the teaching of Jesus, as these are the stories that Jesus used to teach his followers-disciples/apostles in order to teach them lessons about life. Parables are important for the study of Christianity, as they were a central feature of Jesus' teaching. Parables are stories told to convey a spiritual point. Ai) what is meant by the term parable? A parable is a simple story with a clear teaching. The meaning is left for the listeners to work out for themselves. A parable relates to real life and everyday events to illustrate truths about God. Parables can be short e.g. the parable of the yeast Lk13: 20-21 and some are long e.g. the lost son Lk15: 11-32. A parable can be described as "an earthly story with a heavenly meaning". The word parable comes from the Greek word parabole and it means a comparison or an analogy-some of Jesus' parables are comparisons, they compare what is known and familiar on earth with the kingdom of God which is spiritual and less familiar. Parable can also mean, "throwing beside" or "placing beside". Biblical parables were originally examples of a Hebrew genre called meshalim. Well-known examples of parables include The Good Samaritan and The Lost (or prodigal) Son. The word allegory derives from the Greek word Allegoria meaning "speaking otherwise" the term, describes any writing in a prose or verse that has a double meaning. An allegory involves the interaction of multiple symbols that together create a moral, spiritual or even a political meaning. Like the rabbis of his time, Jesus used simple word pictures; called parables to help people understand who God is and what his kingdom or reign is like. Jesus used images and characters taken from everyday life to create a miniature play or drama to illustrate his message. ...read more.

Middle

He then told them to kill the prize calf and that they were going to celebrate the return of his son with a feast. The father then says that his son was dead and now he is alive, his son was lost but now he is found. Therefore, the feasting began. In the meantime, the elder son was out in the field. As he drew closer to the house, he heard the music and dancing. Therefore, he called one of the servants and asked him what was going on and the servant replied your brother has come back home and your father has killed the prize calf, because he got him back unharmed. The elder brother was extremely angry and he would not enter the house, so his father went out side and begged him to come inside the but he said to his father "look, all these years I have worked for you like a slave, and I have never disobeyed your orders. What have you given me? Not even a goat for me to have a feast with my friends! But this son of yours wasted all your property on prostitutes and when he comes back you kill the prize calf for him". The father answered "my son you are always here with me and everything I have is yours, but we had to celebrate and be happy because your brother was dead but now he is alive; he was lost but now he has been found". When the son returned home he had reached a point of repentance (in Greek this is metanoia which means a change of heart or mind) as he had realised his fathers' servants were better off than he was. The father treated the son like a honoured guest when he returned, the robe was a sign of honour, the ring was a rich gift and a sign of position or authority, the shoes were also a sign of honour, the fatted prize calf was kept especially for the arrival of a special guest or for a special occasion. ...read more.

Conclusion

Firstly, I both agree and disagree with this statement. I do not agree with the statement that says that "the parables are no longer relevant for life today" because generally people have not changed much and parables speak to the needs of the human condition whatever the age. For example, the parable of The Good Samaritan still teaches us that we should love our neighbour and that we should not discriminate against others because of race, colour, gender, religion, and age etc. people still like to listen to stories rather than long sermons or talks, the parables still hold people's attention. Parables are interesting and easy to listen to and understand, the language used to tell them is pretty plain and simple. Parables are memorable because they are short stories with one main message, which is the meaning or teaching, and are therefore very effective as many people still remember the parable of The Good Samaritan. Parables provoked a response from the listeners and encouraged them to think for themselves and interpret the parable in their own unique individual way and once they themselves had worked out the meaning, they would be more likely to remember it. On the other hand Some parables are more fully understood if the background of the stories is explained. For example, The Good Samaritan is better understood if the listeners are aware that there is conflict between Jews and Samaritans. As this issue is the main emphasis of the parable because if the two sets of people got on it wouldn't be such a big deal that a Samaritan helped out a Jew. Parables do not teach in detail about some modern issues of disease, environment, modern warfare and television. Lifestyles and attitudes have changed and therefore the parables are harder to relate to in the world of today in some cases. In conclusion, despite some problems of interpretation, the main teachings of the parables are relevant for life today; this is because human nature has not really changed. 1 ...read more.

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