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What is a parable?
by Art Schnatterly
12/29/11
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We are all familiar with Jesus parables. He used them frequently to teach. Examples are His parables of the Prodigal Son, the Ten Virgins and the Good Samaritan.

Parables are not unique to Christianity, but they are most often associated with Jesus’ teachings.

Wikipedia says:
A parable is a brief, succinct story, in prose or verse, that illustrates a moral or religious lesson. It differs from a fable in that fables use animals, plants, inanimate objects, and forces of nature as characters, while parables generally feature human characters.

Let’s look at the origin of the word parable.

In Greek, the word is: parabol„“. It comes from two other Greek words:

para: beside or near. A similar word is parallel.

ballein: to throw

So, translated, to tell a parable is to”throw beside or near.”

Since a parable is thrown beside rather than at, to grasp it we have to move. As commonly understood in Christianity, it means moving our moral understanding.

Throw beside. Works for me.

Shalom,
Art
Alive in The Word

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