Parable Series (pt. 1)
We've all come across Jesus' parables. Some of these stories have been revisited time and again throughout our lives.
But haven't we all, at some point, finished reading a parable and wondered, "What exactly did that mean?"
In the ancient Near Eastern culture, storytelling techniques like parables and fables were cornerstones of communication. Jewish Rabbis and their audiences eagerly anticipated teachings being shared through captivating stories that sparked their imaginations.
By narrating a simple parable, listeners could easily recall the teachings about God as they went about their day. Seamlessly intertwined with Biblical references, these stories highlighted profound truths about God, His kingdom, and our role in it. As these tales are passed down, the embedded truths resonate more deeply over time.
There are many good books on parables. I will provide a reference to three.
The first book - mentioned in the video - is by Kenneth E. Bailey. If you want to understand more about Jesus and the Eastern Culture as well as a number of his parables, this book is a must-read. Jesus Through Middle Eastern Eyes: Cultural Studies in the Gospels
The second book is by Brad Young and explores many of Jesus' parables through a Rabbinic perspective: The Parables: Jewish Tradition and Christian Interpretation
The final book, which I mention in the video, is best if you're further down the road in your studies. The book is a compilation of Rabbinic Parables, but the authors do not spend time going through Jesus' parables.
They Also Taught in Parables: Rabbinic Parables from the First Centuries of the Christian Era by McArthur and Johnston.
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The Bible is an ancient Near Eastern document. As such, communication is always preferred in a "concrete" manner. One of the ways of making an abstract idea "concrete" - and therefore easier to communicate - is to speak in metaphor using something that everyone would know from their surroundings.
A favorite is the use of specific plants. It is the characteristics of the particular plant which carries the message.
In today's video, we look at a peculiar plant that is used by Jeremiah to communicate about those who do not place their trust in God. Join us as we explore this desert plant of Jeremiah 17.
For this lesson I refer to a book by Nogah Hareuveni called Desert and Shepherd in our Biblical Heritage.
As a note - Nogah Hareuveni is Jewish - so the "our" in the title of his book "in our Biblical Heritage" refers to Jewish heritage. Many of his quotes are from Jewish writings such as the Mishna or Talmud.
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Scott Broberg - I have a Masters of Divinity (MDiv) from Bethel Seminary - San Diego - Biblical Studies with and emphasis on the Old Testament.
- Ladder of Jacob
- Our Rabbi Jesus
- That the World May Know
- Early Jewish Writings
- Early Christian Writings
- Abarim Publications
- Hebrew 4 Christians
- Holy Land Photos
- Biblical Archaeology Society
- Ancient Hebrew Research Center
- First Fruits of Zion
- Jerusalem Perspective
- Rabbi Jonathan Sacks
- Flavius Josephus.org
- Bible Archaeology Report
- Hebrew Streams
- Biblical Resources
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