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  • The Parable of Lazarus and the Rich Man

    Long (two-part) post; enjoy.

    I enjoy reading the parables of Christ because they contain so much information packed into otherwise simple allegories. Sometimes they teach something found in other parts of the Bible. For example, there are the parables of the mustard seed, and the leavened bread.
    The kingdom of heaven is like a grain of mustard seed that a man took and sowed in his field. It is the smallest of all seeds, but when it has grown it is larger than all the garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and make nests in its branches.
    The kingdom of heaven is like leaven that a woman took and hid in three measures of flour, till it was all leavened.
    These seem to be pretty simple teachings: the Kingdom of God will get bigger, right? But Christ's parables are more than simple allegories, they often also play into larger parts of prophecy. Read through the book of Daniel and see if you can find what Christ was referring to. And, the longer the parables, the more likely we're to find multi-layered messages. My personal favorites include the parable of the wedding feast, the parable of the Samaritan, and recently, the parable of Lazarus and the rich man. Which brings me to the primary topic of this post.

    I've done quite a bit of studying on this parable over the years, as I'm sure many have. But an article I read recently has, I think given some understanding on the parable, so I thought I'd share some of the key points from the article, as well as a few thoughts of my own (I won't be pasting the whole article; it's a somewhat larger in length than what I've typed up here, and some of the other points of information are eschatalogical, which isn't what I'm interested in sharing).
    There was a rich man who was clothed in purple and fine linen and who feasted sumptuously every day. And at his gate was laid a poor man named Lazarus, covered with sores, who desired to be fed with what fell from the rich man's table. Moreover, even the dogs came and licked his sores.

    The poor man died and was carried by the angels to Abraham's side. The rich man also died and was buried, and in Hades, being in torment, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham far off and Lazarus at his side. And he called out, "Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus to dip the end of his finger in water and cool my tongue, for I am in anguish in this flame."

    But Abraham said, "Child, remember that you in your lifetime received your good things, and Lazarus in like manner bad things; but now he is comforted here, and you are in anguish. And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been fixed, in order that those who would pass from here to you may not be able, and none may cross from there to us."

    And he said, "Then I beg you, father, to send him to my father's house—for I have five brothers—so that he may warn them, lest they also come into this place of torment."

    But Abraham said, "They have Moses and the Prophets; let them hear them."

    And he said, "No, father Abraham, but if someone goes to them from the dead, they will repent."

    He said to him, "If they do not hear Moses and the Prophets, neither will they be convinced if someone should rise from the dead."
    It's my belief that not a single detail that Christ gives in His parables can be removed and leave the message intact. For instance, in the parable of the Samaritan—have you ever actually wondered why Christ so specifically said the Samaritan paid two denarii to the innkeeper? Why not one? Or three? Why two? Every detail is important. In the case of this parable, it always seems like people skip over the little details and jump for the bigger things. This parable is often used to set an example on helping the poor, or not letting your morality be influenced by money. Helping the poor? Sure, that's an important lesson to learn from this. Not letting your morality be influenced by wealth? Also a good idea. But most often, this parable is used as proof of what Christ taught about the afterlife. But was this parable actually being used to teach about the nature of sheol/hades and the afterlife, or could it be something else entirely? [1]

    Here's a quick rundown of sheol as taught in the Old Testament: (a) it was the abode of the dead, (b) it is heavily implied that both the wicked and the righteous would go there when they died, and (c) it's a kind of gloomy place (no one is thrilled to be there). And that's it. In the Old Testament, nothing really says people will be punished or rewarded in sheol, or that angels would carry them there, or that there was a large chasm between the wicked and righteous. What Christ describes in this parable is almost nothing like what the Old Testament actually says about sheol.

    On the other hand, what Christ describes is very similar to the Jewish conception of sheol as it is found in the Intertestamental period: the timeframe that took place after the return from the Babylonian Exile, but before the coming of Christ. During this time frame there was an intense Hellenization of Jewish culture, and this was reflected in their writings. In short: the concept of sheol that Christ gives in the parable most resembles the Intertestamental writings of the Jews, which were heavily influenced by the Greek conceptions of the afterlife (including a guide to the afterlife, torment for the evil, and a chasm dividing the wicked from the righteous), and not the pre-Hellenic [2] conceptions of sheol.

    By now, you've noticed that I've called the parable of Lazarus and the rich man a parable. I do not believe this is a true story, but that it is a completely fictitious parable. This is very opposite to what a lot of people think. Most Christians tend to think of it as a true story, usually based on the sole fact that the poor man is given a name (something Christ doesn't do in His other parables). But, one of the main reasons is precisely because of the above information: that Christ was using a (post-Hellenization) cultural myth as an allegorical device to get across a greater message. [3]

    So, if Christ was using a Hellenic myth about sheol, and He wasn't actually giving a lesson on the afterlife, what exactly is He getting at? It would be a major over-simplification to say He was just teaching about helping the poor or being a rich jerk. So what's it all mean?

    We first need to check out the context of the parable. In the previous chapter (Luke 15), the "tax collectors and sinners were all drawing near to [Jesus]". To this, "the Pharisees and the scribes grumbled" at Christ associating with "tax collectors and sinners". In response to the Pharisees, Christ jumps right into telling some parables. First we have the lost sheep being found again. Then we have the lost coin being found again. Then there's the prodigal son... but take a careful note of how that parable ends: the son who didn't leave his father's house complains about not being given special treatment, and he grumbles about the lost son being rejoiced over.

    Christ is making a commentary about the Pharisees: they grumble and complain about the lost being found. If it was up to the Pharisees, they would simply condemn or ignore the lost sinners. Then we come to the parable about a master who has a man working for him as the steward of his money. In this parable, the steward is called by the master to give an account for his abuse of the money. In essence, Christ was criticizing the Pharisees for abusing the riches they were given, being the Law and the Prophets. "The Pharisees, who were lovers of money, heard all these things, and they ridiculed Him."

    After a quick rebuke by Christ, He then goes into this parable of Lazarus and the rich man. So the context of this parable is the Pharisees and their unrighteous rejection of "sinners" and their unrighteous stewardship of the Law and the Prophets. So, that is the overall context of the parable, but there's still more to gather from it. Remember, every detail in Christ's parables is important. There is a specific reason that the poor man's name is Lazarus, but I don't believe it meant that Christ was referring to an actual poor man named Lazarus who was sitting outside of a rich guy's house.

    The rich man is described to us as thus: He is rich. He is clothed in purple. He feasts greatly. He dies, and is buried. He is in sheol, and he is in torment. He calls upon "Father Abraham". He has five brothers. His brothers have "Moses and the Prophets".

    From the context of the previous parables, we can easily recognize that the rich man is continuing the representation of the unrighteous stewards of the Law and the Prophets (such as the Pharisees, and other unrighteous Jews). He is rich, because he has the Law and the Prophets. He is clothed in purple, which I believe represents the Jewish priesthood (purple was a dominant color used in the priestly garments and in the tabernacle's veils). [4]

    And we infer from the text that the rich man ignored the poor Lazarus, which is why, when he dies, he is buried and undergoes torment in sheol. Further pointing out that this man represents unrighteous Jews is that he calls Abraham "Father"; he is a descendent of Abraham. Likewise, we are told that the rich man's five brothers have "Moses [the Law] and the Prophets". But, yet one more detail helps point out that the rich man represents the unrighteous of the Jews, that is, he represents the unrighteous people of Judah (being the Hebrew version of "Judea"). Since the rich man has five brothers, that means he is one of six sons. In the Old Testament, where can we find six sons? In Genesis 35:23; "The sons of Leah: Reuben (Jacob's firstborn), Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, and Zebulun." Leah even states it plainly: "God has endowed me with a good endowment; now my husband will honor me, because I have borne him six sons."

    Since "Jew" is derived from "Judah", I consider it highly plausible that, in the parable, the rich man, who is intended to convey the unrighteous Jews, that he is, in fact, Judah himself (in an allegorical form, at least); hence, Judah has five brothers (in allegory these would be the other five sons of Leah, but they are intended to represent other Jews/Israelites). What we find is that Christ, in His parable, is criticizing the Jews who would unrighteously wield the Law and the Prophets, and reject the "sinful" and lost, which is precisely what Christ had been pointing out when the "the Pharisees and the scribes grumbled" at His reaching out to them.
    Last edited by markedward; Jan 30th 2009, 04:19 AM. Reason: [Grammatical errors, also.]
    To This Day

  • #2
    Lazarus is described as thus: His name is Lazarus. He is poor. He sits at the gate of the rich man's home. He desires the food from the rich man's table. His sores are licked by dogs. He dies, and is carried by angels to be with Abraham. He is comforted.

    In the entirety of the parable, Lazarus is not described as being Jewish. He isn't described as wearing purple, or as being rich, or as a son of Abraham, or even if he has family. He's just poor, he sits outside of the rich man's home, he desires even just the rich man's scraps of food, and he is in the company of dogs. The one thing I'm sure most people want to know is, "Why is he named Lazarus?" This is where Christ's multi-layered imagery is so clever. Lazarus is the Greek version of the Hebrew name Eliezer. And, while the connection may initially seem like a leap, it does tie in quite strongly. Eliezer, in the parable, is an allusion to Eliezer, the Gentile servant of Abram/Abraham. In essence, he represents the Gentiles. Eliezer was intended to be Abram's heir (Genesis 15:2), but God told Abram that he would have a son of his own (Isaac) who would be his heir. The Gentile Eliezer wasn't in the plan for Abram's inheritance.

    Instead, Abram, renamed Abraham, has Isaac, who becomes his heir—and not just to his worldy possessions, but to God's promises. Isaac in turn has Jacob (renamed Israel), who in turn has his twelve sons, the Israelites. These Israelites are to be given Abraham's inheritance, whereas the Gentile Eliezer is cut out of the picture. Well, only technically. Remember that God told Abraham that through him (and his descendents, the Israelites), all nations would be blessed. The Gentiles would be included in the promise. But it would be through Abraham's offspring, the Israelites—who were given the Law and the Prophets.

    Hence, in the parable the rich man represents the Jews [5] who were unrighteous stewards of the Law and the Prophets, and did not extend the promise to the Gentiles, and thus were cut off from the promise themselves. And Eliezer, who is restored to Abraham's side and receives his inheritance as he originally would have, represents the Gentiles, who are brought into the promise.

    Further evidence of this is found throughout the gospels. First, and what should be most obvious, is that Eliezer is a poor man; this is in direct contrast to the Jews being represented as a "rich man" in this parable, and as a steward of riches in the previous parable. The riches are, of course, the Law and the Prophets, so for Eliezer to be poor means that he does not have the Law and the Prophets, as in, Gentile.

    Eliezer is also said to be outside the gates of the rich man's home; again, the Gentiles were outside of the promises that the Jews had. And an even stronger allusion is that Eliezer (a) desires the food that falls from the rich man's table, and (b) is in the company of dogs. Just go to Matthew 15, and we can find both of these details of Eliezer, as a Gentile, found in Christ's conversation with the Canaanite (being a Gentile) woman. Christ says, "It is not right to take the children's bread and throw it to the dogs." The woman replies, "Yes, Lord, yet even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from the their masters' table."

    "Dogs" was being used as a euphemism for "Gentiles", and "crumbs ... from [the] masters' table" was used in reference to the great things that the Jews had in store (at least, through Jews' Messiah, being Christ). The woman, a "dog", desired the "food" falling from the table of the rich. Eliezer, in the company of "dogs", also desired the "food" falling from the table of the rich. Meaning, even the Gentiles desire the great things that God has to offer.

    And to wrap it all up, the parable ends with an allusion to Christ's future resurrection, and how even when He is raised to life, the unrighteous Jews would not believe in Him, and they would still act unrighteously. (This, of course, is seen throughout Acts, and evidenced in the epistles.) So once we get through all of imagery Christ uses in the parable, we end up with this basic message:

    Unrighteous Jews would be cut out from the inheritance of Abraham, while faithful Gentiles would be added on to the inheritance. Sounds familiar, doesn't it? We find this very message preached by Paul in his epistle to the Romans:
    But it is not as though the word of God has failed. For not all who are descended from Israel belong to Israel, and not all are children of Abraham because they are his offspring, but "Through Isaac shall your offspring be named." This means that it is not the children of the flesh who are the children of God, but the children of the promise are counted as offspring.
    and
    I ask, then, has God rejected his people? By no means! For I myself am an Israelite, a descendant of Abraham, a member of the tribe of Benjamin. ... What then? Israel failed to obtain what it was seeking. The elect obtained it, but the rest were hardened ... So I ask, did they stumble in order that they might fall? By no means! Rather through their trespass salvation has come to the Gentiles, so as to make Israel jealous. Now if their trespass means riches for the world, and if their failure means riches for the Gentiles, how much more will their full inclusion mean! Now I am speaking to you Gentiles. Inasmuch then as I am an apostle to the Gentiles, I magnify my ministry in order somehow to make my fellow Jews jealous, and thus save some of them. For if their rejection means the reconciliation of the world, what will their acceptance mean but life from the dead? If the dough offered as firstfruits is holy, so is the whole lump, and if the root is holy, so are the branches. But if some of the branches were broken off, and you, although a wild olive shoot, were grafted in among the others and now share in the nourishing root of the olive tree, do not be arrogant toward the branches. If you are, remember it is not you who support the root, but the root that supports you. Then you will say, "Branches were broken off so that I might be grafted in." That is true. They were broken off because of their unbelief, but you stand fast through faith. So do not become proud, but fear. For if God did not spare the natural branches, neither will he spare you.Note then the kindness and the severity of God: severity toward those who have fallen, but God's kindness to you, provided you continue in his kindness. Otherwise you too will be cut off. And even they, if they do not continue in their unbelief, will be grafted in, for God has the power to graft them in again. For if you were cut from what is by nature a wild olive tree, and grafted, contrary to nature, into a cultivated olive tree, how much more will these, the natural branches, be grafted back into their own olive tree. Lest you be wise in your own sight, I want you to understand this mystery, brothers: a partial hardening has come upon Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in.
    and finally
    There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you are Christ's, then you are Abraham's offspring, heirs according to promise.
    [1] Although the Greek text says hades, it is commonly accepted that since the Septuagint, which was the "official" Greek translation of the original Hebrew scriptures, uses hades in place of sheol that Christ is, in fact, referring to the Old Testament sheol, so I will be using that term instead of the Greek hades.

    [2] Just to clarify: when I say "Hellenic", what I mean is "something from the Jewish culture after it had been influenced by the Hellenization". So I am referring to Jewish things, but things that resulted from the heavy Greek influence.

    [3] At this point, some of you will likely object at my claim that Christ was teaching using myth to teach: yet how is this any different than the fact that Paul quoted two different Greek passages about the polytheistic-god Zeus when he was trying to get across a message about One God? Paul wasn't verifying Zeus' existence as being true when he quoted passages about Zeus. He was using cultural literature of the Greeks to describe the One God to the Greeks. And likewise, I believe, Christ wasn't verifying the Hellenic myth of sheol as being true just because He used the then-popular mythology in His parable. So I'm not saying sheol is a myth; it was clearly spoken about in the Old Testament, and it makes its reappearance now and then throughout the New Testament as well. But how it is presented in this parable is so significantly unlike the rest of Scriptural descriptions of sheol, and it is so significantly like the post-Hellenization non-Scriptural descriptions of sheol, that I believe this particular instance of sheol is using the stuff of myth to carry the bigger message, rather than the actual sheol.

    [4] On a semi-related note, this is one of the many reasons why I believe the harlot is described in Revelation 17 as wearing primarily purple and scarlet, and gold and gems; she symbolizes apostate Jerusalem, which kept up the earthly priesthood and temple sacrifices, rejecting the true sacrifice, which is Christ. The clothing the prostitute wears perfectly matches the description of the priestly garments in Exodus 28, and the message on her forehead is a corrupt parody of the message on the forehead of the priest, found in Exodus 39:30-31.

    [5] I know some people will jump on my references to the "unrighteous Jews" and claim I am being "anti-semitic". This is far from the truth; I know that not all of the Jews are wicked or unrighteous. This would be a grossly racist thing to claim; after all, Christ was Jewish, as were His disciples and the crowds He taught to. But many of His rebukes were directed at the Jews who were unrighteous. There weren't any Gentile priests or Pharisees or scribes, and it was not the Gentiles who rejected the Gentiles; it was particular Jews who were greatly mistaken on what it meant to be a follower of the One God.
    Last edited by markedward; Jan 30th 2009, 04:23 AM. Reason: [Accidental repetition.]
    To This Day

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    • #3
      Originally posted by markedward View Post
      By now, you've noticed that I've called the parable of Lazarus and the rich man a parable. I do not believe this is a true story, but that it is a completely fictitious parable.
      Baloney!!!!!!

      This story really happened, and so did all the other stuff in the Bible (Samson, Jonah in the whale...etc). The only time I dont think it happened is if its symbolic (parts of Revelation).

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Fresco View Post
        Baloney!!!!!!

        This story really happened, and so did all the other stuff in the Bible (Samson, Jonah in the whale...etc). The only time I dont think it happened is if its symbolic (parts of Revelation).
        May I ask if you read the whole (two) post(s), or did you stop reading the moment you got to that sentence?

        (Also; I did not say a single thing claiming that the events of Samson or Jonah didn't happen.)
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        • #5
          Originally posted by markedward View Post
          May I ask if you read the whole (two) post(s), or did you stop reading the moment you got to that sentence?
          I think you see symbolism in the Lazarus story that isnt there, thats my humble opinion.
          Originally posted by markedward View Post
          (Also; I did not say a single thing claiming that the events of Samson or Jonah didn't happen.)
          I never said you didnt, I'm just saying that some of the most unbelievable Bible stories actually did happen, and are not symbolic.
          eg Samson picking up the Gates of Gaza that surely mustve weighed at least 5 tons or so.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Fresco View Post
            I think you see symbolism in the Lazarus story that isnt there, thats my humble opinion.
            Okey-doke.

            I never said you didnt, I'm just saying that some of the most unbelievable Bible stories actually did happen, and are not symbolic.
            eg Samson picking up the Gates of Gaza that surely mustve weighed at least 5 tons or so.
            Alright... but in those cases we're told those events did indeed happen, and we're given reasonable situations to infer that they were actual events. (Such as, the spirit of God was resting upon Samson, which was where he derived his incredible strength from.) On the other hand, the parable of Lazarus and the rich man is immediately preceded by four other parables, all of which (a) speak about the greatness of God's recovery of a lost soul, and (b) rebuke the hypocrisy of the Pharisees and other unrighteous Jews. Though you disagree with the symbolism I believe is found in the parable, the fact that this symbolism brings out the exact same message found in the four preceding parables seems significant to me.
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            • #7
              When Jesus spoke in parables, the Word of God said He spoke in parables. Nowhere does it say the story of the rich man and Lazarus was a parable.

              That account was an actual event, not a parable.

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              • #8
                A few thoughts...

                I have trouble with the idea that our Lord, in order to teach spiritual truth, would use a "myth" that misrepresents spiritual truth. I can't imagine Christ saying, "One day, Zeus was discussing the destiny of man with the other gods...", etc. in order to convey some higher lesson. And then, to do so without a hint that the elements of the parable themselves were doctrinally incorrect is to leave His hearers with an enormous stumbling stone over which many sincere believers would surely fall. And then to make no mention as to whether or not the account/story was a parable at all... It seems highly uncharacteristic of the general teaching style of Christ, and some might say, even brings His character itself into question.

                Second, while I don't claim to know one way or the other whether the rich man and Lazarus is a parable, I do know that an account need not be fictional for the Lord to use it symbolically (the allegory of Abraham, Sarah, Hagar, etc. in Galatians 4, for example).

                I agree in large part with the symbology brought out by the OP. But I don't deny the truth of a sower going forth to sow. And I don't deny the truth of a grain of mustard seed growing into a large tree. I don't deny the truth of fishermen casting forth their nets and I see no reason to deny the truth put forth in the elements of the rich man and Lazarus.
                Eph 1:9 Having made known unto us the mystery of his will

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                • #9
                  When Jesus spoke in parables, the Word of God said He spoke in parables. Nowhere does it say the story of the rich man and Lazarus was a parable.
                  Would, then, you say that the story of the Samaritan actually happened, or that it was a parable?
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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by markedward View Post
                    Okey-doke.

                    Alright... but in those cases we're told those events did indeed happen, and we're given reasonable situations to infer that they were actual events. (Such as, the spirit of God was resting upon Samson, which was where he derived his incredible strength from.) On the other hand, the parable of Lazarus and the rich man is immediately preceded by four other parables, all of which (a) speak about the greatness of God's recovery of a lost soul, and (b) rebuke the hypocrisy of the Pharisees and other unrighteous Jews. Though you disagree with the symbolism I believe is found in the parable, the fact that this symbolism brings out the exact same message found in the four preceding parables seems significant to me.
                    How about this:

                    Ever consider that some verses have more than one meaning??
                    Perhaps 2, 3, 5 or 7 different meanings??
                    Just because you find another meaning doesnt render some of the other meanings meaningless.

                    Make sense?? (I know thats kinda deep)

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                    • #11
                      The Bible does not say the certain Samaritan was a character in a parable.

                      Look up parable in the Gospels. In every place Jesus spoke a parable, the Word of God indicated it was a parable by telling the reader it was.

                      In Luke 10 and in Luke 16, the stories were not said to be parables.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by DaveS View Post
                        I have trouble with the idea that our Lord, in order to teach spiritual truth, would use a "myth" that misrepresents spiritual truth. I can't imagine Christ saying, "One day, Zeus was discussing the destiny of man with the other gods...", etc. in order to convey some higher lesson. And then, to do so without a hint that the elements of the parable themselves were doctrinally incorrect is to leave His hearers with an enormous stumbling stone over which many sincere believers would surely fall.
                        Paul, when quoting the passages that originally referred to Zeus, never clarified that Zeus was, in fact, a myth. He simply used the existent passages, and given the context, reapplied them to what he was saying.

                        Evidence of this type of reapplication can be found in Ezekiel as well. Ezekiel is told to mock the king of Tyre, and so Ezekiel gives a mocking lament over the king. But the description he gives of the king dying and going to sheol highly resembles a passage found in the Epic of Gilgamesh, in which Gilgamesh's friend, Enkidu, is prophesying about his fate. Everything Enkidu says is found in Ezekiel's mocking of the king of Tyre. Should we, then, interpret Ezekiel's words about sheol as being what sheol was actually like, or interpret it based on the context, and time, and place in which it was written; being that Ezekiel was likely using well-known cultural myth - stuff from the king of Tyre's own culture - of the afterlife in order to mock him? I think the latter makes more sense, and I believe the same could be said for what Christ was doing (though not in a mocking sense, but a teaching sense).

                        Second, while I don't claim to know one way or the other whether the rich man and Lazarus is a parable, I do know that an account need not be fictional for the Lord to use it symbolically (the allegory of Abraham, Sarah, Hagar, etc. in Galatians 4, for example).
                        True, but again, Paul does specifically say that he was allegorizing those actual people and events... Jesus doesn't say anything similar.

                        I agree in large part with the symbology brought out by the OP. But I don't deny the truth of a sower going forth to sow. And I don't deny the truth of a grain of mustard seed growing into a large tree. I don't deny the truth of fishermen casting forth their nets and I see no reason to deny the truth put forth in the elements of the rich man and Lazarus.
                        I somewhat agree with you; the fact that a mustard seed grows into a large tree is something to be verified. And catching fish. But then we read parables such as the king who invited people to his son's wedding feast, but the guests murdered the king's servants, and the king in turn destroyed the guests and burned their city, and replaced them with new guests - and then when a random person showed up, he was thrown into the "outer darkness". Do we demand this to have been an actual occurance?

                        Or the parable of a vineyard with a watchtower and evil tenants who murdered the son of the landlord, but they were in turn brought to a "wretched end" and replaced with good tenants? Not every parable that Christ used needed to be grounded in actual events. In this parable's particular case, I would lean towards the idea that it is fictionalized based on the the intense, and highly coincidental, symbolism found in it.

                        And I think that if this parable is arbitrarily isolated from its surrounding context, it makes it almost irrelevant to what was literally just being elaborated upon in the previous four parables.
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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Fresco View Post
                          How about this:

                          Ever consider that some verses have more than one meaning??
                          Perhaps 2, 3, 5 or 7 different meanings??
                          Just because you find another meaning doesnt render some of the other meanings meaningless.

                          Make sense?? (I know thats kinda deep)
                          I didn't say it didn't have any other meanings in it. (Actually, you were the one who said the symbolism was, for the most part, non-existent.) Is there any particular reason you're so upset about this? I might be misreading you, but the excessive question marks gives me the impression that I said something to your dismay.
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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by CommanderRobey View Post
                            The Bible does not say the certain Samaritan was a character in a parable.

                            Look up parable in the Gospels. In every place Jesus spoke a parable, the Word of God indicated it was a parable by telling the reader it was.
                            So what you're saying is that a parable is only a parable if Jesus (or the narrating text) directly said so? I'm just checking. (By the way... the text doesn't say it was a "certain Samaritan"... sometimes stories can be just that; stories, even if Christ didn't outright specify ,"This is a story.")
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                            • #15
                              The point is not that the elements of the parables actually happened. It's that they are representations of real life events. In order for the rich man and Lazarus to be consistant with the "other" parables, the elements of it themselves would have to be real. The mustard seed is not mythological, so why would we assume that of the flames?
                              Eph 1:9 Having made known unto us the mystery of his will

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