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Hidden Manna

The Biblical definition of a parable

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Hidden Manna

I recently got into a disagreement about the Biblical definition of a parable and how one might interpret it in the scriptures. Keep in mind the words of God are not limited to any ones “private” interpretation, as I believe the proper interpretation of God’s words belongs to God alone, and to those whom God reveals it.

 

But the Biblical definition of a parable was in question here, as some say a parable has to be a story or else it is not a parable. Hopefully by the words of God and by a Biblical definition of the word “parable” we will see a parable can also be a short saying and is not limited to being only a story.

 

“The word parable is from the root word “paraballo” or in the Greek “parabole.” This compound word comes from “para” which means “to come along side or compare” and “ballo” which literally means “to throw” or “see” with. The parables are used in giving one or more instructional lessons or principles and can be an allegory and may include inanimate objects (like trees, plants, or things) or people in various societal positions.” (source… http://www.patheos.com/blogs/christiancrier/2014/05/22/what-is-a-parable-a-bible-definition/)

 

Now some people may not understand the Biblical definition of a parable, so let’s explore this.

 

In Matthew and in Mark we read.....All G3956 these things G5023 spake G2980 Jesus G2424 unto the multitude G3793 in G1722 parables; G3850 and G2532 without G5565 a parable G3850 spake he G2980 not G3756 unto them: G846

 

But G1161 without G5565 a parable G3850 spake G2980 he not G3756 unto them: G846 and G1161 when they were alone, G2398 G2596 he expounded G1956 all things G3956 to his G846 disciples. G3101

 

Notice the word parable is G3850, The KJV translates Strong's G3850 in the following manner: parable (46x), figure (2x), comparison (1x), proverb (1x).

 

Strong's definition is...παραβολή parabolḗ, par-ab-ol-ay'; from G3846; a similitude ("parable"), i.e. (symbolic) fictitious narrative (of common life conveying a moral), apothegm or adage:—comparison, figure, parable, proverb.

 

Outline of Bible usage....1.a placing of one thing by the side of another, juxtaposition, as of ships in battle 2. metaph. A. a comparing, comparison of one thing with another, likeness, similitude. B. an example by which a doctrine or precept is illustrated. C. a narrative, fictitious but agreeable to the laws and usages of human life, by which either the duties of men or the things of God, particularly the nature and history of God's kingdom are figuratively portrayed. D. a parable: an earthly story with a heavenly meaning.

 

3. a pithy and instructive saying, involving some likeness or comparison and having preceptive or admonitory force.

 

 

“The range of meaning of the term "parable" (Gk. parabole [parabolhv]) in the New Testament closely parallels that of the Hebrew masal [l;v'm] in the Old Testament and related Hebrew literature. As well as referring to narrative parables, the term identifies similitudes ( Matt 13:33 ; B. Pes. 49a), allegories ( Ezek 17:2 ; 24:3 ; Matthew 13:18 Matthew 13:24 Matthew 13:36 ), proverbs ( Proverbs 1:1 Proverbs 1:6 ; Mark 3:23 ), riddles ( Psalm 78:2 ; Mark 7:17 ), and symbols or types ( Heb 9:9 ; B. Sanh. 92b ). "Parable" is a general term for a figurative saying.” (source https://www.biblestudytools.com/dictionary/parable/)

 

So in the above we see a parable is not limited to a long story, but can be a short figurative saying. Let me post a few examples of parables being short sayings.

 

Matthew 13:33(KJV) “Another parable spake he unto them; The kingdom of heaven is like unto leaven, which a woman took, and hid in three measures of meal, till the whole was leavened.”

 

Matthew 24:32(KJV) “Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh:”

 

Notice in Luke 4:23 this short proverb of “Physician, heal thyself” is by definition called a parable G3850

“And he said unto them, Ye will surely say unto me this proverb, G3850 Physician, heal thyself: whatsoever we have heard done in Capernaum, do also here in thy country.”

 

So again, a parable can be a short figurative saying

Luke 6:39(KJV) “And he spake a parable unto them, Can the blind lead the blind? shall they not both fall into the ditch?”

 

So by all these above definitions and examples we see a parable by Biblical definition is not limited to being defined only as a story.

 

Peace and God bless

 

 

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Origen
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I recently got into a disagreement about the Biblical definition of a parable
Untrue. There was no disagreement because you never defied what a parable is and I called you on that error.

 

and how one might interpret it in the scriptures.
Again untrue. The issue was never about how to interpret it. The issue concerned the definition.

 

Keep in mind the words of God are not limited to any ones “private” interpretation
No one claim it was otherwise thus your point is moot.

 

But the Biblical definition of a parable was in question here
Wrong! The Bible does not define what a parable is. No where in the Bible does it say this is the definition of a parable.

 

Hopefully by the words of God and by a Biblical definition of the word “parable” we will see a parable can also be a short saying and is not limited to being only a story.
Again the Bible does not give a definition of the word parable.

 

Now some people may not understand the Biblical definition of a parable, so let’s explore this.
You seem not to understand what a definition is.

 

Notice the word parable is G3850, The KJV translates Strong's G3850 in the following manner: parable (46x), figure (2x), comparison[/url] (1x), proverb (1x).
The fact is you are only proving my point. The Greek word for "parable" has many connotation. In one context it could refer to a parable and in another to a proverb. That is why the KJV does not always translate the word the same way every time. They understood, unlike you, that the word has a broad sense of meaning and could refer to different types of figures of speech. That is why they don't translate it the same way every time.

 

Strong's definition is...παραβολή parabolḗ, par-ab-ol-ay'; from G3846; a similitude ("parable"), i.e. (symbolic) fictitious narrative (of common life conveying a moral), apothegm or adage:—comparison, figure, parable, proverb
Again you are simply proving my point. The Greek word has a rage of meaning and context determines meaning.

 

Outline of Bible usage....1.a placing of one thing by the side of another, juxtaposition, as of ships in battle 2. metaph. A. a comparing, comparison of one thing with another, likeness, similitude. B. an example by which a doctrine or precept is illustrated. C. a narrative, fictitious but agreeable to the laws and usages of human life, by which either the duties of men or the things of God, particularly the nature and history of God's kingdom are figuratively portrayed. D. a parable: an earthly story with a heavenly meaning.
Same as above. You prove my point and you don't even know it.

 

“The range of meaning of the term "parable"
See! Even your source says that the Greek word has a range of meaning. That means the Greek word does not refers to the same thing every time.

 

So in the above we see a parable is not limited to a long story
No one said it had to be long.

 

but can be a short
No one said it could not be short.

 

figurative saying.
That is within the rage of meaning of the Greek word but clearly you have missed the point. The Greek word has a RANGE of meaning. The fact that KJV translators did not always translate the word the same way everything show they knew the Greek word can refer to different types of figures of speech.

 

Let me post a few examples of parables being short sayings.
Those prove what I have said and as does your sources.

 

So again, a parable can be a short figurative saying[/
Again, no one said is could not be. You seem not to notice that range of meaning refutes you claim.

 

So by all these above definitions and examples we see a parable by Biblical definition is not limited to being defined only as a story.
First, it is clear that you can only misrepresent what I have said. I never said by is limit to a story. You have does this more than once in your post. The range of meaning of the Greek allows it to refer to more than one type of figures of speech. It is more of a catch all word. Second, again the Bible does not define the meaning of the word parable. There are various usages of the term but those are not definitions and clearly you have not understood what that means.

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Hidden Manna
Originally posted by Origen ....Symbolism and parables are not the same thing. While parables can use symbolism, a parable is "a simple story used to illustrate a moral or spiritual lesson." Mark 9:48 is not a story.

 

You said the Bible does not define the word parable, but if you look at the greek and the strongs Biblical meaning of the word parable it does, as shown in my OP. But even though you say the Bible does not define the word parable, in the above post you are telling me you can define what is a "parable", and what is not a parable be it being a story.

 

I just proved in my OP that a parable does not necessarily have to be a story, as you defined in that other thread. And so personal interpretations and definitions of a word do not cancel out the Biblical definition and use of the word "parable."

 

 

 

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Origen
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You said the Bible does not define the word parable, but if you look at the greek and the strongs Biblical meaning of the word parable it does, as shown in my OP.
That shows usages. The Greek word for "parable" has many connotation. In one context it could refer to a parable and in another to a proverb. That is why the KJV does not always translate the word the same way every time. They understood, unlike you, that the word has a broad sense of meaning and could refer to different kinds of figures of speech.

 

But even though you say the Bible does not define the word parable, in the above post you are telling me you can define what is a "parable", and what is not a parable be it being a story.]
Sure. Try reading what I wrote and even what your own source says. Even your source says that the Greek word has a range of meaning. That means the Greek word does not refers to the same thing every time and think about what that means. Don't uses source that refute your claim.

 

I just proved in my OP that a parable does not necessarily have to be a story,
You again misrepresent what I have said. I never said "had to be a story." And I also agreed with the source you quoted that it has a range of meaning. Thus your point is moot.

 

And so personal interpretations and definitions of a word do not cancel out the Biblical definition and use of the word "parable."
The Bible does not give a definition of the word parable. The Bible never says a parable is this or that. Clearly you do not know what a definition is. The sources you cite only give various usages of the Greek term and thus concur with what I said. Done!

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