[Xtalk] Re: Parables & History
- Philip B Lewis wrote:
>You are very right on "the church's experience", Philip.
> Question: is it possible to identify the HJ in parable contexts?
> I have in mind Matt.20.1-15, the Proprieter who hired workers at several
> hours of the day to work in his vineyard. My focus is on the "men for hire"
> context. I note that the Jesus Seminar agreed that this parable could
> probably be attributed to Jesus. It is often interpreted as descriptive of
> the church's experience as it became increasingly Gentile.
>Lining up or waiting for hire, in order to get seasonal farm work was
> IMO it would be difficult for a story teller to invent the hiring practice
probably practiced since the dawn of history. And very likely, all over
the Roman empire in the 1st century. It's a fact of life: many pickers
are required at certain time of the year (there are not enough full time
farm hands to do that job) and poor people can make some money at it. I
know: I did that myself. And I don't think city folks would be ignorant
of that, then and now.
> and consequent worker resentments unless he had himself stood in the laborVery possible, but the parable does not prove anything. This waiting for
> pool hoping for employment. Did the HJ stand in line waiting for a job?
a job has always been a well known common occurence.
> How much of teaching ascribed to Jesus in the Gospels may actually have beenI cannot believe that HJ had been exposed to a owner who paid the same
> drwan from his own Human situation?
wages for the ones hired early and the ones hired late. That's very
irrealistic. The owner would have to be stupid and gone bankrupt very
quickly with this practice. And comparing the Kingdom to an absurd and
ridicule (made up) situation would have made HJ the subject of mockery
However, such a parable has a lot of merit about explaining to
disgruntled long time Christians that the new converts are their equals
regarding (future) rewards. And by now (around 90C.E.), as "told" by the
Son of God and Christ, (and with God himself as the generous one),
Christians were not about to criticize it!
To subscribe to Xtalk, send an e-mail briefly describing your academic background & research interests to firstname.lastname@example.org
To unsubscribe, send an e-mail to:
To contact list managers: e-mail us at email@example.com