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Six Rules on How (not) to Read and Apply the Parables


The parables of Jesus are the most well-known and beloved stories of the Bible. There is an endless flood of parable studies. Their theological implications have been probed thoroughly for almost two millennia. The parables are preached on time and again. As a result, we easily think we master the parables: we know what they say, we know how they surprise us, and we know how to apply them. The parables are hidden by 'the veil of familiarity'. We need to 'clean our windows' so that the parables may be freed from the 'drab blur of triteness'. Fresh perspectives combined with common-sense guidelines challenging pre-conceived conceptions open our minds to perceive and understand anew how striking Jesus’ parables really are.