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  1. BBC - The Passion - Articles - Jesus from a Jewish perspective
  2. Bible Living
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  4. Parables and Conflict in the Hebrew Bible

Human rights. Gays in the military. Stem cells. Other topics. Religious laws. Religious news. An essay donated by James B. Both are stories, not historical accounts. It is clear, I think, that when Luke has Jesus tell the parable of the Good Samaritan, he was having Jesus tell a story a parable, in fact , and was not recounting an historical event—and that his readers of or listeners to his gospel knew this.

Both have four principal human characters—Job with Job, Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar; the Good Samaritan story with the injured man, a priest, a Levite, and the Samaritan. In addition, however, Elihu plays an important role in the later chapters of Job, and robbers and an innkeeper have roles in the Good Samaritan parable. God is explicitly present in Job, but not the Good Samaritan story. One can, though, argue that God is implicitly present in the latter in that God was the author of the story—or at least approved it.

The human characters in the two stories represent classes of people even though they have names in Job. I perceive Job as representing the Jewish people in their travails, and the other human characters in the story as representing conventional Jewish theologians. Each story has a Suffering One.

The central character in each story is different. In Job the central character is Job or is it God? At any rate, both God and Job dominate that story. In the Good Samaritan story I believe that it is the Samaritan who is clearly the dominant character. Again, though, one might argue that God, although only implicitly involved in the story, plays a key role in the Good Samaritan story; for it is God who implicitly provides primary direction in the life of the Samaritan—whether Jesus' fellow Jews want to recognize this or not.


BBC - The Passion - Articles - Jesus from a Jewish perspective

Certainly most hearers of the story must have found it shocking, even on the verge of being blasphemous—assuming that it was actually told by Jesus. Thus, we can say that in Job a Suffering One is the central character with God also prominently present , whereas in the Good Samaritan story it is someone who comes to the assistance of the Suffering One who is central but with God likewise playing a prominent, if only implicit, role. Presumably, in fact, that Suffering One is unable to speak. Whereas Job is continually thinking and talking about his suffering, the nameless Suffering One of the Good Samaritan story presumably is unable to think—or think clearly—about his suffering.

Job protests over and over again that he does not deserve to be suffering: after all, he has followed God's Law—and more. In the Good Samaritan parable the question never arises as to whether the Suffering One deserved to be set upon and injured. The focus of the story, rather, is on how one should react to a Suffering One that one chances upon more broadly, a Suffering One of whom one becomes aware 6 : a Suffering One deserves our attention by virtue of being a Suffering One, period.

But also suggesting that insofar as suffering exists, the point is not to intellectualize about it, but to do what one can individually and collectively to alleviate it. Job is concerned about suffering, but note that his obsession is with his own suffering, not that of others. In, e. But Job doesn't seem to feel the suffering of others; he doesn't seem to empathize with others. Job's orientation is to his own undeserved suffering, whereas the narrator of the Good Samaritan story i.

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The climax of Job is an extended discussion—by God—of God; no such discussion occurs in the Good Samaritan story. One could almost say that if Job is a theological work, then the Good Samaritan story is anti-theological—close, indeed, to being Buddhist in orientation. Read reviews or order this book safely from Amazon.

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Read reviews or order a reprinted version of this book safely from Amazon. See, e. Whelan, S. This book is out of print, but used copies are often avaiable from Amazon. Rimland was director of the Institute for Child Behavior Research. His primary finding of interest was that people who were labeled happy were also labeled unselfish. Gray Go to the previous page, or the Visitor essays menu , or the " Books of the Hebrew Scriptures " menu, or the " Gospels ," or choose:. Popular Pages Home. Seasonal topics Science v. Religion More info. Navigation Top Menu. Social Twitter Facebook.

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Parables and Conflict in the Hebrew Bible

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Description Parables and Conflict in the Hebrew Bible examines the intimate relationship between parables and conflict in the Hebrew Bible. Challenging the scholarly consensus, Jeremy Schipper argues that parables do not function as appeals to change their audience's behavior. Nor do they serve to diffuse tensions in regards to the various conflicts in which their audiences are involved. Rather, the parables function to help create, intensify, and justify judgments and hostile actions against their audiences.