Parables of Jesus

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Bobcat
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Re: Parables of Jesus - The Talents

#41 Post by Bobcat » 6 years ago

Menrov:
I have tried to find it in all the POSTS on this topic, but have we / someone come to a conclusion what Jesus actually meant when He uses 'the talent' in HIs parable? I might have missed it so, sorry if it is in there.
In the 2nd and 3rd paragraphs of the NICNT-Matthew reference the commentary mentions these things:
But does it give any further clue as to what sort of lifestyle will render a person "ready"? There is no explicit identification of what the money represents. This fact has been obscured for most English readers by the ambiguity of the English word "talent," an ambiguity which is not in the Greek term talanton. The Greek term means simply a large sum of money (or, strictly, weight of precious metal; see on Mt 18:24) and has no metaphorical sense. But readers of this parable have traditionally interpreted the money as representing natural aptitudes or abilities, and so "talent" has come to be used in English in that transferred sense, which has completely eclipsed the original literal meaning in common usage. It is thus hard for the English reader to set aside the covert interpretation embodied in the very word "talent."

But this traditional reading of the parable is not the most likely either in terms of the way the story is told or in the light of the context in which it is set. If the Lucan form of the story (see below; [Lu 19:11-27]) may be taken as a guide, the money was given to the slaves specifically so that it should be used in trade (Lu 19:13), and in Matthew's version this is also indicated by the master's immediate settling of accounts on his return, his delight in the achievement of the first two slaves, and his rejection of the third slave's "prudent" policy of no return. It is then more about responsibility than about natural endowment, though the degree of responsibility given to each depends on their individual ability (Mt 25:15). The "talents," however, do not represent that individual ability but are allocated on the basis of it. They represent not the natural gifts and aptitudes which everyone has, but the specific privileges and opportunities of the kingdom of heaven and the responsibilities they entail. The parable thus teaches that each disciple has God-given gifts and opportunities to be of service to their Lord, and that these are not the same for everyone, but it is left to the reader to discern just what those gifts and opportunities are. [Note from Bobcat: See here and here and here for posts concerning the mis-translation of Eph 4:8 in the NWT which obscures the idea that each Christian is given gift(s) by Jesus.] This is appropriate to the open-ended nature of parables, and different readers may rightly place the emphasis on different aspects of their discipleship. [Note from Bobcat: Compare this statement with Rom 12:3-8; but contrast with the WT's emphasis almost entirely on door-to-door preaching.] What matters is that, however precisely the "talents" are interpreted, each disciple should live and work in such a boldly enterprising way that the returning master will say, "Well done, you good, trustworthy slave." That is what it means to "be ready" for the parousia, just as in the earlier parable it was the slave who was found hard at work who was rewarded (Mt 24:46-47). [Note from Bobcat: Again note how the WT has divided off the parable of the F&DS entirely for themselves, and thus, effectively prevented the vast majority of JWs from deriving any personal meaning from that parable.]
Several points brought out were that:

The talents do not represent personal abilities. This is a quark of English were "talents" (an expensive weight of precious metal in Greek, but a natural or personal ability in English) has been taken in the wrong sense. The parable itself says that the "talents" are given based upon each one's own "ability." (Mt 25:15)

The parable does not specifically say what they were, but they were precious/expensive. Note how in the parable of the F&DS in Luke it mentions things given, but they are left unnamed: Luke 12:48.

Elsewhere in the NT, individual Christians are given varied "gifts" as seen fit by Christ and God: Eph 4:7-11; Rom 12:3-8 (others could be listed also, e.g. 1Co 7:7; Mt 19:10, 11)

Just some thoughts. The ambiguity of the parable may be intentional for that purpose, to leave it applicable for all of those gifts.


Bobcat

Index to Parables

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menrov
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Re: Parables of Jesus - The Talents

#42 Post by menrov » 6 years ago

Thanks Bobcat, indeed, that is the correct passage.

I picked up:
but the specific privileges and opportunities of the kingdom of heaven and the responsibilities they entail. The parable thus teaches that each disciple has God-given gifts and opportunities to be of service to their Lord, and that these are not the same for everyone, but it is left to the reader to discern just what those gifts and opportunities are
True, it is not made clear what these gifts are but I do believe it is something of value and something only the master can give. So,as indicated in the NICNT explanation,it has to do with the Kingdom of Heaven. Hence my thought of the Holy Spirit and the statement to collect or accumulate treasures in heaven. Like some are apostles, others preachers or teachers, I can see some receive more Holy Spirit than others (and also greater responsibility, as the one who is given more, has a heavier judgment James 3:1. Also, who is given a lot will be given more, and who has been given a little, even that will be removed Matt. 13:12, 25:29).
What matters is that, however precisely the "talents" are interpreted, each disciple should live and work in such a boldly enterprising way that the returning master will say, "Well done, you good, trustworthy slave."
Agree, in principle that is the message to all believers in all Jesus's parables and about being judged positively in order to receive the inheritance.

And yes, I fully agree with the fact that WT makes this message very obscure for the R&F as a result of the two groups doctrine. Very sad.

Bobcat
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Re: Parables of Jesus - The Faithful Slave

#43 Post by Bobcat » 6 years ago

Menrov . . .
And yes, I fully agree with the fact that WT makes this message very obscure for the R&F as a result of the two groups doctrine. Very sad.
IMO, the WT makes it even worse than the artificial two-class system. In the WT hierarchy, "the anointed" (for all practical purposes) are the GB. And below them the only "gifts" are the COs and Elders, with MSs serving as a sort of "helper" class to the elders (just as the GB have their own "helper" class). Pioneers and Aux Pioneers also have some status, but without the authority.

In this arrangement, the R&F are little more than pawns on the chess board. They are there only to serve what the hierarchy wants, and to do so without question.

Anyone who bucks this system or doesn't play along, such as by answering questions at the meetings or being on the TMS, is relegated to a status little more than an unbeliever.

All this is much different from the "gifts" of Eph 4:7-11 which were promised to "each one." The GB have arranged things to serve themselves rather than the master. (Mt 24:48-51)


Bobcat

Index to Parables

katrina
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Re: Parables of Jesus

#44 Post by katrina » 6 years ago

GB have helpers, I thought the holy spirit was the helper Christ sent.

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menrov
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Re: Parables of Jesus - Sheep & Goats

#45 Post by menrov » 6 years ago

I read this parable again: Matt. 25:31-46.
As it is a parable or illustration (which the WT supports), it is not meant to serve as a prophecy and as such one cannot ask When will this illustration be fulfilled as asked in new Jesus book page 264.
A more proper question would be HOW will this illustration represent future judgment? Afterall, the parable contains a lesson (warning) for all people regarding on what ground Jesus will judge.

Looking at the parable again, I was wondering if this judgment includes all those who have died? Or is it just for those who are alive when the Son of Man returns with HIs angels. I believe it is the latter as the grounds on which the nations are judged is equal for all. People who lived say during the first, second or third century have a completely different view on how they provided support then likely those who live in our times. But that is just my view, I cannot support it with a scripture.

Further, Jesus says that the sheep are called or considered righteous (Matt. 25:46). They have practiced righteousness apparently (1 John 3:7). Jesus says He is shepherd of His sheep. He knows them (John 10:27). In other words, those who are judged by Jesus as sheep, receive the same inheritance as His brothers: eternal life in the Kingdom which was prepared for them from the foundation of the world. Because Jesus gave His life for His sheep (John 10:15).

The parable does not mention a resurrection.

I therefore believe the parable illustrates that Jesus will judge those alive when He returns (and as no one knows when this happens, it is lesson to always show love for you neighbour) and HIs judgment is for the nations, the unrighteous at that time. But the judgement shows that not all considered unrighteous are actually unrighteous in eyes of Jesus. In fact, they are considered SHEEP and therefore righteous. The other lesson therefore: never judge anyone because that person might just as well be declared righteous in eyes of Jesus.
Overall, a wonderful parable which give hope to ALL who show they want to live righteous life, i.e. the meek, the peacemakers. That group have not become brother of Jesus for reasons we do not know. Only Jesus knows. In other words, one cannot consciously say I do not want to become a brother of Christ (if you have the opportunity to become one) but still live a righteous life. The characteristics of the sheep group is that they lived a righteous life without actually knowing it. The acted out of love, the law was written in their hearts.

In summary, my view: all nations called are at that moment people who are alive and unrighteous. Out of that group,Jesus declares some/many righteous and calls them Sheep.

Bobcat
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Re: Parables of Jesus - Hidden Treasure & Rich Man & Lazarus

#46 Post by Bobcat » 6 years ago

I wanted to link a few other discussions of Jesus's parables to this thread for ease of reference:

Discussion of the parable of the hidden treasure (Matthew 13:44; Vanderhoven7): Here.

Discussion of the parable of the rich man and Lazarus (Luke 16:19-31; Vanderhoven7): Here.


Bobcat

Index to Parables

Bobcat
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Re: Parables of Jesus - The Leaven

#47 Post by Bobcat » 4 years ago

Here is a thread on the parable of the leaven (discussed in this thread starting here).


Bobcat

Index to Parables

garee
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Re: Parables of Jesus

#48 Post by garee » 4 years ago

he first article addresses four parables: The parable of the mustard seed (Mt 13:31, 32; Mk 4: 30-32; Lu 13:18, 19), the parable of the leaven (Mt 13:33; Lu 13:20,21), the parable of the hidden treasure (Mt 13:44), and the parable of the pearl of high value (Mt 13:45, 46)

For the parables of the mustard seed and leaven, there is a three page write-up in the NICNT-Matthew commentary (R. T. France, pp. 526-28). Google books offers a preview of the commentary that includes these three pages. It can be seen here.


Hope you do not mind.

Prior to it was describing the new heaven and having finished with the parable about the final judgement .
Intresting on how he uses , “Who hath ears to hear, let him hear” and the word “good or goodly” used throughout the scriptures to show his seal of approval.

Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto treasure hid in a field; the which when a man hath found, he hideth, and for joy thereof goeth and selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field.Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchant man, seeking goodly pearls:Who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it. Mat 13:44

They together remind me of the parable of the incorruptible seed, the word of God by which men are born again from above. With the seed representing the word of God, the good soil representing the foundation of faith like the word field in Mathew. .

While searching that field for costly stones they come upon a pearl of great price, it represents the word of God as the manna that came down, The color is described as pearl , pearl also represent the 12 gates by which we enter into fellowship with Christ. Its taste as honey which also describes the word of God . And as if it was our shield warns us not to eat too much .as a tool to try and humble us

Pro 25:27 It is not good to eat much honey: so for men to search their own glory is not glory.

Luk 8:8 And other fell on good ground, and sprang up, and bare fruit an hundredfold. And when he had said these things, he cried, He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.

Another parable that gives the gospel beforehand also using the word good or goodly as his seal of approval .

Ezekiel 17:8 It was planted in a good soil by great waters, that it might bring forth branches, and that it might bear fruit, that it might be a goodly vine.

garee
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Re: Parables of Jesus

#49 Post by garee » 4 years ago

Further, Jesus says that the sheep are called or considered righteous (Matt. 25:46). They have practiced righteousness apparently (1 John 3:7). Jesus says He is shepherd of His sheep. He knows them (John 10:27). In other words, those who are judged by Jesus as sheep, receive the same inheritance as His brothers: eternal life in the Kingdom which was prepared for them from the foundation of the world. Because Jesus gave His life for His sheep (John 10:15.

The parable does not mention a resurrection.


In one way I think it does. In respect to two different kinds of glory, one seen(the temporal) the other not seen(the eternal).

The demonstration thousands of years later is in respect to the lamb of God slain from the foundation of the world.(6 days )It is what the demonstration was in respect to. Its His rest we enter just as God did when laying the foundation of faith. It is one of the reasons I believe he said His flesh profits for nothing.

Joh 6:63 It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life

In that way we know God is not a man as us and neither is there any daysman ,( infallible interpreter) between God and us. I think it’s why the son of man, Jesus when called good Master (teacher) He said only God is good. He was not saying Christ the anointing Holy Spirit of God did not dwell in him but rather he wants us to walk by faith, the unseen, and not that outwardly as that seen.

It was the reason for the fall in the garden.

These words spake Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee:
As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him.
And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.
I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do.
And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was.Joh 17:1-5

And then came the promised demonstration revealed by the sinful flesh of the Son of man showing us his invisible glory, outwardly

Bobcat
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Re: Parables of Jesus - The Faithful Slave

#50 Post by Bobcat » 4 years ago

Wanted to link a thread on the "faithful and discreet slave" parable to this thread for referential purposes: Here.


Below are links to several aspects of the Faithful and Discreet Slave parable. Linked here for ease of reference:
Possible reasons why Luke says "steward" and Matthew has "slave": Here and here.

A comparison of the use (and non-use in Mark) of the F&DS parable in all three synoptic gospels: Here

Commentary quote on how the parable has been interpreted: Here and here and here.

On the phrase "faithful slave" being articular (that is, with the Greek definite article): Here.

Discussion of "that slave" in Luke versus "that evil slave" in Matthew: Here.

The relationship between the F&DS, the 10 virgins, and the talents parables in Mt 24:45-25:30: Here.

Post # 51 (on page 6 of this thread) has a graphic depicting how the WT has viewed the parable of the F&DS over the years. (I would have linked to it but I'm already at the max number of links for a post.)

Post # 58 (on page # 6 of this thread) has a discussion of the various punishments meted out by the master after he returns and reviews the slave's conduct.

Post # 58 also has a link to another thread discussing the WT's idea of 'the many being fed by the hands of the few.'

Bobcat

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