Encyclopedia of Christianity Online

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(2,654 words)

1. General

The English word “parable” is derived from Gk. parabolē, and like its Greek antecedent its basic and primary meaning is “comparison.” A parable is a figure of speech, such as a simile or a brief narrative, by which the speaker makes a comparison between some transcendent, mysterious, or otherwise puzzling reality and that which is familiar to common human experience.

The most widely known parables are those of Jesus of Nazareth, which appear in the Gospels of the NT. But parables are also common in the literatur…

Cite this page
Hultgren, Arland J., “Parable”, in: Encyclopedia of Christianity Online. Consulted online on 01 June 2023 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2211-2685_eco_P.20>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004169678, 20080512

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