Hebrew eyes seeing the Parables of Jesus by Amy Jill Levine – Lecture Notes


Jewish scholar at BYU as guest lecture

-can’t understand Christianity outside of its Jewish background

-the genre of parables is to indict people whereas the sermon on the mount was to comfort people.

-parables deal with things we already know about but don’t want to deal with.

-lost coin elite person on knees looking for coin makes it a person you can relate to/feel attached to, not inappreciable throne character

-parables sound strange because they are, like sewing weeds into an enemies’ field instead of just burning it.

-3 measures of flour is about 60 lbs. that’s too much

-she says we’ve improved on Jesus’ teachings on how to do a mission from Matthew 10, but actually Jesus is who tells us how to do our missions by revelation to the current prophet, we are more able now!

-greek merchant emperos: who sold you what you didn’t need at high price he leaves before it breaks; here we have a merchant seeking pearls.

-for contemporary young readers they think the pearl of great price is themselves; but this isn’t the pattern of parable which is used to convict. The merchant who goes for the pearl of great price isn’t losing anything he is getting what he wants.

-100 sheep is a lot, so much that 1 would seem like not much

-100 lost sheep how to tell one is lost? Counting them.

-the parable’s have God as central figure: father of prodigal, lost sheep finder, woman sweeping floor for coin.

-a prodigal is a waster who spends for his own benefit; the ideas of a prodigal god sending gifts to everyone isn’t congruent.

-getting inheritance from your father before he dies actually was common in several classes.

-hiring yourself out then the person you contract with tells you what to do when you get there is what happens with the prodigal son, we have contracts like this we’ve found in Egypt

-those who study sociology and not Jewish culture say that it’s shame to be seen running in public but not so. Peter wasn’t shame spoken of for running to see the empty tomb.

-the older brother working like a slave for his father is an over exaggeration; the slaves work harder

-parental love: there is enough for everyone; one loved much won’t diminish amount available for another son

-parables of lost things encourage us to think: have we counted? Have we left someone out? Have we accounted for everything entrusted to us?


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