Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Patterns In Jesus' Teaching

I want to discuss some other points Peter Williams brings up in The Surprising Genius Of Jesus (Wheaton, Illinois: Crossway, 2023). He mentions that the gospels often have Jesus beginning and ending parables or other comments he's making in certain ways (95-99). For example, he often opens a parable with a question. He uses phrases like "which father among you" (Matthew 7:9) and "which of you" (Luke 11:5). Or "was it not necessary" (Matthew 18:33) and "it was necessary" (Luke 15:32). Williams also notes that the parables in these passages are both about "a forgiving authority figure with two subordinates and one refusing to forgive the other" (98-99).

He goes on to note how often male and female examples are set beside each other in Jesus' teaching (99-101): the two men in the field in Matthew 24:40 and the two women at the mill in the verse that follows, the parable of the female virgins (Matthew 25:1-13) followed by the parable of the talents involving men (Matthew 25:14-30), "the Queen of the South" in Luke 11:31 paired with "the men of Ninevah" in the verse that follows, etc.

For further evidence that teachings like what we find in these passages came from Jesus, not some later source or group of sources, see Williams' comments in another book quoted here.

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