Suggested Process For Studying Parables

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1. Who is the audience?

If this is not clearly stated in the passage itself, read the passages prior to you study passage to identify who the speaker is talking to.

2. What kind of parable is it? (story, similitude, metaphor, epigram)

It is helpful to try and determine this. The type of parable you are dealing with can affect your understanding and interpretation of the meaning

Suggested Logos Resources:
All the Parables of the Bible
Every teaching of Jesus in the Bible

3. Why is the kind stated above?

Note the reasons why the passage is identified the way it is

4. What what is the historical or cultural context?

Your Bible Dictionaries, Biblical Encyclopedias, and resources that discuss biblical backgrounds, cultural, social, and religious customs are very helpful. You may also find some commentaries helpful.

5. Who or what are the points of reference in the parable?

This is where you identify and note the facts in the passage Who, What, Where, When, Why (if known and stated as a fact in the passage), How (if known and stated as a fact in the passage)?

6. Compare parallel passages associated with the parable.

You can use the “Parallel Passages” section of the Passage Guide in Logos for this section. If the passage is in one of the NT Gospels, you can use a harmony resource for comparison For the three questions below, the Text Comparison tool in Logos is helpful.

    a. Different words used to tell the story in each passage

    b. Words common to all passages

    c. Percentage of agreement between passages

7. Vertical Context of the passage within each gospel

The previous section gives you horizontal context, this section focuses on vertical context; those passages before and after your study passage.

    a. What is the subject or theme of the previous passage?

    b. What is the subject or theme of the present passage?

    c. What is the subject or theme in the following passage?

8. What are the imperatives in this parable?

Using the Visual Filter tool in Logos can help you identify grammatical elements that identify commands in your passage.

9. What are the promises in this parable?

For this and the remaining three questions, there is no substitute for reading and meditating on you passage. Commentaries can also be helpful; but don’t just rely on commentators opinions regarding interpretation and application.

10. What are the cause and effect statements in this parable?

11. What is the “call for response” of this parable?

12. What truth(s) does this parable support or proclaim?

While this guide is intended to help you study through a Parable, it is not inclusive of all the steps one may take in studying a bible passage. You may want to include a study of key words, building a sentence diagram, or using your syntax visualizations to understand the grammar and structure of the passage.

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