Sunday, February 28, 2010

Parables and stuff

As the children learn parables, we adults sometimes ask about whether this is a new form with Jesus. It isn't. Not only is it frequent in the 'Old Testament' but it is especially frequent in teaching from the Talmud. These two posts on Genesis Rabbah are particularly helpful in beginning to hear the voice of Jesus within the Jewish tradition.

A snippet of his interpretation:
In this kind of midrash, the close reader oscillates between the two narratives, coupling a sense that she is gaining an increasingly coherent grasp of the midrash with a continued awareness that there are loose ends that may resist all attempts to be tied up.
Note that it is a close reading that allows grasp. To achieve a close reading we must give up our preconceived understandings and stand with the teacher and text. There is then one Spirit who will form us inwardly.

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