A parable is a story that uses narrative to convey meaning or instruction. One of the most famous users of this teaching device is none other than Biblical star and (depending on your beliefs) messiah, Jesus Christ. Jesus dedicated much of his life spreading his teachings by word of mouth, and parables were one of his favorite tools. He would use them to convey important teachings about morality, one's relationship to God, redemption, loss, love, forgiveness, and more.
Most of the parables are based on everyday situations which which his audience could relate: the outcome of a roadside mugging, a woman baking bread, or agricultural life. Despite the seeming simplicity of the stories, some deploy vivid imagery, and all convey an important lesson. These messages are considered extended similes and analogies, and are a crucial representation of the religious themes expressed in these texts.
The longevity and influence of the parables is substantial, and both the religious and irreligious can find something to enjoy or study in them. They have transcended one faith and entered a wider culture. Do you know them well, and if so, can you tell us their meaning? How about getting the details of the stories right? Test your knowledge here!