Jesus talking in riddles?


#1

I have only just started to read the bible and was wondering why Jesus talks a lot in ‘riddles’. In other words without a lot of explanation? Why is that? Thanks


#2

[quote="ajecphotos, post:1, topic:311784"]
I have only just started to read the bible and was wondering why Jesus talks a lot in 'riddles'. In other words without a lot of explanation? Why is that? Thanks

[/quote]

He explains why He speaks in parables in the book of Mark, which was actually the first book written and the shortest. It might help to start with it.

But also keep in mind that He is conveying Eternal Truths to crowds and groups and wants these things no one can really fully grasp to be remembered by them and held in their minds in a way that brings them to the fullness of His teaching.

Parables that might seem confusing to us, in our time, would be fairly simple to understand to them. "Don't cast pearls before swine." Don't give what is precious and Holy to those who will mindlessly trample it underfoot because they cannot grasp it or value it.

Also, the Sacred writer is speaking through the words to specific groups, and these works were used for evangelization, so someone would be there to explain and the writer didn't see any reason to explain himself on paper or include an explanation Jesus may have given.

Luckily, we are the One, Holy and Apostolic Church and so have been passing down the meaning of the words even before they were written down. So please just ask if something is confusing.


#3

He talked in parables, not riddles. He would tell a story that was understandable to his audience in order to make a point about his teaching. Something from daily life, like working in a field, that kind of thing. I think you may see them in riddles because that culture is so far removed from the modern Western world that we can easily miss the point of a story. I've often struggled to understand them as well.


#4

Thanks everyone.

I am going to get the Ignatius Study Bible, NT Version. I am sure that will help in many ways?


#5

Another aspect of this is to think about how often we will use analogy in our own lives. We say - something is "like"...Jesus did the same thing...."The Kingdom is like..."
In such cases Jesus was trying to explain something that could not be grasped even if it could be expressed in "Plain language".

Secondly - it was not God's intention to give a new set of "laws"....but rather to write the law on our hearts. For this purpose Jesus told stories or pose questions that would get people to think for themselves instead of just blindly following some "law" or "rule" which is what many were doing under the OT laws.

I look at it like this...In mt 22:36-40 Jesus compressed ALL of the OT teachings (Law and Prophets) into just two commandments - and those two commandments are based on Love. All of the rest of what he was doing was getting people to THINK about that fact...to internalize it.

The best way to do that was to speak in ways that would make people think for themselves.

Peace
James


#6

Yes, its an excellent choice! Also the Aquinas Study Bible websitee has many commentaries of the Bible from the Church Fathers and Medieval commentators, all of the Haydock Bible and Challoners footnotes, etc., freely online.


#7

It is very hard to determine what Jesus is trying to get across in some of the parables i have read so far! I guess with time and prayer i may glimpse a bit of the real meaning of them.


#8

[quote="ajecphotos, post:7, topic:311784"]
It is very hard to determine what Jesus is trying to get across in some of the parables i have read so far! I guess with time and prayer i may glimpse a bit of the real meaning of them.

[/quote]

Yes - it does take time.

And the interesting thing is that they can mean slightly different things at different times in our lives and our journeys.

I would wager that if you were to post one of the things that you are having difficulty with, you would receive a number of very similar answers but with many variations and nuances as well.

We regularly discuss such things here...for example a fairly common one is the rich young man and giving all to the poor. Along with that is the image of the camel and the eye of the needle.

So - if there are passages you would like some input on...I'm sure that folks here would be happy to oblige...Just start a separate thread on each one so that things don't get confused.

Peace
James


#9

Will do. Thanks


#10

[quote="ajecphotos, post:7, topic:311784"]
It is very hard to determine what Jesus is trying to get across in some of the parables i have read so far! I guess with time and prayer i may glimpse a bit of the real meaning of them.

[/quote]

With time and prayer, the Holy Spirit will speak to you through Scripture, true enough. But if you want to know what Jesus meant or the Sacred writer meant, you ask. You ask not because you want a million opinions, you ask because 2000 years of retaining the Scripture goes along with understanding the original meaning.

Now, you can Google the Scripture passage: Book Chapter:Verse (Sirach 4:13 or Romans 5:7-12) and or look in notes in the Bible or start a thread here with the citation in the title and copy/paste the part that is unclear.


#11

[quote="Julia_Mae, post:10, topic:311784"]
With time and prayer, the Holy Spirit will speak to you through Scripture, true enough. But if you want to know what Jesus meant or the Sacred writer meant, you ask. You ask not because you want a million opinions, you ask because 2000 years of retaining the Scripture goes along with understanding the original meaning.

Now, you can Google the Scripture passage: Book Chapter:Verse (Sirach 4:13 or Romans 5:7-12) and or look in notes in the Bible or start a thread here with the citation in the title and copy/paste the part that is unclear.

[/quote]

:thumbsup:

Part of the reason we are a "Church" is to share with and grow with each other.

St Paul commended the Bereans. He did not commend them for each one individually searching Scripture, but the community as a whole doing so.

Likewise in Mt 18:15-18 we see issues being brought before more and more people for the purpose of getting at the truth of the matter.

As you say - it isn't about getting a lot of different "opinions"...It's about getting at the deeper meanings and understandings of a given passage within the whole treasure of the teachings of the Church.

Peace
James


#12

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