Parables of Jesus
C.H. Dodd defines a parable as “a metaphor or simile drawn from nature or common life, arresting the hearer by its vividness or strangeness, and leaving the mind in sufficient doubt about its application to tease it into active thought” (Dodd, Parables, 16).
The term “parable” encompasses a broad range of meaning, including full narrative stories, proverbs, riddles, and one-liners. Jesus’ warning against casting pearls before swine may be classified as a parable (Matt 7:6), and His statement about contamination in Mark 7:15 is expressly called a “parable” (Mark 7:17).
However, it is not always possible to restrict a parable to one lesson; the parable of the Prodigal Son and several others were designed with more than one point in mind.
Miller, J. E. (2016). Jesus, Parables of. In J. D. Barry, D. Bomar, D. R. Brown, R. Klippenstein, D. Mangum, C. Sinclair Wolcott, … W. Widder (Eds.), The Lexham Bible Dictionary. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.