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An ill digested lesson
The Governess. "And now, what is a Parable, Effie?"
Effie (who has got rather muddled). "A Parable? Oh, of course, a Parable is an Earthly story with a Heavenly meaning!"
From Punch, Vol. 103, October 29, 1892

" Recently there has been some interest in the field of contemporary parable, exploring how modern stories can be used as parables in our current culture." I haven't removed this statement, but there is no information contained in it. It is merely an expansion of the self-defining logism "modern parable." So I've added a link to the Parable of the broken window

But why im i so tired what about this? many fairy tales can be viewed as extended parables. Doesn't it seem generally agreed that what makes a parable not a fairy tale is no talking wolves, magic transformations, witches, spells, fairy godmothers yada yada yada. I wonder if I clipped out this statement, would anybody even notice eh? Wetman 23:30, 28 Jun 2004 (UTC)

According to the Princeton University site, "parable" can be a synonym of "fable." Type in "parable" here and you'll see what I mean. [1] Binky The WonderSkull 18:00, 9 March 2007 (UTC)

Parables from other sources[edit]

This page needs to list Old Testament and other religion's parables, not just NT ones. Either that, or they should be moved to List of New Testament parables. --K. 23:52, 23 July 2005 (UTC)

The problem here is that, in modern English, the prototypical parables are the parables of Jesus, and as a result they don't tend to be as common in other religions, although they are not unknown. So balancing the article is probably not possible. Perhaps in recognition of this, User:Arcadian has moved the table to List of New Testament stories, which IMO is a good place for it (although his edit summary moved fables... is a bit of a worry). (;-> Andrewa 06:47, 5 November 2005 (UTC)


I think this entry needs reworking. If (as I think is the case) a main example of parables is the teaching of Jesus, the parables of Jesus are not written to make confusing stories clear, but rather to conceal the meaning from the outside audience - see Luke 8:10, where Jesus says: "The knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of God has been given to you, but to others I speak in parables, so that, "`though seeing, they may not see; though hearing, they may not understand.' - FatherofAbraham 1 Oct 2005 (UTC)

By all means give the "List of New Testament parables" a preamble reporting on the use of parables by the authors of the gospels, as they have been interpreted. Of course you didn't really intend to "rework" the general explication of what "parable" means to suit your particular point-of-view, though your post did give that impression somewhat. Remember that the parables of the New Testament are not the center of everyone's culture, against which all others are to be compared. But the present "List" is rather uninformative and needs your help. --Wetman 10:33, 1 October 2005 (UTC)
I've had a go at reworking the intro. The thing that really hit me in the eye in the original was the claim that a parable ('comparison' or 'similitude') was originally the name given by Greek rhetoricians to any fictive illustration introduced in the form of a brief narrative, which (quite apart from its trivial confusion of term and referent) is clearly false, as these people didn't speak English! (;->
IMO there's still some work to do on whether the protoypical parable is intended to clarify or conceal or both. The problem, assuming that the parables of Jesus are the modern-day prototype, is that New Testament scholars are by no means unanimous on this point. Andrewa 05:46, 5 November 2005 (UTC)

Raw text[edit]

The following dumped into the article needs to be edited into it in some way: A 'parable' is a story that is designed in such a way as to be understood by some people and to not be understood by others. It creates two groups - those who know and understand and those who do not know and do not understand. This is what the bible passage from Matthew chapter 13 verses 10 to 16 says.

10The disciples came to him (Jesus) and asked, "Why do you speak to the people in parables?" 11 He replied, "The knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of heaven has been given to you, but not to them. 12Whoever has will be given more, and he will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him. 13This is why I speak to them in parables

  "Though seeing, they do not see;
     though hearing, they do not hear or understand. 

14In them is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah:

  " 'You will be ever hearing but never understanding;
     you will be ever seeing but never perceiving.
15For this people's heart has become calloused;
     they hardly hear with their ears,
     and they have closed their eyes.
  Otherwise they might see with their eyes,
     hear with their ears,
     understand with their hearts
  and turn, and I would heal them.'[a] 

16But blessed are your eyes because they see, and your ears because they hear.

I added this biblical reference to the article. Binky The WonderSkull 18:24, 9 March 2007 (UTC)

adding missing sources template[edit]

Just added the {{sources}} template. There's the mention of Fowler at the bottom but the bulk of the article's missing sourcing. --Allen Riddell 23:30, 26 December 2006 (UTC)


It's getting tedious, reverting vandalizations. Wouldn't it be helpful to restrict editing of the "Parable" article to registered users? logologist|Talk 19:41, 28 January 2007 (UTC)


I edited the definition of parable at the top to be more in line with Princeton University's definition [2] and the Encarta [3]. Note that they have nothing saying that a parable can't be about anthropomorphic animals. Binky The WonderSkull 18:00, 9 March 2007 (UTC)

Pointlessness and confusion[edit]

I have to know what the point of talking in riddles is if it is something that has a tendacy to confuse me more that it does getting to me to understand things by having them explained in a more logical context. I have great difficulty understanding what such people are trying to get at. I think that this is like psychobabble talk to try and win peoples oppions over to the person talking about what ever because all parabolical analagies are difficult to argue against in the same way.

It has been well known that people who are spoken to with reasoning and explination that is in a logical context that is direct and obvious are more likily to understand. I would like to pose that this is an issue that should be researched and added to page that contians this information.

Biblical parables[edit]

I wonder whether the "Parable" article isn't getting top-heavy with material about Biblical and Christian parables, and whether these might not be better treated in the articles on the "Parables of Jesus" and "Parables told by Jesus" or in other appropriate articles dealing with the Bible? Nihil novi 02:52, 12 September 2007 (UTC) they are also caring anout us? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:59, 18 February 2009 (UTC)

once a man said to me: am I deaf or simply hard of hearing?

I like jesus wanted to cure the man of his ailment, however, I unlike Jesus did not have the power to provide the man with good hearing anymore. Thus I considered his other ailment: the confusion he had from not knowing whether he was deaf or simply hard of hearing.

thus, I stabbed him in both of his otis media (ear canal) and assured him that he was, without a doubt, unable to hear.

the man turned to me, and was so happy, he proceeded in only uttering incoherencies (though it didn't matter since he could not hear them anyway)

thus the story goes, I am often confused with the Catholic's savior --Kg24 (talk) 00:50, 16 April 2009 (UTC)

WorldCat Genres[edit]

Hello, I'm working with OCLC, and we are algorithmically generating data about different Genres, like notable Authors, Book, Movies, Subjects, Characters and Places. We have determined that this Wikipedia page has a close affintity to our detected Genere of parables. It might be useful to look at [4] for more information. Thanks. Maximilianklein (talk) 23:42, 5 December 2012 (UTC)

Recording Parables?[edit]

I had a parable I wanted to record.

Is there a place that just collects them? Biofuel (talk) 21:07, 16 January 2013 (UTC)

False distinction[edit]

The distinction between fable and parable forced in the lead is inaccurate and revisionist. It ignores the attempts at descriptive categorisation in Classical times, centred on Aesop/s Fables. Several of Aesop's fables include interaction between humans and animals, as well as humans and gods, and on occasion the protagonists are purely human. The same may be said of La Fontaine's Fables. To rewrite the definition of fable so as to exclude a fair proportion of the work of two of the foremost fabulists is not only perverse, it is poor scholarship and can only damage the reputation of Wikipedia. Mzilikazi1939 (talk) 12:30, 23 March 2015 (UTC)