Bultmann on parables.

From: J.D.F.=van=Halsema%BW_KG%TheoFilos@esau.th.vu.nl
Date: Thu Jun 19 1997 - 05:01:38 EDT

Subject: Bultmann on parables [was: Mark4:3: a sower/the sower]

A few days ago I started a perfectly innocent thread on Mark 4:3. I was
wondering whether `a sower' and `the sower' were both correct translations.
I referred to Bultmann's `Die Geschichte der synoptischen Tradition'. Despite
all the critique one can have on [?] this book, I was truly very surprised by
the verdict of Ken Litwak:

>From: kdlitwak <kdlitwak@concentric.net>
>Date: Wed, 18 Jun 1997 07:43:18 -0700
>Subject: Bultmann on parables. I'm wondering...

>...derived from Bultmann. In spite of Bultmann's significant influence on
>NT scholarship, so much has been written in critique of his work, and
>the view that Jesus' parables have no allegorical elements so
>nonsensical, that I'm wondering why anyone would want to bother with
>anything Bultmannhad to say about parables today. This is not meant as
>a critique of the original post or poster. Apart from being serious
>practice for my German, I can't think of a good reason at this point to
>consult Herr Bultmann on anything. I wold hope we are well past his..

Two points:
1/ Bultmann did NOT say that no parable can have any allegorical
characteristics. On page 202 of the German edition he refers to Rabbinic
stories collected by Fiebig and Billerbeck.
2/ I still think Bultmann did make a good point when he distinguished between
'Gleichnisse' and 'Parabels'. The latter are narrative 'Gleichnisse', which
tell a story which happens only once.

When I had to lecture on parables to a group of undergraduate students at
Free University, Amsterdam, a couple of weeks ago, I did feel it necessary to
bother with what Bultmann had to say about parables. In fact, I demand that
in the small thesis they are writing right now, they use Bultmann's book.
I'm sure in the future I will do so again!

Greetings, Erik

Erik van Halsema / |Research Assistant / Lecturer
Johan D.F. van Halsema |Faculty of Theology
mailto:j.d.f.van_halsema@esau.th.vu.nl |Vrije Universiteit
mailto:jdfvh@dds.nl |De Boelelaan 1105,
http://huizen.dds.nl/~jdfvh |NL - 1081 HV Amsterdam
                                       |Fax +31 (0)20-4446635

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