Dedicated to the writings of Saint Luke.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Reading Plummer

You may recall that in Parable of the Dishonest Steward, this man was commanded to give an accounting of his stewardship in preparation to handling it over to someone else because he had been wasting his master's goods. There have been a number of solutions proposed for the interpretation of this most enigmatic parable. In his book, Parables as Subversive Speech: Jesus as pedagogue of the oppressed, William R. Hezog suggested that perhaps the parables of Jesus were neither theological nor moral stories but political and economic ones. Plummer, in discussing the Rich Man and Lazarus, indicated the unjust steward showed what good results may follow from the wise use of wealth while the rich man shows how disastrous are consequences for failing to make wise use of wealth. Reading the Unjust Steward and the Rich man & Lazarus together (even though separated by 11 verses) makes sense of the Parable of the Unjust Steward.

Although I like Plummer's interpretation, I still believe that the parable is best understood as being directed to most excellent Theophilus since he as the High Priest had the ability to make changes in the distribution of alms accumulated by the temple establishment. The more I think about it, Plummer's interpretation strengthens the devastating criticism directed to most excellent Theophilus. The lesson is, paraphrasing Plummer, Theophilus, who is merely a steward of the wealth accumulated by the temple establishment, should be more like the unjust steward.

I plan to revisit the Unjust Steward and the material between the two parables.

Copyrighted 2006


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