What’s a Parable?

My friend Ron Reed happened to quote writer C.H. Dodd today in offering the definition of the word “parable.” Ron referenced this in summing up the virtues of The Return, my favorite film of 2004.

It struck me that, while this definition sums up Jesus’ style of storytelling, it also sums up most of the movies that end up becoming my favorites:

A parable is:

A metaphor or simile

drawn from nature or common life

arresting the hearers by its vividness or strangeness

and leaving the mind in sufficient doubt to its precise application

to tease the mind into active thought.

Doesn’t that apply to most of the films you end up having long talks about with your friends and neighbors?

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About Jeffrey Overstreet

Jeffrey Overstreet has relaunched a bigger, better version of this blog at LookingCloser.org. The new Looking Closer doesn't have any of the trashy click-bait advertisements that you're probably seeing all over this Patheos page. So give yourself a break.