Summary of Research on the Parable of the Wicked Tenants

In the newly-released October 2016 edition of Currents in Biblical Research, I have written a longish summary and analysis of the research done in the past century or so on the Parable of the Wicked Tenants.

This parable has fascinated me since my MDiv days, when I wrote a paper on it in my Gospels class dealing with the conclusion, where Jesus quotes from Psalm 118:22 (see here). The parable also forms the foundation of one of the chapters of my dissertation, so I have been hiking around in the vineyard for quite some time.

I realized pretty soon into my work on the parable for my thesis that I would not have the wordcount needed to summarize all the issues that have been surfaced over the years on the parable. Some have argued—probably rightly—that it has been the most-studied parable of all of them, followed closely by the Parable of the Sower. It factors significantly in a ton of debates about Jesus’ parables, such as whether he uses them to speak of himself, whether Jesus intends to draw metaphorical or allegorical correspondences to reality from the parable, and so forth.

So I decided to study everything I could find on the parable, summarize the key issues, and try to get it published outside the thesis, thus making it more accessible to folks and saving me the wordcount.

It ended up being around 16-17,000 words (which would have been about 21% of my thesis!), found its way into CBR, and clocked in at nearly 50 pages. So it’s not really a light read. But it does have several charts and diagrams!

It can be found here: http://cbi.sagepub.com/content/15/1/74.abstract

If you do not have access to it, send me an email and I can provide you a copy.

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