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Appendix: A Survey Of The Interpretative History Of The Parable Of The Dishonest Steward (Luke 16:1–9)

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Chapter Summary

Perhaps no parable offers scholars as much difficulty in interpretation and as many opportunities for research than the parable of the Dishonest Steward (Luke 16:1-9). The master's praise of an "unrighteous" (adikia) steward and Jesus' use of him as an example has prompted a voluminous number of proposals, the sheer magnitude of which can overwhelm the perspective interpreter. Early Christian writers from multiple regions interpreted the parable as an exhortation to almsgiving in light of the accompanying comments (vv. 8b-13), particularly v. 9. Clement of Alexandria used this parable in his discussion of how the rich should be generous with their wealth, an interpretation Cyril of Alexandria echoed a few centuries later. Both prominent medieval Catholic interpreters and the Protestant Reformers continued to view the parable as an exhortation to generosity without endorsing the actions of steward based upon the comments following the parable.

Keywords: Clement of Alexandria; Dishonest Steward (Luke 16:1-9); parable



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