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Putting Things in Perspective: A History of Recent Interpretation of the Parable of the Unjust Steward

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Chapter Summary

This chapter calls attention to the difficulty of the parable of the unjust steward itself. It highlights the key interpretive issues involved. In attempting to offer a history of interpretation of any sort one is immediately faced with procedural questions. What chronological or historical parameters should be used? Then, how should the relevant studies within the chosen parameters be categorized? With respect to the first question, the chapter is limited to interpretations of the parable offered in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The chapter discusses the steward's actions toward the debtors as fraudulent or dishonest. It deals with traditional (or monetary) interpretation, non-monetary interpretations, and negative example interpretation. The chapter stresses the socioeconomic background of the parable, and presents a detailed exegetical study of Luke 16:1-13.

Keywords: Luke 16:1-13; parable of the unjust steward



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