Saturday, July 25, 2009

Bailey's Noble Vineyard

Part 6 (x)- The Parable of the Noble
Vineyard Owner and His Son

OK, OK. The stones didn't cry out literally in this text- like the pic suggests. But they did indeed cry out- figuratively speaking.

Bailey is a little more contextual here. Good for him. He was trying way too hard to isolate the texts- to illustrate the chiastic structure of these parables. A literary device used for mnemonic purposes.
A device recognized and brought to prominence quite recently by Gordon Wenham. A recognition that further dissembles the long-standing and compromising 'documentary hypothesis' of Julius Wellhausen.

But the recognition of this device or structure adds little to my understanding of these parables. Even less enlightening is Bailey's literal interpretation of this parable.

Rather, this parable (Luke 20:9-16) ought to be treated allegorically. The vine-growers/Jews saw Jesus. And to attain gain, they threw him out of the vineyard/Jerusalem and killed/crucified Him.

Bailey rejects the speculation that Luke may have added the "threw him out of the vineyard" part to accommodate prophecy- because 'it fails to take the parable literal enough'. "Such speculation is unnecessary when you consider the potential defilement of the grapes", claims Bailey (420).
What a wuss.
He won't defend Luke.
He won't defend Luke's inspiration.
He won't defend the translations (there are no variant textual readings).
He merely defends his own literal interpretation- of grapes!

Yet, the allegorical interpretation is confirmed- with Jesus subsequent elaboration (v. 17&18) of a stone falling on those that reject THE CHIEF CORNER stone/Himself. Try taking those stones literally.

But these are just sour grapes, dear readers.
I thank you for putting up with my gripes.
I hope that my gripes have been helpful for you. And please do not hesitate to rock me with your comments.

In closing:

Bailey concludes this final chapter by saying, "To summarize this great parable is nearly impossible". But that doesn't stop him from trying.

Please allow me to make one more summary for you here.

Either you fall on that stone- or it will fall on you.

And you won't like the latter.

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