New Testament  

Outline of Parable Project:
Title Page
            Parable to be addressed (with Biblical Citation)

Last Name, First Name of both contributors
            Cistercian Preparatory School
            Form IV - Section A/B

Table of Contents
    List Page Headings down the left column and the
            page on which each topic is found along the right column.

Illustration of Parable
     As they say, "A picture is worth a thousand words."  Try to
            illustrate your parable through a drawing, painting, or
            similar technique which expresses your particular/unique 
            insight into the assigned parable.

Parable Analysis
Page 1        Introduction
Place your parable within the context of Jesus'
                     preaching. Recall, for example, how Jesus taught in
                     many other ways, but that the parables represent a
                     manner of teaching which especially characterizes his
                     preaching of the "good news".  

                     Define "parable".  Any in the Old Testament?  (Note Hebrew 
                     and Greek etymology). How distinct from fables/tales and other 
                     such literary devices?  Why does Jesus teach in parables? 
                     (Cite sources)

                     What kind/category is the parable you have been assigned 
                     (i.e. similitude/parable/exemplary story, of the kingdom, 
                     of mercy, etc.)?  Are there many of these kind found elsewhere?

Page 2        Context
Larger - Within the scope of the life/ministry of Jesus.

                      Immediate - Where is the parable situated within this
                      Gospel?  What happens immediately before and after? 
                      How might this context influence the way this parable is
                      interpreted?  Are there other parables close by?  How might 
                      they be related to or distinct from the assigned parable?

                       Audience - To whom is Jesus immediately addressing this 
                       parable?  Who are the bystanders?  Any larger audience 

                       Unique to this Gospel?  If not, in what other Gospels is 
                       this parable found?  Is the context dramatically different
                       in the other Gospels?  How does the use of this parable
                       in other gospels differ?  Highlight concrete differences between 
                       the different versions of this parable.  Why might these changes
                       have been introduced?

Page 3       
Plot Development
Simply summarize/trace the plot of your parable in your own 
                      words.  Is a "tragedy" or "comedy" in the classical sense?  
                      Admittedly, for some this will be a particularly brief 
                      section of the paper, but do not fail to bring out any movement in 
                      time, place, scene, thought, emotion, etc. 

Page 4        Character Analysis
Please do not simply list the characters, but take the    
                      time to reflect on what each may represent/symbolize.  Provide a 
                      comprehensive list of all primary characters and all minor/hidden
                      or symbolic characters.  How  do they relate to each other?  How
                      do they shed light on/contrast with each other?  If applicable, 
                      anticipate how the characters might have been changed/react in the
                      future.  Regarding symbolic characters, be sure to analyze whether
                      they are taken from ordinary experience/common life at the time.  What,
                      for example, is a mustard seed? Common or uncommon.  Is it really
                      the smallest of seeds?  Or how much in that day was a "talent"? Or
                      what were foundations of homes really made of in that time/place?  Or
                      describe the place of shepherds? etc.

Page 5        Moral Teaching/Lessons
                     In context - Each parable can include very rich and diverse  
                     lessons, so be careful not to reduce this section to its lowest 
                     common denominator.  Use commentaries, interviews, and 
                     much personal reflection to extract from your assigned 
                     parable all the meaning that you can.

                     For today - Seek to apply the lessons extracted from the 
                     parable to the culture/attitudes/experiences of today.  Is the 
                     parable still relevant?  Is the story/image presented in the 
                     parable still effective/understandable?

Page 6        Audience Reaction
How do those in Jesus' audience react to the parable?  Is it 
                     positively/negatively received?  Is the moral lesson understood
                     by Jesus' intended audience?  Do different hearers react 
                     differently?  Does this reaction shed further light on the 
                     meaning/intent of the parable?

                      How do you think most people today would respond to this 
                      parable?  Differently or the similarly? Explain.

Page 7        Summary/Conclusion
Conclude by reflecting again (as you did in the introduction) 
                     on Jesus' use of parables in general and on on your parable 
                     in particular.  What did you find most interesting/surprising/ 
                     disappointing/confusing/ uninspiring?   Add any other 
                     personal observations/thought/ comments that you would 
                     like to re-emphasize.  Any unanswered questions 
                     remaining?  Directions for further study?

Works Cited Page
Be sure to include all sources you employed in composing 
                     your Parable Project (e.g. your textbook, class notes, bible, 
                     biblical commentaries, books, interviews with parents, 
                     priests, teachers, friends, etc.)  Ms. Gans will be able to 
                     direct you many useful resources in our school library.

Deadline:    Monday, Dec. 6, 2001
                       Late papers will be penalized a letter grade for each
                       day tardy.
Format:        Devote at least one page to each heading listed above.  
                       You need not completely fill the page with text, but 
                       begin each new heading with a separate page.

                       Typed, double spaced, and 12 point font.

                       Do not employ first person singular.  Avoid passive mood.

Return to New Testament Page