Parable: Definition, Examples & Meaning

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      A Parable is a succinct, didactic story, in prose or verse with moral principles. Whereas a fable employs animals, inanimate objects, plants or other forces of nature as characters, the parable employs human as characters. A parable often involves a character who faces a moral dilemma or one who makes a bad decision and then suffers the unintended consequences. Parables are often used to explore ethical concepts in spiritual texts. The Bible contains numerous parables in the gospels section of the New Testament. For an example, we can refer to The Parable of the Good Samaritan by Jesus in the holy Bible. These are believed by some scholars to have been inspired by Mashalim, a form of Hebrew comparison. Mashalim from the Old Testament include the parable of the ewe-lamb (told by Nathan in 2 Samuel 12:1-9) and the parable of the woman of Tekoah (in 2 Samuel 14:1-13). Parables also appear in Islam. In Sufi tradition, parables are used for imparting lessons and values. Recent authors such as Idries Shah and Anthony de Mello have helped to popularize these stories beyond Sufi circles.

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