Sally Sulcove | Journaling the Bible | Page 16
He set him on his own animal, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him. On the next day, when he departed, he took out two denarii , gave them to the host, and said to him, 'Take care of him. Whatever you spend beyond that, I will repay you when I return. In the time of Jesus, the road from Jerusalem to Jericho was notorious for its danger and difficulty, and was known as the "Way of Blood" because "of the blood which is often shed there by robbers". As soon as we got on that road I said to my wife, "I can see why Jesus used this as the setting for his parable. In the days of Jesus it came to be known as the "Bloody Pass.
Or it's possible that they felt that the man on the ground was merely faking, and he was acting like he had been robbed and hurt in order to seize them over there, lure them there for quick and easy seizure. And so the first question that the priest asked, the first question that the Levite asked was, "If I stop to help this man, what will happen to me? Jesus' target audience, the Jews , hated Samaritans  to such a degree that they destroyed the Samaritans' temple on Mount Gerizim.
As the story reached those who were unaware of the oppression of the Samaritans, this aspect of the parable became less and less discernible: fewer and fewer people ever heard of them in any context other than as a description. Today, the story is often recast in a more modern setting where the people are ones in equivalent social groups known not to interact comfortably. Thus, cast appropriately, the parable regains its message to modern listeners: namely, that an individual of a social group they disapprove of can exhibit moral behavior that is superior to individuals of the groups they approve.
Christians have used it as an example of Christianity's opposition to racial, ethnic, and sectarian prejudice. Samaritans appear elsewhere in the Gospels and Book of Acts. In the Gospel of Luke, Jesus heals ten lepers and only the Samaritan among them thanks him Luke —19 ,  although Luke —56 depicts Jesus receiving a hostile reception in Samaria.
Many see 2Chronicles —15 as the model for the Samaritan's neighborly behavior in the parable. In Jewish culture, contact with a dead body was understood to be defiling. Origen described the allegory as follows:. The man who was going down is Adam. Jerusalem is paradise, and Jericho is the world. The robbers are hostile powers. The priest is the Law , the Levite is the prophets , and the Samaritan is Christ. The wounds are disobedience, the beast is the Lord's body, the [inn], which accepts all who wish to enter, is the Church. The manager of the [inn] is the head of the Church, to whom its care has been entrusted.
And the fact that the Samaritan promises he will return represents the Savior's second coming. This allegorical reading was taught not only by ancient followers of Jesus, but it was virtually universal throughout early Christianity, being advocated by Irenaeus , Clement , and Origen , and in the fourth and fifth centuries by Chrysostom in Constantinople, Ambrose in Milan, and Augustine in North Africa. This interpretation is found most completely in two other medieval stained-glass windows, in the French cathedrals at Bourges and Sens.
The allegorical interpretation is also traditional in the Orthodox Church. How kind the good Samaritan To him who fell among the thieves! Thus Jesus pities fallen man, And heals the wounds the soul receives. Robert Funk also suggests that Jesus' Jewish listeners were to identify with the robbed and wounded man. In his view, the help received from a hated Samaritan is like the kingdom of God received as grace from an unexpected source.
John Calvin was not impressed by Origen 's allegorical reading:. The allegory which is here contrived by the advocates of free will is too absurd to deserve refutation. According to them, under the figure of a wounded man is described the condition of Adam after the fall; from which they infer that the power of acting well was not wholly extinguished in him; because he is said to be only half-dead. As if it had been the design of Christ, in this passage, to speak of the corruption of human nature, and to inquire whether the wound which Satan inflicted on Adam were deadly or curable; nay, as if he had not plainly, and without a figure, declared in another passage, that all are dead, but those whom he quickens by his voice John As little plausibility belongs to another allegory, which, however, has been so highly satisfactory, that it has been admitted by almost universal consent, as if it had been a revelation from heaven.
This Samaritan they imagine to be Christ, because he is our guardian; and they tell us that wine was poured, along with oil, into the wound, because Christ cures us by repentance and by a promise of grace. They have contrived a third subtlety, that Christ does not immediately restore health, but sends us to the Church, as an innkeeper, to be gradually cured. I acknowledge that I have no liking for any of these interpretations; but we ought to have a deeper reverence for Scripture than to reckon ourselves at liberty to disguise its natural meaning. And, indeed, any one may see that the curiosity of certain men has led them to contrive these speculations, contrary to the intention of Christ.
Francis Schaeffer suggested: "Christians are not to love their believing brothers to the exclusion of their non-believing fellowmen. That is ugly. We are to have the example of the good Samaritan consciously in mind at all times.
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Other modern theologians have taken similar positions. For example, G. Caird wrote:. Dodd quotes as a cautionary example Augustine 's allegorisation of the Good Samaritan, in which the man is Adam, Jerusalem the heavenly city, Jericho the moon — the symbol of immortality; the thieves are the devil and his angels, who strip the man of immortality by persuading him to sin and so leave him spiritually half dead; the priest and Levite represent the Old Testament, the Samaritan Christ, the beast his flesh which he assumed at the Incarnation; the inn is the church and the innkeeper the apostle Paul.
Most modern readers would agree with Dodd that this farrago bears no relationship to the real meaning of the parable. The meaning of the parable for Calvin was, instead, that "compassion, which an enemy showed to a Jew, demonstrates that the guidance and teaching of nature are sufficient to show that man was created for the sake of man. Hence it is inferred that there is a mutual obligation between all men. Joel B. Green writes that Jesus' final question which, in something of a "twist,"  reverses the question originally asked :. By leaving aside the identity of the wounded man and by portraying the Samaritan traveler as one who performs the law and so as one whose actions are consistent with an orientation to eternal life , Jesus has nullified the worldview that gives rise to such questions as, Who is my neighbor?
The purity-holiness matrix has been capsized. And, not surprisingly in the Third Gospel, neighborly love has been concretized in care for one who is, in this parable, self-evidently a social outcast . Such a reading of the parable makes it important in liberation theology ,  where it provides a concrete anchoring for love  and indicates an "all embracing reach of solidarity.
Martin Luther King, Jr. On the one hand we are called to play the good Samaritan on life's roadside; but that will be only an initial act. One day we must come to see that the whole Jericho road must be transformed so that men and women will not be constantly beaten and robbed as they make their journey on life's highway. True compassion is more than flinging a coin to a beggar; it is not haphazard and superficial. It comes to see that an edifice which produces beggars needs restructuring. In addition to these classical interpretations many scholars have drawn additional themes from the story.
Some have suggested that religious tolerance was an important message of the parable. By selecting for the moral protagonist of the story someone whose religion Samaritanism was despised by the Jewish audience to which Jesus was speaking, some argue that the parable attempts to downplay religious differences in favor of focusing on moral character and good works. Others have suggested that Jesus was attempting to convey an anti-establishment message, not necessarily in the sense of rejecting authority figures in general, but in the sense of rejecting religious hypocrisy.
By contrasting the noble acts of a despised religion to the crass and selfish acts of a priest and a Levite, two representatives of the Jewish religious establishment, some argue that the parable attempts to downplay the importance of status in the religious hierarchy or importance of knowledge of scripture in favor of the practice of religious principles. The following is based on the public domain article Brotherly Love found in the Jewish Encyclopedia. The story of the good Samaritan, in the Pauline Gospel of Luke x.
The kind Samaritan who comes to the rescue of the men that had fallen among the robbers, is contrasted with the unkind priest and Levite; whereas the third class of Jews—i. If "Samaritan" has been substituted by the anti-Judean gospel-writer for the original "Israelite," no reflection was intended by Jesus upon Jewish teaching concerning the meaning of neighbor; and the lesson implied is that he who is in need must be the object of our love.
The term "neighbor" has not at all times been thus understood by Jewish teachers. He says: 'Thou shalt not defraud thy neighbor.
Thy neighbor is like thy brother, and thy brother is like thy neighbor. Aaron b. There is nowhere a dissenting opinion expressed by Jewish writers. For modern times, see among others the conservative opinion of Plessner's religious catechism, "Dat Mosheh we-Yehudit," p. Accordingly, the synod at Leipzig in , and the German-Israelitish Union of Congregations in , stood on old historical ground when declaring Lazarus, "Ethics of Judaism," i.
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Bernard Brandon Scott, a member of the Jesus Seminar,  questions the authenticity of the parable's context, suggesting that "the parable originally circulated separately from the question about neighborliness"  and that the "existence of the lawyer's question in Mark —34 and Matthew —40 , in addition to the evidence of heavy Lukan editing"  indicates the parable and its context were "very probably joined editorially by Luke.
That Jesus was only tested once in this way is not a necessary assumption. The twist between the lawyer's question and Jesus' answer is entirely in keeping with Jesus' radical stance: he was making the lawyer rethink his presuppositions. Placher points out that such debate misinterprets the biblical genre of a parable, which illustrates a moral rather than a historical point: on reading the story, "we are not inclined to check the story against the police blotter for the Jerusalem-Jericho highway patrol.
We recognize that Jesus is telling a story to illustrate a moral point, and that such stories often don't claim to correspond to actual events. The term "good Samaritan" is used as a common metaphor: "The word now applies to any charitable person, especially one who, like the man in the parable, rescues or helps out a needy stranger.
The name Good Samaritan Hospital is used for a number of hospitals around the world. Good Samaritan laws encourage those who choose to serve and tend to others who are injured or ill. This parable was one of the most popular in medieval art. A really nice Bible app. Thank you so much! Can we pay for this app to get rid of ads? Best simple Bible app ever. Good version options. Love it! Please the application is good but not quick in searching versus.
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