Fr. Sergei Sveshnikov

On The Parable of the Talents/Minas

Posted in Theology by Fr. Sergei Sveshnikov on 5 May 2010

“He Put Before Them another Parable” (Matt. 13:24)

Jesus told the crowds all these things in parables; without a parable he told them nothing. (Matt. 13:34)

Of all the passages in the Gospels, some of the best known and most often retold are probably the parables of Christ.  The stories of the Prodigal Son, the Good Samaritan, the Rich man and the Beggar Lazarus, the Publican and the Pharisee, the Talents and others have not only given rich homiletic material to preachers from across the full spectrum of Christian denominations, but have served as staples of Christian children’s education for many generations of the faithful and have become part of the collective cultural make up that has shaped the Christian world.

Perhaps due to this assimilation and acculturation of the Parables of Jesus within the Western mindset, many preachers and Sunday school teachers tend to forget the fact that Jesus was not an American televangelist and that his audience did not live in the American Suburbia.   Relatively recently scholars began the colossal work of putting many familiar stories into their proper first-century Palestinian context.  The shear amount of material uncovered by the historical social sciences will be enough for schools of theologians to sift through for years and decades to come.  Yet, as Richard Rohrbaugh writes in his recently published work The New Testament in Cross-Cultural Perspective (2007), very little work specifically on the parables of Christ “has taken into account recent efforts to use the social sciences in New Testament interpretations.  That is certainly the case with the parable of the talents…” (109)

This, however, may be somewhat of an overstatement.  Several authors have attempted to bring the new process to the interpretation of the parables, including the one of the talents.  Thirteen years before Rohrbaugh’s book was published in Eugene, Oregon, William Herzog published a work titled Parables As Subversive Speech: Jesus As Pedagogue of the Oppressed (1994), in which he addresses many of the points that Rohbaugh explores in his 2007 book (see pp. 150-168 of Herzog’s work).  Similarly, Yakov Krotov repeatedly wrote on the interpretation of this particular parable throughout the 1990s and early 2000s (see, for example, his column in the newspaper Kuranty from 28 September 1996, №1380).  Nonetheless, it is through the efforts of social science theologians like Herzog, Rohbaugh and others that our understanding of the Scriptures is being challenged to grow through giving thought and consideration to the original cultural content in which the parable was first given to “anyone with ears to hear” (Mark 4:9).[1]

The interpretation of the parable of the talents/minas that Rohrbaugh and other social scientists offer directly contradicts what is being presented as the traditional “warning to Jesus’s opponents about their stewardship of divine resources” (Rohrbaugh 111).  As Rohrbaugh notes,

… commentators of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries have genuinely reveled in the parable’s seeming exhortation to venturous investment and diligent labor.  In appears to be nothing less than praise for homespun capitalism on the lips of Jesus.  Even though such treatment of the parable can be seen as far back as John Chrysostom, and running forward as well into the exegesis of John Calvin, it is a treatment that has been particularly dear to the exegetes of our own time who rarely question this allegedly capitalist motif. (ibid.)

Despite failing to note that traditional interpretations usually speak of spiritual rather than financial “venturous investment and diligent labor,” Rohrbaugh perhaps quite correctly argues that the very principle, whether applied to the economy or to the spiritual realm, would have been at least controversial in the eyes of a Galilean peasant.

To challenge the traditional interpretation of the parable, Rohrbaugh musters arguments from the limited good concept (as presented by George Foster and Bruce Malina), Michael Taussig’s model of the use value and exchange value, and intuition for the original setting in which Jesus might have delivered His parable.  The result is truly interesting: Rohrbaugh asserts that the interpretation of the parable that has become traditional would have been viewed by first-century Palestinian peasants as a “text of terror”—a term that Rohrbaugh borrows[2] from Phyllis Trible, a prominent feminist scholar.

In Rohrbaugh’s view, putting one’s lord’s money into the ground and returning it safely to the rightful owner was an honorable thing to do as commented upon, according to Rohrbaugh,[3] by Josephus (Ant. 4.285-7), while putting the money to work and gaining profit was not only seen taking an unforgivable risk with someone else’s money, but also acting in violation of the Torah.[4]  Finally, Rohrbaugh examines Eusebuis’ quotation from the Gospel of the Nasoreans which appears to support Rohrbaugh’s thesis, while the accounts of Matthew and Luke are pronounced uninsightful and telling us more about the Evangelists “than about the Jesus they purport to quote” (Rohrbaugh 122).  The conclusion that Rohrbaugh draws from his study of the parable is that “Jesus’s peasant hearers would almost certainly have assumed that the story was a warning to the rich about their exploitation of the weak” (123).  Thus, having rejected the “praise for a homespun capitalism on the lips of Jesus” (111), Rohrbaugh puts on them praise for Western academia-spun neo-Marxism.  Verily, verily, “it all depends on the assumptions you bring to the text” (122).

And social scientists, indeed, bring plenty of their assumptions to the text of the parable.  To whom exactly the original parable was told is far from clear—we do not have either its original text or setting.  What we have instead are the two versions found in Matthew 25:14-30 and Luke 19:12-27.  Far from revealing the two evangelists’ pro-capitalist agenda, as Rohrbaugh appears to suggest, the form of the parable recorded in the Gospels may instead point to the character of their respective audiences.  Raymond Brown suggests both Gospels were produced in urban Christian communities outside of Palestine which were made up of both Jewish and Gentile Christians, and, in the case of Luke’s Gospel, primarily of Gentiles (see 212-6; 269-71).  Whatever the exact composition of the Matthean and Lukan communities may have been, neither was likely to include large numbers of Galilean peasants.  Thus, an assertion that the parable would have been seen as a “text of terror” by peasants is moot—neither the text we have was written for a peasant audience, nor can modern audiences or the scholars who offer their interpretations be viewed as espousing the first-century Palestinian peasant worldview.

Furthermore, ancient sources, such as Josephus, do not appear to provide a definitive model for the proper arrangements concerning slaves’ taking care of their masters’ property.  Similarly, appellations to the Torah for condemnation of usury cannot be made without a disclaimer that in addition to the passages cited above (see n. 4), other passages, such as I Samuel 22:2; II Kings 4:1; Isaiah 50:1; Ezekiel 22:12; Nehemiah 5:7 and 12:13, indicate that the provisions of the Torah were often evaded, and their meaning continues to be debated in rabbinical thought.  Additionally, in the first century the Judeans were not as much of the “people of the Book” as they became to be since the destruction of the Temple.  While the Temple was the center of Judaism, the Jews were the “people of the altar,” and it may be seen as an open question whether the proverbial first-century Palestinian peasant was too much concerned with all of the provisions of the Law in the same way that modern Orthodox Judaism appears to be.

Finally, looking up to the Gospel of the Nazoreans for the original meaning of the parable is a risky proposition at best.  The Gospel may have had some basis in the original oral tradition, but the same can be said about all Gospels.  More probably, however, the Gospel of the Nazoreans was an adaptation of the Gospel of Matthew to a group of Jewish Christians, and as such had pronounced Jewish overtones.  It, for example, refused Jesus His divinity and, consequently, every mention of Jesus’ miraculous birth was redacted out of the Gospel of the Nazoreans.[5]  Whether the version of the parable of the talents contained in the Gospel as recorded by Eusebius of Caesarea is closer to the original words of Jesus or carries the seal of a Nazorean redaction may never become known, but there was a reason why this Gospel did not become part of the Christian canon, and one would do well to keep this in mind while searching for the true meaning of scriptures.

“Listen and Understand” (Matt. 15:10)

The reason I speak to them in parables is that ‘seeing they do not perceive, and hearing they do not listen, nor do they understand.’ (Matt. 13:13)

But they did not understand this saying; its meaning was concealed from them, so that they could not perceive it. (Luke 9:45)

Textually, despite a large number of variants, the meaning of the parable does not appear to depend on any single word or phrase and is conveyed through the narrative.  Rohrbaugh condenses the main points of both canonical versions of the story to the following four elements (110):

  1. A master planning a long journey entrusts money to servants, returns, and asks for an accounting.
  2. Some of the servants increase the initial amounts they are given, return the increased capital to the master, and are rewarded.
  3. Another servant, who admits being frightened, hides the amount he is given in order to return it intact to the master.
  4. The angry master takes the money of the last servant and gives it to the first.

The Nasorean version of the parable follows a very different, almost opposite pattern:

Matthew 25:14-30 Luke 19:12-27 Eusebius, Theophania, 22[6]
“For it is as if a man, going on a journey,summoned his slaves and entrusted his property to them;to one he gave five talents, to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability. Then he went away.

The one who had received the five talents went off at once and traded with them, and made five more talents.

In the same way, the one who had the two talents made two more talents.

But the one who had received the one talent went off and dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money.

After a long time the master of those slaves came and settled accounts with them.

Then the one who had received the five talents came forward, bringing five more talents, saying, ‘Master, you handed over to me five talents; see, I have made five more talents.’

His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and trustworthy slave; you have been trustworthy in a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.’

And the one with the two talents also came forward, saying, ‘Master, you handed over to me two talents; see, I have made two more talents.’

His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and trustworthy slave; you have been trustworthy in a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.’

Then the one who had received the one talent also came forward, saying, ‘Master, I knew that you were a harsh man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you did not scatter seed; so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here you have what is yours.’

But his master replied, ‘You wicked and lazy slave! You knew, did you, that I reap where I did not sow, and gather where I did not scatter? Then you ought to have invested my money with the bankers, and on my return I would have received what was my own with interest.

So take the talent from him, and give it to the one with the ten talents.

For to all those who have, more will be given, and they will have an abundance; but from those who have nothing, even what they have will be taken away.

As for this worthless slave, throw him into the outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’

So he said, “A nobleman went to a distant country to get royal power for himself and then return.He summoned ten of his slaves, and gave them ten pounds, and said to them, ‘Do business with these until I come back.’ But the citizens of his country hated him and sent a delegation after him, saying, ‘We do not want this man to rule over us.’When he returned, having received royal power, he ordered these slaves, to whom he had given the money, to be summoned so that he might find out what they had gained by trading.

The first came forward and said, ‘Lord, your pound has made ten more pounds.’

He said to him, ‘Well done, good slave! Because you have been trustworthy in a very small thing, take charge of ten cities.’

Then the second came, saying, ‘Lord, your pound has made five pounds.’

He said to him, ‘And you, rule over five cities.’

Then the other came, saying, ‘Lord, here is your pound. I wrapped it up in a piece of cloth, for I was afraid of you, because you are a harsh man; you take what you did not deposit, and reap what you did not sow.’

He said to him, ‘I will judge you by your own words, you wicked slave! You knew, did you, that I was a harsh man, taking what I did not deposit and reaping what I did not sow? Why then did you not put my money into the bank? Then when I returned, I could have collected it with interest.’

He said to the bystanders, ‘Take the pound from him and give it to the one who has ten pounds.’

(And they said to him, ‘Lord, he has ten pounds!’)

‘I tell you, to all those who have, more will be given; but from those who have nothing, even what they have will be taken away.

But as for these enemies of mine who did not want me to be king over them– bring them here and slaughter them in my presence.'”

For he [the master] had three servants:one who squandered his master’s substance with harlots and flute-girls,one who multiplied the gain,

and one who hid the talent

and accordingly

one was accepted (with joy),

another merely rebuked,

and another cast into prison

Obviously, the Nazorean narrative structure does not parallel the canonical versions, nor does it make sense by itself.  Eusebius naturally assumes epanalepsis to bring the story into any workable moral order.  But it is just as obvious that the two canonical versions cannot be interpreted through epanalepsis due to the unchangeable position of the middle element.

In fact, all of the examined interpreters appear to agree on the essential meaning of the parable.  The earliest such interpretation comes from Saint Clement of Alexandria who wrote circa 195:

The Savior reveals Himself, out of His abundance, to dispense goods to His servants according to the ability of each recipient.  Thereby, His servants can increase them by useful activity and then return to account for them…  [Paul says,] “The things that you have heard from me among many witnesses, the same you should commit to faithful men, who will also be able to teach others.” (ANF 2:229) 

Saint Gregory the Great similarly understands the image of the master to point to Christ: “Who is the man who sets out for foreign parts but our Redeemer, who departed to heaven in the body he had taken on?” (ACC Ib:222)  Likewise, Saint Cyril of Alexandria writes that it is Jesus Who ascends to a far country in heaven to return again (ACC III:293).

Origen, writing circa 245, asserts that “those who have received the ten talents are those who have been entrusted with the dispensing of the Word, which has been committed to them” (ANF 9:503).  Saint Cyril writes that “to those who believe in him, the Savior distributes a variety of divine gifts” (ACC III:293).  Augustine of Hippo reminds in Homily 94 that everyone is accountable for dispensing the divine gifts that Christ has entrusted to us (ACC III:295).  Saint Gregory agrees: “There are some who, even without knowing how to probe into inward and mystical matters, use the natural gifts they have received to teach correctly those they can reach to strive for their heavenly home” (ACC Ib:223).

The same Gregory sees the “useless servant” as being justly punished for his being “unwilling to work with his talent” (ACC Ib:226)—an interpretation with which agrees the whole consensus of early commentators: Saint John Chrysostom (ACC Ib:227), Origen (ACC Ib:225; III:295), Saint Cyril of Alexandria (ACC III:293), and Augustine of Hippo:

We are well aware of the threats made by the Lord’s merciful “greed.”  He is everywhere seeking a profitable return on his money.  He says to the lazy servant, who wished to pass judgment on something he could not see, “Wicked servant, out of your own mouth I condemn you…”  We could only lay out our Lord’s money.   He is the one who will demand the interest on it, not only from this man but also from all of us. (ACC III:295)

Later commentators usually followed the traditional path of interpreting the parable with few original insights.  Professor of the St. Petersburg Theological Academy A. P. Lopukhin, for example, in a Bible commentary published at the beginning of the twentieth century wrote that “the slaves must certainly be understood as Christ’s disciples, and the minas are the various gifts that they received from God” (3:245).  But The New Jerome Biblical Commentary published in 1990, while preserving the hermeneutical tradition of its predecessors, is less assertive about some of the statements that have become controversial.  Referring to the master’s demand that his money be returned to him with interest (Matt. 25:24-5), the authors of The New Jerome sheepishly note that “this seems to favor usury and moderate capitalism” (668 [42:144]).

Among some of the newest insights that The New Jerome offers is a hypothesis that the parable originally comes from the Quelle, which may help explain the obvious connection between the parable and the verses in Mark 13:34 and 4:25.  Another interesting observation of The New Jerome is the presence of the word “hand over” (NRSV: “entrusted”; Gr.: παρεδωκεν—παρεδωκας), a technical term for the tradition of the Sadducees, who were criticized for their static attitude toward the faith (ibid.).  Regardless of these important developments in the interpretation of the parable or whether the original parable was to be found in the Quelle or a similar source of the early Christian oral tradition, the question posed by Rohrbaugh remains a daunting one, challenging not only our traditional view of how the parable may have been understood by Christ’s audience, but also rebuking our own buried talents as it shakes our own understanding of what the kingdom of heaven is like.  Can modern scholarship be reconciled with the millennial tradition of Christian exegesis?  This may be one of the most difficult and engaging directions within contemporary theology.

“Let Anyone With Ears Listen!” (Matt. 11:15) 

Do you have eyes, and fail to see? Do you have ears, and fail to hear? And do you not remember? (Mark 8:18)

Let these words sink into your ears: The Son of Man is going to be betrayed into human hands. (Luke 9:44)

Very interesting thoughts on the meaning of the parable of the talents/minas can be found in homilies of two contemporary preachers who may have one of the better chances among professional theologians of espousing the Palestinian peasant worldview.  Father Alexander Men (1935-1990), a renowned and controversial author and theologian, came from a Jewish family (Men 11 et passim) and studied at the Irkutsk Agricultural Institute [emphasis is mine—S.S.].  His spiritual child, Father Yakov Krotov, also of Jewish background (Krotov, O Krotovykh), and a descendant of a Russian revolutionary who actively participated in both the 1905 and 1917 revolts, graduated from the History Department of Moscow State University, and shows both Men’s influence and his own originality in his writings.

Parting with the millennial hermeneutical tradition of interpreting the parable of the talents/minas, Father Alexander sees the treasure distributed by the master to his servants not as gifts to be used in service to others, but as time given to our earthly life, or even as life itself (Men, Svet vo tme 10-12).  And, like a bad carriage losing its precious cargo along the way, we can waste the days given to us by burying them in mounds of useless tasks aimed at “killing time,” or we can spend the treasure of time given to us by giving love in service to others (ibid.).

Father Yakov goes, perhaps, a step further and proposes replacing the word “talent/mina” with “Christ” (Krotov, K Evangeliyu).  He gave us Himself—He is the only treasure.  Some of us do not want Him to grow; we try to kill Him and bury Him in the ground or wrap Him up in cloth like a dead man: “Here, Lord, You gave this to me—take back what is yours.”  We try to memorialize Him by building for Him a tombstone, forgetting that He is life itself.  He cannot be “preserved,” kept safe on a shelf or in a closet.  He pushes away the heavy stone of our heart with which we try to seal Him for safe keeping lest someone may “steal him away” (Matt. 27:64), and demands that we account for how we used the treasure that He entrusted to us.

Thinking of first-century Palestinian peasants, we must not forget that the parable of the talents is not a commentary on a socio-economic problem in one of the Roman provinces, but a teaching on the kingdom of heaven.  As such, it stands in a lineup of thirty-three parables found in the canonical Gospels that all speak of one and the same thing—“the kingdom of heaven will be like this” (Matt. 25:1).  Will the kingdom of heaven be like a condemnation of the rich, as Rohrbaugh and others have suggested?  Hardly so; it is more likely to be like a condemnation of our own part in trying to make sure that the Son of God remains safely in the dirt while we go about our business of protecting our honor from the shame that threatens the thick crust of our self-righteousness.

In doing so, we have not really fallen too far from the tree that bore us.  Just like our forefather Adam, we begin to blame God for our failure: “Master, I knew that you were a harsh man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you did not scatter seed…” (Matt. 25:24). – Fool!  “A sower went out to sow his seed…” (Luke 8:5)  Is there anything that came into being that had not been planted by Him?  “All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being” (John 1:3).  All things are God’s and He gathers where He toiled by the sweat of His face (Luke 22:44, cf. Gen. 1:19).  The very talent that you so carefully covered with your dirt broke the dry crust and came forth like a seed which has been sown by your master, testifying against you.  But, “I will judge you by your own words, you wicked slave!” (Luke 19:22)  And again, “For with the judgment you make you will be judged, and the measure you give will be the measure you get” (Matt. 7:2).  And yet again, “Pay attention to what you hear; the measure you give will be the measure you get” (Mark 4:24).  And still more, “for the measure you give will be the measure you get back” (Luke 6:38).

There is no excuse for having “a little” God in our lives, “for he gives the Spirit without measure” (John 3:34).  But he who chooses to have only a little God, just a pet God, by cutting, and pruning, and burning off within himself the life that wants to break through, come forth, run over—he truly has nothing, and from such a one even the little that he was given, that which he was trying to “save” (cf. Matt. 16:25), will be taken away (Luke 19:26).  But to him who loses, expends, and distributes the Creator’s gifts for His sake and for the sake of the Gospel (Mark 8:35)—to such a one more will be given (Luke 19:26), for Christ came that we may have life, “and have it abundantly” (John 10:10).

Would a first-century Palestinian peasant agree with this interpretation of the parable of the talents/minas?  Perhaps, not.  People—peasants, proletarians, and intelligentsia alike—all have to labor to understand Christ.  Quite opposite to the notion that has become a consensus by assertion that Christ spoke in a way that was very easy for His contemporaries to understand, the Gospels suggest that the meaning of many of His parables remained hidden even from His closest disciples:

…seeing they do not perceive, and hearing they do not listen, nor do they understand.  With them indeed is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah that says: ‘You will indeed listen, but never understand, and you will indeed look, but never perceive.  For this people’s heart has grown dull, and their ears are hard of hearing, and they have shut their eyes; so that they might not look with their eyes, and listen with their ears, and understand with their heart and turn– and I would heal them. (Matt. 13:13-5)

And he said to them, “Do you not understand this parable? Then how will you understand all the parables?” (Mark 4:13)

…for they did not understand about the loaves, but their hearts were hardened. (Mark 6:52)

He said to them, “Then do you also fail to understand?” (Mark 7:18)

And becoming aware of it, Jesus said to them, “Why are you talking about having no bread? Do you still not perceive or understand? Are your hearts hardened?” (Mark 8:17)

Then he said to them, “Do you not yet understand?” (Mark 8:21)

But they did not understand what he was saying… (Mark 9:32)

But they did not understand what he said to them. (Luke 2:50)

…to others I speak in parables, so that ‘looking they may not perceive, and listening they may not understand.’ (Luke 8:10)

But they did not understand this saying; its meaning was concealed from them, so that they could not perceive it. (Luke 9:45)

They did not understand that he was speaking to them… (John 8:27)

Why do you not understand what I say? It is because you cannot accept my word. (John 8:43)

Jesus used this figure of speech with them, but they did not understand what he was saying to them. (John 10:6)

His disciples did not understand these things at first; but when Jesus was glorified, then they remembered that these things had been written of him and had been done to him. (John 12:16)

Jesus answered, “You do not know now what I am doing, but later you will understand.” (John 13:7)

…for as yet they did not understand the scripture (John 20:9)

Is it then a promising method of examining the Scriptures by obsessing over the possible meaning that a first-century Palestinian peasant would have derived from them?  No doubt, historical social analysis of Sitz im Leben is critically important to the task of a theologian.  But by placing too much emphasis on it, are we not building a memorial, an elaborate tomb, to something that is not dead, to Him Whom the tomb could not contain?

Assuming that Jesus spoke only to specific peasants or that the Gospels were written only to specific communities is to deny life to them, to carefully wrap them up in linen cloth trying to preserve the “mummy” for when the Lord returns: “Here, take what is Yours!  I have kept it for you.”  But the Lord wants it all, He wants to claim everything as His, including our very life.  Could it be that when He spoke two millennia ago or when the evangelists wrote, the words were addressed to an audience greater than a small group of Galilean peasants or fishermen?

And he said to them, “Go into all the world and proclaim the good news to the whole creation.” (Mark 16:15)

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Notes


[1] The New Revised Standard Version of the Bible is used here and throughout.

[2] Arguably, Trible’s examples of what she refers to as “texts of terror” and her treatment of the same do not, in my opinion, parallel the parable of the talents/minas to a degree sufficient to justify Rohrbaugh’s borrowing of the term.

[3] Although Rohrbaugh appeals to Josephus’ comment in support of  his interpretation of the peasant’s worldview, the comment itself can hardly be seen as unambiguously exonerating the third servant of the parable, who, according to Rohrbaugh, did exactly what “an honorable person should do” (Rohrbaugh 117).  See especially Ant. 4.286 (Josephus 145).

[4] Although Rohrbaugh does not cite any specific prohibitions against usury from the Torah, he is probably referring to Ex. 22:24; Lev. 25:35-7; and Deut. 23:20-1.

[5] For a detailed discussion on the Gospel of the Nazoreans see Bart Ehrman’s Lost Scriptures: Books that Did Not Make It into the New Testament (New York: Oxford University Press, 2003).

[6] I do wonder from whence Richard Rohrbaugh takes his citations, for no such story was found upon examining the 22nd paragraph every one of the four books of Eusebius’ Theophania.  We shall assume the best, however, and cite the passage as it is found in Rohrbaugh’s book.

_______________

BIBLIOGRAPHY

ACC. Luke. Ed. Arthur A. Just Jr. Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture. New Testament. Vol. III. Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2003.

—. Matthew 14-28. Ed. Manlio Simonetti. Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture. New Testament. Vol. Ib. Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2003.

ANF. The Ante-Nicene Fathers: Translation of the Writings of the Fathers Down to A.D. 325. Ed. A. Cleveland Coxe. Trans. Alexander Roberts and James Donaldson. 10 vols. Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1885.

Brown, Raymond E. An Introduction to the New Testament. The Anchor Bible Reference Library. New York: Doubleday, 1997.

Coxe, A. Cleveland, ed. The Ante-Nicene Fathers: Translation of the Writings of the Fathers Down to A.D. 325. Trans. Alexander Roberts and James Donaldson. 10 vols. Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1885.

Ehrman, Bart. Lost Scriptures: Books that Did Not Make It into the New Testament. New York: Oxford University Press, 2003.

Herzog II, William. Parables As Subversive Speech: Jesus As Pedagogue of the Oppressed. Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 1994.

Josephus, Titus Flavius. The Complete Works. Trans. William Whinston. Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1998.

Krotov, Yakov. “K Evangeliyu. Biblioteka Yakova Krotova. 24 November 2008 <http://www.krotov.info/yakov/4_evang/1_mt/25_14.htm&gt;.

—. “O Krotovykh.” Biblioteka Yakova Krotova. 24 November 2008 <http://www.krotov.info/library/11_k/krotovy/family.html&gt;.

Lopukhin, A. P. Tolkovaya Bibliya, ili kommentarii na bce knigi Sv. Pisaniya Vetkhago i Novago Zaveta. 3 vols. Peterburg, 1904-1913.

Men, Alexander. O sebe… Vospominaniya, intervyu, besedy, pisma. Ed. Natalya Grigorenko and Pavel Men. Moskva: Zhizn s Bogom, 2007.

—. Svet vo tme svetit. Ed. A. Yeremin. Moskva: Vite-Tsentr, 1991.

Nestle-Aland. Greek-English New Testament. Ed. Barbara Aland and Kurt Aland. Stuttgart: Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft, 2005.

NJBC. The New Jerome Biblical Commentary. Ed. Raymond E. Brown, Joseph A. Fitzmyer and Ronald E. Murphy. Upper Saddle River: Prentice Hall, 1990.

Oden, Thomas C., ed. Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture. Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2003.

Rohrbaugh, Richard L. The New Testament in Cross-Cultural Perspective. Eugene: Cascade Books, 2007.

Trible, Phyllis. Texts of Terror. Overtures to Biblical Theology. Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1984. 

BIBLIOGRAPHY

ACC. Luke. Ed. Arthur A. Just Jr. Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture. New Testament. Vol. III. Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2003.

—. Matthew 14-28. Ed. Manlio Simonetti. Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture. New Testament. Vol. Ib. Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2003.

ANF. The Ante-Nicene Fathers: Translation of the Writings of the Fathers Down to A.D. 325. Ed. A. Cleveland Coxe. Trans. Alexander Roberts and James Donaldson. 10 vols. Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1885.

Brown, Raymond E. An Introduction to the New Testament. The Anchor Bible Reference Library. New York: Doubleday, 1997.

Coxe, A. Cleveland, ed. The Ante-Nicene Fathers: Translation of the Writings of the Fathers Down to A.D. 325. Trans. Alexander Roberts and James Donaldson. 10 vols. Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1885.

Ehrman, Bart. Lost Scriptures: Books that Did Not Make It into the New Testament. New York: Oxford University Press, 2003.

Herzog II, William. Parables As Subversive Speech: Jesus As Pedagogue of the Oppressed. Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 1994.

Josephus, Titus Flavius. The Complete Works. Trans. William Whinston. Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1998.

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