In Hell: What Is A Parable?

What is a parable? Dr. Johnson says, “A parable is a relation under which something else is figured.”

The Greek verb from which the word parable is derived signifies to compare things together. Webster says, “A parable is a fable or allegorical relation or representation of something real in life or nature, from which a moral is drawn for instruction.” Dr. [Albert] Barnes, one of the ablest writers among the Presbyterians, says, “A parable is a narrative of some fictitious or real event, in order to illustrate more clearly some truth that the speaker wished to communicate.” He also says, “It is not necessary to suppose that the narrative is strictly, true. The main thing, the inculcation of spiritual truth, was gained equally whether it was true or only a supposed case. Nor was there any dishonesty in this. It was well understood; no person was deceived. The speaker was not understood to affirm the thing literally narrated, but only to fix the attention more firmly on the moral truth presented.”

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Author: Otis A. Skinner

Keywords: Hell, Hades, Sheol

Bible reference(s): Judges 9:8-15, Isaiah 14:4, Isaiah 14:9-20, Luke 16:19-31

Source: An Inquiry into the Scriptural Import of the words Sheol, Hades, Tartarus and Gehenna, translated Hell in the Common English Version. Revised, with essays and notes, by Otis A. Skinner (Boston: A. Tompkins, 1854).

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