Jesus called Herod Antipas a fox (Luke 13:32), and English speakers and Europeans assume the point is obvious. Foxes are proverbially associated with cleverness and craftiness. Therefore, Jesus must be calling Herod a crafty person. However, it turns out that Jesus was saying something very different to his Hebrew-speaking audience.
The metaphor “fox” has proven deceptive to speakers of European languages. Many New Testament specialists have followed the clear, widely known sense of the Greek word and idiom without first asking an important question: “How was ‘fox’ used by Hebrew speakers?” The answer reveals a difference in Hebrew and Greek usage, and it should serve as a reminder that one must always interpret metaphors within the proper cultural setting.
 This is true for any language around the world. One should always assume that metaphors carry different connotations until proven otherwise, even in languages with tremendous cultural overlap like English and French: “cow” and “vache” carry completely different implications. ↩
Today when we hear the word “gospel” we tend to think of a message about Jesus that tells people how to “get saved.” But in the ancient world in which Jesus lived the word ”gospel” was applied to “good news” of a certain type. When people in the ancient world heard the word “gospel” they understood it to mean a royal proclamation that someone had become king.
Explore this fascinating topic with Joshua Tilton in his new eBook “Jesus’ Gospel.”
Help Us Grow
These paypal donations will be used to pay our programmers to increase the services available and pay writers to bring us new articles for JerusalemPerspective.com
Articles, blogs, forum messages and other types of posts published by Jerusalem Perspective Online express the views of their authors, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Jerusalem Perspective Online, David Bivin or other members of the Jerusalem School of Synoptic Research.
Copyright 2013 - 1987 Jerusalem Perspective - All Rights Reserved