Mustard Seed and Starter Dough Parables

& LOY Commentary 19 Comments

Jesus used the Mustard Seed and Starter Dough parables to demonstrate that the Kingdom of Heaven is a living and active presence that is increasing within the realm of human experience.

Friend In Need Simile

& LOY 17 Comments

Is God asleep, oblivious to our prayers? Is he a grouch, unwilling to respond to our pleas? In the Friend in Need simile Jesus instructed his disciples that the grounds for confident prayer is the character of their good and trustworthy God.

Yeshua’s Discourse on Worry

& LOY 23 Comments

In Yeshua’s Discourse on Worry Jesus confronted one of the most serious concerns of the disciples: how would their basic needs be met now that they had given up their possessions and livelihoods in order to itinerate full-time with Jesus?

Lost Sheep and Lost Coin Similes

& LOY 24 Comments

With the Lost Sheep and Lost Coin similes Jesus explained to his critics that he ate and drank with “sinners” because God rejoices when a person repents. God wants his friends—including Jesus and Jesus’ critics—to join him in the celebration.

Mysteries of the Kingdom of Heaven

& LOY 25 Comments

Did Jesus offer a rationale for teaching with the aid of story parables in this pericope, or does the Mysteries of the Kingdom of Heaven saying celebrate the dawning of the new age of redemption?

LOY Excursus: Criteria for Identifying Separated Twin Parables and Similes in the Synoptic Gospels

& LOY, LOY Excursions 4 Comments

Even casual Gospel observers notice that some of Jesus’ parables and similes come in pairs that resemble one another so strongly that they might be regarded as twins. But how does one determine which parables and similes truly are twins, and which might just bear a family resemblance? In this post David N. Bivin and Joshua N. Tilton suggest five criteria that authenticate parables and similes as true twins.

Yeshua’s Thanksgiving Hymn

& Articles, LOY 21 Comments

In Yeshua’s Thanksgiving Hymn the Holy Spirit inspires Jesus to utter an Essene-style hymn that expresses gratitude for the divine revelation that was being disclosed to his followers.

Return of the Twelve

& Articles, LOY 30 Comments

When Jesus’ twelve emissaries to Israel returned from their mission, thrilled by their success at exorcising demons, Jesus described to them a vision of the expulsion of Satan from heaven. The vision’s message was double-edged: on the one hand, the downfall of the angelic prince meant that the way was opened for the redemption of Israel; on the other hand, having fallen to earth, Satan was about to unleash his fury against God’s chosen people.

Did Jesus Call God “Abba”?

Articles 1 Comment

In the past, some scholars have relied on the evidence of Jesus’ use of the word “Abba” to draw far-reaching conclusions about Jesus, the language he spoke, and his relationship to Judaism. As part of their ongoing research for the LOY project, David Bivin and Joshua Tilton revisited the evidence for Jesus’ use of “Abba” as an address to God. Tilton summarizes their findings here.