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What Did Jesus Mean?Explaining the Sermon on the Mount and the Parables in Simple and Universal Human Concepts$
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Anna Wierzbicka

Print publication date: 2001

Print ISBN-13: 9780195137330

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/0195137337.001.0001

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The Laborers in the Vineyard

The Laborers in the Vineyard

(p.320) Twelve The Laborers in the Vineyard
What Did Jesus Mean?

Anna Wierzbicka (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

Discusses the meaning of the biblical concepts of “reward,” the traditional Christian concepts of “grace,” “judgment,” and “justice” and the modern Anglo concept of “fairness;” and the chapter proposes an interpretation of the parable that bypasses all those complex and culture‐specific concepts. The way of thinking that the parable discourages is portrayed (in part) as follows:

I have done many good things

because of this God will do many good things for me

some other people haven’t done many good things

because of this God will not do many good things for these people

The main positive message of the parable is represented (in part) as follows:

it will be good if you want God to do good things for all people

as you want God to do good things for you

Keywords:   fairness, grace, judgment, justice, reward

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