Bible analysis

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Exegetical study of the parable “The prodigal son” in Luke’s gospel 15:11-32

Parables and stories were crucial for Jesus’ teaching, He used them to convey hidden meanings and God’s wishes to His followers and the world. To this day, believers read these parables and try to discover the hidden meaning behind their words. Luke’s gospel offers the parable of the prodigal son, his escape, life and subsequent return to his father who welcomes him with open arms. The meaning behind this story, written by Luke (Lk 15: 11-32) is the main purpose of this study. This parable is a part of the series, beginning with “lost sheep” and finishing with “dishonest manager”. All of these parables are about forgiveness, a central theme to Luke’s gospel. Parable of the prodigal son is meant to teach readers the value of forgiveness, love and family, but also to impress on fatherly love as the main aspect of God, who watches over all people, and loves even those “fled” from him.
Main point of the parable is forgiveness. This much is obvious from just a superficial read, without going into any detail. The good father, after being left by his younger son, embraces him with an open heart after he has squandered the family fortune in a far away land. This paper will perform a close literary and critical study of this parable, in the hopes of enhancing the understanding behind the story, its message and the reason why Jesus choose to share a story about, seemingly, disobedient son who is forgiven all his sins without any apparent reason. To ensure a close and objective study, historical and literary evidence presented by commentators and critics will be evaluated.

Historical evidence
There is an ongoing debate in the literature regarding go...

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...s where crisis begins as the younger son slowly realizes his situation. He is hungry, living with pigs and has nowhere to go. The resolution begins while the crisis is still ongoing, when the son decides he will go and ask his father to take him in as a worker. The ensuing feast, forgiveness and celebration are the closing segments of the resolution which brought the father and the son back together .
The story can be viewed from two perspectives – first perspective is that of a forgiving father, who embraces his son. The second is that of a faithful son, who is hurt when his father takes the prodigal son back, and even holds a feast in his honor. Bock explains that this part is especially troublesome because in those times, this type of reunion would be impossible, and son would suffer in the hands of the shamed father – thus restoring family’s honor.
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