Thread: Talents vs Minas Board: Kerygmania / Ship of Fools.

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Posted by mr cheesy (# 3330) on :
Visiting an church yesterday, I heard the preacher say that there was a difference between Luke's parable of the Minas compared to Matthew's parable of the Talents.

He seemed to be saying that the difference was because there were a different number of talents whereas all the servants got the same number of minas, and therefore the the minas represent what all believers have - namely the gift of salvation.

He said that the gift was to be used as a businessman uses capital to bring a profit.

He didn't say much about the talents other than to say that the message of that parable was different.

I'd not heard this before - has anyone else?

Also, the final phrase in Luke's parable is quite disturbing; it is a bit shocking when the Lord uses unwarranted capital punishment to make a point.
Posted by Nick Tamen (# 15164) on :
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
Also, the final phrase in Luke's parable is quite disturbing; it is a bit shocking when the Lord uses unwarranted capital punishment to make a point.

Maybe not the case here at all, but....

I think we have a tendency to take all the red letters words So Seriously that we miss humor that Jesus's original audience would have heard. I'm thinking the Queen of Hearts here—"Off with their heads!"

Of course, that has potential implications of its own.

Maybe it's just Jesus's way of underscoring the importance of what he's talking about, that it is a matter of (spiritual) life and death.

Just thinking out loud.
Posted by Lamb Chopped (# 5528) on :
For what it's worth, some commentators point out that this is probably an allusion to fairly recent political events--one named Archelaus as the fellow who went off to Rome to be confirmed in his kingdom and came back to kill a bunch of enemies off. But I haven't time to track down clearer sources to be sure right now.
Posted by Sarah G (# 11669) on :
Lamb Chopped is spot on. Archelaus went to Rome in 4 BC to petition Augustus for the kingship,and was followed by a deputation of Jews asking that he not have it. This is a key reference.

A Big Clue about this parable in Luke is verse 11 and verses 28 to 44 (Jesus arrival at Jerusalem in glory, but weeps over it). C1 Jews were expecting their Messiah King to go to Jerusalem to inaugurate the Kingdom of God (as v.11).

Jesus then does a wonderful double parable. Both strands speak about judgement. The King returns and those who rejected him will be punished. The King returns and finds that some of his subjects have failed to use what had been entrusted to them as required. They will be punished.

Jesus was, of course, the returning King*, returning in glory to his people. But he will be rejected by Israel, and also Israel has not lived up to its calling. There will be judgement.

By which Jesus means rejection from the imminent Kingdom of God, and the physical destruction of Israel in AD70 (hence the weeping over Jerusalem). So although the crowds were getting excited about the Kingdom, Jesus reminds them pointedly that this had always accompanied by painful judgement in the OT.

*This is not a parable about the Second Coming, whatever the sermons say.
Posted by mr cheesy (# 3330) on :
Sarah G - are you therefore saying that the meaning of Luke's parable is theologically (and practically) different to the other (talents vs minas)?
Posted by Sarah G (# 11669) on :
In Matthew, just before is the wise and foolish virgins, a story about a bridegroom who shuts out some people who had failed to act sensibly. Just after is the sheep and goats, about the King who rewards/excludes according to whether his requirements had been fulfilled. Matthews version is still about a returning master who punishes someone for not using what he had been given to his master's requirements.

Given that Luke's pitch is about a returning king who rewards/punishes according to what he finds, I think it's safe to say that the two versions are so close that they could put arms around each other and do a waltz. They're both about a returning master/king (=Jesus) who is not liking what he finds, and will be excluding those who have failed from the Kingdom of God.


Implied in this is that the parable is aimed at C1 Israel, despite its regular interpretation as referring primarily to the Second Coming.

Given that Luke has gone #JesusnearJerusalem #KoGappearing before his version, and followed it up with Jesus arriving as a King in Jerusalem, it seems hard to see why this should be referring to something thousands of years in the future.

Given further that Matthew's version has Jesus replying to a question about the destruction of the Temple (c.f. Luke 19!), and marks where he stops talking about it here , it seems hard to see why anyone should think his version refers to an event over 2000 years away, especially since no-one asked him about the the end of the world as we know it.

It's like being asked the time and talking about Britain's got Talent instead.

[ 30. April 2017, 15:20: Message edited by: Sarah G ]

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