Understanding Genre's - Parables

HOW TO STUDY THE BIBLE - Understanding Genre's

I've been giving modern examples of how to study different genre's of Scripture but for parables it becomes difficult. Parables are their own different breed of a genre and the purpose changes based on the audience. Another difficulty in parables is because of the distance between the original audience and us. There is a depth of meaning that is intended by Yeshua in the parable He tells. Many times a parable is only understood through an understanding of the context of the day. Therefore, while there is a deep meaning to the parable, the meaning is understood by the context of the culture. We don’t want to take apart every little thing and try to find a meaning for it. Augustan Augustine was notorious for doing such things. He took the parable of the Good Samaritan and said, “Jericho means the moon, oil means comfort and good hope, wine means exhortation and work with a fervent spirit, the donkey means Christ’s flesh, etc.”. That’s taking it a little too far and we should avoid taking it that far. The question is, how far do we take it?