Jesus the Victimizer?


  • Lauri Thuren University of Eastern Finland


Middle East, Jesus Christ, Christianity, Judaism, Parables, Bible, New Testament, Criticism, Textual


Jesus’ antagonistic encounters with the Pharisees serve traditionally as a basis for the poor relationship between Christianity and Judaism. The conflict stories epitomized by Jesus’ parables have been assessed as descriptions of how he either justifiably revealed his adversaries’ falseness or falsely defamed them. These stories are used to justify later religious conflicts. I shall argue that the traditional anti-Pharisaic interpretations of Jesus’ parables have an inadequate basis in the actual stories. Instead, they are due to two axiomatic perspectives that dominate the interpretation: ill-fitting allegorical explanations and/or the search for some historical context. Both approaches have resulted in manipulating the parables, either by curtailing them or by importing into them information of which their actual audience(s) were unaware. 

How to Cite

Thuren, L. (2014). Jesus the Victimizer?. Approaching Religion, 4(2), 37–50.