The dual levels of the text: Hellenistic and Roman literature, to which the Biblical texts also belong, is scholarly

Luxor, felucca
Luxor, felucca

literature (Ulrich Schmitzer: Zeitgeschich­te in Ovids Metamorphosen, Stutt­gart 1990, p. 19f). It presupposes an educated social class that includes writers and readers / audiences. The texts are primarily written for the educated reader, but without losing sight of the simple audience. In this way, a surface text with a vivid, impressive narrative is created as well as a deep text with literary, philosophical and political references.

For example, Luke gives a vivid account of Jesus’ ascension in Acts 1:1-11, but adds in v. 13 the telling detail that the disciples then gathered in the upper room of the house. The vivid narrative is for the benefit of the simple listeners, while Luke gives the educated reader a hint that they need not take the ascension story literally; it can also be understood to mean that it took place in the upper room, on the spiritual level.

The dual levels of vivid narrative and deeper meaning should be considered not just in the parables, but throughout the entire literary narrative.

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