Original Research - Special Collection: Eben Scheffler Festschrift

A realistic reading of the parable of the Lost Coin in Q: Gaining or losing even more?

Ernest van Eck
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 75, No 3 | a5656 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v75i3.5656 | © 2019 Ernest van Eck | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 23 July 2019 | Published: 14 November 2019

About the author(s)

Ernest van Eck, Department of New Testament and Related Literature, Faculty of Theology and Religion, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa

Abstract

This article aims to present a realistic reading of the parable of the Lost Coin in Q. A realistic reading of the parable focuses on the social realia invoked by the parables, that is, the social realities and practices (cultural scripts) embedded by any given parable. As will be indicated, available documented papyri can be used to identify the possible social realia invoked by the parables, and this can help the modern reader to identify what is ‘normal’ or ‘abnormal’ in a parable being interpreted. This, in turn, can help the modern reader to come to grips with the probable intended meaning of the parable. In a realistic reading of the Lost Coin, it is argued that two things are important: the price and daily consumption of oil, and the Lost Coin being one of the gendered doublets in Q. Apart from proposing a possible meaning of the Lost Coin, it is also indicated that a realistic reading explains why the seeking of the woman is described as being ἐπιμελῶς [diligent].

Keywords

Lost Coin; parables; historical Jesus; Q; cost and usage of lamp oil

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Crossref Citations

1. ‘I am not strong to dig and I am afraid to beg’: Social status and status concern in the parable of the Dishonest Steward (Lk 16:1–9)
Louis Ndekha
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies  vol: 77  issue: 4  year: 2021  
doi: 10.4102/hts.v77i4.6372