Original Research - Special Collection: A.G.van Aarde Festschrift

When neighbours are not neighbours: A social-scientific reading of the parable of the friend at midnight (Lk 11:5–8)

Ernest van Eck
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 67, No 1 | a788 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v67i1.788 | © 2011 Ernest van Eck | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 26 January 2010 | Published: 11 April 2011

About the author(s)

Ernest van Eck, Department of New Testament Studies, University of Pretoria, South Africa


Share this article

Bookmark and Share

Abstract

This article presents a social-scientific interpretation of the parable of the friend at midnight. As starting point, attention is given to the history of the interpretation of the parable, as well as to its integrity and authenticity. A social-scientific reading of the parable is then presented. The parable is read against the socio-economic and political backdrop of firstcentury Palestine village life in which friendship, hospitality, limited good and reciprocity played an important role. The interpretation of the parable hinges on the understanding of [foreign font omitted] [shamelessness] Luke 11:8. Therefore, special attention is given to honour as a pivotal value in first-century Palestine. The parable tells the story of an alternative world, a world wherein neighbours are kin and practice general reciprocity. The gist of the parable is that when neighbours do not act as neighbours, then nothing of God’s kingdom becomes visible.

Keywords

parables;historical Jesus; Social-scientific analysis

Metrics

Total abstract views: 2060
Total article views: 7454

 

Crossref Citations

1. In the kingdom everybody has enough – A social-scientific and realistic reading of the parable of the lost sheep (Lk 15:4–6)
Ernest Van Eck
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies  vol: 67  issue: 3  year: 2011  
doi: 10.4102/hts.v67i3.1067