The Northfield

  2535 Shore Road

  Northfield, NJ 08225


Church of Christ




Those Pesky Similes And Metaphors

"I tell you the truth, I am the gate for the sheep.... I am the gate; whoever enters through Me will be saved..." (Jn.10:7 & 9)

Fortunately, the Bible, especially the New Testament, is not a bland piece of uninteresting prose. As is common to speech everywhere, whatever the language or the time, the uses of figurative expressions are interspersed throughout... The use of similes ( "the kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed") (Matt.13:31) and metaphors ( "I am the true vine, and My Father is the gardener") (Jn.15:1) are common figurative expressions. The use of metaphors and similes could cause a bit of a problem as they call for the reader to interpret just what they mean, but on the whole, they make the inspired Word of God much more interesting. The ability of the figures of speech to make the narrative more colorful and powerful is certainly worth the risk. The apostle Paul was masterful at using these metaphors, so seeing runners and boxers showing me how to live my life is really cool... Jesus was certainly good at it too... He could have easily said, "I am the source from which My disciples learn how to good deeds." Instead, He chose to say: "I am the the vine, and you are the branches" (Jn.15:5). He goes on in the fifteenth chapter of John to describe the relationship in metaphoric terms... With these wonderful expressions, we can have the figures of speech make the words come alive to stir our mind and memories. Readers will make associations in the process and draw conclusions. In doing this, the Bible becomes a master teacher. It tells more than just what to think, but rather it stirs us to think. Paul, like many of the biblical authors, used metaphors to stir thoughts and emotions. Some of his most memorable figures of speech are used to describe the church. We'll take a look at these over the next few days...

Have a great day... Make your little part of the world better... Love mark Phil.4:11

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