The Rich Man and Lazarus

Anna Wierzbicka

in What Did Jesus Mean?

Published in print May 2001 | ISBN: 9780195137330
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780199867905 | DOI:
The Rich Man and Lazarus

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The chapter argues for the authenticity of the first part of this parable. It shows that here, as elsewhere, the widely used term “reversal” is not sufficient for explaining the parable's meaning. It rejects the notion of “irreversible punishment” (a hell for some) as an insult to God and a misunderstanding of the nature of symbolic language; and it articulates, in simple and universal human concepts, the parable's message to the rich as well as that to the poor. Once again, it stresses the illocutionary purpose of the parable: not a prediction, but a warning and appeal.

Keywords: authenticity; hell; illocutionary purpose; reversal; symbolic language

Chapter.  3768 words. 

Subjects: Biblical Studies

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