PARABLE OR MYTH
and Hellenic Influence on Jewish Culture
Why does New testament Greek use the word parable rather than Myth when both mean story and can refer to fiction and prose.
Many scholars have suggested parabolee is a translation of mashal(im) but why would Matthew chose that word amongst several available?
I suggest and suspect if we had the textual evidence we would find the usage can be traced to the Alexandrian Greek speaking Jewish community which had been exposed to Greek philosophy and rhetoric.
In Greek rhetoric a parabolee is a short story inserted within a longer text or speech used to illustrate an idea or compare it to another idea.
There is also another Greek word parabolos that can be translated as side meaning and the prefix para implies parallels , juxtaposition, something nearby moving along with a similar course ...
Given Alexandria and First century AD Palestine had large populations with people with varying degrees of fluency in Greek I can see the two words fusing into one?
It is also intriguing as it suggests the possibility that rhetorical texts like Aristotles Topics and Rhetoric or Isocrates speeches were well known outside the Hellenic speaking communities in major cities?
Were there Jewish teachers of basic rhetoric training other scribes and teachers on how to explain mashalim to Greek speaking Jews or even teaching Aristotle or Isocrates to students who might need to interact with Greek speakers?
In Northern Galilee of all places?
Or does this tell us something about Matthew himself?
In a single lies hidden lost histories!