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By I. Tzvi Abusch

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Bernard Scott focuses o n the widow's continued wearing d o w n of the judge, viewing it as a m e t a p h o r for the k i n g d o m — that is, it teaches that the k i n g d o m keeps coming, keeps battering d o w n opposition regardless of h o n o r or justice, and may even c o m e u n d e r the guise of shamelessness (Hear Then the Parable, 175-87). And Charles Hedrick argues that the parable presents the judge as a thoroughly honest m a n w h o in the end compromises his integrity for his own c o m f o r t , which should lead readers to reflect on the integrity of their own compromises (Parables as Poetic Fictions, 187-207).

Rom 3:21-31) — as long as the t r u t h f u l nature of the message encapsulated in a particular literary f o r m and the convicting w o r k of God's Spirit working t h r o u g h that vehicle a n d message are present! Parables f u n c t i o n in two ways. They enhance c o m m u n i c a t i o n and they assist persuasion — that is, they possess a referential dimension and a commissive dimension. They p e r f o r m the latter by disarming their hearers and by piercing t h r o u g h defenses and resistance.

For if o n e defines a fable broadly as a narrative that sheds light on h u m a n experience or behavior, then fables are very m u c h like parables (cf. Beavis, "Parable and Fable," 473-98). But if o n e uses the m o r e c o m m o n definition of a fable as being a story about animals, plants, or inanimate objects, then equating fables with parables in the New Testament is illegitimate, since there are no such animal or plant stories in the teachings of Jesus. Two clear examples of fables, of course, are to be f o u n d in the Old Testament, in Judg 9:8-15 and 2 Kings 14:9.

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