parable of the talents

Nathan Newman nathan at
Tue May 22 16:26:57 PDT 2001

It's an odd parable and is a primary one used by those promoting Chrisitianity as a gospel of wealth, but that is an unlikely interpretation for a couple of reasons. One, the story is not one of individual entrepreneurs but of servants entrusted with capital and their success or failure in acting on behalf of the master.

It is also embedded in the most apocolyptic part of Matthew when the Rapture is envisioned. The whole story seems more a metaphor for whether people given gifts by God will multiply them in the world in service to God. It is notable that the parable is immediately followed by God praising those took care of the poor and strangers, for "whatever you did for one of my brothers here, however humble, you did for me" and notes that those who were miserly will go to eternal fire, for "when I was hungry you gave me nothing to drink" etc.

A more reasonable reading of the parable, supported by other parables, is an exhortation to act in the world, not to sit on ones gifts with caution.

-- Nathan

----- Original Message ----- From: "Doug Henwood" <dhenwood at> To: "lbo-talk" <lbo-talk at> Sent: Tuesday, May 22, 2001 7:06 PM Subject: parable of the talents

[posted from non-sub'd address]

From: sawicky at (Max Sawicky) Subject: Gospel of St. George Date: Tue, 22 May 2001 19:00:01 +0100

Matthew 25 28 Take therefore the talent from him, and give it unto him which hath ten talents. 29 For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath. 30 And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

can anybody explain this? Was Matthew the first supply-sider?


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