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The Parable of the Feisty Widow and the Threatened Judge (Luke 18.1–8)

  • WENDY COTTER (a1)
Abstract

The parable core of the widow and the judge (Luke 18.2–5) is frequently considered so weak that it requires its commentaries for any meaningful message. The idea of a judge finally giving in to a pestering widow is hardly profound. Recent scholarly research, however, overturns that judgment when it becomes clear that women were not to frequent the male world of the courts. Thus the widow's frequent visits together with her brief and abrupt command to the judge combine to convey the image of a feisty widow rather than the conventionally meek and subservient role assumed for her. As a result, a long-standing discomfort over how to render the Greek in the judge's stated reasons for granting her justice (v. 5) has its grounds for struggle removed. The climax of the parable makes Luke 18.2–5 one of the most socially critical of the parable collection.

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New Testament Studies
  • ISSN: 0028-6885
  • EISSN: 1469-8145
  • URL: /core/journals/new-testament-studies
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