Saturday, September 13, 2014

"Quiz" on the last two parable sculptures at St. James the Less Church (London)

There are two other columns inside the church of St. James the Less that have sculptures that depict parables. I may have gotten this idea from the fact that the semester is going full swing (the New Testament first test is rapidly approaching), but I thought that in this post I would give a pop quiz, a "sight reading" of the remaining two images.

Below are photos of the remaining two sculptures. See if you can figure out which parables they depict. At first, try to do so without reading the words etched below (or above) the image. You get extra credit on the quiz if you can figure it out without peeking at the words.

Tomorrow (hopefully) I will place the answers in the comment section of this post. 

Parable #1:

Parable #2:

1 comment:

  1. Okay; this is a type of trick question that I would never ask on a test in one of my courses. Both images depict the same parable: The Treasure, Matthew 13:44: "The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which someone found and hid; then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field." In the first image, it appears that we have an example of two parts of a story being depicted in one image. On the left, we see the man finding and hiding the treasure. On the right we see him, after he has sold all that he had, buying the field from its owner. He hands the money to the owner with his left hand and gestures to the field with his right. The second image includes a bit of interpretation. In this image, Jesus (with a halo) appears on the left, and he holds the wrist of another man. On the right, we see a man digging. This image also has a written interpretation above it: "WE SPEAK THE HIDEN WISDOM." Thus viewers are provided the interpretation that the treasure is the wisdom of God given by Jesus. This interpretation is analogous to a similar story in an Armenian fragment of a work attributed to Philo that illustrates the great treasure found in God's wisdom (De Deo 91): ". . . like the story of the husbandman who, digging his orchard to plant some fruit trees, lighted upon a treasure, and thus met with prosperity beyond his hopes." Notice the tree, by the way, in the first image. Probably a coincidence.


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