Does the Parable of the Minas (Lk. 19.12-27) Address the Delay of the Parousia?
Abstract: The aim of this article is to question whether the parable of the minas (Luke 19,11-27) is a reflection by Luke on the delay of the parousia. After a review of research showing that the delay-oriented interpretation of the parable has been prevalent for some time, there are four parts to the argument. First, in agreement with the delay hypothesis, it is argued (against a recent social-scientific interpretation) that the parable has allegorical features when compared with the portrait of Jesus in Luke-Acts (the “Lukan” setting). Secondly, examination of the parable and its frame in Luke 19,11 shows that Luke cannot straightforwardly be understood as applying the parable to a particular, contemporaneous eschatological concern (the “rhetorical” setting). Thirdly, the expeditions of royal claimants to Rome do not supply evidence for the “delay” reading of the parable because these journeys were not sufficiently cumbersome or protracted to imply delay in the parable (the “Roman” setting). Fourthly and finally, the article engages in exegesis of the Luke 19,11-27 itself to show that the details of the parable do not point to a concern about delay on Luke’s part.